Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien has six runners on day three of the Cheltenham Festival and they include his best chance of a Grade 1 winner this week in the Ryanair Chase...
"Our main chance in a Grade 1 all week. He’s been a fantastic horse for us and has shown a liking for Cheltenham in the past, winning a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle, finishing fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and second in the Arkle Challenge Trophy. He looked better than ever on his latest start when second to Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase."
Solid sort could run well at big price
Anything Will Do is a lovely horse that has already won plenty of races for his owners. He is still quite unexposed at staying trips and has run well in his last two starts over it. He isn't as unexposed as some of his rivals, but he is a solid sort and it wouldn't surprise to see him run well at a big price.
Best Grade 1 chance looks better than ever
Fakir D'Oudairies is our main chance in a Grade 1 all week. He's been a fantastic horse for us and has shown a liking for Cheltenham in the past, winning a Grade 2 juvenile hurdle, finishing fourth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and second in the Arkle Challenge Trophy. He looked better than ever on his latest start when second to Chacun Pour Soi in the Dublin Chase. We have always thought that mid-range trips such as this would suit him and we are really looking forward to seeing what he can do over it. It looks a wide-open race and hopefully he will run a big one.
Wave could rise to the occasion
A Wave Of The Sea took his time to get the hang of chasing, but he came good in no uncertain terms when winning the Matheson Handicap Chase last time. That looks strong form and the hope will be that he can find more improvement. He is unexposed over mid-range trips and we think this course and distance might just suit him. He looks to have a good chance, so hopefully he gets some luck and runs a big one.
Fils D'Oudairies has had a good season so far, winning a novice chase at Navan prior to giving Envoi Allen a minor fright in a Grade 3 novice chase at Punchestown. I think we probably backed him up too soon for his next start at the Dublin Racing Festival, so he shouldn't be judged too harshly on that. Thankfully, the handicapper didn't go overboard with that Envoi Allen form and has given him a chance. Hopefully he can bounce back to that sort of form and run well.
Assemble made a strong start to his novice chase campaign, winning at Fairyhouse and finishing second to Envoi Allen in the Drinmore Novice Chase, but the wheels have come off in his last couple of starts with him falling twice. It has been frustrating to see, as he is a good jumper in the main, he has just paid a heavy price for a couple of silly mistakes. This bigger field and more strongly-run contest might just suit him and while it would be difficult to be confident in his chance after two falls, it wouldn't be a shock if he outran his price.
Has ability to run well on course that should suit
Mighty Blue was probably one of the higher-rated Flat horses to go hurdling this season, having got as high as 106 on the level last season. She hasn't won in three starts over hurdles, but we've kept her in good company and she's been acquitting herself well. She wasn't far behind some of the fancied horses for this at Fairyhouse last time and the combination of less testing ground and a stiffer finish should play to her strengths. She'll be a big price, but with the amount of ability she showed on the Flat, it wouldn't be a shock if she showed improvement and ran well.
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