There may be two big negatives in the eyes of many punters diminishing the chances of Albertas Run in the Ryanair Chase, but at 20/1 it would be foolhardy to completely rule him out.
No horse can match Albertas Run for two career victories in the Ryanair Chase and he clearly comes to life at the Cheltenham Festival as a whole, with three wins and a second from his last four starts.
He is certainly a horse that comes to hand in the spring and Albertas Run would not be the first horse to claim a Festival victory on his first start of the season.
Quevega is the ultimate example of this and punters do not use a lack of a run as a negative against her chances.
The other negative is that Albertas Run is now a 12-year-old and no horse has previously triumphed in the Ryanair aged any older than 10.
Although Albertas Run can hardly be referred to as lightly raced, he certainly hasn’t been over-raced either by Jonjo O’Neill and Kauto Star and Tidal Bay have shown in the last two years that the old guard can still mix it at the top level.
If punters are looking for a negative to point at Albertas Run, the Festival ground could prove a bigger hindrance than either age or the amount of seasonal racing.
He has only been out of the frame once in 17 starts on good ground and should the rain stay away from Cheltenham in the coming weeks, this is a massive plus to his chances.
It would be no surprise to see Albertas Run halve in price by race day should the ground be on the quicker side.
But if the ground is good to soft or slower, he will probably be running for the each-way places at best.
Furthermore, there are bound to be withdrawals from horses currently above him in the betting between now and race day, with a few still holding multiple Festival entries.
First Lieutenant, Sizing Europe and Grands Crus could all take up other engagements and if they do not line up in the Ryanair, Albertas Run price will also shorten.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.