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Graeme Rodway
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Horse Racing betting tips: Graeme Rodway's Cheltenham Festival fancies, including 20/1 NRNB Ryanair ace

With us now offering Non-Runner No Bet on the five Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival, Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway is out to find the value.

The Festival is less than two months away and the Championship races – Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Ryanair Chase, Stayers' Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup – are all priced up as Non-Runner No Bet by bet365.



Champion Hurdle (without Constitution Hill) - NRNB

1pt win 

French Dynamite


Ryanair Chase - NRNB

1pt each-way 

Noble Yeats


Cheltenham Gold Cup - NRNB

1pt win 

Vauban looks the Champion Hurdle value without Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill is a once-in-a-generation talent who looks impossible to oppose in the Champion Hurdle, but we are offering a market without him in it and Vauban rates an outstanding bet to finish second best following a promising seasonal return at Leopardstown.

Vauban was an outstanding juvenile hurdler last season and he looked a top-class performer when running away with the Triumph Hurdle on the New Course on Gold Cup Day last March.

He followed up with victory at Punchestown and showed he can mix it with the best hurdlers in Ireland when second to State Man in the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle over Christmas at Leopardstown. That was his first run since May and State Man had fitness on his side.

Vauban was left behind by the winner in the closing stages, but still pulled five lengths clear of Sharjah, who has a superb record in that race and appeared to run right up to his best form.

Vauban is still only five and he looks capable of improving past State Man with that run under his belt. He rates a much better bet at the 3/1 on offer than his stablemate at odds on in the same market.

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French Dynamite set for take-off in Ryanair

The Ryanair Chase looks the best race for an ante-post bet at Cheltenham right now because there are doubts surrounding several of those who hold positions at the head of the market.

Galopin Des Champs and Conflated are likely to go for the Gold Cup, Blue Lord the Champion Chase, and Fakir D'Oudairies and Pic D'Orhy look set to wait for Aintree.

Last year's winner Allaho hasn't been seen since May and who knows what shape he is in, so why not take a chance on French Dynamite, who appears certain to run in this race in March.

It is French Dynamite's only entry at The Festival at the time of writing and he didn't appear to stay 3m in the Savills Chase over Christmas. The drop back to this intermediate trip looks up his alley and he is entered over the distance for a prep run in a Grade 2 at Thurles on Sunday.

French Dynamite ran his best race this season at this track in November when a close second to Ga Law and he was conceding 6lb to that rival. A reproduction of that effort might be good enough for a place in the Ryanair and, if the race cuts up, he could even spring a surprise win.

Noble Yeats can land a rare double

Grand National winners don't usually go on to win Gold Cups, but Noble Yeats was only seven when winning at Aintree last season and is capable of completing this rare double.

Noble Yeats has taken his form to an even higher level this season and I'm convinced he won the strongest chase of the season at Aintree last time in the Many Clouds Chase. He was chased home by two Grade 1 winners on that occasion and the way in which he left them in his wake was impressive.

That form has a solid look, too. The runner-up Dashel Drasher came out and ran a cracker when second in the Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham on his next outing and the fourth home, Sounds Russian, was beaten narrowly off a big weight in the Rowland Meyrick next time.

Noble Yeats gave both of those rivals 4lb and an easy beating and there should be plenty of further improvement to come from him, especially when he is faced with the stiffer test of stamina in the Gold Cup. He is a horse who does all of his best work at the end of his races.

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