Ascot Chase to shape Ryanair betting

Tagged under: 2.40 Ryanair Chase 2m 5f ( Festival Trophy Chase ) Grade 1

Riverside Theatre heads the field for the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase on Saturday in a race that could reshape the Ryanair betting market.

Nicky Henderson’s eight-year-old has not raced since winning last year’s race and is 9/4 favourite with Blue Square to beat seven rivals including Gauvain (7/1 with BetVictor) who finished runner up in 2011. Paul Nicholls’ French recruit Kauto Stone is seen by bookies as the main market rival, the six-year-old impressed when winning his debut in Ireland and is 5/2 with Blue Square on his return from a rest after finishing second to Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, Sizing Europe.

Alan King’s Medermit (9/2 BetVictor) comes to Ascot after narrowly failing to concede 12lbs to Quantativeeasing at Cheltenham in December, finishing ahead of I’msingingtheblues (14/1 sportingbet) and Tatenen (20/1 Betfred) who re-oppose on Saturday.

Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles Little Josh (20/1 Boylesports) who returned from a year’s absence to finish fourth in the Argento at Cheltenham a fortnight ago and rank outsider The Sawyer (150/1 Boylesports) completes the line up.

Riverside Theatre is being prepared for the Cheltenham Festival and could meet some of his rivals again in March as most of Saturday’s field also hold entries for the Ryanair Chase. With little to choose between Riverside Theatre, Kauto Stone and Medermit at the top of the Ryanair betting, Saturday’s race will have big influence on the shape of the market next week.

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