Cheltenham Festival 2020 ante-post bets: Shishkin (16/1), Chantry House (14/1)

2m½f (2m87y) Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

SHISHKIN just bolted up over hurdles at Newbury. It may have been just a maiden but, having never been sent off odds-against since his purchase, he had clearly been a hype horse from the Henderson yard since blitzing a bumper at Kempton last year. Get on quickly as the 16/1 offered by William Hill is not going to last. He looked every inch a top-class novice hurdler in what looks a very poor division this year – aside from Envoi Allen, who’s headed to the Ballymore.

1pt win Shishkin @16/1, Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
advised 15th January 2020

2m5f  (Old) Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham)  (Class 1) (4yo+)

Nicky Henderson has been quoted as keen to keep his exciting novice hurdlers Shishkin and CHANTRY HOUSE apart in the run up to Cheltenham. That they’re mentioned in the same breath is a clear pointer to the regard they are held, and so far the evidence on the track has firmly backed that up. Chantry House bolted up at Newbury this weekend and prior to that had won a hot Cheltenham novice hurdle, so there’s a lot to like about his chances for one of the novice hurdles in March. I’d be very surprised if he takes Shishkin on in the Supreme given they’re from the same yard, he’s bred to stay and, unlike Shishkin, he doesn’t race keenly – being able to travel smoothly and quicken is what you’d want to see in a typical Ballymore winner. The betting currently proves a decision hasn’t been made about his Festival target but Henderson certainly leaned towards the longer trip of the Ballymore in his post-race comments. There’s an awful lot of hype around the short-priced favourite for this race, Envoi Allen, but I’ve seen nothing to suggest he’s unbeatable and I highly doubt Henderson would duck the challenge. I’d take the 14/1 about Chantry House being good enough to beat him any day of the week – he’s 8/1 non-runner no bet if you want to take the Supreme risk out of the equation – and I’d expect a significant contraction in his price over the coming weeks.

1pt win Chantry House @14/1, Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
advised 9th February 2020

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