Cheltenham Festival Day 1
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Turners Novices' Chase favourite Bob Olinger a warm order for Kildare Novice Chase at Punchestown

Last year's Ballymore winner Bob Olinger impressed on his chasing debut.
Last year's Ballymore winner Bob Olinger impressed on his chasing debut.

Bob Olinger, ante-post favourite for the Turners Novices' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March is set to line up at Punchestown on Sunday afternoon in the Grade 3 Kildare Novice Chase...

Henry De Bromhead's seven-year-old was a scintillating seven-and-a-half length winner of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle last March and he's made a very smooth transition to the chasing game, as he sauntered to an impressive debut victory over fences in a beginners chase at Gowran Park in November.

Immediately slashed in the betting for the Turners Novices' Chase following that Gowran Park success, Bob Olinger is a short as 5/4 with the bookmakers for the 2m 4f Grade 1 on day three of the festival on March 17, and a win at the weekend will cement his place at the top of the tree in the middle distance novice chasing division.

De Bromhead's superstar could face some notable adversaries and one of those rivals could be the Willie Mullins-trained Gaillard Du Mesnil, who he defeated impressively in the Ballymore last spring. Mullins could be doubly represented and he could also saddle Capodanno, who got the better of Gaillard Du Mesnil in a beginners chase at Naas. The pair are priced between 20/1 and 33/1 for the Turners in March, but should they manage to produce a decent display against the likely favourite then they could well be trimmed in the betting.

The Kildare Novice Chase has been a notable springboard to Cheltenham Festival glory down the years with Sir Des Champs (2012) Djakadam (2014), Vautour (2015), Yorkhill (2017) and Envoi Allen (2021) all claiming victory in the contest before going on to become top notch Grade 1 performers.

Of that aforementioned quintet, Sir Des Champs, Yorkhill and Vautour all went on to claim glory in the Grade 1 2m 4f novice chase at the Cheltenham Festival later in the season, so Bob Olinger, who has been installed as the 1/3 favourite for Sunday's event, will be hoping to etch his name into that illustrious group.

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