We may only be in December, but after an exciting weekend of racing the Cheltenham ante-post markets are already being eyed up by prospective punters.
Weekend wins for Willoughby Court, Apple’s Jade and Death Duty were particular highlights.
However, it was Total Recall who proved the star of the show in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Willie Mullins’ mount became the first Irish-trained winner of the Trophy since Bright Highway in 1980.
The eight-year-old justified favouritism to get up inside the final furlong and pass Whisper just before the line.
That win saw Total Recall’s name bandied about in conjunction with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, where he’s considered a 20/1 shot.
But it’s the Grand National that seems the more likely option for the son of Westerner. Mullins seems keen on an Aintree tilt and he’s been installed as third-favourite at 20/1 as a result.
Meanwhile, over in Ireland, Apple’s Jade surprised no-one to land the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle by 9l from Nichols Canyon.
It was another dominant performance from Gordon Elliot’s runner, who now has six Grade 1 victories to her name at just five-years-old.
Elliot confirmed that the OLBG Mares Hurdle, which she won last season, will once again be Apple’s Jade’s target.
However, after her emphatic defeat of Nichols Canyon at Fairyhouse, we’ve also priced the daughter of Saddler Maker at 8/1 for the Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle.
Fairyhouse proved to be Elliot’s playground on Sunday after he clocked another winner with Death Duty in the Drinmore Novice Chase.
The six-year-old made all over 2m 4f to claim a third successive chasing victory since making the switch from hurdling.
He could be on a collision course with fellow novice Willoughby Court, who was impressive in seeing off Yanworth in the Ladbrokes’ Novices Chase at Newbury on Friday.
The pair look set to be aimed at JLT Novices’ Chase, where they’re both considered as 7/1 shots by our traders in the ante-post market.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.