Menorah Possible Denman Cup Starter

Leading Ryanair Chase contender Menorah could be a surprise starter in the Denman Chase at Newbury on Saturday.

The Denman Chase has drawn a strong field with Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti, The Giant Bolster, Master of the Hall and Little Josh all entered for the Grade 2 race.

Menorah stamped himself as a Ryanair Chase chance by winning the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at the end of 2012 but trainer Philip Hobbs is considering giving him one more race to make sure he is at peak fitness for his Cheltenham Festival assignment.

Hobbs refused to confirm the eight-year-old as a definite starter but said that it was a strong possibility.

“I don’t know if Menorah will run on Saturday without seeing the ratings or knowing what the ground is likely to be,” Hobbs told The Racing Post.

“I would say it is 50-50 at this stage.”

The Denman Chase isn’t the only option for Menorah with Hobbs looking at races slightly closer to the festival kick-off.

“He is also entered in the Racing Plus Chase over three miles at Kempton later this month, but his target is the Ryanair Chase, that’s his only entry at the Festival, and he wouldn’t necessarily need a run beforehand.”

Menorah is currently on the eighth line of the 2013 Ryanair Chase betting market at Bet365 Bet365 behind Flemenstar (9/2), Cue Card (11/2), First Lieutenant (7/1), Sizing Europe (7/1), Riverside Theatre (8/1), Captain Chris (8/1) and Finian’s Rainbow (9/1).

Connections of Flemenstar were extremely impressed with his work during a morning gallop at Curragh this morning and his Ryanair Chase odds have shortened slightly.

“Everybody was very satisfied with how he got on at the Curragh,” trainer Peter Casey said.

“He went a good gallop over a mile and a half, the same as he did last week, but he went a bit quicker than the lads wanted last week and they went a little bit slower this time around.”

You can find the best odds for the Denman Chase and the Ryanair Chase at Bet365 Bet365.

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