Cheltenham Betting Tip: Ante-Post Tip, Cheltenham Festival RSA Chase

Bacardys – 14-1 ( nrnb ) Skybet and Paddy Power for RSA Chase

With four wins apiece Fulke Walwyn and Willie Mullins are the most successful trainers in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. But the Irish master of Closutton will surely hold the record on his own before long and that could well be this year with the horse likely to go into the race as the stable’s first string – Bacardys.

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The seven-year-old was one of last season’s leading staying novice hurdlers, winning Grade 1 contests at Leopardstown in February and Punchestown in April, on the latter occasion beating Finian’s Oscar, Death Duty and Let’s Dance in the Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle. The son of Coastal Path’s only blip over hurdles came in the Neptunes Novices’ Hurdle at the festival but a line can be put through that pulled-up effort as the mount of Ruby Walsh was brought to a standstill by the fatal fall of Consul De Thaix at the fifth flight.

A respectable third over an inadequate 2m 3f on his debut over fences at Naas in November Bacardys was sent off the 5-6 favourite to gain his first chase victory at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival but fell five out when handily placed. Despite the gelding’s excellent form over hurdles he has always looked a top class chasing prospect and should get off the mark prior to his main target at the Cheltenham Festival.

As the horse is likely to have multiple entries at the festival it could pay to play safe and take the 14-1 with Skybet or Paddy Power who both offer the non-runner-no-bet concession, rather than the 25-1 available with Ladbrokes and Betfair Sportsbook.

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The ante-post market is headed by 7-1 chances Monalee ( Betfair Sportsbook and Betvictor ) and Presenting Percy ( William Hill ) but there are doubts about both with the former taking a crashing fall at Leopardstown last time while the latter is under serious consideration for the longer National Hunt Chase on the opening day. Invitation Only ( stablemate of Bacardys ), Yanworth, Willoughby Court and Finian’s Oscar all have more likely targets leaving the Paul Nicholls-trained Black Corton as the one most likely to cause the selection most problems in the hands of rising star Bryony Frost.

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