Plenty of shock results at 2023 Cheltenham Trials Day over the weekend, which saw many of the main Cheltenham Festival ante-post markets turned on their head – let’s take a look at some of the movers and shakers.
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- Comfort Zone Remains 10/1 For Triumph Hurdle After Trial Win
- Delta Work Loses, But Still Hot Favourite For Cross Country Defence
- Editeur Du Gite Enters Champion Chase Picture After Gutsy Clarence House Victory
- Ahoy Senor Into 12/1 For Gold Cup With Cotswold Chase Success
- Gold Tweet Wins Cleeve Hurdle, But Still Needs To Be Supplemented For Stayers’
Cheltenham Festival Trials Day Reaction: Plenty Of Ante-Post Movement
We witnessed a bumper 9-race Cheltenham Festival Trials Day card at Prestbury Park on Saturday, but with only two winning favourites and several results that had racing fans scratching their heads, this saw the bookmakers scrambling to correct some of the main ante-post Cheltenham Festival markets.
WATCH: The 2023 Cheltenham Festvial Trials day highlights below.
Triumph Hurdle Ante-Post: Comfort Zone Wins The Triumph Trial, but Lossiemouth Still the Hot Favourite
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Comfort Zone got favourite backers off the perfect start on Cheltenham Trials Day, when landing the JCB Triumph Trial Hurdle Juvenile Hurdle by 3/4 of a length from Scriptwriter. However, the bookmakers weren’t impressed enough to make him challenge Lossiemouth, who is expected to run at next weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival, at the head of the Triumph Hurdle ante-post market.
13 of the last 18 Triumph Trial Hurdle winners went onto run in Triumph Hurdle, which will be run on Friday 17th March, while 8 of those 13 horses were also placed in the race and three won (Defi Du Seuil, Peace & Co and Katchit).
Lossiemouth, who beat Saturday’s Cheltenham winner Comfort Zone by 6 1/4 lengths at Fairyhouse in December is still the red-hot Triumph Hurdle favourite @ 11/8 with bet365, with Blood Destiny 7/2, Comfort Zone 10/1 and Scriptwriter 16/1.
Triumph Hurdle Betting with bet365
- Lossiemouth 11/8
- Blood Destiny 7/2
- Comfort Zone 10/1
- Gala Marceau 10/1
- 16/1 bar
Cross Country Chase Ante-Post: Delta Work Beaten, But Still Hot Favourite For Repeat Win
The Martin Keighley-trained Back On The Lash took the Cross Country race on Trials Day – the second time he’s landed this event, but he can still be backed @ 14/1 with bet365 for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase on Wednesday 15th March.
He had last year’s Grand National third Delta Work back in third, but with Saturday’s trial race a handicap and the Festival renewal off level weights then the bookmakers were still impressed enough with Delta Work’s run (beaten just 4 3/4 lengths), who was giving Back On The Last 16lbs on Saturday, to keep him as the clear @ 5/4 favourite for the Festival ‘banks’ race.
Glenfarclass Cross Country Chase Betting with bet365
- Delta Work 5/4
- Galvin 6/1
- Franco de Port 8/1
- Galcoflaur 12/1
- 14/1 bar
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Champion Chase Ante-Post: Editeur Du Gite Throws His Hat Into The Ring
The rearranged Clarence House Chase, which was rerouted from Ascot to Cheltenham Trials Day, threw up arguably the biggest shock on the card with the hot 4/9 favourite Energumene running flat and was beaten by Edwardstone and the eventual winner Editeur Du Gite.
The Moore-trained Editeur Du Gite proved his surprise Christmas win in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton was no fluke by leading from the front and fending off last year’s Arkle Chase winner Edwardstone in gutsy fashion after being headed on the run-in – with last year’s Champion Chase hero Energumene 6 1/2 lengths back in third.
This success now means Editeur Du Gite has firmly thrown his hat into the Champion Chase arena and will be hoping to give his Crystal Palace supporting owners another big race Cheltenham win after their Sire de Grugy did the Clarence House / Champion Chase double in 2014.
As a result, it was no shock to see the Champion Chase ante-post market take a battering, with Edwardstone now the joint- favourite with bet365 @ 2/1, Energumene has been pushed out to @ 2/1, Blue Lord @ 10/3, who will be in action at the Dublin Racing Festival at the weekend and Editeur Du Gite into @ 5/1.
13 of the last 19 Clarence House winners went onto run in the Champion Chase, with four of those 13 winning both races – Master Minded, Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy and Dodging Bullets.
Queen Mother Champion Chase Betting with bet365
- Edwardstone 2/1
- Energumene 2/1
- Blue Lord 10/3
- Editeur Du Gite 5/1
- 16/1 bar
Cheltenham Gold Cup Ante-Post: Ahoy Shortens Into 12/1 For Gold Cup
Ahoy Senor is a horse many punters will have in the ‘frustrating’ category as he’s clearly got loads of ability, like when dotting up in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase last April at Aintree, but has thrown in some shockers too – including when beaten 33 lengths in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.
However, he was back to his best in the Cotswold Chase on Cheltenham Trials Day on Saturday to grab a famous win for the Lucinda Russell yard – beating Sounds Russian and Grand National winner Noble Yeats, with Betfair Chase winner Protektorat way back in fourth.
The bookmakers reacted by cutting Ahoy Senor into 12/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but despite beaten in third, Noble Yeats is shorter @ 8/1, with many feeling the longer Gold Cup trip will suit the 2022 Grand National winner better. Sounds Russian is 20/1, with Protektorat pushed out to 16/1 after that poor run.
However, with only Looks Like Trouble (2000) winning the Cotswold Chase and Gold Cup in the same season in recent times, the stats are against Ahoy Senor.
Galopin Des Champs will be on show at the Dublin Racing Festival at the weekend and remains the clear Gold Cup favourite @ 13/8 with bet365, with last year’s winner A Plus Tard @ 8/1.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting with bet365
- Galopin Des Champs 13/8
- A Plus Tard 8/1
- Noble Yeats 8/1
- Bravemansgame 8/1
- Conflated 12/1
- Ahoy Senor 12/1
- 20/1 bar
Stayers’ Hurdle Ante-Post: Gold Tweet Impresses, But Still Needs To Be Supplemented
The old-timer Paisley Park was all the rage to win his fourth Cleeve Hurdle on the spin, but the 11 year-old found the younger legs of the French raider Gold Tweet, who is just 6, too much this time – to eventually finish third with Dashel Drasher splitting the pair.
That was his fourth win over hurdles (10 runs) and his first run outside France, but if he’s to follow-up in the Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday 16th March connections will need to stump up a supplement fee – watch this space.
The bookmakers reacted by shortening Gold Tweet into 9/1 (if supplemented), with 2019 Stayers’ Hurdle winner Paisley Park out to @ 16/1 with bet365.
We’ve seen 14 of the last 17 Cleeve Hurdle winners run in the Stayers’ Hurdle, with 12 of those going onto finish in the top 4 and five horses do the double.
The Stayers’ Hurdle is still dominated by the Irish though, with Teahupoo the favourite @ 5/2, Home By The Lee @ 4/1 and Blazing Khal @ 7/1.
Stayers’ Hurdle Betting with bet365
- Teahupoo 5/2
- Home By The Lee 4/1
- Blazing Khal 7/1
- Gold Tweet 9/1 (if supplemented)
- 12/1 bar
Note: Odds are subject to change
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WATCH: 2023 Cheltenham Festival Trials Day Highlights
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