With Cheltenham somehow only two and a half weeks away, the markets are taking shape. This week's Road To Cheltenham looks at what happened over the weekend and some midweek action to notable runners and their target races.
"Midweek at Punchestown saw an exciting clash between Limini and Apple’s Jade, with the Willie Mullins trained mare quickening up impressively to take the spoils over the odds-on Elliott trained five-year-old."
All change as Charli Parcs crashes out
The Adonis Juvenile Hurdle served up the biggest shock of the Saturday afternoon at Kempton, with the odds-on Charli Parcs crashing out two out. It was indeed arguable to whether the four-year-old would have had enough to mount a challenge, although the opportunistic Tom Bellamy in for the ride seems to think he was always in control, but alas this did not stop the winner Master Blueyes from putting the race to bed comfortably by eleven lengths. Barry Geraghty, unfortunately now out of Cheltenham having suffered a partially collapsed lung and cracked rib following the departure from Charli Parcs, leaves the Top Jockey title up for grabs, although Charli Parcs himself seems to be in fine order according to trainer Nicky Henderson.
This has naturally led to a significant drift on the once well-fancied Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner and can now be matched at 13.5 for the Triumph Hurdle and at 32.031/1 for the Supreme from around the 6.511/2 mark. Master Blueyes has however boosted his chances of taking the Triumph Hurdle, with the Alan King trained gelding trading at 12.011/1 in the ante-post market.
River Wylde moves in for the Supreme Hurdle
Henderson did however get some revenge on Alan King with another horse who hasn't done his Supreme credentials any harm at all, River Wylde, who won the Devecote Novices' Hurdle in good style with a three-and a half-length victory over Elgin to remain unbeaten over jumps. In a race which was tightly contested for things to come at the festival in just over two weeks time, River Wylde has seen relative support and is now trading at 26.025/1 for the Supreme. Connections will be hopeful that he delivers a repeat performance
There was an interesting Juvenile Hurdle over at Fairyhouse also on Saturday, with a good battle between Dinaria Des Obeaux and Ex Patriot at the winning post, with Ex Patriot looking to hold on gamely, but in reality coming across Brian Cooper's mount to deny victory, to which the stewards agreed, and demoted Ellmarie Holden's impressive improver to second to hand Des Obeaux the race. This however seems to have been judged in Ex Patriot's favour having seen slight support in the Triumph market, and Dinaria Des Obeaux suffering a slight drift from 16.015/1 out to 20.019/1.
Landofhopeandglory also did himself no favours for his Triumph hurdle credentials with a poor run eleven lengths behind the pair showing his vulnerability on testing ground yet again. Having been trading at 12.5 the Joseph O' Brien runner can now be found at 26.025/1, but perhaps better ground which he would be praying to find at Cheltenham is just what he needs to turn things around, just like Ivanovich Gorbatov last year. Meanwhile, in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle, Presenting Percy has seen support after a comfortable win at Fairyhouse and now is trading at 9.617/2.
Limini tightens for Champion Hurdle after edging Apple's Jade
Midweek at Punchestown saw an exciting clash between Limini and Apple's Jade, with the Willie Mullins trained mare quickening up impressively to take the spoils over the odds-on Elliott trained five-year-old. The mare has been hotly speculated to be supplemented for the Champion Hurdle after this quality display and has therefore been trading lower than what she had been previously and is currently trading at 9.08/1. As for Apple's Jade, well she has suffered a slight drift in the market for the Mares' Hurdle and can currently be backed at 3.613/5.
On Sunday at Fontwell in the Grade 2 Hurdle, Camping Ground ran quite impressively, coming away an easy winner under Joshua Moore, which sparked interest in the two markets he's entered in at Cheltenham, The Coral Cup and The Stayer's Hurdle. Having been trading at around the 70.069/1 mark, He can now be found at 20.019/1 for the Stayer's Hurdle.
Charli Parcs 6.511/2 out to 32.031/1 for the Supreme, and 13.5 for the Triumph Hurdle
Master Blueyes 6.05/1 in to 12.011/1 for the Triumph Hurdle
Landofhopeandglory 12.5 out to 26.025/1 for the Supreme Hurdle
Presenting Percy 20.019/1 in to 9.617/2 for the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
Limini 20.019/1 in to 9.08/1 for the Champion Hurdle
Camping Ground 70.069/1 in to 20.019/1 for the Stayer's Hurdle