Ante post betting: Stay Away Fay cut for Cheltenham glory

Stay Away Fay, ante post betting, horse racing

Coral has trimmed Stay Away Fay to 5/1 (from 6/1) favourite in the ante post betting for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase following his Grade Two success at Sandown on Friday.

Paul Nicholls’ bay was the winner of the Albert Bartlett over hurdles last season and made a winning start to his chasing career at Exeter last month.

He stepped up to Grade Two level at Sandown in a field of four for the Esher Novices’ Chase, including the horse he beat by a length and three-quarters at Exeter – Joe Tizzard’s The Changing Man.

Stay Away Fay was the 8/11 favourite under Harry Cobden and made the running with an athletic round of jumping, only running into trouble when The Changing Man unseated Brendan Powell and caused a bit of mischief when running loose.

Nicholls’ runner and Lucinda Russell’s Giovinco shared the lead in the latter stages but it was the former horse who eventually came out on top to secure a length-and-a-half victory.

The winning trainer said: “I’m definitely not going for the National Hunt Chase and if he runs anywhere it will be the Brown Advisory at the Festival.

“We might look at something like the Reynoldstown at Ascot but there are no real plans. He will not go to Kempton (for the Kauto Star), that is for sure, as he will have a little break now.”

Coral’s David Stevens said: “Stay Away Fay already has one Cheltenham Festival victory on his CV and having made it two from two over fences with his Sandown win, he’s cemented his position as ante-post favourite for a second success at March’s big meeting, this time in the Brown Advisory.”

Silence is golden for Skelton

The card’s other graded winner, Deafening Silence, was introduced into Coral’s ante post betting for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at 33/1.

Dan Skelton’s six-year-old was one of a field of five for the Betfair Beacons Winter Novices’ Hurdle, starting at 6/1 as Nicky Henderson’s previously unbeaten Southoftheborder was the 11/8 favourite.

The latter horse unseated late on and so too did the rallying Josh The Boss, leaving Deafening Silence and Harry Skelton (pictured above, right) to pass Paul Nicholls’ Insurrection on the run in to the line to prevail by two and a quarter lengths.

Dan Skelton said: “You would have to go up to three miles with him. Two and a half miles around here is three and more at most venues. We will just pick and choose.

“He could run at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day over two and a half miles but it would want to be really soft or he could go to Doncaster over three miles (River Don) or there is Haydock Park two weeks later (Prestige) over three miles.

“It is an acceptable dream to have (to go to the Cheltenham Festival). You wouldn’t want to be going to an Albert Bartlett at a tender age but with his age and strength and the form to back it up, I think it is an acceptable situation to go there.”

Chambard shows Aintree stamina

Chambard was an Aintree winner on Saturday and is now 50/1 for more success over the famous fences in the Grand National 2024 ante post betting.

Venetia Williams’ 11-year-old was among the lesser-fancied of the 12 runners for the Becher Handicap Chase as heavy ground guaranteed the event was going to be a real test of stamina.

Under amateur rider Lucy Turner, the bay never looked to struggle with the conditions, however, jumping soundly at the head of the field with Laura Morgan’s Percussion for company.

Gradually the going took its toll on the field and plenty of horses were pulled up at the rear of the pack as Chambard still travelled happily at the front and was eventually left well clear to canter to a 13-length success at 18/1 over top weight Coko Beach.

Turner said: “He hasn’t jumped these fences before, so we said we’d see how he takes to them, but that was the best spin I’ve ever had round there and he just loved it and kept galloping.

“As soon as they came to him, he quickened again. I could sort of hear the others coming, but he’s gone again, and at the last he was like a fresh horse.

“I’ve always wanted to ride a winner over these fences, so to do it on him means the world.

“It was a little bit hard going trying to see coming into the home straight with all the rain coming down and the headwind but he was a total professional.  I think he surprises people. They think, ‘can he go and do that?’ but then he shows them he can.

“This is probably the best day I’ve ever had in racing. Aintree is such a marvellous place, so to have a winner here is fantastic.

“April (and the Grand National) is a long way away and we will think about that when the time comes, but this is a dream.”

Options open for Not So Sleepy

Fighting Fifth hero Not So Sleepy looks set to be a Champion Hurdle entry after trainer Hughie Morrison ruled out a Christmas clash with Constitution Hill.

While testing conditions led to the withdrawal of National Hunt racing’s headline act, as well as his stablemate Shishkin, nothing should be taken away from Morrison’s durable veteran, who was winning the Grade One contest for a second time, having dead-heated with Epatante two years ago.

The 11-year-old proved himself as good as ever in accounting for a pair of Cheltenham Festival-winning mares in Love Envoi and You Wear It Well and is reported to have taken his exertions in his stride.

“We’ll keep all options open on the basis we could put him in the Champion Hurdle and one day it might be heavy, as long as he trains well,” said Morrison on Sunday.

“He was fifth in the Champion Hurdle last season when I didn’t feel I had him there as well I would have liked him but as we saw when he won on the Flat at Newbury (in September) and again yesterday he’s back to his best if not better.

“Three weeks ago he schooled the best he’s ever schooled. Having not seen anything since the Champion Hurdle, he went over some mini fences and really attacked them.

“He loves running fresh. He didn’t hardly blow at all yesterday – considering he’d run and won on that ground, he had an abnormally light blow.

“If we went for the Champion Hurdle, he wouldn’t have another run and then later on next year you might think of giving him one run in September somewhere and going for a third Fighting Fifth again at Newcastle, or wherever it is.”

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