Bobs Worth back in charge of Gold Cup market after Lexus win
The big Christmas feature races have had a big impact on the ante-post market for the Cheltenham Festival. The Gold Cup market now revolves around the reigning Champion Bobs Worth and King George VI Chase winner Silviniaco Conti.
Bobs Worth had eased in the market after a lack-lustre performance in the Betfair Chase behind Cue Card but put that behind him with an impressive win at Leopardstown. Nicky Henderson’s gelding looked right back to his best when running on strongly to beat First Lieutenant in the Lexus Chase and is now 5-2 clear favourite.
Sir Des Champs ran on into fourth place, six lengths adrift of the winner, and is now 6-1 for the Gold Cup. King George winner Silviniaco Conti is 4-1 to make amends for last year’s fall after he outstayed Cue Card on Boxing Day.
The Champion Hurdle has also had a shake-up with Hurricane Fly cut to 7-2 after his impressive return to action in the Ryanair Hurdle. My Tent Or Yours is on the same price after his narrow win over The New One in the Christmas Hurdle with the latter remaining favourite at 3-1.
The market for the Champion Chase was suspended after Sprinter Sacre was pulled up in the Desert Orchid Chase behind Sire De Grugy. The problem has since been diagnosed as an irregular heartbeat which has righted itself since the race.
The highest rated chaser in training will undergo further tests before any decisions are made about his future but it is still possible that he will be able to defend his crown in March. Fortunately jockey Barry Geraghty pulled Sprinter Sacre up the moment he suspected a problem.
Champagne Fever remains 4-1 favourite for the Arkle Trophy despite his defeat at Leopardstown. Dodging Bullets, Defy Logic and Hinterland are bracketed on 8-1.
Tidal Bay earned a quote of 25-1 for the Aintree Grand National after his excellent third in the Coral Welsh National under 11st 12lb.