Cotswold Chase betting odds: Protektorat heads market
Six runners are still in contention for Saturday’s race at Prestbury Park including two of the top four in the Gold Cup betting.
Grand National hero Noble Yeats lines up for Emmet Mullins, while Protektorat is the shortest priced British-trained candidate for the blue riband and this has always been the plan for Dan Skelton’s Betfair Chase winner.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Both Protektorat and Noble Yeats are 7/1 with Coral for the Boodles Gold Cup, but we narrowly favour the former for Saturday’s Cotswold Chase, a race that connections have had in mind for their star since his Haydock victory in November.”
Skelton feels the Cotswold Chase will answer a lot of questions regarding Protektorat’s Gold Cup claims.
Hugely impressive in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on his seasonal reappearance, in which last season’s Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard disappointed, Skelton immediately nominated a trip to Prestbury Park as a prep for the Festival.
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) November 19, 2022
Rather than scare away the opposition this coming Saturday, though, the spate of recent abandonments and other issues mean he will face a keen test of his credentials.
“I’m not saying Protektorat is an absolute certainty as if your man turns up (Noble Yeats) he is a shorter price in the Gold Cup, rightly or wrongly, whatever your opinion is. It is going to be enlightening to see them lining up against each other,” said Skelton.
“Noble Yeats was very good in the Many Clouds Chase which you would expect a Grand National winner to be able to do.
“You can’t deny Noble Yeats’ ability and stamina and I don’t think he will be inconvenienced by his lack of experience at the track. However, Protektorat has just turned into a real good stayer and that is very important around Cheltenham.”
Protektorat oozed class at Haydock and Skelton, who has his horses firing on all cylinders after a quiet Christmas, said: “I think the win at Haydock suggested that he had improved from last season which we had seen at home but he still had to confirm that on the track.
“We’ve not changed anything in his training regime just as they get that bit older and stronger you can do that bit more with them that is the truth.
“He went through the race very well and picked up very well. I was surprised how he scampered clear after the last, which I thought was very good. All in all it was just good to see him come out and win like that.”
Ahoy Senor has been given the chance to get some more Cheltenham experience and is 15/2 in the Cotswold Chase odds.
Lucinda Russell’s stable star was second in his sole appearance at the track when chasing home L’Homme Presse at last year’s Festival but went on to reverse that form when scooping Grade One honours at Aintree the following month.
🏴 Ahoy Senor is a Grade One winner over fences
A sparkling performance from @lucindavrussell's stable star who retains his unbeaten record at @AintreeRaces under Derek Fox, slamming his rivals in the Betway Mildmay Novices' Chase 🏆 #RandoxGrandNational pic.twitter.com/DNaWMIue9A
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 8, 2022
He was last seen fading into fifth in the King George at Kempton but the Kinross-based handler has reported the Gold Cup in March is still the dream.
“Ahoy Senor is in great form,” said Russell. “I was really pleased with his run at Kempton and he seems to be growing up – I was very happy with him.
“The Gold Cup is still the dream and I’m really looking forward to seeing him run again. I think he’s on the up again now and we’ve always thought he was a really good horse.”
Nicky Henderson has won this twice in the last three years and is represented by 12/1 outsider Dusart, while Frodon won this contest in 2019 and is 13/2 for a repeat. Sounds Russian (Ruth Jefferson) completes the list of entries.
Cotswold Chase betting odds
2/1 Noble Yeats
15/2 Ahoy Senor, Sounds Russian
All odds and market correct at date of publication