Smad cements Place in Gold Cup picture after sparkling Cheltenham win

Willie Mullins' domination in the National Hunt sphere well and truly wilted at the weekend, as Cheltenham Gold Cup ante-post favourite Djakadam fell in the BetBright Trial Chase, whilst Albert Barltett Novices' Hurdle hope Up For Review was trounced by Barters Hill at Doncaster, as the British trainers launched into the limelight.

  • Smad Place cut to 12/1 for Gold Cup after BetBright Trial win
  • Thistlecrack 13/8 for World Hurdle following Cleeve Hurdle romp
  • Yanworth and Barters Hill both win trials impressively and star in novice division

The aforementioned Barters Hill handed Ben Pauling his moment in the spotlight, as he enhanced his claims as one of the premier staying novice hurdlers in training, but the weekend certainly belonged to Alan King, who firstly trained Smad Place to victory in the aforementioned BetBright Trial Chase at Cheltenham, before he watched Yanworth saunter to victory in the Classic Novices' Hurdle, and the JP McManus-owned star is now a warm favourite for the Neptune Novices' Hurdle at next month's Cheltenham Festival.

Smad Destined For Gold Cup After Trial Success

In the aftermath of Smad Place's authoritative victory over Grand National hero Many Clouds in the BetBright Trial Chase, Alan King was quick to pencil in the Cheltenham Gold Cup as his spring destination at the festival, and the galloping grey is as short as 12/1 with bet365 to add that coveted crown on top of his Cheltenham Trials Day win and his Hennessy Gold Cup success earlier in the campaign.

Djakadam's fall in the middle of race made his task a lot easier, and since that tumble Willie Mullins' charge has been eased to 11/2 by Betfair Sportsbook for the 2016 Gold Cup, but Smad Place just showed that his place on the front end, and as he pulled well clear of Many Clouds, who remained at 14/1 for the Grand National, he continued to maintain the gallop and he now has to be regarded as one of the primary charges for the home brigade come March 18.

Camping Ground Cracks As Thistle Enhances World Hurdle Claims

Colin Tizzard's season continued to blossom at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon, as Thistlecrack landed another notable staying hurdle prize and the multiple Grade-winning gelding is now a best-priced 13/8 favourite with Paddy Power for the 2016 Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

He was expect to face a tough test from Relkeel Hurdle winner Camping Ground, but that rival waved the white flag turning for home, and is 33/1 with Paddy Power for the World Hurdle, and it was left to Thistlecrack to enhance his already lofty reputation, as he pulled 12 lengths clear of Ptit Zig, and he will now be the one they all have to beat come March 17 and it will be tough to see him not landing the win.

Yanworth And Barters Hill Strengthen Novice Division For British Trainers

Some had questioned Alan King's decision to step Yanworth up in trip, but the Barbury Castle handler was proven right with his will to go up in distance, as JP McManus' charge eased clear of Shantou Village to win the Grade 2 Classic Novices' Hurdle, and at 2/1 with Ladbrokes, the unbeaten six-year-old sets the standard for the 2m 5f Neptune next month.

Barters Hill is now a best-priced 3/1 with Paddy Power for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, after he battled to victory in Doncaster's River Don Novices' Hurdle, and the dour stayer will relish the test of stamina in the 3m Grade 1 in the spring, and he just adds more depth to a strong home contingent in the novice hurdle division.

2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup Odds

2016 Ladbrokes World Hurdle Betting

Posted: Monday, 1st February 2016
Author: Steve Chambo

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