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Riverside's Cheltenham Bid is Off

Riverside Theatre is the latest big name challenger to be scratched from the Cheltenham Festival.

Riverside Theatre
© Racehorse Photos

Riverside Theatre

Nicky Henderson's King George runner-up was set to line-up in the Ryanair Chase and would have started as one of the market leaders for the race however, a hairline fracture to his pelvis means the horse, who is part owned by the actor Jimmy Nesbitt, will now miss the Festival. The horse would have no doubt attracted plenty of Cheltenham 2011 bets and there will be some very disappointed punters.

The seven-year-old has won eight of his 15 career starts and recorded his biggest win to date on his most recent start when he took the Grade one Ascot Chase in taking style. That effort on the back of his excellent King George run, saw him rated as one of his trainers most likely Cheltenham winners and he will be a big miss to what will still be a very strong Seven Burrows team. Those looking at the Cheltenham betting offers will have to find another horse to follow.

The absence of Riverside Theatre will strengthen the claims of the Edward O'Grady trained Tranquil Sea. The horse boasts winning Cheltenham form, having won the Paddy Power Chase in 2009. It has been interesting to note that many of the big names in Irish racing have suggested that Tranquil Sea is their best bet of the Festival, when they have appeared at the various Cheltenham preview evenings.

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