Festival funds on hold

  • Last Updated: February 21 2014, 9:17 GMT

Wednesday saw seen the latest confirmation stage for the novice weight-for-age contests at next month's Cheltenham Festival and, all-in-all, there were no significant withdrawals.

Guitar Pete: Has been supported with Boylesports
Guitar Pete: Has been supported with Boylesports

As ever, trainers are keeping their options open and star names Faugheen, Briar Hill, Kings Palace, Red Sherlock and Deputy Dan all remain in both the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Champagne Fever remains entered across all the distances for the novice chases while Haydock winner Zamdy Man is the most notable absentee from the 60 horses left in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

A total of 20 horses were scratched from the JCB Triumph Hurdle but that didn't include any of the market principals with Le Rocher (7/1) and Calipto (8/1) still on track for the Prestbury Park parade.

Dessie Hughes, who landed the race last year with Our Conor, looks to have another strong contender in the form of Guitar Pete who is currently third favourite at 10/1.

Willie Mullins has left in six entries with Adriana Des Mottes currently priced at 20/1 with stable-mate and recent Fairyhouse winner Gitane Du Berlais a 25/1 chance.

Liam Glynn of Boylesports said "All the major contenders remain in the Triumph Hurdle with current favourite Le Rocher proving popular at 6/1 following his win last time out at Prestbury Park on Trials Day."

He added "We have seen good support for Guitar Pete who is steady in the betting at 8/1 and no doubt punters will continue to latch onto the horse following Our Conor's impressive runaway victory in the race last year."

There was little movement at the head of the Supreme betting which is headed by 3/1 chance Vautour and, in truth, that lack of activity was reflected across the other contests.

  • Posted at 1330 BST on 19/02/2014.