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Ryanair Chase tips - Runners and odds for Thursday’s biggest Cheltenham Festival chase

Jon Wilde in Thur. 16th March 11 Mar 2015
Don Cossack wins at Fairyhouse (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Don Cossack looks a very solid favourite for the Ryanair Chase and can give the Gigginstown House Stud a second big Cheltenham Festival prize over fences in as many days.

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On Wednesday, retained jockey Brian Cooper steered Don Poli to victory in the Ryanair Chase for trainer Willie Mullins, and now he looks set to do likewise for Gordon Elliott aboard Don Cossack (4/1 with 888sport).

This eight-year-old has always been held in the very highest regard by his connections and this season is fulfilling his potential over the bigger obstacles, unbeaten in four chases in his native Ireland.

And while he has been unsuccessful on both his previous forays to England, falling in last season’s RSA Chase and finishing second at the Aintree Grand National meeting, he is clearly a horse now at the peak of his powers.

Capable of producing his best form on any ground, Don Cossack appears ideally suited by distances of around two and a half miles and in a contest stronger on quantity than star quality this year, he looks the pick of the bunch.

With 14 runners declared, there is also plenty of each-way value available and another Irish raider, Hidden Cyclone, is sure to have his supporters at 10/1 with BetBright after comfortably returning to winning ways at Punchestown last time out.


Hidden Cyclone clears a flight on the way to winning over hurdles at Leopardstown (Getty Images)

Shark Hanlon’s gelding was once hailed as the next big thing in Ireland and while he has never quite delivered on that promise, he has twice run a big race at Cheltenham including when second in this race last year to Dynaste.

Another horse with plenty of Cheltenham form is the veteran Wishfull Thinking, who has contested the Queen Mother Champion Chase for the last three years – third, fifth and fell – but should be much better suited by this longer distance.

A winner of two of his four starts this term, both in Grade 2 company, Phillip Hobbs’ 12-year-old could easily run into a place under Richard Johnson at odds of 25/1 with bet365.

Balder Succes (7/1 with 888sport) is a model of consistency who should run well, while northern hope Eduard (16/1 with bet365) may not be quite up to winning but could be capable of rewarding his each-way backers.


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Ryanair Chase tips - Runners and odds for Thursday’s biggest Cheltenham Festival chase

Don Cossack looks a very solid favourite for the Ryanair Chase and can give the Gigginstown House Stud a second big Cheltenham Festival prize over fences in as many days.

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