Cheltenham ante-post eye-catchers: weekend evaluation 19-20 December
Slot Betting reviews the most recent Cheltenham Festival ante-post betting and highlights the horses price backing early for subsequent March after their exploits on a weekend headlined by the Long Walk Hurdle
The ultimate weekend of racing earlier than Christmas included an exhilarating Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot, where Paisley Park reclaimed his place as high dog in the division.
Scroll down for our eye-catchers from the weekend just gone who might make an impression at the in March.
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Long Walk in the Park
Odds appropriate at time of publishing and subject to alter.
Some way, one means or the other. That’s how Paisley Park’s victory in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot is best described. It never fairly looked on within the house straight, as his conqueror at Newbury final month, Thyme Hill, challenged Younevercall for the lead.
Paisley Park’s jockey Aidan Coleman was hard at work and seemingly struggling to bridge the gap, and his mount was solely in third on the ultimate flight, however on the run for house there was an inevitability about what unfolded. The margin at the line was solely a neck however Paisley Park was a deserving winner.
It was a efficiency of guts and dedication that laid to relaxation any fears the fibrillating heart he suffered from back in March may need robbed him of these key traits.
The method of his success can solely bode properly for his return to Cheltenham, where the lengthy and grinding nature of the Stayers’ Hurdle appears tailored for him again.
Next month’s Cleeve Hurdle is the logical stepping stone now, but, having gone off 4/6 last season, the 7/2 still available on Paisley Park might be a fair value as he seems to retain all the qualities that had previously established him as the dominant pressure on this division.
There are loads of challengers but the champion has rubber-stamped his passport to Cheltenham Festival redemption and is once extra the one they all need to concern.
Allart is all class
Odds correct at time of publishing and topic to vary.
When Nicky Henderson begins a horse off over fences in a Grade 2 it has to be a optimistic signal. That’s simply what the Seven Barrows supremo did with Allart within the 2m 3f Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot on Friday and Nico de Boinville’s mount took the notable scalp of Fiddlerontheroof to win in fine type.
After falling at the first flight on his hurdles bow at Ascot final November, Allart has come a great distance in a short space of time. He gained novice hurdles at Ludlow and Doncaster in emphatic trend, then outran odds of 33/1 when fifth in a strong renewal of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. That race was won impressively by stablemate Shishkin, now the clear favorite for the Arkle.
Allart stepped up in distance for this seasonal return and stayed the 2m 3f in good fashion. The Marsh Novices’ Chase seems the most effective spot for him come March, and though Envoi Allen casts a protracted shadow over that race. Henderson will be unlikely to duck the race on account of 1 horse.
However, Allart has additionally attracted quotes of 20/1 for the RSA Chase over three miles following his success at Ascot. He may be very much one to keep a close eye on in the coming months having made a fantastic begin to his career as a chaser.
Fakiera value keeping tabs on
Odds appropriate at time of publishing and topic to vary.
Gordon Elliott’s Fakiera grew to become one thing of a nearly horse last season, second in all three starts over hurdles after a pleasing fourth in a Leopardstown bumper over Christmas.
He ran well in all three hurdles outings, but couldn’t justify comparatively quick odds. He got here back final month at Fairyhouse and put in a decided end to get on the board in a maiden hurdle, before enhancing nicely on that to win the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan over 2m 4f on delicate ground later in the month.
He was second again there in a Grade 2 behind Ashdale Bob on Friday. It was a funny kind of race, with promising Holymacapony pulled up rapidly by Rachael Blackmore once things received severe and front-running Fighter Allen additionally pulled up by Paul Townend.
On very testing ground, Fakiera was beaten six lengths into second spot, conceding 3lb to the winner. There’s no hiding place round Navan and the stiff end is a perfect prep floor for Cheltenham.
Fakiera could have options come March, amongst them the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle, a race in which Elliott boasts an outstanding record. But it wouldn’t be a massive shock if he tackled three miles within the Albert Bartlett and he’s progressing nicely enough to recommend he can be a player there.
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