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Invest in Calvados at 14-1 for Ryanair Chase

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Harry Allwood explains why Saint Calvados is worth backing at 14-1 for the 2021 Ryanair Chase following his seasonal return in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.

Click here for more tips for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

We were treated to a thrilling renewal of the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, and the one to take out of the race looks to be Saint Calvados.

Despite Frodon setting a decent gallop, Saint Calvados still raced exuberantly for the majority of the Festive showpiece, and it was no surprise to see him fade in the home straight given how keen he was, and this also being his first outing for 289 days having suffered a setback in November.

He had stamina to prove on his first start over three miles and, taking those two factors above into consideration, it is hard to say that he definitely did fail to stay, but he has never looked tailor-made for this new trip, as he also possesses a high cruising speed.

Watch a full replay of the 2020 Ladbrokes King George VI Chase

I think connections were probably on a fact-finding mission to see if their charge stayed further than 2m5f, which would have opened up more options for the rest of the season, and they may decide to give him another outing over three miles.

However, the obvious target again this season is the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and I am surprised to see him still available at 14-1 for the Grade One feature on March 18.

Click here to view the latest odds for the 2021 Ryanair Chase.

The seven-year-old was arguably an unlucky loser in this year’s Ryanair having made a mistake at the last plus was forced to switch up the run in, and was closing on Min towards the line.

Changing to hold-up tactics, and the step up to 2m5f, certainly brought out improvement in Saint Calvados last season, and you would like to think he could progress again this season as he is only rising eight, and remains unexposed over distances further than two miles.

He also jumped noticeably well at Kempton, bar one mistake, and that was also the case at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

At the time of writing, Min heads the betting at a best-priced 7-1 for the 2021 Ryanair Chase, but there is no way Saint Calvados should be double his odds.

Saint Calvados was narrowly denied by Min in the Ryanair Chase last season

The Betfair Ascot Chase on February 20 is a possible target next, although his final run before the Festival last season was on New Year’s Day, and he has won three times following a 220-plus day break, so it would not be a concern if connections kept him fresh for March.

Should Harry Whittingon’s team decide to run him over three miles again, the Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury on February 13 is also an option, but I would be shocked if Saint Calvados does not line-up in the Ryanair Chase again at the Festival, especially if the ground was soft.

With 14-1 still available with Betfred, he is worth siding with to gain compensation.

Suggested ante-post bet: 1 point win on SAINT CALVADOS at 14-1 with Betfred for the Ryanair Chase.

Click here for more tips for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.


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