Weekend Jump Review: Whisper Gold Cup value following Ladbrokes Trophy run

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Whisper – 25-1 for Cheltenham Gold Cup with Coral

 

The meetings at Newbury, Newcastle and Fairyhouse provided some top class national hunt action over the weekend resulting in plenty of revised ante-post prices for next year’s Cheltenham Festival and one horse who may have been underestimated by several bookmakers with a view to the Cheltenham Gold Cup is the narrow Ladbrokes Trophy runner-up Whisper who failed by just a neck to concede a stone to the highly regarded Willie Mullins-trained winner Total Recall in Newbury’s historic handicap, formally known as the Hennessy Gold Cup.

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Available at a standout 25-1 with Coral ( 20-1 bet365 and Betfred ) the Nicky Henderson-trained nine-year-old could easily start at a single-figure price come next March at a venue that clearly suits and has to be included in any ante-post portfolio for Jump racing’s four-day extravaganza in three month’s time.

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Newbury’s two-day card started badly for fans of Thistlecrack who was having his first outing for ten months due to injury and while connections expect the son of Kayf Tara to improve significantly ahead of the King George later this month a thirteen length fifth of six behind shock winner Beer Goggles has to go down as a huge disappointment. If the gelding goes on to claim Kempton’s boxing day feature, for which the horse can now be backed at 8-1 with several firms, it will provide the perfect christmas present for his legion of followers.

This years’ Neptune Novice Hurdle winner Willoughby Court made it two from two over fences when the six-year-old outjumped market rival Yanworth in Newbury’s 2m 4f novice chase on Friday and with the JLT the intended target the 8-1 on offer with bet365, Betfred and Stan James tooks more than fair.

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Away from the Berkshire track reigning Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air landed odds of 1-6 with the minimum of fuss in Newcastle’s Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle and even at this early stage the 2018 Champion Hurdle is looking a possible two-horse race with bookmakers going 14-1 bar 7-4 favourite Faugheen and Nicky Henderson’s charge who looks the better value of the pair at the 7-2 available with Ladbrokes and Coral.

Irish trainer Gordon Elliott totally dominated Sunday’s card at Fairyhouse winning three Grade 1’s with Mengli Khan, Death Duty and Apple’s Jade, the most impressive being the last named who is an outstanding bet at 7-4 with bet365 and William Hill to repeat her 2017 victory in the Mares’ Hurdle on the first day of the festival.

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