Cheltenham Betting Tips: Ryanair Chase Preview - Top Notch Is The Form Choice
Last year’s Ryanair Chase winner Un De Sceaux consolidated his position at the head of the ante-post market for this year’s renewal of the 2m 5f contest with a comfortable victory at Ascot on Saturday. However a seven length win over the 145-rated Speredek told us very little we didn’t already know about the Willie Mullins-trained ten-year-old who was recording success number twenty on Saturday since joining the Closutton handler from France in February 2013.
History maker! 🏇🏇🏇🏇 pic.twitter.com/ZIzj6S7k7p— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) January 21, 2018
The son of Denham Red is at his best when there is plenty of cut in the ground, conditions which he is unlikely to get these days at the Cheltenham Festival, leading connections to favour an attempt at back-to-back wins in the longer contest rather than the more prestigious two mile Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. A length and a half victory over Sub Lieutenant in the 2017 Ryanair, while a decent enough effort, makes the gelding’s current price of 3-1 about a repeat hardly banker material and the popular chaser is worth taking on with a horse who has been in breathtaking form so far this season.
Unlike Un De Sceaux the Nicky Henderson-trained Top Notch is not ground dependant as the Poliglote gelding has shown top class form on both good and soft going, including when finishing an excellent second to Yorkhill in last year’s JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival under the former conditions. Following a prep run over hurdles at Aintree on his seasonal reappearance the seven-year-old reverted back to the bigger obstacles for his next start in Ascot’s Grade 2 Christy 1965 Chase.
A seriously impressive victory for TOP NOTCH in the The Christy 1965 Steeple Chase! pic.twitter.com/mlRHIuhcYR— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) November 25, 2017
To say Top Notch was impressive in beating Double Shuffle by eight lengths in the 2m 5f contest would be an understatement and the form received a massive boost when the runner-up there went on to run Gold Cup favourite Might Bite to a length in Kempton’s King George V1 Chase on Boxing Day. A trip to Taunton was next for Top Notch in the rescheduled Peterborough Chase and the mount of Daryl Jacob had little more than a schooling session to land the odds of 4-9.
In a race where many of the leading fancies have other alternative targets the 6-1 available about Top Notch with Sportingbet looks excellent value about a horse in tremendous form and, barring accidents, a guaranteed runner.