16:00 Cheltenham – Murphy to win Plate, but not with Divers
Divers will be a popular selection to win the Byrne Group Plate, but it is the other Ferdy Murphy entrant Charingworth that may merit closer attention at 22/1 in the Cheltenham odds.
The booking of Tony McCoy will widely be considered to be a positive for Divers as he aims to build on his Cheltenham Festival success from last year in the Centenary Novices Handicap Chase.
It is expected that the faster pace of the Byrne Group Plate will play to Divers’ strengths as he has been caught in a number of relatively slowly run races previously this season.
However, there is also the argument that Divers needs to be quietly cajoled into races and that McCoy’s more aggressive style may not be well suited.
Either way, Divers looks to have each-way claims at 6/1.
Murphy is highly regarded as a shrewd operator in the bigger races and is usually good to secure at least one Cheltenham Festival victory each year.
And it may be his other runner Charingworth that can land the spoils, who could profit from being held up off a strong pace.
Lucy Alexander has stepped in for stable jockey Graham Lee twice on the horse this season, firstly when winning at Wetherby and then when falling at Ayr last time when having the race at her mercy.
In terms of successful trainers in the Byrne Group Plate, Venetia Williams has enjoyed two winners and a further five placed runners from her last 12 entrants.
She saddles Niceonefrankie this time, who has won on his last two starts in the past month and may potentially still be slightly ahead of the handicapper.
He is another who could be worth considering as an each-way proposition at a decent price of 9/1.