Layers impressed by Holywell

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: April 4 2014, 17:06 BST

Holywell is challenging for Cheltenham Gold Cup favouritism following an impressive victory at Aintree on Friday.

Holywell: 10-length winner at Aintree
Holywell: 10-length winner at Aintree

Jonjo O'Neill's charge won the Mildmay Novices' Chase by 10 lengths to earn the layers' repsect.

Having been out around the 40/1 mark for the Gold Cup prior to the race, Holywell was afterwards put up by Ladbrokes as their 8/1 joint favourite for next year's Cheltenham Festival showpiece.

Paddy Power also moved the horse to their head of their market, offering 10/1 - the same price as 2013 winner Bobs Worth and Sir Des Champs.

However, Sky Bet, Boylesports and Betfred/totesport were all prepared to go 16/1.

Sky Bet's spokesman Michael Shinners said: "He looks a rapid improver and with not much strength in depth to the Gold Cup he could well be an interesting horse for next season."

William Hill's Jon Ivan-Duke, whose firm went up with 14/1, added: "Holywell has 'done the double' at Cheltenham and Aintree and he's still improving. He could be an interesting player for next year's Gold Cup."

Tony McCoy was on board the winner and suggested he could go for Gold Cup glory next March.

"I would never have said he was (a Gold Cup horse) before, but he's beaten them pretty convincingly and last year's best staying novice won the Gold Cup (Lord Windermere) and on form he's probably the best one this year."

Favourite and Cheltenham winner O'Faolains Boy could finish only fifth and was subsequently pushed out to a best of 25/1 (bet365) in the same market.

Earlier on the card, Josses Hill was also an impressive novice hurdle winner with trainer Nicky Henderson suggesting afterwards that the horse would be sent chasing next season.

He was duly given 12/1 quotes for the Arkle, although Stan James were more wary, going into 8/1.

Some firms also offered Champion Hurdle prices - Sky Bet and sportingbet prepared to dangle 25/1.

Hill's Ivan-Duke said: "Josses Hill has performed admirably and if he was with any other trainer he might well head to the Champion Hurdle but with My Tent Or Yours in the Henderson camp, we're forming our opinion with Josses Hill going chasing."

Boston Bob won the Melling Chase and was then given 25/1 Gold Cup quotes.

Sky Bet and Stan James also offer 14/1 about the horse winning next year's Ryanair Chase.

The other Grade One on the card, the Sefton Novices' Hurdle, was claimed by Beat That, who was subsequently handed a quote of 16/1 by Betfred for next year's Ladbrokes World Hurdle.

This year's winner, More Of That, is currently the 7/2 jolly.