Simonsig 'the one to beat'

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: December 27 2012, 15:37 GMT

Simonsig is odds-on in places for the Arkle Trophy after exciting the layers with his victory at Kempton on Thursday.

Simonsig: Peerless display at Kempton
Simonsig: Peerless display at Kempton

Boylesports go 4/5 about Nicky Henderson's charge although many firms are prepared to offer 5/4.

Henderson now plans to run him once more - possibly in the Game Spirit Chase - before March's Cheltenham Festival.

Boylesports' Will Reilly said: "Once again, he jumped impressively, if a little left at two or three fences, and won easily. He is very, very exciting."

Sky Bet's Michael Shinners, whose firm go evens from 7/4, said: "He looks the real deal, jumps and travels exceptionally well and is clearly the one to beat at Cheltenham."

Overturn is currently rated Simonsig's closest challenger at a general 7/1.

Jezki also hardened as a Festival favourite after winning at Leopardstown.

Jessica Harrington's star is no better than 8/1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle following an impressive success.

Ladbrokes offer that price - they have Puffin Billy and River Maigue as co-favourites - but other firms are as short as 5/1.

Hayley O'Connor, of Ladbrokes, said: "We've made Jezki joint favourite for the Supreme Novices following his Leopardstown victory but judging by the level of support we've seen already, there's a good chance he'll soon be the clear market leader."

The well-beaten Waaheb is out to 20/1 with Sky Bet and Coral.

In the Queen Mother Champion Chase market, Sizing Europe, Sanctuaire and Menorah were all cut after respective wins.

Sizing Europe won the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown. Coral left him unchanged at 8/1 but Ladbrokes went into 4/1.

Boylesports' Leon Blanche, whose firm cut their price from 10/1 to 6/1, said: "He jumped well and looked to have put the race to bed decisively until maybe getting stuck in the mud on the run-in.

"However, he has courage as well as class and always looked likely to hold on. He looks as good as ever."

Sanctuaire, backed at 170 in-running on Betfair, stormed back to win the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton by a comfortable margin.

Paul Nicholls' star appeared to be struggling but hit back superbly and was duly cut by most firms. While Coral went into 8/1, bet365 were prepared to stand by their 14/1 quote.

Menorah won the rearranged Peterborough Chase but bet365 offer 33s about a repeat success in the Queen Mother.

The former hurdler is also 16/1 (sportingbet) for the Ryanair Chase.

With Sprinter Sacre a hot favourite for the Queen Mother (no better than 1/2), the Ryanair is a race likely to be considered by connections.

Away from the Festival markets, Prince de Beauchene established himself as the Grand National favourite following victory at Limerick.

Ladbrokes were left offering a top price of 20/1 with several firms into 14s, including Boylesports.

Their Leon Blanche said: "Denied a run through injury when strongly fancied for the Grand National in 2012, patience may well prove to be a virtue once again for master trainer Willie Mullins.

"Prince de Beauchene came back with a bang today."