Road to Cheltenham: Shishkin takes centre stage as all eyes turn to Doncaster for Cheltenham clues
Our man Harry Aitkenhead takes us through the latest market moves for Cheltenham
With Trials Day at Cheltenham falling foul of the weather over the weekend, it was Doncaster that took centre stage on Saturday.
Shishkin was the star of the show as the 2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner won again over fences with a slick victory in the Lightning Novices’ Chase.
Although facing only three horses in opposition, and being sent off the 1/7 favourite, our traders were still suitably impressed by the commanding display of jumping and slashed the odds on the Nicky Henderson-trained horse landing the Arkle to just 8/11 (from 4/5).
Energumene is the only other horse priced below 10/1 for that race at the Festival, at 6/1.
Elsewhere on the card at Doncaster, the surprise winner of the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle, The Cob, was introduced at 33/1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival for punters thinking lightning can strike twice.
Sunday’s action in Ireland saw Naas play host where the Willie Mullins trained Bachasson landed the Limestone Lad Hurdle and was cut by Coral’s compilers for the Stayers Hurdle into 33/1 (from 50/1).
Later in the afternoon, the Henry de Bromhead trained Eklat De Dire was an impressive winner of the Naas Racecourse Business Club Novices’ Chase and is now 10/1 (cut from 25/1) for the National Hunt Chase and 14/1 for the Festival Novices’ Chase.
Earlier in the week saw two more impressive winners in Ireland cut for festival success, at Thurles. Allaho for Gordon Elliot, a gallant third at the Festival last year in arguably the best finish of the week in the RSA Chase, was cut to 6/1 for the 2021 Ryanair Chase.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.