Nick Wilby takes a look at the 2010 National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup.
1.30 – National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
4m novice chase for amateur riders
The second day of the Cheltenham Festival gets underway with a puzzling looking marathon and there will be no even-money ‘Irish bankers’ lining up like there was on Tuesday. Paul Nicholls’ Massasoit 7/1 (Ladbrokes, £200 free bet) heads the betting and he will be popular based on his close third to Monkerhostin last time out. However, he looks a skinny price judged on what he has actually achieved and he looks an unconvincing favourite.
More appealing is the in-form Howard Johnson-trained ABBEYBRANEY (10/1 Ladbrokes, £200 free bet) who should make a bold bid before a tilt at next month’s Grand National. He can boast some top class form in Irish novice chases and was second in a competitive graduation chase at Sandown last term, splitting Ryanair hopeful Barbers Shop and the classy Roll Along in the process. A smart victory in nasty looking conditions at Hexham last time out will have his confidence spot on and his trainer views him as the perfect horse for this sort of distance. Synchronised (7/1 Coral, £50 free bet) and Any Currency (8/1 Bet365, £100 free) could prove best of the rest.
Nick Wilby’s selection – Abbeybraney (10/1 Ladbrokes)
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