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Eye on Cheltenham - All the big Festival market movers over Christmas and New Year

Jonathan Vine in News 8 Jan 2019
Kemboy was one of the big winners over Christmas, after winning the Savils Chase at Leopardstown.

We bring you the latest news and betting developments in the 2019 Cheltenham Festival markets between after a packed few weeks of action over Christmas and the New Year.

The past three weeks have been the busiest of the National Hunt racing so far, with major Festival taking place all over Britain and Ireland. To keep track of all the major market movers on the Cheltenham Festival betting, we've taken a look at each of the major races individually and listed all the horses who have made an impact in the betting during the Festival period.

Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Angels Breath shot to the head of the betting following his debut victory at Ascot, with William Hill offering the best price of 13/2. Nicky Henderson pitched the son of Shantou into Grade Two company on his first start and the five-year-old rose to the challenge, drawing clear of Danny Kirwan after an impressive round of jumping.

BetVictor slashed Aramon’s odds in from 25s to 10/1 second-favouritism, after Ruby Walsh’s mount bolted up to win the Future Champion’s Novices’ Hurdle at Leopardstown. Quick Grabbin follows in the betting, just ahead of Elixir De Nutz, who was pulled in from 20s to 12/1 by Paddy Power after toughing it out to win the Tolworth at Sandown.


Dynamite Dollars won the battle of the Arkle contenders at Kempton, comfortably outjumping Kalashnikov to carry a penalty to victory in the Wayward Lad. BetVictor halved Dynamite Dollars’ odds, listing Paul Nicholls charge on a price of 7/1, with Kalashnikov slipping back to 5/1 from 3s.

Lalor sits atop the betting with many firms and is unlikely to be seen until the good spring ground comes around. Mengli Khan slipped down the betting after his defeat behind Le Richebourg at Leopardstown and Joseph O’Brien’s charge is now the highest-placed Irish entrant in the betting, sitting just ahead of Defi Du Seuil on 8/1 with William Hill.

Champion Hurdle

Buveur D’Air’s shock Christmas Hurdle defeat at the heads of Verdana Blue saw the defending two-time Cheltenham Champion drift at the head of the betting. An odds-on shot with most before that loss, Nicky Henderson’s star was pushed right out to 6/4 with Coral, with Verdana Blue plummeting down to 12s from 50/1 with William Hill.

Sharjah upset the Irish applecart once again by winning the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown and Willie Mullins' charge now sits alongside Melon on 10/1 with William Hill. It’s Laurina, however, who now sits closest to Buveur D’Air, with Paddy Power listing Mullins' mare as the 7/2 second-favourite.

Mares’ Hurdle

After a third resounding success of the campaign, Apple’s Jade was pushed into odds-on favouritism for the Mares’ Hurdle by many bookmakers. William Hill is one of the few bookies still offering 6/4, with BetVictor also offering the same price.

Laurina was clipped into 3s from 4/1 after her winning reappearance at Sandown, but the Champion Hurdle seems her most likely destination. Benie Des Dieux is yet to appear this term and Willie Mullins returning Champion has drifted a little over the Festive period, with William Hill now offering a top price of 4/1.

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Champ cemented his position at the head of the Ballymore betting by winning the Challow Hurdle at Newbury. Nicky Henderson’s novice was the 10/1 market leader before that Grade One, but after outstaying a number of quality rivals, Ladbrokes slashed Champ into 5/1 favouritism.

The favourites' main challenger could come in the shape of Battleoverdoyen, who claimed a Grade One of his own this weekend. Gordon Elliott’s charge is now unbeaten in three starts over jumps and the Gigginstown flag-bearer was cut into 6s from 12/1 by BetVictor after his latest victory in the Lawlor’s Of Naas.

RSA Novices’ Chase

Warren Greatrex jumped in delight at Kempton on Boxing Day, as La Bague Au Roi out-stayed Topofthegame and Santini to win the Kauto Star. Despite coming out on top, Greatrex’s mare remains the furthest adrift in the RSA betting, with William Hill offering a top price of 12/1. Santini continues to lead the way in the betting, with Ladbrokes offering 7/2 on Nicky Henderson’s charge, ahead of Topofthegame on 8s.

Delta Work’s impressive start to life over fences continued in the Neville Hotel’s at Leopardstown and last year’s Pertemps winner was cut into 5/1 for the RSA by Betfair. Vinndication and Lostintranslation also secured eye-catching victories over the Festive period and both have been handed odds of 16/1 by BetVictor.

Champion Chase

Altior’s sparkling performance in the Desert Orchid Chase stole the show on day two of Kempton’s Christmas Festival and Nicky Henderson’s stable star is now the overwhelming favourite to win the Champion Chase. William Hill’s mark of 1/2 is the best price you’ll find, with Footpad holding his position as the second-favourite, despite suffering his second-straight loss of the season behind Simply Ned at Leopardstown. 

Behind the top two, there’s been very little movement. Min and Un De Sceaux remain pretty handy in the betting, despite the Ryanair looking more suitable for both, with Sceau Royal and Great Field the only other entrants lingering on a price better than 20/1.

JLT Novices’ Chase

French ace Master Dino made waves in the JLT betting this weekend, following a very taking British debut at Plumpton. Guillaume Macaire’s chaser put his rivals to the sword with a comfortable victory and Ladbrokes were the quickest to react, slashing Master Dino into 9/2 favouritism for the JLT.

Lostintranslation secured an impressive victory in the Dipper on New Years’ Day and Colin Tizzard’s chaser was cut into 7s from 16/1 by Ladbrokes. La Bague Au Roi and Defi De Seuil remain prominent in the betting, with Paddy Power listing both – along with RSA bound Topofthegame – on odds of 10/1.

Ryanair Chase

Very little to shout about in the Ryanair betting at the moment, with most of the movement coming as a result of possible entrants failing over different trips. William Hill list Min and Footpad as the 7/1 joint-favourites, with Balko Des Flos and Frodon a little further adrift of 10s and 12s.

Waiting Patiently and Politologue, both last seen in the King George, have been handed fresh quotes of 10/1 in the Ryanair by William Hill. Monalee and Shattered Love both failed to see out the trip in the Leopardstown Christmas Chase and BetVictor has handed both fresh quotes of 10/1 for this two-and-a-half miler.

Stayers’ Hurdle

Despite his inactivity, Penhill’s position at the head of the Stayers’ Hurdle market has grown even stronger over Christmas. Willie Mullins defending champion is the 7/1 favourite with William Hill, just ahead of Apple’s Jade, who looks more likely to bid for Mares’ Hurdle glory for the third-straight year.

Supasundae sits third in the betting at 8/1, with JLT Long Walk winner, Paisley Park coming into 12/1 alongside Faugheen. Samcro’s tribulations over two miles have helped Gordon Elliott’s charge up to 14/1 in the Stayers’ Hurdle betting, with Midnight Shadow and Black Op a little further adrift on 20/1.

Triumph Hurdle

Former flat racer, Sir Erec bounded to the head of the Triumph Hurdle betting after making a winning start to life over jumps for Joseph O’Brien. Betfair is currently offering a top price of 10/1, a price Sir Erec shares with Quel Destin, who secured two Grade Two victories for Paul Nicholls during December.

Tiger Tap Tap, runner-up to Sir Erec at Leopardstown, sits just behind the market leaders on 12/1, with Adjali also sharing third-favouritism. Fellow Munir & Souede flag-bearer, Torpillo won well again at Sandown at the start of the season. Betfair currently lists him as a 14/1 shot, BetVictor however, were impressed enough to had him solo 8/1 Triumph favouritism.

Clan Des Obeaux (right) pulls clear of Thistlecrack to win the King George.

Gold Cup

There were two big movers in the Gold Cup betting over Christmas. Clan Des Obeaux was the first to make a leap, securing the biggest victory of his short career in the King George at Kempton. Paul Nicholls’ tenth King George winner jumped right up to 10/1 in the Cheltenham betting with Betfair, having previously sat on 50/1 before his Boxing Day success.

A few days later at Leopardstown, a superb ride by Danny Mullins helped Kemboy scoot to Savills Chase glory. He too was a 33/1 outsider in the Gold Cup market prior to that victory, but William Hill was one of several bookmakers to slash Willie Mullins' charge into 8/1 third-favouritism.

As Might Bite and Bellshill slipped down the betting, Native River held his ground, with a third-place finish in the King George ensuring he remained a 5/1 shot with Betfair. Presenting Percy, yet to appear this season, remains the 9/2 favourite, but with Road To Respect and Thistlecrack lingering around the 12/1 mark – and dangerous outsiders like Elegant Escape and Al Boum Photo enforcing their credentials over Christmas – this year’s Gold Cup is looking as wide open as ever before!

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Eye on Cheltenham - All the big Festival market movers over Christmas and New Year

We bring you the latest news and betting developments in the 2019 Cheltenham Festival markets between after a packed few weeks of action over Christmas and the New Year.

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