Cheltenham Festival Market Movers - 13/02/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Blazing Khal - Stayers Hurdle - 6/1 into 5/2

One of the biggest eye-catchers of the weekend was the Charles Byrnes trained hurdler Blazing Khal who was having his first run for 428 days.

Winning on his final start in 2020 in bumpers, he was then sent over hurdles and turned into a different animal, winning on his debut in a 2m3f maiden at Galway and then off the back of that was sent to Cheltenham twice over 2m5f and 3m and landed a hat-trick of races, his last event in a Grade Two, beating he smart Gelino Bello for the second time.

He was the leading favourite for the Grade One Albert Bartlett at the 2022 Cheltenham festival before picking up an injury and he was not seen since then until Sunday when returning in the Grade Two William Hill Boyne Hurdle at Navan.

Taking on a field of experienced stayers, he looked none the worse for his time off the track going on to win the race by three lengths from Meet And Greet.

Always set to improve on that first run in over a year the Stayers Hurdle market installed him as the new favourite for the race, being a best price of 5/2 from 6/1.

Hunters Yarn - Supreme Novices' Hurdle - 33/1 into 12/1

Earlier that day on the same card at Navan, Hunters Yarn for Willie Mullins threw his hat in the ring for the Grade One Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

A smart bumper horse landing his last two starts on the level, this season he was sent hurdling by Mullins and made a fair seasonal debut when a close third of 20 at Punchestown at the end of November.

Learning a lot for that first experience he then went to Naas on the Lawlor's Of Naas card and got off the mark over timber in impressive style winning a Maiden Hurdle by 13 lengths.

Stepped up in class at the weekend taking on the likes of Champion Bumper second American Mike he went on to rout the field by six lengths.

33/1 for the Supreme before the Listed event he is now a best price of 12/1 and could be a big player in the Grade One if improving in the same style he did for this performance.

Luccia - Mares Novices' Hurdle - 3/1 into 11/8 / Supreme Novices' Hurdle - 25/1 into 10/1

The final big mover of the weekend is the Nicky Henderson trained Luccia who put up another sparkling performance at Exeter to see her pick up some big market attention in two races at the Cheltenham festival.

A winner at Warwick over 2m on soft in January beating smart performer Blow Your Wad, she then went to Sandown in March and improved again to bolt up by 17 lengths beating some extremely smart horses including a Willie Mullins runner.

Having been a non-runner on a few occasions this season ahead of her hurdles debut the mare was seen for the first time over timber at Newbury on Saturday when bolting up in a Listed Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

The Seven Barrows trainer then nominated the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle as the next progression for the mare, but having scoped dirty in the build up she was not entered and was then given some time to get back to herself.

Entered at Exeter in a Listed Novices' Hurdle on Sunday she took on the boys again and although the field was not the strongest she went on to win by 11 lengths.

She is a classy individual that does have to touch up on her jumping, but is now the strong 11/8 favourite from 3/1 for the Mares Novices' Hurdle.

However, if Henderson decides to want to go for Grade One glory in the Supreme she is now a best price of 10/1 from 25s for that race.