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Eye on Cheltenham – Percy, Paisley and Bally make waves in BetVictor’s Festival betting

Paisley Park shot to the head of the Festival betting after a comprehensive win on Trials Day.

We bring you all the big market movers in the Cheltenham Festival betting with BetVictor, after a fantastic week of racing at Cheltenham, Doncaster, Naas and Gowran Park.

Plenty of important market movers to make note of this week, with Trials Day at Cheltenham the perfect place to start. The word “perfect” could be used again to describe Paisley Park’s display in the Cleeve Hurdle, as Emma Lavelle’s improving stayer made mincemeat of the competition, powering clear of West Approach and Black Op to claim his fourth victory of the season.

Despite not running, Penhill had retained his position at the head of the Stayers’ Hurdle betting – until now. BetVictor were amongst the many bookmakers to slash Paisley Park’s price, cutting Lavelle’s charge in from 10s to 9/4 favouritism.

This year’s Cleeve saw nearly all of Britain’s Stayers’ Hurdle contenders go head to head and many were on the drift after Paisley Park’s wide-margin victory. Third-placed Black Op moved back to 14s from 10/1, with Midnight Shadow falling further adrift as BetVictor pushed Sue Smith’s hurdler out to 20s. Aux Ptits Soins dropped down to 33/1, alongside Sam Spinner, who’s price remained unchanged after an encouraging fourth.

Along with Paisley Park, Frodon was the big winner on Trials Day after scoring in the Cotswold Chase. Paul Nicholls’ Caspian Caviar king was usurped at the head of the market by Elegant Escape before the off, but Colin Tizzard’s charge couldn’t live with Frodon’s jumping, who traveled beautifully throughout and held off the rallying Welsh Grand National winner on the run to the line.

The Ryanair remains an option for Frodon and he remains at a price of 10/1 for that two-and-a-half-miler. Yet, Nicholls remains steadfast on his plan to throw Frodon into the Gold Cup and BetVictor cut his odds into 16s from 25/1 to win the Cheltenham Festival’s showpiece. Elegant Escape, who didn’t jump particularly well but finished the race strong, was pulled into 20/1 in the Gold Cup betting. Terrefort, who shaped nicely in third place, remained unmoved on 33s.

Bryony Frost and Frodon leap the last on their way to winning the Cotswold Chase.


The third Graded prize on the Trials Day card went the way of Birchdale, who cruised to victory in the Ballymore Trial after Brewin’Upastrom fell heavily at the last. While both were cut into 14/1 for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, Birchdale was pushed towards the head of the Albert Bartlett betting, with JP McManus likely to split him and Ballymore market leader, Champ.

Cheltenham’s card kicked off in excellent style, with Fakir D’Oudairies powering to a hugely impressive victory in the Triumph Trial. Joseph O’Brien’s raider was thrown into the Cheltenham Festival betting by BetVictor, jumping ahead of stablemate Sir Erec to lead the Triumph Hurdle betting on a price of 4/1.

Kildisart claimed victory in the following two-and-a-half-mile handicap and was clipped into 16/1 in BetVictor’s market for the Close Brothers. Janika couldn’t make it two in the row for owners Munir & Souede, narrowly losing out to Siruh Du Lac when carrying top-weight, but Nicky Henderson’s French import impressed enough to earn himself fresh quotes of 25/1 in the Ryanair betting.

Doncaster’s Sky Bet Chase card also featured on our television screens this weekend, but, in truth, it was an underwhelming day up north. Dynamite Dollars remained a 7/1 shot for the Arkle after defeating a weak field in the Lightning Novices' Chase, with Nadaitak entering the Albert Bartlett betting on a price of 20/1 after claiming victory in a poor renewal of the River Don.

We cast our eye to Ireland now and there’s only one place to start – Thursday’s Galmoy Hurdle, where Presenting Percy made a winning return to action and cemented his place as the favourite for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Presenting Percy sees off Bapaume (left) to retain his Galmoy Hurdle crown.


Pat Kelly was taking an unconventional approach, starting the Gold Cup favourite’s campaign with an appearance over hurdles. Presenting Percy, however, rose to his trainer's challenge, traveling like the classiest horse throughout before staying on to claim a three-length victory. As a result, BetVictor clipped Presenting Percy’s price at the head of the Gold Cup betting, with the RSA winner coming into 3s from 4/1.

Bapaume ran a fine race to claim second on his reappearance and Willie Mullins' charge was pulled into 25/1 in the Stayers’ Hurdle betting. Later in the card, stablemate Cilaos Emery made a winning start to life over fences and was cut into 8/1 from 12s to win the Arkle. Blue Sari then ended the day on a high-note, hacking up to win on the flat by ten lengths and Mullins’ debutant was installed in the Champion Bumper on a price of 10/1.

Fairyhouse took centre-stage on Saturday and Henry De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle impressed once again. Rachel Blackmore had to work a little harder than many expected, but the result was never in doubt after Honeysuckle jumped the last and the favourite was understandably slashed in the betting for the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, coming in from 12s to 4/1 favouritism.

Henry De Bromhead was hoping for a Grade Three double as Chris’s Dream took his chance at Naas on Sunday, but it was Willie Mullins’ Ballyward who got the win, powering home to beat the favourite by eleven lengths. As Mullins’ only entrant in the four-miler, Ballyward came plummeting down the betting for the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham, with BetVictor listing Willie’s stayer as the 6/1 second-favourite behind Ok Corral.

Champagne Classic ran a fine race to claim third on his first start in 18 months and Gordon Elliott’s former Martin Pipe winner came into 16/1 in the RSA betting. In the preceding race, Espoir D’Allen enforced his Champion Hurdle credentials with an easy Grade Three victory, forcing BetVictor to cut his odds in Tuesday’s Championship race in from 20s to 16/1.

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Eye on Cheltenham – Percy, Paisley and Bally make waves in BetVictor’s Festival betting

We bring you all the big market movers in the Cheltenham Festival betting with BetVictor, after a fantastic week of racing at Cheltenham, Doncaster, Naas and Gowran Park on Saturday 26th January.

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