Empire Of Dirt Taken To Continue Elliott's Dream Week

Just the eight line up for the Ryanair Chase on Thursday with Empire Of Dirt also holding an entry in Friday's Gold Cup at the time of writing. The betting hinges around the ten year old whose trainer Gordon Elliott would love to run him in the Gold Cup but owner Michael O'Leary wants in the Ryanair, a race he sponsors and is desperate to win for the first time.

  • Four of the last seven winners had previously won a Festival race.
  • Only two of the nine winners were sent off bigger than 6/1.
  • Only one winner had an official rating of less than 161.

Thursday 16th March - 2.50pm OddsWon/LostBet
Ryanair Chase    
Tips Empire Of Dirt    Best Bet @ 11 / 4  

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A massive improver since winning the Brown Advisory Handicap Chase here at the Festival last year he switched stables to Gordon Elliott from Willie Mullins and is rated two stones better than when he won at the Festival twelve months ago and has genuine claims here at 11/4 with Betfair.

Favourite for the race is Un De Sceaux at 9/4 who steps up in trip. The top rated horse in the race, Willie Mullins doesn't have any fears of the trip given he's won in France over two miles five and a half furlongs.

The ground may not suit as it continues to dry at Cheltenham and although impressive when winning here on trials day he was beaten fair and square in the Queen Mother last season when the ground was on the quick side.

A horse that caught the eye in that race was Uxizandre, the 2015 winner of the Ryanair who returned following a long lay-off to stay on up the hill on trials day.

The bounce factor could be a worry and Alan King will apply cheekpieces as he bids to push him out and win from the front. At 4/1 though he doesn't really represent value in either the win or each-way markets.

Henry De Bromhead saddles Sub Lieutenant who is another who'll line up in the Gigginstown House Stuff colours. At 8/1 he's a possible each way play. Second behind Sizing John on his last start in Ireland looks pretty good form, the former would have had a massive shout here before defecting to the Gold Cup. Quicker ground would suit and he's a definite for the shortlist.

Josses Hill trained by Nicky Henderson makes the each-way frame at 8/1. He's a quirky sort whose best form has come on flat tracks and you have to think he has too much to find in this company.

2017 Ryanair Chase Odds

Posted: Wednesday, 15th March 2017

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