Ok Corral and Ballyward dominate the betting for the 4m National Hunt Chase but the value may lie with thorough stayer Impulsive Star
IMPULSIVE STAR – 14-1 with Ladbrokes and William Hill for National Hunt Chase. 5.30pm Cheltenham Tuesday 12th March.
From the powerful stable’s of Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins the first two in the betting for the National Hunt Chase – OK Corral and Ballyward – post strong claims on what they have achieved so far over fences. The former, a decent staying novice hurdler for the Seven Barrows trainer, has won both his starts over the bigger obstacles in impressive fashion but with an extra six furlongs to travel the gelding’s current odds of 3-1 are short enough.
Ok Corral (149p)— Timeform (@Timeform) January 14, 2019
Won readily at Warwick, jumping well and travelling strongly throughout.
Established himself as the one to beat in the Festival 4-miler with a fault-free performance, this form already good enough to win an average renewal.pic.twitter.com/loAuHtVWbS
Like OK Corral the Willie Mullins-trained Ballyward (a general 3-1 chance with most bookmakers) has just the two runs over fences to his name, a short head second on his chasing debut at Punchestown before thrashing a decent field of novices in a Grade 3 contest at Naas towards the end of last month. While the son of Flemensfirth, fourth in the Albert Bartlett at last year’s festival and two places behind OK Corral, has the potential to make up into a top class chaser the seven-year-old is another who has yet to prove his stamina over this kind of extreme trip.
#TheVerdict At Naas yesterday, Ballyward showed all the right signs to be a challenger in the Cheltenham Festival four-miler.— Racing TV (@RacingTV) January 28, 2019
For full results and free replays go to https://t.co/GI57hUtDeF pic.twitter.com/2yNQJ5jrW6
The Neil Mulholland-trained nine-year-old finished a well beaten fourth in this marathon 12 months ago behind leading Grand National fancy Rathvinden but that was a strong renewal with the third horse Sizing Tennessee going on to win this season’s valuable Ladbroke Trophy at Newbury. The son of Busy Flight has had just the two runs this year, the first a creditable second to favourite OK Corral at Plumpton before the mount of top amateur Sam Waley-Cohen ran out a clear-cut winner of the 3m 5f Warwick Classic, a race won by 2017 Grand National hero One For Arthur in that year.
While the form of OK Corral and Ballyward looks the strongest of any of the 18 declared runners, neither are guaranteed to be suited by this kind of trip whereas Impulsive Star is all about stamina, making the gelding the value bet of the race at the 14-1 available with William Hill. Of the rest top Irish rider Jamie Codd has been booked to partner Ben Pauling’s Le Breuil and the pair look sure to run a big race at a general 12-1.