Thirsty Thursday has arrived, and in an attempt to kick-start the weekend early we’re hoping to cash in on two fiercely competitive races at the Cheltenham Festival. Rather than spend hours studying the form however, it makes sense to follow the smart cash, so the Paddy Power Blog has broken out Paddy’s book on the Ryanair Chase and the World Hurdle to see which gee-gees are coming in for the most support.
The Ryanair Chase, Thursday 2.40pm
Jockey Bryan Cooper got his first winner of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday, and today he takes the ride on well-supported favourite Don Cossack (4/1). Almost a third of the Paddy Power punters cash is on the Gigginstown horse who fell in the RSA Chase 12 months ago. he has won his last four races however and punters haven’t been slow in putting their cash on the favourite.
Ma Filleule (5/1) looks set to appreciate the better ground and was an encouraging second behind Balder Success at Ascot last time out, so it is no surprise that she has taken a piece of punting pie. Balder Success (8/1) has dumped his rider in all three outings at Cheltenham previously but he is the third most popular bet in the race, while Johns Spirit (10/1) sneaks in fourth and appears to be in good shape to make the frame. The 18/1 shot Eduard is an interesting outsider at after taking a small bit of cash this morning.
The World Hurdle, Wednesday 3.20pm
It’s a wide open World Hurdle this year and the betting reflects that. Saphir Du Rheu (6/1) won over course and distance last time out and has the majority of punters cash at an appealing 6/1. Stablemate Zarkandar (6/1) was fourth in this race 12 months ago and can go closer again which would explain why he’s taken a decent whack of cash, while it would be a fairytale ending if Lieutenant Colonel (9/1) could get his nose in front.
Whisper (9/1) won the Coral Cup at the Festival last year and followed it up with Grade 1 success at Aintree, so despite Nicky Henderson’s dodgy form he’s another horse who is carrying a fair bit of cash. Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins combine again for Abbyssial (14/1), while there has been a rush of money this morning for 10/1 shot Monksland.