Ryanair Chase Ante-post Outlook

Cheltenham Festival

Horse Racing
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Published: 02/02/2012

Since it’s inauguration in 2005 at the start of the new four day Cheltenham Festival, the Ryanair Chase has quickly garnered an excellent reputation for being one of the most exciting races of the week – a status which is unlikely to be harmed by the 2012 running judging by the early ante-post contenders.

And there are some real stars set to launch an assault on the two mile five furlong race which demands a fine balance of both Champion Chase speed and Gold Cup stamina.

Henrietta Knight’s Somersby currently heads the betting after his brave win in the Grade One Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot towards the end of January.

The eight-year-old had virtually been written off as a top class horse after frequently acting as bridesmaid to his rivals in a wide range of prestigious races.

And after failing to see out the three mile trip at Kempton in the King George VI Chase, many analysts and pundits believed that trainer Knight had lost her way with the horse after deciding to knock him back down in trip to two miles one furlong.

But Somersby slammed his critics with a fine staying performance which has seen him naturally develop into a prime Ryanair Chase candidate.

He will have to jump better if he is to be a Cheltenham Festival winner, however the extra half mile is likely to aid his rhythm and his credentials have to be respected following strong runs at the track before – including when second in an Arkle Chase to Sizing Europe.

Irish stars Rubi Light and noble Prince are also vying for favouritism leading up to the Festival at around 8/1 whilst previous champion Albertas Run is rated at the same odds by some firms – although a much tastier 12/1 is available if one shops around.

A.P McCoy is set to partner Jonjo O’Neill’s stable star once again and although the ten-year-old has been off the track for the majority of the season, his best form usually comes around the spring and he cannot not be written off even without the guide of a prep run.

But it is Alan King’s consistent Cheltenham performer Medermit who looks the stand out ante-post value at 16/1.

A former Supreme Novice and Arkle second, the eight-year-old grey has enjoyed a tremendous year to date, winning Exeter’s Grade Two Haldon Gold Cup before going on to finish a fine second behind Quantitativeeasing in the December Gold Cup off an extremely stiff mark.

King is now set to rest Medermit until the Festival and he is overpriced to say the least considering what he has already achieved.

Racing at level weights in the Ryanair, Medermit is sure to be as spring heeled as ever up the Cheltenham hill, only this time he is taken to finally get his head in front as his staying ability will really come into effect.

Of the rest, Medermit’s Arkle conqueror Captain Chris is of extreme interest however all bets on Phillip Hobbs’ horse should be waited with as his long term target is undecided and he was pulled up out of sorts, jumping violently right handed, in the Argento Chase at the Prestbury course when last seen.


© Frixo 2017

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