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Eye On Cheltenham - Honeysuckle odds-on for Festival after Hatton's Grace romp

By Jon Vine
30 Nov 2021
  • Week eight of our Eye On Cheltenham series
  • Big meetings took place at Newbury, Newcastle and Fairyhouse between November 23rd and 29th
  • Honeysuckle is odds-on to win the Champion Hurdle after winning a third Hatton's Grace
  • Jonbon, Ahoy Senor and Beacon Edge also made significant moves in the Cheltenham Festival betting
ahoy senor
Derek Fox riding Ahoy Senor clear the last to win The Ladbrokes John Francome Novices' Chase at Newbury. (Getty)
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We look back through the last week of results between November 23rd and 29th and pick out the main movers in the betting for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

Newbury's Ladbrokes Trophy meeting headlined the action in the UK this weekend, with Newcastle also staging the Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Over in Ireland, Fairyhouse hosted Bar One Racing day, where the Hatton's Grace Hurdle topped the billing.

Here are 12 winners who impressed enough this week to see their Cheltenham Festival odds get slashed.
    Table Of Contents
  • 2022 Cheltenham Festival Market Movers
  • Fil Dor
  • Statuaire
  • Grangee
  • Elle Est Belle
  • Jonbon
  • Stage Star
  • Beacon Edge
  • Ahoy Senor 
  • Honeysuckle
  • Not So Sleepy & Epatante
  • Thomas Darby 

2022 Cheltenham Festival Market Movers


Honeysuckle2022 Champion HurdleGET EVENS HERE
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Fil Dor


Gordon Elliott's juvenile, Fil Dor cemented his position at the head of the Triumph Hurdle betting by claiming Grade Three glory at Fairyhouse on Sunday. The favourite had to work harder than expected to see off Lunar Power, but bet365 were impressed enough to cut Fil Dor into 4/1 from 6s to win at Cheltenham.

Statuaire


Approaching the last, My Mate Mozzie looked to have the Royal Bond sewn up. That was until the favourite ran down the final flight, opening the door for Willie Mullins' mare Statuaire to fly home and snatch that Grade One by a nose.

Paddy Power then entered Statuaire in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle betting at 20/1, while also cutting Mullins' six-year-old into 8/1 for the Mares' Novices' Hurdle. After throwing that race away at the last, My Mate Mozzie drifted out to 16/1 for the Supreme.

Grangee


Mullins always has a strong hand to play in the Mares' Novices' division, and he will have been pleased to see Grangee make a winning start to life over hurdles at Punchestown. Grangee won two Graded races on the level last season, and was cut into 8/1 to win the Mares' Novices' Hurdle by bet365.

Elle Est Belle


Jumping ahead of the Mullins' mares in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle betting was Elle Est Belle, who bounced back after a surprise defeat on her hurdles debut to comfortably win a Listed prize at Newbury. Bet365 cut Dan Skelton's mare in from 14s to 7/1 favouritism for that Grade Two at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jonbon


Jonbon2022 Supreme Novices' HurdleGET 3/1 HERE
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Despite a marked drift in the betting, Jonbon made no mistakes on his first hurdles start at Newbury on Friday. Nicky Henderson's expensive recruit put his rivals to the sword, winning by six length hard-held, forcing William Hill to cut Jonbon into 3/1 favouritism for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

jonbon
Aidan Coleman riding Jonbon clear the last to win The Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football 'National Hunt' Maiden Hurdle at Newbury. (Getty)

Stage Star


Earlier on the card, Stage Star maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles with an easy victory under a penalty. Unibet were impressed enough to cut Paul Nicholls' charge into 20/1 to win the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

Beacon Edge

 
Having looked in trouble at the half-way stage, Beacon Edge came through late on to snatch a surprise victory in the Drinmore Novices' Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday. William Hill then cut Noel Meade's Grade One winner into 14/1 for both the Marsh and the Festival Novices' Chase.

Ahoy Senor 

Performance of the meeting at Newbury went the way of Ahoy Senor, who jumped beautifully and powered to a 30-length victory in the John Francombe Novices' Chase. Lucinda Russell's Grade One-winning hurdler saw his odds for the Festival Novices' Chase halved following that success, with Betfair offering a best price of 8/1.

Honeysuckle


Honeysuckle made it 14-races unbeaten in excellent style on Sunday, sealing her third-straight victory in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle. Henry De Bromhead's mare was cut into odds-on to win her second Champion Hurdle by most bookmakers, with BetVictor the only firm standing firm at even-money.

Not So Sleepy & Epatante


Saturday's Fighting Fifth Hurdle ended in a thrilling dead-heat, as Not So Sleepy drew level with Epatante just as the two hit the line. Unibet installed Not So Sleepy as a 50/1 shot in their betting for the Champion Hurdle, while also cutting Epatante in from 20s to 14/1.

Thomas Darby 


Friday's Long Distance Hurdle was won in excellent fashion by Thomas Darby, who thrashed On The Blind Side and former winner, Paisley Park. Olly Murphy's has now established himself as one of the leading three mile hurdlers in the UK, and bet365 were quick to cut Thomas Darby into 16/1 from 33s in their betting for the Stayers' Hurdle.
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