Down Royal Champion Chase tips: Our horse racing experts pick the winner

Who are Ruby Walsh and co backing to claim Grade 1 glory?

Minella Indo-wins-the-Cheltenham-Gold-Cup

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Down Royal plays host to the first Grade 1 of the National Hunt season in Ireland on Saturday, October 30 and a slick five-runner field is set to go to post at 2.50pm.

Minella Indo makes his first appearance since romping to glory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup as Henry De Bromhead plots a campaign built around defending that title.

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King George VI winner Frodon and the Gordon Elliott’s progressive Galvin are the principal threats, according to our betting market, so there’s plenty to consider before having a punt.

Thankfully, Paddy Power horse racing tipsters like Ruby Walsh and Matt Chapman have delivered their selections for the Champion Chase 2021 and you can read their verdicts below.

Ruby Walsh: “MINELLA INDO won on his debut last year when impressing at Wexford so I have no doubts about fitness. If you are worried about the fitness though, then Galvin is your choice as he’s already ran at Punchestown this month. As for Frodon, he was way off Minella Indo in the Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier this year. I feel Minella Indo has a bit up it’s sleeve and Rachael Blackmore is back on board which is always a bonus.”

Matt Chapman: “MINELLA INDO has not always got everything together but he did in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham and on that form he is clearly the one to beat. Rachael Blackmore rides for Henry de Bromhead and they should get a good lead from King George winner Frodon for much of the race.”

Paddy Power: “You look for reasons not to back MINELLA INDO but there aren’t many. The Cheltenham Gold Cup was very impressive and he’s very much the one to beat. There are also a lot of sub-plots with the jockeys. It’s the least surprising thing ever that Jack Kennedy’s not allowed to ride Minella Indo.”

Timeform: “This race revolves around Cheltenham Gold Cup hero MINELLA INDO, who will be very hard to beat if resuming in anything like the same form as when landing jump racing’s blue riband event in March. He won on his reappearance last season and there’s no real reason to believe that he won’t be ready to roll first time out again this time round. Galvin is second choice ahead of the admirable Frodon.”

Saturday’s Selections

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