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The majority of Saturdays races were centred around trials for the Grand National, but despite this, there were a few Cheltenham hopefuls looking for a last minute fitness and confidence boost ahead of the Festival, which kicks off in just over a week’s time.
Doncaster hosted the prestigious Grimthorpe Handicap Chase, which was won in imperious fashion by Kim Bailey’s The Last Samuri. This confident performance has seen his odds for the Festival Handicap come in from 16’s to 10/1 with most bookmakers.
Paul Nicholl’s Sametegal took down the big Newbury prize of the day, winning the Grade 3 Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap by just over four lengths. His odds in the Brown Advisory Plate have taken a big boost after this run, he is now sitting in the second favourite position at 12/1, after being as long as 20/1 earlier in the week.
Howaboutnever was a mover in the Pertemps Final betting, after he bolted up to claim a narrow win in the opening race at Newbury. He was a 50/1 outsider for a festival win, but the win has seen his odds come in to around 33/1.
Johnny Og was another Newbury winner, as he finished strongly to hold off Exmoor Mist. This win has seen his odds halved, moving in from 66 to 33/1 and can even be found at around 25/1 with some bookmakers.
Art Mauresque put in another weak performance in the Greatwood, despite going off as the favourite he the last of the finishers to cross the line. His odds in the Brown Advisory Plate haven’t dipped much, but he has slipped out to 25/1.
Another negative mover in the festival betting market was Pearl’s Legend. He put in a decent performance to finish second behind Upsilon Bleu in the opening race at Doncaster, but a defeat as the 11/4F has seen his odds for the Grand Annual take a big hit, falling from 20’s to a lowly 33/1 mark.
Grand National winner Many Clouds was due to run at Kelso, but after the meeting was cancelled, his trainer said that a run in the Gold Cup would be the best option for a final run, before going to Aintree to defend his crown. He could be found at around 25/1 in the Gold Cup betting a few days ago, but over the last 24 hours he has slipped down to around 33’s.
You can find all the latest odds and tips for the Gold Cup here, on our Cheltenham Festival Tips page.