RACING fan Gaurav Chaddah (@GauravChaddah) shares his NAP, his best each-way bet and the market leader he suspects is most vulnerable on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.
The NAP, the lay and the each-way at Cheltenham Festival
The best four days of the racing year are upon us and racing fans have a feast of action to look forward.
The Prestbury Park meet gets underway on Tuesday and I’ll be looking at my NAP of the day, my lay of the day and a horse to back at a nice each-way price on each day of the meeting.
The NAP: A Plus Tard (15/8 BetVictor) in the Ryanair Chase (2:50)
Despite his two runs so far this season being over two miles, A Plus Tard (15/8 BetVictor) is favourite for Ryanair success and can gain a second successive Cheltenham Festival victory.
He was impressive at the Festival last year, when he went off favourite for the Close Brothers Handicap, winning over course and distance by an emphatic 16 lengths.
Campaigned over two miles this season, he was clearly not race fit when beaten by Ballyoisin however put that behind him when beating Chacun Pour Soi in a Grade 1 at Christmas.
There are no doubts of him going back up in trip and the race could be run to suit. Last year's winner Frodon will no doubt want to lead but could face competition from Willie Mullins’ Min and should the two bother each other for the lead, it could set the race up perfectly for A Plus Tard and Rachael Blackmore.
The Lay: Frodon (5/1 BetVictor) in the Ryanair Chase (2.50)
As mentioned above, Frodon (5/1 BetVictor) was the winner of this race last year but I don’t think it was a strong race at all, having seen off Aso. He faces a much stronger test this year, with both A Plus Tard and Min, who will likely give him competition for the lead.
Since winning the Ryanair, Frodon did struggle at the start of the season, having been beaten easily in both the Old Roan at Aintree and in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock.
He was freshened up by Paul Nicholls however and returned to winning ways at Kempton in January and is sure to make it a stern test from the front and is as game as they come. However, he won’t have an easy time of it in front and faces more classy horses in this than last year's running.
The Each-Way: Summervile Boy (17/2 BetVictor) in the Stayers Handicap (3.30)
Paisley Park, all being well, will win this no questions asked but that does provide some alternatives in each-way betting or without favourite markets and Summerville Boy (17/2 BetVictor) looks a cracking bet for the places.
Tom George’s charge won the Supreme at Cheltenham two years ago but after that injuries meant he lost his way a little and even tried fences this year but found it difficult and returned to hurdles
Back to hurdles, he was stepped up in trip on New Year's Day, winning a Grade 2 over two-and-a-half miles and again coped well when stepped up to three miles at Cheltenham on trials day in the Cleeve Hurdle.
He made all that day and was only beaten one-and-a-half lengths by Paisley Park, with four lengths clear to the rest. He has Festival form in the book and clearly likes Cheltenham. He may not beat Paisley Park but looks a cracking each-way alternative to the favourite.