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RYANAIR CHASE | Three ante-post picks to consider

Our Cheltenham Festival ante-post series continues with the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase



The club enclosure and Best Mate enclosure at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
888 Promotion

The Cheltenham Festival previews continue through the third day, with the Ryanair Chase up next.

The 2m4½f Chase has seen the likes of Imperial Commander, Cue Card and Un de Sceaux claim success in the contest since its inception in 2005.

Our team have made their predictions for the Grade 1 contest, with the hope of picking out a winner.

Here are three runners to consider for the Ryanair Chase.

FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES (14/1 – BetVictor)

The runner-up in this contest last year, Fakir D’oudairies could well go one further in next year’s renewal.

Joseph O’Brien’s recruit cemented claims that 2m4f was his ideal distance after finishing second at Cheltenham and then clearing away from his rivals in the Melling Chase at Aintree four weeks later.

The six-year-old struggled with the three-mile distance in the Punchestown Gold Cup on his last outing, suggesting that his trainer will opt to stay at two and a half miles.

Joseph O'Brien
Joseph O’Brien could send Fakir D’oudairies to the Ryanair Chase once again

His price of 14/1 currently is very appealing at this stage, with the very strong chance that he will be shorter on the day.

SAINT CALVADOS (20/1 – bet365)

Now under the guidance of Paul Nicholls, Saint Calvados could be targeted for the Ryanair Chase after being campaigned over three miles last season.

Paul Nicholls with his Champion Trainer trophy for the national hunt season 2020-21 at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher. Picture date: Saturday April 24, 2021.
Paul Nicholls could aim for the Ryanair Chase with Saint Calvados

The eight-year-old was just held by Min in the 2020 edition of the contest, outrunning his odds of 16/1 when finishing a neck second at Prestbury Park.

The gelding finished a respectable fourth in the King George, before unseating his rider in the Cotswold Chase back in February.

He has shown he has ability and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he returned to the two and a half mile trip, with his 20/1 price tag holding some appeal at this stage.

CHATHAM STREET LAD (40/1 – bet365)

A gelding that belongs in Group company, Chatham Steet Lad could well produce another strong campaign this season for Michael Winters.

The nine-year-old stormed clear of his rivals in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup, pulling away to win by an eye-catching 15 lengths.

He finished a far from disgraced fourth in the Marsh Novices’ Chase and proved his love for heavy conditions when winning comfortably at Limerick on his last start.

It’s unclear whether he’ll go for three miles or remain at two and a half, but he could well go for the Ryanair with his price of 40/1 holding some cracking value currently.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.