Dual Ryanair Chase winner Allaho will attempt to regain the crown at the 2024 Cheltenham Festival, but Paddy Power trader Frank Hickey believes the former champion has no chance.
That’s because our resident jockey-turned-pundit Ruby Walsh has not backed Willie Mullins’ stable star in his ante-post preview of the intermediate Grade 1, despite being a regular at the Closutton yard.
Allaho was one of the most bulletproof horses in training before missing the entirety of last season due to an abdominal bleed.
The 10-year-old gelding returned to action with a facile success in the Clonmel Oil Chase but lacked the x-factor of old in last month’s King George VI Chase.
Speaking on the first episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast Cheltenham Countdown Extra series, top man Frank believes Allaho is the early favourite for the Ryanair Chase ‘by default’ due to question marks over which horses will actually turn up.
The latest Ryanair Chase odds can be found on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app.
What you need to look at – with Ruby tipping up three other horses [Appreciate It, Envoi Allen and Jonbon] – is to read between the lines. Allaho will not be winning the Ryanair is what I would take from that.
He’s the ante-post favourite at early stage by default, because people are looking at what’s going to run. Stage Star was getting shorter to challenge him, but he’s obviously disappointed on New Year’s Day at Cheltenham. He’s been pushed out a little bit, perhaps not as far as he should be given that run
You’re struggling for guaranteed runners so by default, given his superb record in general, Allaho’s a default ante-post favourite.
As you get closer and closer to the Festival, you’ll see he’ll start to ease and one, two or three more runners will begin shortening against him.
Cheltenham Festival 2024 antepost tips
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