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Smad Place all the rage for Festival Trials day glory

Smad Place is proving popular with punters for a cracking renewal of the BetBright Chase on Festival Trials day at Cheltenham this Saturday (1.50pm, January 24th).

The Alan King trained gelding has been cut to 7/2 (from 9/2) by Coral for the 3m 1f feature chase and is currently a 20/1 shot for the Gold Cup at the Festival on Friday, March 13th.

The eight-year-old has a good record at the track having finished runner-up in the 2012 and 2013 runnings of the World Hurdle and a fine second in last year’s RSA Chase.

Although well-beaten into fifth behind Many Clouds in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury on seasonal reappearance, Smad Place travelled strongly for much of the 3m 2f contest and looks sure to come on a bundle for the outing.

The market is headed by the David Pipe trained Dynaste (2/1) who landed the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the Festival last season and put up a fine effort last time out when runner-up to Silviniaco Conti in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Off an official rating of 168 the eight-year-old, who is currently Coral’s 4/1 favourite for a repeat success in the 2m 5f Ryanair on March 12th, is rated 3lb and upwards clear of his seven potential rivals.

That makes Dynsate the one they all have to beat, but a question mark is the trip as all his best form has come over shorter.
Stamina certainly won’t be an issue for the 3/1 second favourite Many Clouds who put himself in line for a crack at the Gold Cup with a battling 3 1/4 length success in the Hennessy Gold Cup.
The Oliver Sherwood trained eight-year-old is now unbeaten in two starts this season and is clearly on an upward curve. He is currently 14/1 with Coral for the Gold Cup in March.
Other leading contenders are Holywell (5/1) and The Giant Bolster (7/1).

Holywell is a dual Festival scorer, having taken the Pertemps Network Final in 2013 and the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase last season.

The Jonjo O’Neill trained eight-year-old, who is 14/1 with Coral for Gold Cup glory, is aiming to get his season back on track having finished third at Carlisle in November and unseating his rider last time out in a Listed chase at Aintree in December.

The Giant Bolster won last year’s renewal before going on to finish a cracking 3/4 length third to Lord Windermere in the Gold Cup.

The 10-year-old also finished runner-up to Synchronised in the 2012 running of the Cheltenham showpiece and fourth to Bobs Worth in 2013.

David Bridgwater’s stable star comes alive at this time of the year, and shaped well last time out when fifth in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock.
He is currently 25/1 with Coral for this year’s Gold Cup.