Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Update, 1st March

A lot has happened since our last update, and the media clues are in full flow.

Let’s get the bad news out the way first, as there’s plenty of good.

Simonsig, Killultagh Vic, Faugheen and, most painfully, Ar Mad are all out through injury.

Rotten luck, as it can happen to any horse and it goes both ways – an injury to Douvan would have seen Ar Mad a very tight price – but the remainder of our bets are looking in good shape.

In his media stable tour, Gordon Elliott was measured but positive about Tombstone‘s chances in the Supreme, confirming that’s the first-choice race at present and that he expects him to improve for better ground – which echoes our logic in putting him up.

He’s now 12/1 from the 20/1 advised.

Mullins’s stable tour had the best news, with our 25/1 RSA Chase selection Black Hercules looking a likely starter – surely he won’t go from being considered a four-mile horse to running in the two-and-a-half-mile JLT, so it’s got to be the RSA.

He’s now 14/1 with Paddy Power but as low as 6/1 elsewhere, with very few bookmakers non-runner-no-bet on the race yet.

Mullins also continued to insist Vautour is being targeted at the Gold Cup, and he remains half the price we advised at 5/1.

The Triumph Hurdle betting remains a mess with only Zubayr revealing himself as a contender since the favourite, Ivanovich Gorbatrov, was turned over at Leopardstown.

His conqueror, Footpad, probably should be shorter but our selection Sceau Royal remains half the price we advised him at 8/1 and looks to have a big chance.

That leaves Martello Tower, West Approach and Camping Ground (in the Champion Hurdle), and all remain at the same prices advised, with little in the way of news or collateral form to influence them.

Two weeks to go!

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