Cheltenham Festival Market Movers From The Weekend - 25/01/21

Tritonic - Triumph Hurdle - 33/1 into 14/1

Tritonic for Alan King landed a decent Juvenile event on Saturday at Ascot that has been a kind race to the yard in the past, but the way the gelding from the flat landed the event on debut over hurdles, has seen him undergo some market support for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

With connections assuring punters after the race that Prestbury Park will be the next stop for the youngster, his odds for the Grade One event on the Friday went from 33/1 into 14/1.

The gelding is known for acting on soft ground and entered his event on Saturday with leading flat form, with his best run coming at Royal Ascot in June when a narrow second in the Golden Gates Handicap behind Highland Chief, who went on to frank the form in better races.

He showed he was a thorough stayer and also a credible jumper at the weekend, making up some big ground after the last to get up in the final stages and that has made punters think he will handle the hill at Cheltenham.

Roksana - Mares Hurdle - 16/1 into 8/1 and Stayers' Hurdle - 14/1 into 10/1

Roksana has been a superb yardstick for the Skelton's and this season has looked better than ever, putting it up to the men over staying trips, whilst dominating against her own sex.

Having been a shock winner of the Grade One Mares Hurdle in 2019 she has since placed in some nice events at Aintree and Cheltenham.

Roksana made a credible seasonal debut for the yard when winning the Grade Two bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby in October and backed that up two starts ago with another big run.

She headed into the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot over three miles and finished a smart third behind Paisley Park and Thyme Hill, which is classy form.

On Saturday she made a mockery of the field in the Grade Two Mares Hurdle, jumping the last to pass Magic Of Light and going away in the final stages on a motionless Harry Skelton.

Three miles looks to be her best trip from what we have seen this season, but the Skelton's have said they have not made their minds up on what race she will head into at the festival.

With that in mind punters backed her for both the Stayers Hurdle, where she went from 14/1 into 10/1 and the Mares Hurdle which she is now 8/1 from 16/1.

First Flow - Champion Chase - 50/1 into 10/1

The big shock of the weekend came in the Grade One Clarence House Chase, where the race was set up to be a clash between market favourite Politologue and previous winner of the race Defi Du Seuil.

However, it was the horse massively on the upgrade that landed the event with First Flow for Kim Bailey giving the trainer his first Grade One win for 26 years.

Going off at 14/1 and many pundits feeling he needed a bog to have any chance, he proved them all wrong to go off prominently in pursuit of long time leader Politologue and jump him into submission.

The nine year old went on to take the event by seven lengths, beating a host of well regarded Grade One winners and extend his unbeaten run over fences to six races.

Not many would have thought after the event that First Flow would now be an active challenger for the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham festival, but after his win he was slashed from 50/1 into 10/1 for the event.

Royal Pagaille - Gold Cup - 40/1 into 10/1 and National Hunt Chase - 14/1 into 5/1

Finally, the last market mover for the Cheltenham festival from the weekends performances sees Royal Pagaille for Venetia Williams in the spotlight, with the Rich Ricci owned gelding now a big player in both the Gold Cup and National Hunt Chase.

The gelding has been superb this season, racing three times and improving with every run to now be a leading player for the staying events at Prestbury Park in March.

He started his season off at Haydock in December and landed a decent Novice Chase by seven lengths and from there was put into handicap company.

He went to Kempton over Christmas and made a mockery off his mark to cruise to victory by close to four lengths, seeing off another well handicapped sort in Cap Du Nord.

He was given a heavy hike in the weights and went back to Haydock on Saturday up 16lb from his Kempton run and giving even more than that away to the rest of the field.

However, he had come on again from his last run to beat a tired field by 16 lengths and this sparked the Gold Cup market and NH Chase markets to go crazy.

For the Cheltenham feature he is now 10/1 from 40/1 and for the NH Chase he can be backed at a best price of 5/1 from a previous 14/1 before his weekend rout.