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Cheltenham Trials Day: Paisley Park New Stayers’ Hurdle Favourite After Cleeve Victory

Cheltenham Festival Bet of the Week - Sharjah Excellent Champion Hurdle - Freebets.co.uk
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Triumph Hurdle Trial

Beaten in all four starts in his native France the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’Oudairies now finds himself at the head of the Cheltenham betting odds for the Triumph Hurdle at a best price 11-2 with Paddy Power following a hugely impressive victory in the opening contest on Trials Day. A well-backed 4-1 chance to supplement his debut win at Cork earlier this month for his new handler the son of Kapgarde simply destroyed a decent field of juveniles, coming home by a long-looking thirteen lengths from stablemate Fine Brunello after taking up the running jumping the third-last. Also responsible for 8-1 (Betvictor) second favourite Sir Erec, O’Brien must have a great chance of winning the Triumph Hurdle for a second time, the first coming courtesy of Ivanovich Gorbatov in 2016.

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Cotswold Chase (Gold Cup Trial)

While the popular victory of Frodon and his brilliant rider Bryony Frost was well received the result caused only a ripple in the ante-post Cheltenham betting odds for the Magners Gold Cup. Thursday’s Galmoy Hurdle winner Presenting Percy consolidated his position as favourite for the championship contest at a general 3-1 while Frodon and runner-up Elegant Escape, who will be much better suited by more give in the ground, can be backed at 25-1 with Ladbrokes and Coral. Of the two the latter looks the more likely to make the Gold Cup frame as the extra furlong will play more to the strengths of the Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old than Paul Nicholls’ Nickname gelding who will be vulnerable if ridden in the usual way up front.

Ballymore Novice Hurdle Trial

The final flight fall of 6-4 favourite Brewin’upastorm left the way clear for Birchdale and rider Barry Geraghty to come home clear. Opinion varies as to which horse would have prevailed if the former had not departed with champion jockey Richard Johnson but both can be backed at around 14-1 for the final on Wednesday 13th March. Current 4-1 (bet365 and Betvictor) ante-post market leader Champ is, like Birchdale, owned and trained by JP McManus and Nicky Henderson respectively and it may be that today’s winner heads to the longer Albert Bartlett at the festival, for which the son of Jeremy can be backed at 12-1 with Ladbrokes.

Cleeve Hurdle (Stayers’ Hurdle Trail)

A strong field of twelve top staying hurdlers, the only thing missing was any representation from across the Irish sea. The Emma Lavelle-trained Paisley Park is now a best price 3-1 with Ladbrokes, Betvictor and Paddy Power for the three mile stamina test on the third day of the festival after putting up by far the most impressive performance in this division so far this season.

Winning off a mark of 140 on his first start of the season at Aintree in October the mount of Aidan Coleman has improved out of all recognition during the last three months and only the Irish challenge for the Sun Racing-sponsored contest looks to stand in the way of another victory for the Oscar gelding.

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