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Cheltenham Kim Muir Chase Prediction: Pendra Primed to Win

With just five runs to his name during the last three years the Charlie Longsdon-trained Pendra is clearly a difficult horse to keep right and needs to be campaigned with kid gloves by his handler. This has not stopped the JP McManus-owned gelding from running some decent races however, including three chases at the festival in which the ten-year-old’s form figures read 3-5-2.

A three and a half length third behind Present View and Attaglance in the Rewards4Racing Novices’ Chase in 2014 was followed 12 months later by a creditable fifth of 24 in the Ultima Handicap Chase. But the nearest the son of Old Vic has came to festival glory was in last year’s Kim Muir when failing by three quarters of a length to hold the 40-1 chance Domesday Book and rider Gina Andrews.

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Three lengths clear jumping the last, if top amateur Derek O’Connor had the chance to ride the race again he would certainly have made his challenge later, giving the eventual winner little chance of putting in a renewed effort after making much of the running. The fact that Pendra has not been seen since last year’s festival indicates that connections have saved the fragile chaser for another attempt in 2018. With the horse also holding an entry in Tuesday’s Ultima Handicap Chase it is advisable to take the 16-1 offered by Betvictor who are non-runner-no-bet on the race.

The betting for the 3m 2f race for amateur’s is headed by the Irish-trained pair of Squouateur and Mall Dini, neither of which make any great appeal at around the 6-1 mark. The former unseated his rider as the 5-1 favourite for last year’s race and renews rivalry with Pendra on the same terms. Gordon Elliott’s grey was the subject of a big gamble last time in a valuable chase at Leopardstown but trailed in some 65 lengths behind the winner Patricks Park. The odds available about the latter are more to do with his shrewd trainer Patrick G Kelly rather than the form of the horse who only beat one horse home on his most recent start.

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Another who ran in last year’s Kim Muir when finishing fifth Mall Dini has three places to find with the selection on the same terms, making the difference in the odds quoted about the pair hard to fathom.