As with last week, when Sizing Gold was put up for the JLT Novices’ Chase at 33/1, it’s time for another look at the Cheltenham ante-post markets on Tuesday.
As with last week, when Sizing Gold was put up for the JLT Novices’ Chase at 33/1, it’s time for another look at the Cheltenham ante-post markets on Tuesday and, having looked at the Triumph Hurdle prices yesterday ahead of last night’s JP Festival preview (can be watched online now at www.jpfestival.com) it became apparent that there was a horse available at 40-1 with the prospect that could contract considerably this weekend.
The horse in question is Chocala who was a smart soft-ground stayer on the Flat and shaped well in a warm Newbury contest on debut, back in November.
Both Alan King’s juvenile and runner-up, Actival, got into a battle a long way from home and could well have set the race up for Paul Nicholls’ winner, Calipto, who is third favourite (between 10-1 and 12-1) across the board.
Forced to miss the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle next time, when he would have faced Triumph favourite Le Rocher at Chepstow, the Rock Of Gibraltar gelding is still regarded as a Triumph horse by King, who does well with his juveniles, and he looks set to return to action this weekend.
Entered at Newbury on Saturday and Exeter on Sunday (both in novice events against his elders), should he win, or even go close in either contest, the 40-1 will be a thing of the past. Given the current climate, it is hard to envisage a good ground Festival at this stage and, assuming he gets there and conditions are in his favour, he could easily run a big race.
Ante-Post, Triumph Hurdle: Chocala (40/1 Hills)
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2013-14
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New for 2013-14:
Grade 1 winning jockeys Nick Scholfield and Jane Mangan provide readers with their horses to follow
Last years results included:
* Leading Prospects, Arvika Ligeonniere (x3), Boston Bob, Captain Conan (x3), Champagne Fever (x2 inc Supreme Novices’ Hurdle), Glens Melody, Melodic Rendezvous, Simonsig (Arkle) & Un Atout won 13 Grade 1 novice contests between them
* My Tent Or Yours won 4 times including the Betfair Hurdle and the Top Novices’ at Aintree
* Stable Round-Up included Neptune winner The New One, Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Court Minstrel and David Pipe’s Dynaste of whom it read “could follow the Grands Crus path of last year, starting in the Steel Plate And Sections before he is readied for the Feltham” – he won both races and also scored at Aintree in April
* Across The Sea – Mount Benbulben 14/1 winner of the Grade 1 novice chase at the Punchestown Festival
* Under The Hammer – horses featured in this section included Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill (25/1) and The Liquidator, who won the equivalent Grade 1 at Punchestown – this section has been greatly increased for 2013-14