The Road to Cheltenham: Un de Sceaux cements his place atop Ryanair market

Un De Sceaux takes aim at further Festival success
Un De Sceaux takes aim at further Festival success
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There were a number of notable performances on both sides of the Irish Sea this weekend but none more so than Un De Sceaux at Ascot. The Follow The Money team provide all the latest Cheltenham Festival market moves...

"It was an outstanding performance by a horse that was already 5.0 favourite for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. After the race he briefly touched 3.95 only to come back out to 4.5."

Un De Sceaux

Sceaux a class apart in Clarence House

The headline race of the day at Ascot on Saturday was the Clarence House Chase where heavy going was the description. One of the best in the National Hunt sphere to thrive in such conditions is Un De Sceaux who was seeking a third win in as many years in the famous Grade 1.

Many people's idea of the banker of the day did not disappoint as he put in an irresistible display to win easily by seven lengths. Going off the 1.4 favourite on paper he only had to beat the novice Brain Power. A bold decision by the Nicky Henderson team did not pay off however as he fell at the penultimate fence with Un De Sceaux upside very much on the bridle.

It was an outstanding performance by a horse that was already 5.0 favourite for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. After the race he briefly touched 3.95 only to come back out to 4.5.

La Bague Au Roi a big mover for Stayers' Hurdle

The first race on the card was a juvenile hurdle over two miles that was one of the most dramatic races of the season so far. Nayati was the winner in the end but only after being matched for £128 at 1000.0 in running.

The two horses who were well ahead coming to the last, fell at the final flight being matched at 1.06 and 1.03 and fortunately came out of the race unscathed. Nayati can be backed for the Triumph Hurdle at 65.0.

La Bague Au Roi was another horse who was mightily impressive in winning the Grade 2 Mares Hurdle on the card. Winning by 16 lengths, she set a relentless gallop that none of her rivals could cope with. The Stayers' Hurdle on Day Three of the Festival is her most likely destination and she can now be backed at 24.0 for that race having been matched at a whopping 550.0.

The New One battles to victory once again

A very heavy Haydock was deemed raceable after an inspection was passed on Saturday morning. However conditions would deteriorate further following constant rain throughout the day, marking down any winner on the card as one to watch out for if the ground is soft or worse in March.

Fan favourite, The New One, put on a very gutsy performance to out battle Ch'tibello after the last hurdle after going behind his rival. The seasoned warrior has had plenty of chances at the Champion Hurdle over the years hence his price of 130.0 for the race. However if you fancy him to nab one of the three places instead he can be backed at 20.0 for the Champion Hurdle TBP market.

Elsewhere there were two potentially exciting winning novices on the card with Testify winning the 2m4f novice chase and First Flow winning the two mile novice hurdle. The Donald McCain inmate ultimately only had to beat one opponent as his main market rival fell at the second fence but still won by an impressive seven lengths.

He was introduced into the RSA Novice Chase market afterwards and can be backed at [95.0]. First Flow whose target will undoubtedly be the Supreme Novices' Hurdle stayed on strongly to win by 10 lengths and can now be backed at 65.0 having been matched at 230.0 prior to the race.

Keep an eye out for wind ops at the Festival

A historic day for readers of the form book as the newly brought in note for wind operations on race cards had its first winner as Boite bolted up by 11 lengths at Taunton. It'll be worth keeping an eye out for a little 'w' near a horses name at Cheltenham. Be wary though as these horses could be massively under-priced although it could be great news for layers on the Exchange.

A Toi Phil was the winner of the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on Sunday, won in the last two years by Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Don Cossack and Sizing John.

It is highly unlikely we saw the winner of that race this year as A Toi Phil is most likely going to run the Ryanair Chase on Day Three where his odds have slightly shortened from 130.0 to 110.0. Those interested in the place market can back him at 16.0 in the Ryanair Chase TBP market.

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