This weekend saw plenty of horses bid to enhance their claims of Cheltenham Festival success, with Ascot, Haydock, Navan and Gowran all hosting cards which included Graded races.
There is now just over three weeks to go before the Cheltenham Festival begins, and our Cheltenham Festival tickets promotion is providing two lucky individuals with the opportunity to witness the curtain-raising Supreme Novices’ Hurdle live.
Looking closer at Saturday’s winners, we have picked out some of the main market movers in regard to the Festival – read our thoughts below.
Sporting John –> 8/1 from 20/1 (Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle)
The JP McManus-owned Sporting John enhanced his unbeaten record to four (one point and three hurdle wins), with victory in the Thames Materials Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle seems his most likely Festival target, and Paddy Power went 8/1 from 20/1 for that race on the back of Saturday’s success.
Copperhead –> 11/2 from 16/1 (National Hunt Chase)
Arguably the most visually impressive victory this weekend came via the Colin Tizzard-trained Copperhead, who ran out a seventeen-length winner of the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot on Saturday.
He holds entries in both the RSA and National Hunt Novice Chases at the Festival – Betway cut him from 16/1 to 11/2 for the latter.
Riders On the Storm –> 10/1 from 8/1 (Ryanair Chase)
No performance split bookmaker opinion more than that of Riders On the Storm in the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase – with the seven-year-old capitalising on the fall of Traffic Fluide to bring his record since joining Nigel Twiston-Davies to a healthy 3-3.
The Betfair Sportsbook pushed Riders On the Storm out to 10/1 (from 8/1) for the Ryanair Chase, whilst BetVictor had the opposite reaction, cutting the gelding to 5/1 (from 8/1).
Emitom –> 12/1 from 50/1 (Stayers’ Hurdle)
One of the biggest market movers this weekend was Emitom, who got his career back on track with an impressive victory in the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
Grade 1-placed as a novice last season, Warren Greatrex’s charge now looks set to contest the Stayers’ Hurdle – which his yard won with Cole Harden back in 2015.
The Betfair Sportsbook slashed Emitom to 12/1 from 50/1 from that contest.
Sir Psycho –> 25/1 from 50/1 (Triumph Hurdle)
On Saturday, Sir Psycho provided Paul Nicholls with his third victory in the last five renewals of the Unibet Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle.
He holds entries in both the Triumph Hurdle and the Supreme, and on the back of Saturday’s performance, William Hill cut Sir Psycho to 25/1 from 50/1 for the Triumph.
Cilaos Emery –> 7/1 from 12/1 (Champion Hurdle)
The weather put paid to Wincanton’s card on Saturday, which robbed us of the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle – often seen as a trial for the Champion Hurdle.
Gowran got the go-ahead, however, and their Grade 3 Red Mills Trial Hurdle was won by the Willie Mullins-trained Cilaos Emery, who now looks set to be supplemented for the Champion Hurdle – the Betfair Sportsbook went 7/1 from 12/1 for that contest.
Alcala –> 12/1 from 25/1 (Foxhunters Chase)
Paul Nicholls’ Wonderful Charm won the 2017 Walrus Open Hunters’ Chase at Haydock before going on to finish a close second in the Foxhunters at the Festival and representing the same yard, Alcala landed Saturday’s renewal.
He is not yet qualified for the Cheltenham Foxhunters but holds an entry at Doncaster on Wednesday – where he would need to finish in the first two to qualify for the Foxhunters.
The Betfair Sportsbook cut Alcala to 12/1 from 25/1 for the race.