There were plenty of races to get our teeth stuck into over the past three days at the home of National Hunt, and perhaps a few pointers for the Cheltenham Festival itself next March.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the stories that came out of each day.
Protektorat earned quotes as low as 16/1 for the Marsh Novices’ Chase at The Festival after jumping exquisitely and demolishing the rest of the field.
Trained by Dan Skelton for Sir Alex Ferguson, Ged Mason, and John & Lisa Hales, Protektorat looks to have a big future ahead of him.
Kim Bailey’s Does He Know is on track for next year’s Festival too after claiming the Grade Two Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle by three lengths under David Bass.
The anticipated battle between Tiger Roll and Easysland never materialised as course specialist Kingswell Theatre rolled back the years for an all the way success in the Cross Country Chase.
A disappointed Gordon Elliott (Tiger Roll) said afterwards: “Maybe his better days are behind him. We’ll see how he is, but on his last two runs he doesn’t look like the horse he was last year. We’ll see how he is. There’s no excuse, maybe he’s just getting older.”
Duffle Coat was cut to 12/1 favourite for the Triumph Hurdle in March after extending his unbeaten record to four with a last-to-first victory in the Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle.
Eldorado Allen cashed in on Gumball’s unfortunate exit at the second-last fence to win the Novices’ Chase. His trainer Colin Tizzard said: “He has taken to his fences well. We shall campaign with Cheltenham in mind, that’s for sure.”
The Evan Williams-trained Coole Cody showed his rivals a clean pair of hooves with a pillar to post win in the Paddy Power Chase. Williams told reporters: It doesn’t matter what we do now, as he has won a Paddy Power Gold Cup. I don’t care what he does from now on.”
A controversial dead-heat was declared in the gloom for the concluding NH bumper which will have some obvious repercussions further down the line. Ishkhara Lady and Elle Est Belle were each awarded the win, but it will be the former who will be feeling the most aggrieved of the pair.
Chase debutant The Big Breakaway was cut from 20/1 into 12/1 in the Cheltenham betting for the three-mile novices’ chase at the Festival by several bookmakers after a flawless display in the opening race.
Last Season’s Arkle winner Put The Kettle On maintained her 100% record at Cheltenham by taking the Shloer Chase. “I think she can take the step up to be a Queen Mother horse” her rider Aldan Coleman said afterwards.
Sunday’s feature race- the Greatwood Hurdle was won by the Emmet Mullins-trained The Shunter (13/2) who was the subject of a “non-trier” ban for 60 days over the summer.
By Jovi! How much for Jonbon?
Jonbon, a full-brother to Douvan who introduced himself to the wider public last weekend when winning a point-to-point by 15 lengths, was sold for a record price of £570,000 to JP McManus at Goffs November P2P Sale on Thursday afternoon. He will be trained at Seven Barrows by Nicky Henderson.
The four-year-old goes down now as the most expensive point-to-pointer ever sold at public auction.
Douvan has won 15 of his 19 races – eight of them at Grade One level, so McManus will be hoping Jonbon will be able to follow in a similar vein.
Becher & Grand Sefton Entries
The entries were revealed last week for the two races that are staged over the famous Grand National fences at Aintree on the 5th December – the £120,000 Becher Handicap Chase and the £64,000 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.
Becher Chase Betting Odds
Those at the head of the Becher Chase betting at bet365* are:
- 8/1 Kimberlite Candy
- 8/1 Walk In The Mill
- 9/1 Yala Enki
- 10/1 Calett Mad
- 12/1 The Conditional
- 14/1 Cloth Cap
- 14/1 Le Breuil
- 14/1 Crosspark
- 16/1 Black Corton
- 16/1 Minellacelebration
- 20/1 Alpha des Obeaux
Grand Sefton Chase Betting Odds
Whilst heading up the Grand Sefton at bet365* are:
- 7/1 Janika
- 8/1 Modus
- 10/1 Huntsman Son
- 10/1 Spiritofthegames
- 14/1 Lord du Mesnil
- 14/1 Ibleo
- 14/1 Sametegal
- 14/1 Senior Citizen
- 16/1 Traffic Fluide
- 16/1 Hogan’s Height
- 20/1 Delire d’Estruval
- 25/1 Brelan d’As
* Betting odds quoted were correct at the time of writing