Amnesty holds RSA Chase aces
It's not just the horses that have toiled through winter mud. Finding ante-post angles ahead of the Cheltenham Festival has been equally testing, since the ground at Prestbury Park will bear no relation to the bogs on which so many lead-up races have been run.
Just two ante-post bets have been advised to date, both of them each-way. Petit Robin was a speculative Champion Chase call at 12/1 when Master Minded was under a cloud.
The latter's sizzling Newbury comeback now consigns Petit Robin to racing for a place, but the win element of Weapon's Amnesty's assault on the RSA Chase remains very much alive. Advised here at 16/1, Charles Byrnes' novice remains overpriced at 12/1.
It will greatly assist Weapon's Amnesty's cause that he has made five starts over fences. Conversely, the home defence is fronted by inexperienced chasers in Punchestowns, Long Run and Diamond Harry. Each of them has only run twice over English fences.
The same is true of the Irish Independent Arkle Trophy Chase, for which Ireland's challenge looks strong.
Bookmakers advance Somersby and Riverside Theatre as England's leading lights, yet each approaches the race with just two outings over fences.
Neither of them will carry my money.