Beltor The Value For Triumph – Weekend Review

There were a number of major prices changes for the Cheltenham Festival during the last few days – which incidentally gets underway in a fortnight’s time – including the odds of Beltor.

Beltor The Value
There may have been more headline races than Kempton’s Grade 2 Adonis Juvenile Hurdle, but Beltor – who may not have been amongst the “sexier names” prior to the weekend – is a horse that punters should sit up and take notice of.

From one of the smaller yards in Robert Stephens, Beltor stepped up considerably on his opening hurdles win to make mincemeat off his rivals on Saturday. Barely off the bridle, this 4yo quickened impressively to settle matters, and a glance back at what previous winners of this race achieved at the festival makes for good reading.

Since 1997, past Adonis winners chalked up a level stakes profit of +£21 during their next three outings, in the process producing five festival winners (from 12 runners).

With each of the five victors landing the Triumph Hurdle, punters need to take a serious look at Saturday’s winner, Beltor, who looks sure to improve for the faster gallop and better ground next month.

At odds of 8/1, Beltor looks excellent each-way value for the Triumph.

Rocky Creek
Elsewhere at Kempton, Rocky Creek won the Grade 3 Betbright Handicap Chase, and is now 12/1 for the Grand National in April. A breathing operation has worked the oracle for Paul Nicholls’ 9yo, who was fifth in last year’s National when ridden with the choke out, but more patient tactics could see him get home in April.

Nicholls also won the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Saturday with Irish Saint, and while he is 14/1 for JLT at the festival, his spring target could be Aintree, unless it gets very soft at Cheltenham.

Nicky Henderson’s Days Of Heaven – who won the Grade Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle – may also miss Cheltenham, as he may not cope with the occasion being an excitable sort, while a right-handed rail also suits him.

Sire De Grugy Is Back
Meanwhile over at Chepstow, last year’s Champion Chase winner, Sire De Grugy, put his credentials on the line for another crack at the title when giving lumps away in a handicap chase. Having unseated only two weeks ago, this 9yo bounced back in no uncertain times to give his followers clutching ante-post vouchers a real boost. Sire De Grugy is currently the 3/1 joint-favourite with Sprinter Sacre.

There were fewer Cheltenham pointers at Naas on Sunday, Lean Araig won the Grade 2 novice hurdle, improving markedly in the process from handicaps, though trainer, Oliver McKiernan, stated that he might skip Cheltenham and go for Fairyhouse then Punchestown.

Similar comments apply to Timothy Doyle’s Mallowney, who won a Grade 2 Chase over, though he too looks set for the Fairyhouse/Punchestown.