The Road to Cheltenham: Movement in the Champion Hurdle market as Festival approaches

We're nearly there. The Cheltenham Festival is just a few days away
We're nearly there. The Cheltenham Festival is just a few days away
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With just two days to go until racegoers stream through the gates at Prestbury Park for the beginning of what is dubbed the greatest show on turf, we have one last look through the market movers and the most recent eye-catching news...


Notable Market Moves

- Lil Rockerfeller 34.033/1 in the Champion Hurdle
- Old Guard 55.054/1 in the Champion Hurdle
- Altior 5.49/2 in the Supreme Novices Hurdle
- Valseur Lido in the Ryanair Chase

The most interesting story this week has been around the Champion Hurdle where Neil King sprung somewhat of a surprise when he supplemented Lil Rockerfeller into the race. The market reacted instantly and he was soon steadily backed into 34.033/1 as he joins the host of other runners who feel they can capitalize on what looks like a very open contest following the withdrawal of hot favourite Faugheen.

There was some slightly negative news coming out of the Paul Nicholls camp this week concerning his Champion Hurdle contender Old Guard. Nicholls revealed Old Guard was slightly stiff after he cooled down following some work on Saturday and a final decision on his participation will be made on Monday morning. Unsurprisingly this resulted in his price to increase from about 40.039/1 to 55.054/1.

Staying with day one of the Festival, Altior has been continually backed for the Supreme Novices Hurdle. He is now available at 5.49/2 as market confidence for Min appears to be wavering. This could be due to comments Ruby Walsh made recently about there not being too much value in Min and that Altior would be a good pick.

Also worth a mention is Valseur Lido in the Ryanair Chase who's price has shortened in further to 5.85/1 having been well supported in the market throughout. Many thought he would have won the Irish Gold Cup at Punchestown last month had he not come to grief at the last and he will be hoping to prove his class at Cheltenham this coming week.

Can anyone upset Willie Mullins stable of stars, Douvan in the Arkle, Un De Sceaux in the Champion Chase and the recently supplemented Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle. These questions remain and we look forward to finding out the outcomes, surely there is to be a shock or two along the way.

All that is left to do now is wave the flag and enjoy what is sure to be four days of high calibre and exciting racing. It should be some spectacle.


Notable Market Moves

Lil Rockerfeller 34.033/1 in the Champion Hurdle
Old Guard 55.054/1 in the Champion Hurdle
Altior 5.49/2 in the Supreme Novices Hurdle
Valseur Lido in the Ryanair Chase


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