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Eye On Cheltenham Week 1 – Minella Indo and Frodon make early moves in Gold Cup betting

  • We bring you the first installment of our Eye On Cheltenham series
  • Cheltenham's Showcase Meeting got the new National Hunt season started this weekend
  • Rouge Vif and Frodon earned fresh Festival quotes with impressive victories
  • Minella Indo saw his Gold Cup odds shorten after a superb reappearance win at Wexford
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Eye On Cheltenham Week 1 Gallery
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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Galvin ridden by jockey Robbie Power (eventual winner background) and Doctor Duffy with jockey Jonathan Burke clear a fence during the (Old) Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Galvin ridden by jockey Robbie Power (eventual winner background) and Doctor Duffy with jockey Jonathan Burke clear a fence during the (Old) Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Rouge Vif ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 23, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Rouge Vif ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 23, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Fusil Raffles ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Two Farmers Crisps Novices

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Fusil Raffles ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Two Farmers Crisps Novices

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Honest Vic ridden by Richard Patrick win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Honest Vic ridden by Richard Patrick win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last fence before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last fence before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: I Am Maximus ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open NH Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: I Am Maximus ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open NH Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Champ (Green) beating Minella Indo (left) in the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Champ (Green) beating Minella Indo (left) in the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

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We keep our eye on Cheltenham by looking back through this weekend's results and pick out the main market movers in the betting for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.

Rouge Vif2021 Champion ChaseGET 16/1 HERE
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Cheltenham racecourse officially kicked off the new jumps season in fitting style last week, staging two excellent days of racing during their 2020 Showcase Meeting. The feature race on Friday was supposed to be a competitive handicap chase over two miles, but the race was blown apart by Rouge Vif, who trounced his rivals by almost eight lengths when giving plenty of weight to his rivals

Harry Whittington’s charge, who finish a distant third in the Arkle last year, has clearly come on bundles over the summer. Friday’s handicap victory earned Rouge Vif fresh quotes of 16/1 with BetVictor to win the 2021 Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Another who came up short at last year’s Festival was Galvin, who was beaten narrowly by Imperial Aura in the Northern Trust Handicap. Gordon Elliott’s charge finally broke his maiden tag over fences in the summer, and secured his fourth win on the bounce at Cheltenham on Friday, sweeping his rivals aside in the three-mile novices’ chase.

Galvin will retain his novice status for this entire season, so it’s wasn’t surprising to see his price shorten for both the 2021 Marsh Novices’ Chase and next year’s RSA. Immediately following the race, though, Gordon Elliott said the plan was to keep him fresh for a tilt at the 2021 National Hunt Chase. Galvin was then cut into 6/1 favouritism across the boards for that three-and-three-quarter marathon next season.

The final novice chase on Cheltenham’s card on Friday went the way of Fusil Raffles, who comfortably saw off three rivals to win by almost ten lengths. The 2021 Arkle Novices’ Chase looks his likely end-of-season target, and Nicky Henderson’s was cut into 16/1 for that important Grade One by Unibet.

The Pertemps Qualifier at Cheltenham on Saturday went the way of Honest Vic, who earned quotes of 25/1 for the series final at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival following a smart three-mile victory. The final race on the card, a two-mile flat race, was won in good style by Nicky Henderson’s I Am Maximus, who was cut into 16/1 to win the 2021 Champion Bumper following that winning debut under Nico De Boinville.

frodon
Bryony Frost and Frodon ping the last on their way to winning at Cheltenham. (Getty)

The feature race on Saturday saw Frodon give over a stone to his closest rival in the weights. Before the race, Paul Nicholls said his former Ryanair winner wasn’t fully wound-up and would need a career-best effort to win. What followed then, was quite a shock, as Bryony Frost’s mount jumped his rivals into submission, making all to win by almost two lengths.

That victory saw Frodon’s odds in the Ryanair cut to 25/1. However, as that race was run over a trip just one-furlong short of the Gold Cup distance, Frodon’s odds in the highlight of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival were slashed into 20/1 from 33s with William Hill.

Another to make an early-season move in the Gold Cup betting was Minella Indo, who made a winning return to action at Wexford on Monday. Henry De Bromhead’s charge finished second behind Champ in the 2020 RSA, following an injury-hit campaign.

Wexford is one of the last places you’d expect to see a Gold Cup contender start out, but Minella Indo produced a top-quality performance to win the M.W. Memorial Chase, beating the 2020 Kim Muir winner Milan Native by some 25-lengths. 

De Bromhead’s stable star was already fancied by many in the 2021 Gold Cup betting. After his victory at Wexford, Minella Indo rose up to third in the ante-post betting, with William Hill offering a top price of 10/1.

There were a couple of notable negative moves to report this week. First at Aintree, where Itchy Feet was comfortably beaten by Nuts Well in the Old Roan Chase, a performance which caused Olly Murphy’s charge to drift out to 40/1 in the 2021 Ryanair betting. 

Another moving in the wrong direction was Minella Melody who, after suffering defeat as the odds-on favourite at Galway on Sunday, was pushed right out to 33/1 by BetVictor in their betting for the 2021 Mares Hurdle.

Minella Indo2021 Cheltenham Gold CupGET 10/1 HERE
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  • 1 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Galvin ridden by jockey Robbie Power (eventual winner background) and Doctor Duffy with jockey Jonathan Burke clear a fence during the (Old) Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Galvin ridden by jockey Robbie Power (eventual winner background) and Doctor Duffy with jockey Jonathan Burke clear a fence during the (Old) Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices

  • 2 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Rouge Vif ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 23, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Rouge Vif ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 23, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

  • 3 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Fusil Raffles ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Two Farmers Crisps Novices +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Fusil Raffles ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Two Farmers Crisps Novices

  • 4 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

  • 5 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Honest Vic ridden by Richard Patrick win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Honest Vic ridden by Richard Patrick win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

  • 6 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

  • 7 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last fence before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last fence before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

  • 8 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: I Am Maximus ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open NH Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: I Am Maximus ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open NH Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

  • 9 - 9
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Champ (Green) beating Minella Indo (left) in the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty) +

    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Champ (Green) beating Minella Indo (left) in the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Galvin ridden by jockey Robbie Power (eventual winner background) and Doctor Duffy with jockey Jonathan Burke clear a fence during the (Old) Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Galvin ridden by jockey Robbie Power (eventual winner background) and Doctor Duffy with jockey Jonathan Burke clear a fence during the (Old) Matchbook Better Way To Bet Novices

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Rouge Vif ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 23, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Rouge Vif ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Bentley Flying Spur Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 23, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Fusil Raffles ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Two Farmers Crisps Novices

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: Fusil Raffles ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob clears a fence on the way to winning the (Old) Two Farmers Crisps Novices

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A view of the empty stands during the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Honest Vic ridden by Richard Patrick win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Honest Vic ridden by Richard Patrick win the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool / Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last fence before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Frodon ridden by Bryony Frost clear the last fence before going on to win the Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: I Am Maximus ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open NH Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: I Am Maximus ridden by Nico de Boinville wins the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Standard Open NH Flat Race at Cheltenham Racecourse on October 24, 2020 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Davies - Pool/Getty Images)

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CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Champ (Green) beating Minella Indo (left) in the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Champ (Green) beating Minella Indo (left) in the RSA Novices' Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

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