Early Cheltenham Ante Post betting: Lessons from Trials Day
As National Hunt season heads towards February, this past Saturday saw Trial days at Cheltenham with nine races having rolled out across the famed Gloucestershire racecourse.
With the 2023 Cheltenham Festival now less than six weeks away, last weekend would have been a welcome boost for trainers, syndicates and jockeys alike with dreams of March glory now very real, whilst others have been dealt a sizeable reality check.
So as sights now turn to March 14, who performed, has been fed food for thought and who might be timing their next Cheltenham trip to perfection?
Editeur writing the script
What a season this is turning into for Editeur Du Gite.
Taking down not only red-hot 4/9f in Energumene but also storming finisher Edwardstone to win the Albert Bartlett Clarence House, trainer Gary Moore would have been envigored from his hospital bed as he convalesces.
A seventh career win for the 9yo, jockey Niall Houlihan was at home on board the French gentleman, making it two on the spin at 14/1, after a massive 28/1 win two days after Christmas at Kempton.
Delighting the Preston Family, we tipped Editeur to do well in last year’s Grand Annual, finishing fourth. Set to go in the Queen Mother this time around, Editeur Du Gite has already shown his credentials to take down the bigger names and is currently fourth favourite for a third win at Cheltenham but a first at the festival.
Editeur Du Gite 6/1 for the Queen Mother Champions Chase with UniBet, PariMatch and BetVictor.
Work ahead for Delta
As one French outsider looked to further his reputation ahead of a big few months, Delta Work’s took a hit in coming third in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase.
Having taken the baton from legendary stablemate Tiger Roll in last year’s Cross Country Chase, Gordon Elliott’s gelding is now into double figures in age which might prompt a few doubts over the still strong favourite to retain his crown over 3m6f.
Here, an unsuccessful run for Rob James, when Delta Work makes the trip back to Gloucestershire it is still in serious doubt whether Jack Kennedy will be back in the saddle after his broken leg.
With the returning Davy Russell now back on the scene, could it be that the man who rode Tiger Roll to so many glories jumps back on board for a former rival? If he did, that could make all the difference.
Delta Work 5/4 for the Cross Country Chase with Coral and BetFred.
Noble Yeats’ hopes derailed
Well, we could still see a dual winner of both the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year. We do have a very real chance of it happening, however, Noble Yeats’ hopes were dealt a blow in the Paddy Power Chase.
Like Delta Work, the 8yo Irish gelding who gave Sam Waley-cohen a stunning 50/1 send off with victory at Aintree last Spring came home third behind the increasingly impressive Ahoy Senor and Sounds Russian.
What was good to see even in defeat though, was Sean Bowen proved Noble Yeats is not only still a stayer but a finisher.
As incredible it was seeing him hold off Mark Walsh and Any Second Now last April in Liverpool, winning the Gold Cup against a Galopin Des Champs who has lost just once in seven races and a defending champ in A Plus Tard – amongst others – would be truly extraordinary.
As history dictates, only Golden Miller and L’Escargot having achieved that lofty feat. But. Fairy-tales do happen.
Noble Yeats 7/1 to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup with most bookies.
Paisley Park’s Stayers’ task
Was Paisley Park’s rousing win at Kempton on Boxing Day simply a flash in the pan? The jury is out, but a second win in the Stayers’ Hurdle looks a tall task.
The 11/8f to win Saturday’s Dahlbury Cleve Hurdle, the veteran found the soft going tough and unlike his win in the Long Walk, held up well into the final flights before being unable to keep pace with 14/1 Gold Tweet.
Whilst that particular French raider has now gone in to 9/1 for next month’s race, runner-up Dashel Drasher has lengthened considerably in the markets, with Paisley Park having almost doubled in odds from Friday.
Emma Lavelle’s 11yo has finished third in the Stayers’ for the past two years but improving on that or regaining his throne from 2019 could be a bridge too far with the in-form Teahupoo, Home By The Lee and Flooring Porter seeking to hold the crown for a third year on the bounce.
Paisley Park can usually be relied on to place, however, and fans of this very game old boy know, never rule him out.
Paisley Park 20/1 to win the Stayers’ Hurdle with PaddyPower and Betfair.