Five Horses That Could Be Slashed In Price For The Cheltenham Festival After This Weekend


Honeysuckle has a been a star for the yard over the last two years and on all four of her starts last term had been pretty much faultless by winning twice at Fairyhouse including in the Grade One Hatton's Grace Hurdle, she then narrowly stayed on to take the Irish Champion Hurdle before landing her first Cheltenham festival winner when seeing off Benie Des Dieux in the Mares Hurdle.

Overall the Kenneth Alexander-owned six-year-old has claimed 10 wins in a row, if including her point to point race aswell and this season she has picked up from where she left off.

She headed to Fairyhouse on her seasonal debut in defence of her Hatton's Grace title and in gritty and determined fashion she managed to hold on close to the line.

Her rider Rachael Blackmore believes she has been working well at home and will have improved for her first run, and is hoping she can land back to back renewals of the Irish Champion Hurdle.

The contest on Saturday will dictate what race she will end up in at the Cheltenham festival and off the back of it looks more likely she will go for the Champion Hurdle and having already come in from 16/1 to 10/1, that price again could be shorter by the end of Saturday.

Gaillard Du Mesnil

Gaillard Du Mesnil heads into the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle with the Grade One event kicking off the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

The five year old son of Saints Des Saints was highlighted at the start of the season to be a horse with bundles of ability, being bought by the Donnelly's and given to Willie Mullins to race this term having been a smart horse on the flat in France.

The gelding started his career over hurdles in November when finishing second to Holymacapony in what looked to be a hot maiden hurdle.

He improved massively for that run at Leopardstown over Christmas when getting off the mark for the first time in emphatic fashion, beating the field by close to 10 lengths.

Since that race the second and third have since gone on to bolt up in maidens giving that form line a massive boost.

Stepping up over 2m6f on Saturday will see what his stamina is like and entering his first Grade One event will challenge how good he actually is.

If going on to land this event he will be slashed into possibly joint favourite for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, currently being around 7/1 for the event.

Shan Blue

Having been a fair hurdler, this season he has taken his form to the next level by making his chase debut at Wetherby in October over 2m4f and winning by 14 lengths.

Off the back of that he went back to Wetherby and was stepped up to three miles for the first time in his career and he went on again to win by 16 lengths.

He showed clear stamina that day and his biggest asset is how well he jumps a fence, which made the Skelton's happy enough to send him to Kempton for the Grade On Kauto Star Novices' Chase.

He took on some nice horses including The Big Breakaway and blew them away in the final stages, jumping his rivals into submission.

He heads for the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown on Sunday and if winning that will be cut for the Marsh Novices' Chase at the festival.

Although he will still be behind Envoi Allen in the betting he will be much closer in the market having won two Grade One events and the each way price on the horse will be sure to go.

Minella Indo

The eight year old has raced 11 times during his short career and has only finished outside the top three in his point to point and last start when falling.

Two seasons ago on his final two starts over hurdles he really came to life landing the Grade One Albert Bartlett at the festival at a huge price of 50/1 and then backed that up at the Punchestown festival when landing another classy Grade One.

He went novice chasing last season and after running well on debut behind star mare Laurina, he landed a Beginners Chase at Navan before narrowly being beaten in the RSA Novices' Chase at the festival, With Champ pipping him on the line.

Coming out of novice company this term he started his season off at Wexford at the back end of October in the Grade Three Memorial Chase where he jumped the field into submission, going on to win the event by 25 lengths.

Having again put up another superb performance at Navan when beating Brahma Bull by close to eight lengths his handler sent him to Leopardstown at Christmas in the Grade One Savills Chase.

Going off as favourite, many were looking for the gelding to put up a big run, but were left wanting more after falling for the first time in his career with a circuit to go.

The horse was none the worse for the tumble and connections are looking for a big performance from the stable star in the Irish Gold Cup on Sunday, and if he was to win this prestigious event it would see his odds slashed for the Gold Cup in March.


The final horse we think could be smashed into the betting at the Cheltenham festival if putting up a huge effort in the Grade Two Goffs Future Stars INH Flat Race is Kilcruit for Willie Mullins.

The six year old is a very talented gelding who bounced on to the racing scene in the last race before the first lockdown in Ireland, finishing second to stablemate Captain Kangaroo.

He was originally trained by Tony Mullins and this season he has now been given to his brother Willie and on debut in December he got him off to a winning start.

The gelding went on to land a decent bumper by close to 10 lengths and having not been seen since the event, he should be fresh for a big challenge in the Grade Two event on Saturday.

Currently 10/1 second favourite behind Sir Gerhard who misses the race on Saturday, if going on to dominate proceedings could be cut into joint favourite for the race at Prestbury Park.