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Eye On Cheltenham Week 13 - First Flow and Royale Pagaille enter Championship race reckoning

  • We bring you the 13th article in our Eye On Cheltenham series
  • First Flow was cut into 12/1 for the Champion Chase after winning the Clarence House
  • Royal Pagaille entered the Gold Cup picture after an emphatic win at Haydock
  • Roksana and Faivoir also made significant moves in the Cheltenham Festival betting
first flow
David Bass riding First Flow to victory in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot. (Getty)

In week 13 of our Eye On Cheltenham series, we look back through this week's results, picking out the main market movers in the 2021 Cheltenham Festival betting.

First Flow2021 Champion Chase Market MoverGET 14/1 HERE
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After heavy snow across Britain and Ireland forced many National Hunt meetings to be abandoned, punters rejoiced when Saturday’s main cards at Ascot and Haydock went ahead.

The feature race at Ascot was the Clarence House Chase, where Politologue went off as the 5/4 favourite. Defi Du Seuil and Waiting Patiently were expected to serve it up to the reigning Champion Chaser. Instead, it was First Flow who caused the upset, out-jumping Politologue at the head of the field, before staying on to claim a decisive win.

Kim Bailey’s charge was cut in from 100/1 to 14/1 to win the 2021 Champion Chase by bet365. Politologue drifted out to 9s from 11/2. Waiting Patiently was made a 20/1 shot by bet365 after finishing third. Defi Du Seuil shocking run of form continued with a fifth-place finish, and Philip Hobbs’ two-time Festival winner is now a 33/1 outsider for the Champion Chase.

Roksana blew Magic Of Light away to win the Grade Two Mares’ Hurdle at Ascot. Dan Skelton’s star was cut into 6/1 from 12/1 to win the Mares’ Hurdle by Paddy Power, while also coming into 10/1 in their Stayers’ Hurdle betting.

Tritonic ground out a victory on his first start over hurdles, and Alan King’s juvenile was made a 12/1 shot for the Triumph Hurdle. Dashel Drasher was clipped into 25/1 to win the Ryanair Chase after his pillar-to-post handicap success. Jerrysback, who was third in that race on the back of a long absence, entered the Kim Muir betting at 12/1.

All eyes were on Buveur D’Air at Haydock, as the former two-time Champion Hurdler made his return from injury in The New One Hurdle. Nicky Henderson’s star took aim at Navajo Pass jumping the last, but failed to bridge the gap, allowing Donald McCain’s charge to claim a surprise win. Despite clearly needing the run, Buveur D’Air drifted out to 22/1 from 14s in bet365’s Champion Hurdle betting.

royale pagaille
Royale Pagaille hacks up in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase at Haydock. (Getty)

The star of the show on Merseyside was Royale Pagaille, who powered to a superb victory under top-weight in the Peter Marsh Handicap Chase. Venetia Williams’ chaser was then cut into 6/1 by Paddy Power for the RSA, but is unlikely to go there as owner, Richi Ricci also owns the favourite for that race, Monkfish. 

Being a third-season novice, Royale Pagaille could enter the National Hunt Chase, and Paddy Power were quick to cut his odds for that Grade Two into 9/2. Williams’ budding star also holds entry in the 2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and his odds in that historic Grade One came plummeting in from 40s to 11/1 with bet365.

Faivoir won a competitive renewal of the Leamington Novices’ Hurdle, and was clipped into 33/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Silver Hallmark earned odds of 20/1 in William Hill’s Brown Advisory Plate betting after winning a Grade Two over fences. Allart went off as odds-on favourite but fell at the half-way stage, causing his price in the Marsh Novices’ Chase to drift out to 16/1.

Brewin’Upastorm marked his return to hurdling with an 11-length handicap triumph at Taunton on Saturday. Olly Murphy’s star was then handed quotes of 25/1 for the 2021 Coral Cup. Another Coral Cup market mover to note this week was Brinkley, who was handed odds of 33/1 for that handicap on day two of the Cheltenham Festival following an impressive handicap victory at Ludlow on Thursday.

Hazel Hill won the Hunters Chase staged at Ludlow earlier in the week, and the former Foxhunter Chase winner was clipped into 20/1 for the 2021 renewal. 

Expensive purchase, Gallyhill was forced to work really hard on his debut under rules this week. Nicky Henderson’s newcomer narrowly prevailed, though, and was handed odds of 28/1 to win the Ballymore by bet365. Earlier on the day at Newbury, Dostal Phil claimed a stylish win on his first start over fences, and was made a 12/1 shot to win the 2021 Grand Annual Handicap Chase by Unibet. 

Magic Daze won the opening mares’ event on Tuesday’s card at Clonmel, and Henry De Bromhead’s charge was made a 25/1 shot in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle betting. Willie Mullins’ Capodanno then justified favouritism in the following Novices’ Hurdle, after which he was made a 33/1 shot in bet365’s betting for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Royale Paguille2021 Cheltenham Gold Cup Market MoverGET 11/1 HERE
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