Paul Nicholls always seems to have a number of top Novice Chasers in his yard and that is the case once again this season with the impressive Aiteen Thirtythree making strides towards the Cheltenham Festival next month. There had been some thought that the horse may bypass the Cheltenham Festival for this season but following his win in the Bet Totepool at Totesport.com Novices' Chase at Newbury at the weekend he could now head to the RSA Chase. He went off as odds-on favourite at Newbury and duly scored for punters with an excellent round of jumping to see his RSA Chase price slashed and Aiteen Thirtythree is now as short as 10/1 for the 3 mile Novice Chase at the Festival with most major firms. It appears that Nicholls is keen to send him to Cheltenham as he looks to send him on the same path as Denman who won the RSA Chase in 2007 before returning the year after to claim the Gold Cup.
Paul Barber, the co-owner of Aiteen Thirtythree, is thought to be less keen than Nicholls to send him to Cheltenham this season but but based on his improvement this season it seems to be coming increasingly more likely. Barber of course is one of the owners of Denman and he will be hoping that Aiteen Thirtythree can follow in his footsteps by claiming the RSA Chase at the Festival. The RSA is always an important Cheltenham Festival race as we look for potential Gold Cup stars of the future and at the moment the market leader with the bookmakers is the highly exciting Time For Rupert. The Paul Webber horse has won both his starts this season at Cheltenham following from a great career as a hurdler and he has been well backed all season with plenty of punters already backing him to lift the Gold Cup in 2012 as well as the RSA this season. In Aiteen Thirtythree though Time For Rupert looks to have a genuine challenger and as the latest show of betting is telling us it could be one of the highlights of the season.