When you consider that seven of the 16 horses currently priced at 20/1 or shorter for the Ryanair Chase could, and probably will, end up in different Festival races, there may just be some huge value in the betting for the 2m5f contest.
Vautour, while he would probably win if he lined up, seems destined to be Gold Cup bound with everything that has been said from connections, while the duo of Road to Riches and Don Cossack are more than likely to follow suit.
Traffic Fluide showed plenty of improvement when chasing home Un De Sceaux at Ascot last week and looks more of a Champion Chase type, as does Simonsig.
Throw in that Village Vic is probably heading down the handicap route and Vroum Vroum Mag is far more likely to take in the Mares Hurdle or World Hurdle, and the race could really cut up.
Looking at the remainder, the one horse that screams value is Dynaste.
David Pipe’s horse is winless since landing this race in 2014, but that is not to say he hasnt put up some smart performances since.
One of those certainly didn’t come last time out, when he was beaten 105 lengths by World Hurdle favourite Thistlecrack at Ascot.
Pipe was quick to establish that a switch back to chasing was on the cards, now all punters need is for him to confirm that a step down to what looks like his optimum trip is in order.
He has won just two of his 14 outings over three miles and further, while when running at trips between two-miles-four and two-miles-five delivers form figures of 261121.
Take into account that two of those ‘1’s in his record and one of the ‘2’s came at Cheltenham and the Ryanair looks his ideal kind of race.
That was demonstrated when flying up the hill under Tom Scudamore’s urgings two years ago to land the odds as a 3/1 favourite.
He’s nothing like that price now though, with 16/1 on offer that he becomes the first horse to regain his crown in the contest, and make Pipe the winning-most trainer in the Grade 1 contest.
The 10-year-old looks a very solid each-way bet, even more so if going straight to Cheltenham, regardless of his flop at Ascot.
His win in the 2014 running came after a three month break from the track, while he was second in the 2013 Jewson Novices’ Chase after a similar layoff.
While he’s not been disgraced in his foray into the staying division – placing in two Betfair Chases and a King George VI Chase – but a drop back down in trip must be on the cards with this year’s Gold Cup looking one of the strongest in a long time.
The gelding will need to put his Long Walk Hurdle flop behind him, and it will certainly help if, as expected, some of the principles in the betting drop out, but he looks a forgotten horse at the odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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