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Road to Cheltenham: Frodon flying towards the Ryanair Chase

| 19.12.2018

The International Meeting produced three big market movers, as Frodon, Brain Power and The Worlds End all laid down their Cheltenham Festival claims

There was also movement over in Ireland, with victories for Envoi Allen and Battleoverdoyen at Navan on Sunday.

We’ve rounded it all up in our weekly Road to Cheltenham.

Frodon – Ryanair Chase – 10/1

Punters who heeded our advice in Saturday’s ITV Racing Tips column would’ve been left toasting another big success for Frodon and Bryony Frost.

Paul Nicholls’ warrior defied top weight to land the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup for a second time. It was the raider’s seventh run with Frost, and the pair’s second win in their last three outings together.

The trainer has hinted at the Ryanair Chase may well be the aim in the Spring. And after such an impressive performance on Saturday, we’ve chalked Frodon up at 10/1 for the Ryanair.

Brain Power – Champion Hurdle – 16/1

Big things have been expected of Brain Power for some time. Nicky Henderson’s raider has disappointed in the past, but finally found his form back over sticks in the International Hurdle.

Last year’s Arkle runner-up produced a sterling effort to claim the admittedly below-par Grade 2 contest after staying on well from the well-fancied Silver Streak.

Henderson switched dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air back to the smaller obstacles a few season ago. Could he have delivered a similar masterstroke with Brain Power?

Envoi Allen – Champion Bumper – 6/1 from 8/1

Purchased for £400,000 by Cheveley Park last year, Envoi Allen is one we tipped to follow at the start of the season. And it’s a case of so far so good for Willie Mullins’ star.

The four-year-old made it two wins from two under rules for the Irish trainer with a dominant performance in a Listed contest at Navan.

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is a potential destination at 20/1. But the Champion Bumper – a race Mullins has won a record nine times – is the more likely goal at 6/1.

Battleoverdoyen – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 12/1

Mullins isn’t the only Irish trainer with a cracker on his hands. Gordon Elliott looks to have a live one in the form of Battleoverdoyen.

The son of Doyen took to hurdles like a duck to water when landing a 21-runner contest at Navan by 13l. It was a stylish performance, too, under the ever-improving Jack Kennedy.

That’ll give ante-post backers plenty to chew over ahead of the Ballymore in March, where Battleoverdoyen is the new second-favourite behind Champ.

The Worlds End – RSA Chase – 16/1 from 20/1

The Worlds End couldn’t have been much more convincing in the Neville Lumb Novices’ Chase. Tom George’s runner made all to bolt up by 27l for his second win in three over fences.

Our traders have cut his odds for the RSA Chase as a result, with the seven-year-old now 16/1 behind the likes of Santini, Delta Work, Next Destination and Black Op.

Click here for all our 2019 Cheltenham Festival odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication



Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.