Cheltenham Special: Keep Your Distance

No picks for Monday racing as we focus on the feast that awaits at Cheltenham.  Speaking of which, our attention is drawn to a fun market for a Cheltenham Special bet.

Paddy Power are betting on which race during the week will feature the largest winning distance.  Now this market is tightly quoted with a fat margin for Paddy to protect against the unusual nature of the subject matter, despite this we think it could throw out some fun.

The favourite is the Kim Muir – a 3m chase for amateurs that has frequently offered up big margins.  We’re not so sure as favourite Squouateur and Mall Dini are not ones for wide margins, and them aside it looks a tightly knit affair.

We can see the logic for 2nd favourite The Arkle , given its a 5 runner affair, and the National Hunt Chase given the 4 mile distance.

However, the two that appeal at bigger odds are the 4m Cross Country Chase, and the 2 mile Triumph Hurdle.  The slow pace of the cross country can reduce winning distances, but mud may stretch them back out again.  We though, will take a shot at the Triumph.

This may seem illogical as it is a minimum distance race – but the brutal reality is that it can be a rigorous test of a juvenile’s stamina, and in particular when the ground is riding soft as is forecast.  Many of them will struggle to give of their best under the conditions, and whoever hits the front will be motivated to keep going for risk of stalling on the hill.

It isn’t hard to see a strong staying Apple’s Shakira slewing clear in a muddy Triumph and stretching a double digit lengths clear of her toiling rivals.

Worth a tickle at 20/1, and the race position on Friday keeps the fun live for the week.

Recommendation:  Triumph Hurdle, Largest Winning Distance, 1pt win, 20/1 Paddy Power

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