Cheltenham Festival Market Movers - 24/01/22

Unexpected Party - Coral Cup - 33/1 into 12/1

The first horse that sparkled this weekend and enhanced his credentials for the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham festival was the Dan Skelton trained Unexpected Party.

The likeable grey started over hurdles this term and using his first two runs over two miles to find his feet, he then stepped up to 2m5f and got off the mark in taking style at Wetherby.

Looking to back that up he went to Cheltenham and was a valiant second behind the smart Gowel Road, who is a much more experienced type over hurdles.

Looking to put things right at Wetherby on Boxing Day, he looked the clear winner jumping the last but unfortunately paddled late on and went down by a length.

Going up through the weights, but still holding bundles of ability, he went to Ascot on Saturday in a competitive handicap hurdle and went on to see off a new recruit for Nicky Henderson by close to four lengths.

The Coral Cup trip looks perfect for him and punters agree seeing him go from 33/1 into 12/1 for the handicap event.

Shishkin - Champion Chase - 11/10 into 4/6

The next market mover of the weekend is the greatest two mile chaser in the world with Shishkin at the weekend proving just how good he is when winning the Grade One Clarence House Chase.

Taking his winning streak to 10 races, the Nicky Henderson trained animal gave us arguably the greatest two mile race seen at Ascot when going toe to toe with Energumene on Saturday.

The race was built up as the race of the season and it provided that and some, with Shishkin looking in trouble jumping the last but rallied close home to clinch the race by a length.

Both put up a superb exhibition on Saturday, but with punters finally getting the answers as to who is the better horse, it saw the Champion Chase market change.

Shishkin was the 11/10 favourite for the event and staying at the top of the market he is now a best price of 6/4 to win the rematch between the two superb horses.

Allaho - Ryanair Chase - 7/4 into 5/4

Finally, another big horse was seen again at the weekend and it saw Allaho land the Grade Two Hotel and Jockey Chase for the second year running.

Already a strong favourite for the Grade One Ryanair Chase on the Thursday of the meeting at 7/4 having won the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown in December, he strengthened his credentials even more.

Looking to land back to back renewals of the Grade Two at Thurles he took on longtime rival Fakir D'oudairies and at a canter won by 12 lengths going from the front.

He is now the 5/4 favourite to land successive renewals of the Ryanair Chase from 7/4 and at this point could be one of the naps of the Cheltenham festival.

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing