Cheltenham Festival Day 3 Tips – Is Un De Sceaux a banker in the Ryanair Chase?

IIn winning the rescheduled Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham in January, Un De Sceaux put in the most assured display of jumping I have seen from him to date. Consequently, setting himself up for a likely tilt at the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Having raced over two miles for the large part of his career, this step up to just over two and a half miles is an intriguing, yet logical choice. I would imagine taking on Douvan in the Champion Chase is something the trainer and owner are looking to avoid at all costs, and understandably so because Douvan is one of the biggest Cheltenham Festival tips this seson. On spring ground in March, I’m not sure he would get within ten lengths of his unbeaten stablemate.


Ryanair Chase Betting Tips 2017

Despite being generally considered a speed horse, Un De Sceaux has won at the Ryanair trip over hurdles in France. So the distance shouldn’t be an issue for this son of Denham Red, but perhaps the ground will pose more of a threat to his chances. All of his wins have come with ‘soft’ in the description, or worse. Having raced three times on good ground finishing with two seconds and a sixth, you could argue he is ground dependant. However, the sixth was over three miles and both seconds were behind Sprinter Sacre so you could easily excuse him those runs.

It may be that the now 9-year-old needs a bit further than the minimum distance. If this is the case then he certainly holds very strong credentials, but this race looks like it could have a lot of quality.

Uxizandre made a very pleasing come back run in the Clarence House and having won the Ryanair back in 2015 he could prove to be a very worthy adversary. The main point of concern with him is the dreaded ‘bounce’ factor, where a horse goes on to run poorly on their second appearance after returning from a long break. His Cheltenham form reads 2112, so you would have to think if he turns up on song the current 7/1 on offer would be very generous come the day.

Jessica Harrington’s Sizing John has been second to Douvan on a staggering five occasions, so he is obviously a very good racehorse. He has the option of this race or the Gold Cup, but to win that he would need to show improvement for the step up in distance. I would much rather back him for the Ryanair, but if he doesn’t run then surely Sub Lieutenant, who was second to Sizing John last time out is a massive price at 14/1. Boasting impressive form tying in with the likes of Djakadam and Outlander, he looks overpriced. Versatile in terms of ground, this 162 rated performer could earn at least some place money for owners Gigginstown.

I’m not sure Un De Sceaux is a banker my any means, there are a number of worthy contenders to fight it out with him in the Ryanair Chase. But it is worth noting that some of the fancied runners in this race may head for the Gold Cup instead.


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