Sire Collonges major price for National Hunt Chase if he runs

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Horses to towards the head of the official ratings have held the upper hand in the National Hunt Chase in recent years and Sire Collonges must be at the top of every shortlist this year if sent to the race by Paul Nicholls.

The four-miler is one of four races where the grey holds an entry and if the betting is to be believed, the JLT Speciality Handicap is his most likely engagement.

But 16/1 will look an absolute steal of a price if he does line up in the National Hunt Chase, where he is the highest rated of all of the entrants off a mark of 146.

Interestingly, the last two years have thrown up similar results, not only in the victories of Chicago Grey and Teaforthree, but also in the other horses to occupy the each-way places.

The first three home on each occasion have been rated no lower than 137 and this is bad news for prominent pair in the betting Vesper Bell (8/1) and Goulanes (10/1), who have not yet run enough over the larger obstacles to be given an official rating.

In fact, only 11 of the entries fit this criteria, but in their respective years, like Sire Collonges, Chicago Grey and Teaforthree were the highest rated.

Furthermore, Cheltenham form has been common among six of the last eight National Hunt Chase winners and Sire Collonges has already experienced these fences twice this season.

Harry Topper is the current favourite at 6/1 and the market leader has won the last two renewals, while he is second on ratings to Sire Collonges.

The biggest obstacle it seems that he needs to overcome is that of age, as there has only ever been one winner of this race younger than seven and Harry Topper is a six-year-old.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.