Cheltenham Festival 2016 betting: Gutsy Blaklion can upset More Of That and No More Heroes in RSA Chase

Bill Esdaile
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Cheltenham Races
Blaklion (right) won at Cheltenham in December (Source: Getty)

Every preview night I’ve attended over the last two weeks has billed Wednesday afternoon’s RSA Chase (2.10pm) as a two-horse race between More Of That and No More Heroes.

The bookmakers seem to share that same opinion, with the pair both currently vying for favouritism around the 9/4 mark.

The duo stand out from the pack on all known form and, unlike the rest of the day’s field, look the most likely to be the ones challenging for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

More Of That has won seven of his eight racecourse starts to date, including all four at Cheltenham.

He is unbeaten over fences and, having won at a Festival before – at the 2014 World Hurdle – it’s clear to see why he heads up most shortlists.

My slight concern with him is that we haven’t seen him on a racecourse since December and he is obviously fragile.

Don’t get me wrong, he is unquestionably hugely talented. I’m just not attracted by his price, particularly as his stable have also been going through a lean patch.

No More Heroes has been every bit as impressive as his market rival More Of That over fences this season.

Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old was always going to turn into a lovely chaser and he hasn’t disappointed with three impressive wins over the bigger obstacles this campaign.

The worry with him definitely has to be the rapidly drying conditions, as he’s at his best with plenty of give in the ground, but it shouldn’t prove too much of an inconvenience.

Sporting Index make More Of That a 0.25-1.75 length favourite in a match bet with NO MORE HEROES and I’d be far happier siding with the latter.

Vyta Du Roc was impressive at Ascot on his latest start, but there has to be a doubt as to whether he quite has the class for this.

The all-conquering Mullins team are represented by Roi Des Francs and Shaneshill, but both look to have plenty to prove at this level.

I’m concentrating on Nigel Twiston-Davies’ BLAKLION, who seems to be improving with every run over fences and can be backed each-way at 9/1 with Paddy Power.

With five starts already over the bigger obstacles, what the seven-year-old lacks in class he more than makes up for in heart.

Having fallen when travelling ominously well here back in November, Blaklion made amends in December before chasing home Seeyouatmidnight in the Dipper Chase on New Year’s Day.

That race was over half a mile shorter than today’s trip and I’m confident that he can reverse that form over three miles on slightly better ground.

He showed his wellbeing by winning the Towton at Wetherby last month and appears to be blossoming for the most gruelling race for novices at just the right time.


Blaklion e/w, 2.10pm Cheltenham

Sell More Of That against No More Heroes in match bet, 2.10pm Cheltenham

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