All the talk amongst casual horse racing punters as we enter the month of April concerns the Grand National at Aintree. A huge field risks everything to wrestle the crown won by One For Arthur last year and join the sport’s most exclusive club.
The 4m 3f marathon is viewed as little more than an advert for UK horse racing by avid followers of the game, however, and, when the dust settles on Liverpool’s showpiece for another year, experts turn their attention to the Boylesports Champion Chase on Tuesday 24th April.
A grade one national hunt steeplechase run over two miles at Punchestown, it brings together the hottest talent in UK and Irish racing, with the best horses at this level aimed at winning the 118,000 Euros prize money. Such is the race’s popularity, major bookmakers offer a tantalizing list of horse racing free bets to win favor with customers.
Below you’ll find the main players expected to be in attendance and how odds-makers rate their chances…
— Racing Post (@RacingPost) April 9, 2018
Douvan’s best would be enough
Douvan needs no introduction as he’s one of the best-loved animals on the circuit at the minute and traders at Boylesports have gone up early with their book, making Willie Mullins’ hope a +1.75 joint-favorite. The eight-year-old bay was disappointing at the Cheltenham Festival when falling in the Queen Mother Champion Chase four from home.
Many will find that error easy to forgive as he was travelling well when coming down and had led a talented field earlier in the race before disaster struck at the business end of proceedings. That fall aside, Douvan’s stats show he has won 13 of 15 outings and his best effort would be more than enough to stretch that to 14/16.
6?? horses have been declared for the Melling Chase at #Aintree on Friday…
Balko Des Flos
— BetVictor Racing (@BetVictorRacing) April 11, 2018
Min’s CV makes him a genuine threat
The main danger in the race is expected to come from Min, who is another darling of the punter and often goes in as a blind pick at the big meetings due to past glories. The seven-year-old gelding – another from the Willie Mullins string – has a CV reading six wins and three runner-up finishes from nine goes, with the latest of those silver medals taken at Prestbury Park.
Going off a +250 shot in the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March – the same test Douvan failed to finish – he ran a big race but found Altior too good on the day, dropping to a seven-length defeat. Paul Townend took the ride and the pair encountered their fair share of problems along the way but stuck to the task brilliantly, passed shortly after the final fence. That had no impression on the winner on the flat but crossed the line 11 lengths ahead of God’s Own in third.
Interestingly, you’ll find Altior written off as a +700 outsider with some firms, despite winning the Champion Chase and, if he’s sent to Punchestown, that price will leap off the page at value hunters. His attendance is yet to be confirmed.