The Road to Cheltenham: Yorkhill looks unbeatable for the JLT

The Follow The Money team bring you all the latest antepost news ahead of the Cheltenham Festival
The Follow The Money team bring you all the latest antepost news ahead of the Cheltenham Festival
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It was a busy week of racing last week, and there have been some notable price movers in the Cheltenham Festival antepost markets...

Latest Moves

Jezki 15.5 in to 9.08/1 - Stayers Hurdle
Neon Wolf 24.023/1 in to 17.5 - Supreme Novice Hurdle
Yorkhill 3.505/2 in to 2.747/4 - JLT Novice Chase
Sizing John 23.022/1 in to 9.08/1 - Ryanair Chase
Bristol De Mai 1000.0 in to 21.020/1 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

This week's road to Cheltenham comes after a busy weekend of racing despite meetings being called off due to frost. We still enjoyed action from trials day at Haydock and some nice performances in the Navan and Leopardstown cards.


Jezki does his claims no harm at all at Navan

Starting off at Navan on Saturday, we saw the eagerly anticipated return of former Champion Hurdle winner Jezki. Having missed engagements at Christmas and being off the track since beating Hurricane Fly over three miles at the 2015 Punchestown Spring Festival, Jezki had a lot to prove as to whether he retained all the ability that had seen him notch up eight grade one victories, and he decisively put any doubts to bed with a smooth victory under a hands and heels ride from Barry Geraghty. Having jumped very slick in the main and putting the strong travelling Renneti to bed with a couple of strides, Jezki's price for the newly-renamed Stayers Hurdle contracted across the boards and on the exchange he moved from 15.5 to now be trading at just 9.08/1. With another run pencilled in at the Red Mills Trial Hurdle, this price could shorten further and Barry Geraghty may have a difficult decision to make, come March 16th.


Unbeaten Neon Wolf looks a class act

Haydock was the feature card of the weekend's action in the UK and we've seen some nice performances particularly from the Harry Fry-trained Neon Wolf. This unbeaten novice has been somewhat flying under the radar in the novice hurdle ranks this season but he certainly announced himself on the scene in the Supreme Novice Trial. Having been backed as if defeat was out of the question, he was a 2/1 chance the morning of the race. He then took it up four out and quickly burst clear to win authoritatively from Elgin, a grade two winner himself. Subsequently, Neon Wolf is now trading at 17.5. With more improvement likely, this horse could make a big impact in what looks a wide open Supreme Novice market.


Yorkhill looks unbeatable for the JLT

Leopardstown Sunday was the only card to go ahead with some hugely valuable handicaps and strong supporting card which seen the second start over fences of one of last year's star novice hurdlers, Yorkhill. Having won a beginner Chase in facile style at Fairyhouse, Yorkhill put his JLT Novice Chase credentials to the test stepping up to Grade 3 company. Sent off a long odds-on favourite he jumped noticeably left as he had done last time out, but still slickly enough leaving a bit to work on ahead of the festival idling in front to win by just over a length. Already the clear favourite for the JLT, he has now shortened further currently trading at just 2.747/4. Yorkhill looks sure to be one of the bankers of day three of Cheltenham 2017.

Other horses to note over the past week include the Jessica Harrington-trained Sizing John who won very nicely from smart chaser Sub Lieutenant. Having finished second to phenomenal Douvan seven times, Sizing John could now be very interesting stepping up in trip in the future with Jessica mentioning the Irish Gold Cup as a possible target. The most likely race for him at the festival judging by the markets would look to be the Ryanair and on the back of his victory he has shortened form 23.022/1 into 9.08/1.

Bristol De Mai made a very taking impression making most under top weight in the Peter Marsh. Sent off 4/1 joint-favourite he blitzed the opposition going further and further away up the straight to win by an astonishing 22 lengths. This victory sparked a reaction in the Gold Cup market and he is now trading at just 21.020/1 having been matched at the ceiling price of 1000.0.


Latest Moves

Jezki 15.5 in to 9.08/1 - Stayers Hurdle
Neon Wolf 24.023/1 in to 17.5 - Supreme Novice Hurdle
Yorkhill 3.505/2 in to 2.747/4 - JLT Novice Chase
Sizing John 23.022/1 in to 9.08/1 - Ryanair Chase
Bristol De Mai 1000.0 in to 21.020/1 - Cheltenham Gold Cup

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