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Punters Should Be Sizing Up John In Ryanair Chase Betting

Wednesday 8th February 2017

The Ryanair Chase is the next race under our Cheltenham ante-post market, and jumpsracing.co.uk writer Paul Dunn has taken a closer look...

At 3/1 (or 5/2 non runner no bet), Un De Sceaux looks ripe for taking on in the antepost Ryanair Chase market.

I’d struggle to give you one good reason why you should back the Willie Mullins gelding right now where as I could give you several reasons not to.

Firstly, it would be no surprise if the horse doesn’t run.

Back in October connections of UDS announced that the horse was likely to be campaigned largely in France this season in an attempt to seek out softer ground. Whilst that hasn’t really materialised, it would be no surprise if he swerved Cheltenham should the ground be on the quick side – something that is entirely possible come the third day of the Festival.

Ok, if he does line up in the Ryanair Chase, he’d have a fantastic chance on the form book, but would he be significantly shorter than 5/2 on the morning of the race?

For that to happen, the ground would need to be soft (a rarity on Ryanair Chase day) and the race would need to cut up to just a small number of runners. Both are unlikely and that makes him a massive ‘no bet’ in my opinion.

What we need is something that looks likely to run, goes on any ground and is expected to be shorter in the betting on the day.

If I was writing this preview a few weeks ago, that horse would have been Sizing John. The question mark around him was whether he’d be aimed at the Queen Mother or the Ryanair but after seeing off Sub Lieutenant in the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles, he looked every inch the two and a half miler making the longer Festival race a much more likely target.

Add in the fact that the owners have a credible Queen Mother candidate in the form of Fox Norton and are probably fed up to the back teeth of finishing second to Douvan and the Ryanair becomes by far the most favourable option.

Unfortunately, the bookies have cottoned on to this now with his price to win the Ryanair into 8/1 (or 6/1 NRNB) from 20/1. This is probably still a touch of value but the complication is that he holds an entry in the Irish Gold Cup over 3 miles this Sunday and should he win that, connections may be inclined to head for the Gold Cup.

The other horse of interest is the aforementioned Sub Lieutenant. He has been a real improver this season with his close third to Outlander and Djakadam looking very solid form whilst his second to Sizing John (Black Hercules a further 10 lengths back in third) could be boosted on Sunday. If Sizing John wins well and moves into the Gold Cup picture, Sub Lieutenant’s Ryanair odds are bound to shorten.

I wouldn’t put anybody off backing both of these horses but my feeling persists that SIZING JOHN is much the more likely winner and that 2 ½ miles at Cheltenham could be his optimum conditions. Even if the horse wins well over 3 miles on Sunday, I’d be surprised if he took on the likes of Thistlecrack and Native River in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham when the Ryanair looks a very winnable contest.

With that in mind, I’m going to keep stakes small and opt to go for the bigger price without the non runner no bet concession. Boylesports offer 8/1 and ¼ the odds a place. Take that price now before Sizing John lines up at Leopardstown.

ANTE POST SELECTION – Sizing John each-way @ 8/1 with Boylesports, Bet Victor or Paddy Power

Latest Ryanair Chase Betting - Click To Bet

Footpad 6/1
Un De Sceaux 10/1
Balko Des Flos 10/1
Min 10/1
Waiting Patiently 12/1
Shattered Love 12/1
Fox Norton 14/1
Altior 14/1
Monalee 14/1
Benie Des Dieux 16/1
Al Boum Photo 16/1
Snow Falcon 20/1
Politologue 20/1
Top Notch 20/1
Willoughby Court 25/1
Terrefort 25/1
Benatar 33/1
Invitation Only 33/1
Cloudy Dream 40/1
Each Way Terms 3

Odds correct as of 10th Apr, 04:36 . Odds are subject to change.
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