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2019 Ryanair Gold Cup tips - 3/1 shot to Escape Fairyhouse with Grade One victory

Jonathan Vine 19 Apr 2019
A view of the runners during a Chase at Fairyhouse.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this Grade One Novice Chase and provides readers with his betting tips for Fairyhouse on Sunday 21st April.

Fairyhouse’s Irish Grand National meeting is always a wonderful occasion to behold, with a capacity crowd of passionate punters arriving on Sunday and Monday to enjoy all of the Easter festivities. Sunday’s card is headlined by the Ryanair Gold Cup – a two-and-a-half-mile contest for novice chasers, which was won last year by future Cheltenham Gold Cup king, Al Boum Photo.

A small field has been entered into Sunday’s renewal, after a wave of stars exited the entries at the final stage of declarations. Our expert has taken a look through the betting and highlighted his best bet in the 2019 Ryanair Gold Cup.

4:25pm Fairyhouse Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase (Grade 1) 2m4f



Mengli Khan returned to something like his best form at Cheltenham before running well again at Aintree, . The six-year-old struggled to see out the trip at both of those testing, left-handed course. That will be less of a worry here at Fairyhouse, but I still doubt whether two-and-a-half-miles is truly his best distance and I think there might be another runner who offers better value.

Real Steel was outclassed behind the likes of Defi Du Seuil, Lostintranslation and Mengli Khan in the JLT, labouring to a sixth-place finish. Willie Mullins was forced into entering that Grade One, after a victory at Thurles pushed Real Steel's rating above the ceiling for the Close Brothers. I don't think he's a good enough jumper to win a Grade One, even one as weak as this.

Stablemate, Voix Du Reve also featured in the JLT, but the jumping frailties which have curbed his encouraging start over fences appeared again at Cheltenham and Mullins' chaser has to up his game significantly. Cubomania slammed Jetz in a Listed contest at Thurles, eleven days after pulling up in the Close Brothers. Davy Russell takes the ride, but Cubomania has plenty to find in terms of rating and is yet to truly prove he stays this sort of trip.

Process of elimination will leave many with Mengli Khan, so it's no surprise to see Gordon Elliott's charge head the betting. Gigginstown will fancy a victory in the race Michael O'Leary sponsors, but I fancy JP McManus could throw a spanner in the works with WINTER ESCAPE.

Winter Escape was tipped to go right to the top when in the care of Alan King, winning the Dovecote at Kempton during his juvenile campaign. Results drifted thereafter, but a change in scenery and a switch to chasing has brought around a reverse in fortunes.

Since linking up with Aidan Howard, Winter Escape has won three times over fences, including a superb Grade Three triumph over A Plus Tard, where Mark Walsh's mount was giving well over a stone to the future Cheltenham Festival winner. Winter Escape disappointed last time in the Flogas Novice Chase, but the eight year old broke blood vessels during that disappointing run and skipped Cheltenham and Aintree to recover.

I doubt whether Howard would have fancied a return to Britain with Winter Escape anyway, considering his best runs this term have come around right-handed tracks. A Plus Tard was the ante-post favourite for this race when the big stars remained in the running. If you take that, and A Plus Tard's stunning victory at Cheltenham literally, then Winter Escape's triumph at Punchestown is the best piece of form in the race and I fancy he will have Mengli Khan's number.

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2019 Ryanair Gold Cup tips - 3/1 shot to Escape Fairyhouse with Grade One victory

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this Grade One Novice Chase and provides readers with his betting tips for Fairyhouse on Sunday 21st April.

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