Cheltenham Festival 2023: Ante-Post Market Movers

Cheltenham Festival 2023: Ante-Post Market Movers
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No single day of racing so far in this National Hunt season has had as big an impact on ante-post Cheltenham Festival lists as Trials Day at Prestbury Park on Saturday.  

The rescheduled Clarence House Chase was regarded as a welcome intruder on an already brilliant card and it proved to be a race that blew ante-post Queen Mother Champion Chase lists wide open. 

It’s been all change in the Stayers’ Hurdle arena, where we have a new favourite along with a rare challenger from France. A division that appeared to be crying out for a star may just have that now. 

Gold Cup pretenders flexed their muscles in the Cotswold Chase and the landscape behind hot-favourite Galopin Des Champs has shifted to quite a large extent. 

Let’s spin through the horses that created the biggest impressions and identify some potential candidates to use your Cheltenham offers on.

Energumene Defeat Blows Champion Chase Market Wide Open

Ante-post Queen Mother Champion Chase betting has a very different feel to it after Saturday’s rearranged Clarence House Chase, where hot favourite and reigning two-mile champion chaser Energumene had his bubble well and truly burst. 

Energumene was left trailing in the wake of Editeur Du Gite and Edwardstone up the hill and was understandably pushed right out to around 2/1 with horse racing betting sites, having been a warm 8/11 favourite for the March showpiece going into Saturday. 

Anyone holding an odds-on ante-post slip about Energumene will take solace from Willie Mullins’ comments afterwards regarding the English fences, which the trainer appeared to indicate were the biggest single factor in Energumene’s defeat. 

Mullins said afterwards: "Hopefully that run will get Energumene used to the new English white fences, we've schooled over them at home but he didn't seem as happy over them today as he did last March."

"You saw what he did at the first and he was a little bit long at one or two. It's different and I didn't expect him to be that way as he'd done plenty of schooling but he obviously did." 



The winner of Saturday’s contest, who showed a terrific attitude to battle back against Edwardstone, has now emerged as a bona fide Champion Chase contender. 

Gary Moore’s charge was subsequently slashed into 5/1 from 25/1 for the festival contest and this strong-staying two-miler is going to take some passing if on his A-game in March. 

Edwardstone looked for all the world like he was coming to win the Clarence House Chase after the last  - punters certainly thought as much because he traded at the basement price of 1.01 on the betting exchanges in-running, but he had been a bit gassy early and that might have hindered his finishing effort. 

Last year’s Arkle Chase winner remains a solid 2/1 Champion Chase chance and all evidence suggests he’s going to go close at least in the big one. 

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Cotswold Chase Shakes Up Gold Cup Betting 

The big Gold Cup springer from the weekend was Ahoy Senor who burst back to life after a disappointing effort in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day by landing the Cotswold Chase.

Lucinda Russell’s stable star posted a career-best Racing Post Rating of 170 in seeing off Sounds Russian in a thrilling finish to the Grade 2 contest, with Noble Yeats staying on nicely in third. 

It was no surprise that the trainer immediately confirmed that Ahoy Senor, who was second in last year’s Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, would now be targeted at the Gold Cup, for which he was slashed into 12/1 from 50/1 with betting apps.

Runner-up Sounds Russian also posted a career-best effort and he was duly cut into a respectable 20/1 from 100/1.

Ruth Jefferson confirmed afterwards that her stable star has now earned a crack at the blue-riband event, for all that he probably just falls short class-wise. 



Noble Yeats had beaten the front two at Aintree last time but he was conceding weight this time and a stronger gallop in the Gold Cup would see him to much better effect. With that in mind, his Gold Cup prospects remain intact, as does his ante-post price of 8/1

The big loser from the Cotswold Chase was Protektorat, a disappointing 5/4 favourite on the day. 

However, he too would have preferred a stronger galop and it’s worth noting that, having looked like he was about to drop away in the closing stages, he stayed on again and was only beaten around five lengths. 

Connections will surely not have had him fully primed for Saturday’s race and last year’s Gold Cup third now looks a big price at 20/1 (from 8/1). 

New Names Come To The Fore In Staying Hurdle Division

The staying hurdle division was badly in need of a new lease of life and that’s exactly what we got this week. 

Ante-post Stayers’ Hurdle betting lists were given an almighty shake-up when Teahupoo bolted up in Thursday’s Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.

Gordon Elliott’s unexposed stayer, who became the first horse to beat Honeysuckle earlier in the campaign, has come of age now his stamina is being utilised and he was slashed into 11/4 favourite with betting sites (from 7/1) for the staying hurdle showpiece in March. 

However, the picture changed again on Saturday when French raider Gold Tweet made some solid yardsticks look like slow boats in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle.



Racing over three miles for the first time in his career, Gold Tweet travelled all over his rivals before showing a bright turn of foot to clear away from Dashel Drasher after the last.  

The winner will need to be supplemented for the Stayers’ Hurdle but connections surely have little choice but to do so now and he’s been put in at 8/1 for the March Grade 1. 

His turn of foot looks a lethal weapon but connections of Teahupoo will fancy themselves to have the stronger stayer. 

The disappointing effort of Paisley Park, who had won the last three editions of the Cleeve Hurdle, encouraged UK bookmakers to push him out to a top price of 20/1 (from 8/1) for the Stayers’ Hurdle. 

It is possible that this came a bit too soon after his Boxing Day win and a stronger run race on slower ground would help, so that 20/1 might prove a bit of an overreaction. 

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Live Streaming Racing
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Ante Post Racing
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18+ • New customer offer • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • Bonus valid on selected Casino games only • Bonus wins capped at £500, excluding Jackpot wins • You must wager Bonus amount x40 – this requirement varies by game

Full List Of This Week’s Ante-Post Market Movers   

  • Energumene (Willie Mullins) 2/1 from 8/11 for QM Champion Chase 
  • Editeur Du Gite (Gary Moore) 5/1 from 25/1 for QM Champion Chase 
  • Ahoy Senor (Lucinda Russell) 12/1 from 50/1 for Gold Cup 
  • Sounds Russian (Ruth Jefferson) 20/1 from 100/1 for Gold Cup 
  • Protektorat (Dan Skelton) 20/1 from 8/1 for Gold Cup 
  • Noble Yeats (Emmet Mullins) 8/1 from 10/1 for Gold Cup 
  • Teahupoo (Gordon Elliott) 11/4 from 7/1 for Stayers’ Hurdle 
  • Gold Tweet (Gabriel Leenders) 8/1 first show for Stayers’ Hurdle *needs supplementing* 
  • Paisley Park (Emma Lavelle) 20/1 from 8/1 for Stayers’ Hurdle 
  • Echoes In Rain (Willie Mullins) 6/1 from 10/1 for Mares’ Hurdle 
  • Jeremys Flame (Gavin Cromwell) 10/1 from 20/1 for Mares’ Hurdle 
  • Ramillies (Willie Mullins) 5/1 from 8/1 for National Hunt Chase 
  • Thedevilscoachman (Noel Meade) 12/1 from 33/1 for Brown Advisory Novices Chase 
  • Three Card Brag (Gordon Elliott) 8/1 from 12/1 for Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle 
  • Itchy Feet (Olly Murphy) 25/1 first show for Pertemps Network Final
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