What This Weekend Has Meant For The Cheltenham Festival - 28/01/2019

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What This Weekend Has Meant For The Cheltenham Festival - 28/01/2019

A busy weekend showcasing the trials for the Cheltenham Festival has resulted in plenty of market movers across the board.

The biggest mover came from the Stayers Hurdle, where Paisley Park cruised to a simple success in the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle.

He put several lengths between himself and the rest of the obvious British challengers for the future Festival showpiece, with his trainer Emma Lavelle suggesting he now only has the Irish to beat.

As a result of his success, the 7yo has been cut from a 10/1 chance into a 5/2 clear favourite.

Last year's winner Penhill looks to set to arrive at Prestbury Park once again fresh, and is next best at 9/2. Apples Jade and Presenting Percy - both expected to appear elsewhere in the week, are also amongst the market principles should they take an unexpected alternative.

Earlier in the day at Cheltenham, Birchdale boosted his claims for the Ballymore with a comfortable success in the Grade Two trial - albeit Olly Murphy's Brewin'Upastorm fell at the last when in with every chance.

The victory also meant that Barry Geraghty overtook Richard Dunwoody to become the fourth most successful jump jockey in Britain and Ireland after a 1,875th career win.

Birchdale will look to be the second chance for Nicky Henderson in the Wednesday opener at the Festival as a 10/1 chance; having been 14/1 before the weekend.

Stable companion Champ - who skipped the trial at Prestbury Park, continues at the head of affairs priced at 7/2.

Arguably the performance of the weekend came in the feature contest of the day, where Frodon once again went the extra mile, this time in the Cotswold Chase.

Punters questioning his stamina were made to look like fools after a dominant display from the front end once again saw him cling on to another win, with trainer Paul Nicholls now suggesting the 7yo has what it takes to be a true Gold Cup contender.

He is co-favourite for the Ryanair Chase at 5/1 should he reverse back to his original trip of 2m4f, but connections fancy a crack at the big one, where he sits at 16/1 having previously been priced at 25's.

Fakir D'oudairies was a historical winner for young Joseph O'Brien - his first ever at Cheltenham, running on strongly to effortlessly achieve glory in the Triumph trial.

For the real thing in March he now rests as the 5/1 favourite, having been double figures over 48 hours ago.

Elsewhere, Dynamite Dollars was not too much of a mover in the Arkle market, after dismissing lower standard horses in a Grade Two at Doncaster at short-odds.

Finally in Ireland, the biggest mover was the Henry De Bromhead-trainer Honeysuckle; who is now down to 5's from 14's, after an impressive victory in the Grade 3 Mares Novice Hurdle extended her unbeaten run to four.

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