Cheltenham Festival 2024: Ante-Post Market Movers
A trio of Grade 1 races at Fairyhouse on Sunday lit up a brilliant weekend of jumping action, but the novice races threw up more questions than answers - especially so in a very messy edition of the Royal Bond.
Ordinarily, the winner of that race would be a single-figure price with betting sites for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but Farren Glory’s success didn’t cause the ante-post ripples that one or two other horses have done for the festival’s curtain raiser in the last few days.
Let’s look at some of the performances that got the layers purring.
As ever, there is a full list of all the ante-post Cheltenham Festival market movers from the last seven days at the bottom of this page.
Layers Cautious After Jeriko Stroll
On the face of it, cutting a horse into 8/1 from 12/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the back of an easy success in a weak race at Newbury on Friday looks a severe overreaction.
That may well be the case and it’s certainly very difficult to argue that there is any juice in Jeriko Du Reponet’s price, but the noises coming out of Seven Barrows about this horse clearly have the layers running for cover.
Henderson often targets that particular maiden hurdle with his better youngsters - it’s been won by stars like Jonbon and Buveur D’Air in the McManus colours in recent years, so it’s a clue in itself that the team think this attractive French-bred is something special.
The form? Well, it’s clearly nothing to shout about, but Nico De Boinville never had to get serious with the long odds-on favourite who eased home in what was effectively nothing more than an exercise canter.
His trainer speculated afterwards that the novices’ event at Kempton over Christmas appeals as a stepping stone to what could well be a major bid for glory in the Supreme.
Elliott Pair Throw Hat Into Supreme Ring
Gordon Elliott has only won the Supreme once, and that was with 25/1 outsider Labaik, but he will head to the Cheltenham festival with one of the few novices that are already a Grade 1 winner after Farren Glory got up late to land a messy renewal of Sunday’s Royal Bond Novices’ Hurdle.
It wasn’t a performance that had the layers scrambling (16/1 from 40/1 on horse racing betting sites) but this unexposed young hurdler did well to overcome a bad mistake two out and his trainer has raised the possibility that he could head over to England for either the Tolworth or the Challow.
Elliott also has the very talented Firefox in his care and the Walk In The Park 5yo put himself firmly into the reckoning for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after seeing off the very talented Ballyburn in a cracking match-up at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
Firefox quickened away from Ballyburn when the latter was clumsy and lost momentum at the second-last and bookies reacted by cutting him into 10/1 for the Supreme.
The runner-up was nudged out to 12/1 but probably looks more of a Ballymore type, for which he is remains a 7/1 market leader.
All Eyes On Stayers’ Hurdle Bid For Teahupoo
Gordon Elliott has suggested that back-to-back Hatton’s Grace Hurdle hero Teahupoo is such a good horse fresh that he may not run again between now and the 2024 Stayers’ Hurdle.
Teahupoo took the notable scalp of Impaire Et Passe in the Grade 1 feature on Sunday’s Fairyhouse card and Jack Kennedy said afterwards that he thinks that the Robcour star is even better this year than last, which surely now makes him a leading player for the Stayers’ Hurdle, for which he was clipped into 4/1 clear favouritism in the Cheltenham odds.
It looks like we may not see him again until that showpiece contest, but connections are clearly targeting that race with a horse that stays three miles well.
The vanquished Impaire Et Passe surely lost nothing in defeat against a horse who goes very well fresh and he still looks the likeliest Champion Hurdle winner trained in Ireland.
However, the layers pushed him out to 7/1 (from 5/1) for the Champion Hurdle, while also taking the opportunity to sure up Constitution Hill, who is as short as 1/3 having been available at 1/2 in plenty of places the day before.
Hermes Delivers On Chasing Debut
Grade 1-winning novice hurdler Hermes Allen made light of the fact that he’s had his is problems this autumn by making a very impressive chasing debut at Newbury on Friday.
Trainer Paul Nicholls has always said that Hermes Allen was destined for chasing and few can doubt that he will surely scale greater heights over the bigger obstacles than he did over hurdles after he travelled all over some very useful rivals on seasonal return.
The jumping was good in the main and he readily came over six lengths clear of the 147-rated Nickle Back, so the winner achieved plenty despite having had an interrupted preparation for this season.
At this stage, at least, he looks the strongest home challenger (10/1 from 16/1 with betting apps) to the likes of Gaelic Warrior and Corbetts Cross, who was also cut for the Turners Novices’ Chase (8/1 from 16/1) after his success in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
Round-Up Of Last Week’s Cheltenham Festival Market Movers
📉 Jeriko Du Reponet – 8/1 (from 12/1) for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
📉 Daddy Long Legs – 14/1 (from 33/1) for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
📉 Firefox – 10/1 (from 25/1) for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
📈 Ballyburn – 12/1 (from 9/1) for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
📈 Ballyburn – 7/1 (from 6/1) for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
📉 Teahupoo – 4/1 (from 6/1) for the Stayers’ Hurdle
📈 Impaire Et Passe – 7/1 (from 5/1) for the Champion Hurdle
📉 Constitution Hill – 1/3 (from 1/2) for the Champion Hurdle
📉 Hermes Allen – 10/1 (from 16/1) for the Turners Novices’ Chase
📉 Corbetts Cross – 8/1 (from 16/1) for the Turners Novices’ Chase
📉 Fun Fun Fun – 12/1 (from 20/1) for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle
📉 Classic Getaway – 20/1 (from 50/1) for the Ryanair Chase
📉 Il Etait Temps – 16/1 (from 33/1) for the Arkle Chase
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