Eye On Cheltenham Week 4 – The Big Breakaway and Put The Kettle On amongst this week’s Festival movers
- We bring you the fourth installment in our Eye On Cheltenham series
- The Big Breakaway and Put The Kettle On impressed most during Cheltenham’s November Meeting
- Several Gordon Elliott runners were backed for Festival success after this weekend’s meeting at Punchestown
- Defi Du Seuil, Latest Exhibition and Tiger Roll moved in the opposite direction
Put The Kettle On jumped into Champion Chase contention after winning the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham. (Getty)
In week four of our Eye On Cheltenham series, we look back through this week's results and pick out the main market movers in the betting for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
Cheltenham’s November Meeting kicked off on Friday this week, and the first to lay down a marker for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival was Protektorat. Dan Skelton’s novice built on an impressive debut win at Carlisle with another impressive round of jumping at Cheltenham, earning fresh quotes of 16/1 to win the Marsh Novices’ Chase with bet365.
Does He Know won the feature Graded race on the card, the Hyde Novices’ Hurdle. Kim Bailey’s novice was then cut into 16/1 to win the 2021 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, while also coming in from 50s to 20/1 for the Albert Bartlett.
The Cross Country Handicap was billed as a battle between Easysland and Tiger Roll. However, in a shocking turn of events, Kingswell Theatre got the win, with Easysland trailing home fifth, and Tiger Roll pulling up at the half-way stage.
Easysland then drifted out to 5/2 from 7/4 with bet365 to retain his Cross Country crown at the Festival. Potters Corner, who stayed on well to finish second on what was his first Cross Country start, was backed into 10s from 25/1. Tiger Roll was removed from the betting completely, and his participation at Cheltenham and the Aintree Grand National is now firmly in doubt.
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Duffle Coat got Saturday off to a flyer for Gordon Elliott, and was made the 16/1 second-favourite for the 2021 Triumph by Paddy Power after winning the Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle. Eldorado Allen then capitalised on a final-flight fall by Gumball to win the November Novices’ Chase. Colin Tizzard’s winner was cut into 20/1 for the Arkle on the back of that win, with Gumball also coming into that same price.
Robbie Power celebrated victory in the opener on Sunday too, as The Big Breakaway made a lasting impression on his first start over fences. Colin Tizzard’s charge was clearly a level or two above his rivals, cruising to victory over three miles. When we put up The Big Breakaway as a horse to follow, he was 40/1 for the Marsh and a similar price in the RSA betting. William Hill now make The Big Breakaway their 8/1 second-favourite for the 2021 RSA Novices’ Chase, and a 33/1 shot for the Marsh.
Defi Du Seuil then flopped for the second-straight race at Cheltenham, pulling up as Put The Kettle On ran down Duc Des Genievres to extend her unbeaten record at the track in the Shloer Chase. Henry De Bromhead’s Arkle winner was then made an 8/1 shot to win the 2021 Champion Chase, with William Hill pushing Defi Du Seuil right out to 20/1.
For Pleasure made all to beat Third Time Lucki in the final Graded race at the November Meeting, the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle. For Pleasure then entered the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting at 50/1 with Unibet, while Third Time Lucki drifted out from 16s to 25/1.
There was also a big meeting at Punchestown this weekend, where the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle headlined proceedings. Saint Roi was backed into odds-on before the off, but it was last year’s Supreme runner-up, Abacadabras who claimed victory, holding on after the last to deny the favourite and Jason The Militant.
Despite winning a Grade One, the bookies weren’t overly impressed with Abacadabras’ display, and he remains a 7/1 shot in the Champion Hurdle betting with Unibet. Saint Roi, who didn’t jump particularly well, drifted out to 15/2, while Jason The Militant – who was a 100/1 outsider at the start of the month – was cut into 25/1 after a second-successive narrow defeat in Graded company.
Latest Exhibition was surprisingly beaten by Pencilfulloflead in the Florida Pearl Novices’ Chase. Gordon Elliott’s winner was cut into 16/1 by Paddy Power to win the 2021 RSA, with Latest Exhibition slipping from 10/1 out to 16/1 on the back of that seven-length defeat.
Fury Road received quotes of 12/1 to win the Stayers’ Hurdle at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, after a comfortable Grade Two win in the Celebration Hurdle. Fighter Allen entered the Ballymore betting on 25/1 after making a winning debut at Punchestown, before Hollow Games was cut into 16/1 for the 2021 Champion Bumper following a smart victory in Sunday’s card-closer.
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Saturday’s feature race at Punchestown also went the way of Gordon Elliott, as Felix Desjy defeated Sizing Pottsie and Darver Star in the Grade Two Novices’ Chase. Felix Desjy was then backed into 10/1 for the 2021 Arkle by Unibet, with Darver Star – who went to post as the 11/10 favourite on Saturday – drifting right out to 33/1.
Asterion Forlonge made a winning start to life over fences on Saturday, a performance which saw Paddy Power cut Willie Mullins’ grey into 16/1 from 25s in the 2021 Marsh Novices’ Chase betting. Another to impress was Gavin Cromwell’s Letsbeclearaboutit, who bolted up in a flat race on Saturday, forcing his Champion Bumper odds to be cut from 33s into 11/1.
Fiddlerontheroof got off the mark over fences at Exeter earlier in the week, and was immediately cut into 20/1 for the Marsh. Ranch Hand also made a winning start to life as a jumper on the same card at Exeter, and Andrew Balding’s charge entered the betting for the 2021 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on a price of 50/1.
Assemble defeated hot-favourite Diol Ker in a novice’s chase at Fairyhouse on Friday. Joseph O’Brien’s novice then entered the betting for the Marsh on 25/1, with Diol Ker drifting out to 50/1 and 33/1 for the Marsh and the RSA respectively. Another to catch the eye at Fairyhouse was Emmet Mullins’ Sneaky Getaway, who was handed odds of 25/1 to win the Ballymore by bet365 following an impressive maiden win over hurdles.
Threeunderthrufive also earned fresh quotes for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, coming into 33/1 after a strong performance at Ludlow on Thursday. On Sunday, Nassalam hacked up to win a juvenile hurdle by 60-lengths for Jamies and Gary Moore. Moore won that same race with Goshen last year, and William Hill was quick to make Nassalam a 25/1 shot to win the 2021 Triumph Hurdle.