The biggest mover of the day in the Cheltenham Festival betting was Paul Nicholls’ Zubayr, as he showed an impressive late turn of foot, tracking down the long-time leader to claim a maiden victory over hurdles. This win has resulted in his Triumph Hurdle odds being slashed from 16/1 in to as low as 5/1.
The marathon 4 mile Eider Chase at Newcastle was won in impressive fashion by Rocking Blues, who made it three wins a row for trainer Rose Dobbin. Brian Ellison’s Zaidiyn produced a patient and confident ride to take victory in the previous race, resulting in his odds for the County Handicap Hurdle coming in from 40’s and 50’s to around 25/1.
Odds on favourite Winter Escape made it a hat-trick of wins, as he and Barry Geraghty edged out Marrcudja by one length at Kempton. His odds for the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle have been cut to 12/1 from 25’s, but he is still quite a long way behind Min, who is the strong 7/4 favourite.
Another Cheltenham contender completing a three-timer was Sandy Thomson’s Seeyouatmidnight, who cruised to victory in the first race at Newcastle. His odds for the RSA weren’t really effected and can still be found amongst the third favourites at 10/1.
Arthurs Oak continued his impressive recent form with a decisive win in the big race at Chepstow, following a return to winning ways for Arpege D’Alene in the preceding race.
Arpege’s odds in the Pertemps Final have improved slightly, drifting in to 10/1 from 16’s. Arthurs Oak reinforced his position amongst the front runners for the Grand Annual, moving in from 20’s earlier in the week, to around 12/1.
This biggest race of the day was the Grade 3 BetBright Handicap Chase at Kempton, which saw plenty of Cheltenham hopefuls pitted against one another. Collin Tizard’s Theatre Guide put in a great performance to claim the trophy, resulting in his odds for the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap being slashed, coming in to 12/1 from around 25/1.
Thomas Brown was the starting price favourite, but he ran very poorly before falling. It was a similar story for Champagne West, whose form has really tailed off during the season. Thomas Brown’s odds in both the Kim Muir and Novices Handicap Chase have remained largely the same at around 16/1, but Champagne West has dropped from 10 to 20/1 in the betting for the Brown Advisory Plate.
A second disappointing display from Clean Sheet as the odds on favourite, has seen his odds for both the Coral Cup and the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle slip to around 33/1. The Saint James was travelling well in the Grade 2 at Kempton before falling, his odds for the Grand Annual haven’t taken a hit as a result and can still be found at 16/1. King’s Palaces poor form continued as he had to be pulled up early at Chepstow, after going off as the 3/1 favourite. His odds in both the Ultima Handicap and Ryanair betting have drifted as a result and can now be found at around 20’s in the betting for both races.
For the latest Ryanair odds and a few tips, take a look at our Cheltenham Festival Tips section.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention the terrible news from Kempton yesterday afternoon, when Paul Nicholls’ seven year old Mon Successeur had to be put to sleep, after a heavy fall in the 2.35pm resulted in a broken shoulder. I’m sure many of you reading this will have had a profitable time backing Mon Successeur during the course of the season, may he rest in peace.