Sound alternative to Arkle favourite

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The Independent Online
Most punters will recall precisely how long their dreams of untold riches endured at last year's Festival. It was four minutes and two seconds, the time it took for Arctic Kinsman to win the opener at 50-1, writes Greg Wood.

If they don't remember, they should. At Cheltenham, "surprise" results are nothing of the sort, but rather an inevitability, since many runners are competing in the race for which they have been prepared all year. As a rule, it is madness to back anything at less than 3-1, or at less than twice those odds in handicaps.

Thus, while Klairon Davis may have a favourite's chance, Sound Reveille (2.50) is a fairer price, and Simple Arithmetic (2.15) makes more appeal than Callisoe Bay, who looked short of finishing speed last time.

The Gold Card Hurdle marks the return of Steel Dawn, trained by Irish permit holder Ronald Curran. In the same event last year, he was hampered and unseated his rider three out. "His jockey said he was only cantering," Curran says. "The further he goes, the better he is."

No one would begrudge him a change of fortune, but at 8-1, his odds are a little skinny. Lansdowne (5.15), each-way, is a better alternative, while Cache Fleur (4.05) and Romany King (4.40) are also worth considering.

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