Road to Cheltenham: Tiger Roll roars as Kalashnikov misfires

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Super Saturday produced another big shift in the 2019 Cheltenham Festival markets, as Monalee and Clan Des Obeaux both strengthened their Gold Cup credentials.

Al Dancer and Tiger Roll also nailed down their Festival claims over the weekend, although Kalashnikov and Amy Murphy have something to find in the Arkle Chase.

We’ve rounded it all up in our Road to Cheltenham

Clan Des Obeaux – Gold Cup – 9/2 from 7/1

Two months ago Clan Des Obeaux was around 40/1 for the Gold Cup. After victories in the King George VI Chase over Christmas and the Denman Chase on Saturday, he’s now just 9/2.

Only Presenting Percy is shorter than Paul Nicholls’ raider for Cheltenham’s blue-ribbon event.

But with the jolly having completed just a single prep-run so far – and with that run coming over hurdles – Clan boasts the better cold hard form across the season.

Nicholls has won the race three times in his career. Is he about to make it four?

Kalashnikov – Arkle Chase – 11/2 to 14/1

Long-time Arkle favourite Kalashnikov requires a miracle if he’s to follow in the hoof-steps of the likes of Moscow Flyer, Sprinter Sacre and Altior.

Amy Murphy’s six-year-old flopped as the odds-on favourite for the second race in a row over the weekend with a disappointing 19l defeat to Glen Forsa in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase.

The Arkle remains the plan for the Kalanisi gelding. But it’ll take a big recovery mission now for the 14/1 shot to overcome the likes of Le Richebourg and Lalor.

Tiger Roll – Cross Country Chase – 6/5 from 3/1

Can you hear that? That’s the sound of 2018 Grand National winner Tiger Roll clearing his throat. Because Gordon Elliott’s Aintree hero is readying to roar at Cheltenham once again.

The nine-year-old defied a huge step down in trip and odds of 25/1 to win the Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle at Navan on Sunday. Now all eyes are on the Cross Country and the National.

He’s 6/5 to retain his title in the former – from 3/1 – while his 2019 Grand National odds have shortened too. Our traders make him the 12/1 favourite.

Al Dancer – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 7/2 from 10/1

In a large field full of novice hurdlers, it’s good to have two things. The first is a horse with a winning habit, and the second is a wily runner with a bit of experience.

Al Dancer ticks both boxes for Nigel Twiston-Davies. The six-year-old is unbeaten in four runs over sticks and confirmed his credentials with a taking win as favourite at Ascot on Saturday.

Sykes – Pertemps Network Final – 25/1 from 40/1

You rarely get a short-price winner in the Pertemps Network Final. So could Sykes be worth a look? The 25/1 shot did his credentials no harm by winning at Haydock on Saturday.

That’s his second strong performance in a Pertemps Qualifier. In a race that regularly chucks up surprise winners, the veteran could be worth a go after twice outrunning his odds this season.

Click here for all our 2019 Cheltenham Festival odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.