Quel Esprit has been cut from 12/1 to 10/1 in the Cheltenham betting for the National Hunt Chase following a promising schooling session at Leopardstown.
Trainer Willie Mullins sent four of his Cheltenham-bound stars for a spin around Leopardstown, with Quel Esprit reportedly looking the pick of the quartet.
Jockey Paul Townend also spoke highly of the performance of his horse during the rehearsal and this has led Ladbrokes to trim Quel Esprit’s price slightly to make him joint third favourite with Beshabar and Quito De La Roque.
Ladbrokes spokeswoman Hayley O’Connor said: “Quel Esprit did a nice piece of work and with Mullins confirming he’s aiming him for the National Hunt Chase we’ve cut him to 10/1.”
The booking of Townend could also prove critical if Quel Esprit is to taste victory in the four-mile stamina test, as he has won on all of the previous three occasions that he has ridden the horse.
Another of the horses to take part in the schooling session was Mikael D’Haguenet, who is still waiting for his first victory over fences despite having four previous attempts.
Ruby Walsh took the horse for a spin in his first return to the saddle since breaking a leg in November and appeared content with the way the horse jumped and travelled.
The RSA Chase seems the most likely race to be tackled by Mikael D’Haguenet at the Cheltenham Festival and he is 14/1 in the RSA Chase betting to win at the Festival for the second year in succession.
Mikael D’Haguenet was triumphant at in the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago when beating a field that included Karabek and current Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Diamond Harry.
A £25 stake on current favourite Chicago Grey winning the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival would return £150. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.