Knight Salute did all that was asked of him by winning the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton Park on Saturday. It was his fifth consecutive victory over hurdles for Milton Harris who believes his horse has a good each-way chance in the Triumph Hurdle. Bookmakers trimmed his Cheltenham odds from 16/1 to 12/1 on a relatively quiet weekend for the ante-post markets.
Teddy Blue the eye-catcher in Adonis Juvenile Hurdle
Knight Salute duly obliged as the 15/8 favourite on Saturday, being driven out by Paddy Brennan to beat Teddy Blue by three and a quarter lengths. He was conceding 5lbs to the runner-up who caught the eye, travelling smoothly into contention until blundering away his chance at the final flight. All roads now lead to Cheltenham for the winner while Teddy Blue was cut to 20/1. He is trained by Gary Moore who also has 12-1 chance Porticello in the race.
The Moore stable hit form with a vengeance on Sunday when saddling a four-timer at Fontwell Park. However, it was not all plain sailing for the Sussex trainer as short-priced favourite Shallwehaveonemore was unable to overhaul Aucunrisque in the Grade 2 Dovecote Hurdle at Kempton on Saturday. The favourite appeared to settle reasonably well for Joshua Moore but mistakes at the last two flights left him a length down at the line.
The winner is a possible for the County Hurdle at Cheltenham but trainer Chris Gordon appeared to be favouring Aintree after the race. Both first and second were quoted at 14/1 for the County Hurdle by William Hill, although time may show that it was not a vintage renewal.
Icare Allen has Triumph or Boodles option
The Willie Mullins-trained Icare Allen may have jumped his way back into the Triumph Hurdle picture with a comfortable success at Fairyhouse on Saturday. He was never off the bridle in winning by seven and a half lengths, although he may have had more to do had Man O Work not crashed out at the second last. Icare Allen had finished a disappointing fifth behind stable companion Vauban at Leopardstown last time but Mullins felt this was a much improved effort. He is a 20/1 shot for the Triumph and only 10-1 for the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle.
Tiger Roll is as short as 9/4 favourite for the Cross Country Chase after another of his potential dangers failed to sparkle over the weekend. The JP McManus-owned Easysland has been pulled up twice since joining Jonjo O’Neill and Enda Bolger’s new recruit Prengarde made a similarly modest first appearance in Ireland in the same colours. He trailed in 74 lengths adrift in a handicap hurdle at Naas on Sunday.
Bring On The Night made a successful debut over hurdles for Mullins on the same card. He was formerly trained by Andre Fabre on the flat in France and the son of Gleneagles was far too good for his rivals on Sunday. He could still run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for which he is a general 20/1 shot. Captain Guinness remains a 40/1 chance for the Queen Mother Champion Chase after winning the Grade 3 BetVictor Chase for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore. He was brought down in the Supreme in 2020 and finished third in last year’s Arkle Trophy, both races going to Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin.