16th March, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
A significant shake-up in the ante-post market for the Grade 1 Racing Post Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival has taken place following the news that Peddlers Cross will miss the race and take his chance in the half-mile longer Grade 2 Jewson Novices Chase instead, writes Elliot Slater.
After giving the matter a great deal of thought, trainer Donald McCain and the smart gelding’s owner Tim Leslie have decided that the longer event should suit their charge better after seeing him run below par over two miles behind Sprinter Scare at Kempton on Boxing Day, although it later transpired he had suffered damaged back muscles during the course of the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novice Chase. Those looking at the best horse racing odds need to remember this.
Now reported back in fine form, last season’s Stan James Champion Hurdle runner-up is going to switch to the longer in trip in the hope that the slightly steadier pace will give him a shade more time to negotiate his fences without a hitch, and having won over a furlong further at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival when beating Reve De Sivola in the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Management Novice Hurdle, the course and the distance hold no terrors for the seven-year-old son of Oscar.
Peddlers Cross began his career over fences doing everything right in his first two starts, (both at his local track of Bangor), where he jumped well and travelled powerfully in outclassing his rivals in outings over two-and-a-quarter-miles, but at the sharp Kempton circuit and against the now 4/5 Arkle Chase favourite Sprinter Sacre he was clearly ill-at-ease. McCain’s star has been installed the new 3/1 favourite for the Jewson Novices Chase (having been available at up to 6/1 before his final target was announced), Cristal Bonus is a 5/1 chance, For Non Stop and Sir Des Champs can be backed at 7′s, and it’s 8/1 bar.