Is Chatham Street Lad a serious player for the Cheltenham Festival? | Horse Racing News

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Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

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Chatham Street Lad: could he be a contender for the Ryanair Chase?

Chatham Street Lad: could he be a contender for the Ryanair Chase?

Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

‘Smacks me as a fluke performance that won’t be repeated’

If you take that performance at face value he has to be in the running.

It’s probably not wise to do so, though. There was something too good to be true about it.

It’s not just that he won, it’s the way he won. He blew apart a competitive handicap in a time significantly faster than Fusil Raffles achieved earlier on the card. It made little sense.

Fusil Raffles was rated 11lb superior to Chatham Street Lad going into their respective races on Saturday and I can’t believe Chatham Street Lad has improved that much.

It just smacks me as a fluke of a performance that won’t be repeated.
Graeme Rodway, tipster

‘There is very little chance of him troubling Min in March’

While it was heartwarming to see the raucous celebrations, I do not expect to see those triumphant scenes repeated after the Ryanair Chase if he heads that way.

The way he won was rampant, but given where the leading market principals have finished, I am inclined to think that the race fell apart slightly, especially given Master Tommytucker, who was touted as a Grade 1 horse in waiting, folded very tamely.

It will be interesting to see how Chatham Street Lad is campaigned for the rest of the season given the lack of middle-distance Grade 1s in Ireland in the spring, but there is very little chance of him troubling Min in March.
Matt Rennie, reporter

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Stepping him up in trip is the way forward

He is a serious player for sure, but I would fancy him more against the novices in the race formerly known as the RSA. He is 16-1 for that race with William Hill and that looks fantastic each-way value.

An extra half a mile would be no problem for him and would most likely benefit him, and he looks to have plenty of tactical pace which is integral in that race.

Against proven Grade 1 performers he will need to step up, but he certainly looks to be on an upward curve and looks the type to do so. I rate him as a solid contender at this stage.
James Stevens, reporter

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