Road to Cheltenham: Blueyes puts himself in the Triumph frame
There’s only two weeks to go until this year’s Cheltenham Festival and attention is now firmly on the four-day spectacular at Prestbury Park.
The 14-day marker is also the point at which this Road to Cheltenham series will end but not before we analyse some of the big talking points from last weekend’s racing fare.
Impressive Adonis Juvenile Hurdle winner Master Blueyes is the headline act with the likes of Limini and Tombstone also receiving mentions.
Here’s our rundown of the latest news lines…
Blueyes backed for Triumph success
Alan King’s Master Blueyes was a 40/1 shot for this year’s Triumph Hurdle at the start of February but two convincing wins since then have seen those odds slashed to 8/1 as we approach the Festival.
Saturday’s Grade 2 success at Kempton was overshadowed somewhat by the sub-par performance of Charli Parcs and subsequent fall suffered by Barry Geraghty.
However, take nothing away from King’s charge. He travelled well and finished the race off with aplomb ahead of another smart type in Evening Hush.
Now the third-favourite for the Triumph, the money is starting to come for this impressive four-year-old.
Wide-open Champion Hurdle has two more star names
Top Irish trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott are ready to play their hands in this year’s Champion Hurdle with both Limini and Tombstone set to be supplemented.
The former is a 6/1 shot for the first championship race of the Festival following an excellent win over Apple’s Jade at Punchestown last week.
Only three rivals are shorter in the betting while Tombstone is rated as a 12/1 chance to take Tuesday’s big prize.
Elliott has never had a runner in the Champion Hurdle but the odds suggest he has a live contender for this first attempt at the two-mile hurdling crown.
Meadow in warm order ahead of Mares’ assault
Jessica Harrington’s Forge Meadow bounced back into form with a promising Grade 2 win at Naas on Sunday and in doing so saw her odds trimmed for the Mares’ Novices Hurdle.
We make the daughter of Beneficial a 5/1 chance (from 10s) to take the spoils in just the second running of the contest.
She was well beaten by market leader Airlie Beach in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle back in December.
However, that result doesn’t tell the story with Forge Meadow travelling well before being hampered two out.
With a clear run at Cheltenham she could well outrun her odds and put it up to the jolly.
This column may have jumped the final fence but keep checking back for more Cheltenham Festival build-up.
And click here for the latest odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing