Saturday's Market Moves
1800: It's X Factor final weekend and James Arthur has made his way to the head of the betting.
Our 9/2 tip now trades at 11/10 following sustained support as long-time market leader Jahmene Douglas drifts to 6/4.
Christopher Maloney completes the line-up and, despite not having been in the dreaded bottom two so far, he's the outsider of three at 5/1 in what some firms have called the closest final yet.
Christopher is 10/11 favourite to be the next act eliminated with Jahmene and James on offer at 3/1 and 100/30 respectively.
Brian McDermott's side have now lost four matches on the spin since beating Everton in November and are six points adrift of safety.
BetVictor cut them to 1/3 immediately after the defeat and with William Hill going as short as 2/9, it's clear that Reading's stay in the top flight is expected to be brief, with Paddy Power's 4/11 the initial standout quote.
In contrast, Southampton are out to 6/5 with bet365 having extended their unbeaten home run to four matches, which leaves 1/2 chances QPR as the only other odds-on side along with Reading.
Harry Redknapp's outfit came from behind to lead 2-1 at Wigan but were quickly pegged back for a 2-2 draw to stay bottom of the table on seven points, the only winless side in the division.
Coral quote 7/4 that QPR fail to win again this year, with games against Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom and Newcastle to come before 2013.
"If QPR fail to beat Fulham next Saturday, it's hard to see the Hoops bringing an end to their winless run before the end of 2012," said the firm's Tim Reynolds.
Wigan are alongside Aston Villa in the betting at 11/5 with most firms, Villa having played out a 0-0 draw against Stoke, while Sunderland are now as short as 9/4 in places having been beaten by Chelsea.
That home defeat saw Paddy Power cut Martin O'Neill to 5/4 favourite to be the next manager to lose his job, while Ladbrokes slashed Reading boss McDermott to 9/2.
Rafael Benitez has been eased out to 13/2 by Paddy Power and Coral offer 4/6 that he remains in charge come the first day of next season after an improved display on Wearside.
"It's well known that Roman Abramovich would love to bring Pep Guardiola to the Bridge, but whether the former Barcelona manager would take-up the challenge is unknown," said Tim Reynolds.
"If Pep does decide to turn his back on Chelsea for a second time, Rafa Benitez would be very unlucky not to be appointed on a permanent basis, especially if the Spaniard can guide the Blues to a major trophy this season."
With Chelsea favourites for the Capital One Cup, Coral offer 1/2 that Benitez does lead them to a trophy, with 6/4 the price for those who believe he'll fail to do so.
1645: Click here to read how one punter landed the totescoop6 bonus.
1610: Sprinter Sacre is odds-on for the Queen Mother Champion Chase after a stunning success in the Sportingbet Tingle Creek.
Nicky Henderson's Arkle winner was sent off at 4/11 for his seasonal return and put in a phenomenal display to beat Kumbeshwar by 15 lengths, and he's now a standout 4/7 shot for the Cheltenham contest with Boylesports.
Market rival Sanctuaire had set out to make the running under Ruby Walsh but Barry Geraghty drew alongside the pair on Sprinter Sacre at the Pond Fence before bounding clear as Sanctuaire faded into third.
It was a performance which drew comparisons with the likes of Moscow Flyer and Kauto Star, both previous winners of the race, and it saw Sky Bet cut him to 2/5 from 10/11 for the Champion Chase.
Coral are one of several firms who quote 1/2 from evens, and the firm's David Stevens reckons it was a display that marks a new era in National Hunt racing.
"Sprinter Sacre brushed aside a top-class rival in the shape of Sanctuaire to give Nicky Henderson a first Tingle Creek success, and he now joins Big Buck's as an odds-on favourite for a Festival showpiece, a position he is unlikely to relinquish before March," he said.
"Frankel has dominated flat racing in recent seasons, and Sprinter Sacre has the ability to do likewise in jumping's two-mile division."
Stan James also quote 1/2 but their spokesman Rory Jiwani doesn't expect the price to hold. He said: "Today was Sanctuaire's best chance of beating Sprinter Sacre but he exerted so much effort in trying to stretch the favourite that he ended up losing second to Kumbeshwar.
"The Arkle winner was simply too good for his rivals yet again and he looks bombproof as far as the Festival is concerned.
"Barry Geraghty has compared Sprinter Sacre to the great Moscow Flyer and on the basis of today's display, he could be even better than the 2004 Tingle Creek and dual-Champion Chase winner.
"I'm fairly sure that 1/2 won't be around for long and he could well dominate over jumps in the same way Frankel did on the flat."
It was a fine day for Henderson whose Captain Conan impressed in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase and he's no bigger than 7/1 to succeed his stablemate as Arkle champion come the spring.
There was further movement in that market as Oscars Well won at Navan as, while Coral and William Hill remained happy to quote 12/1, others took evasive action.
Stan James cut Oscars Well to 7/1, the lowest quote around, and expect him to play his part in a fascinating race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.
Over at Aintree, Ben Linfoot's 14/1 tip Hello Bud rolled back the years to win the Betfred Becher Chase for a second time, but it was second home Join Together who caught the eye of bookmakers.
Stan James cut him to 25/1 from 66s for the John Smith's Grand National and he's as short as 18/1 with bet365 to give Paul Nicholls back-to-back victories in the spring spectacular.
1515: Sprinter Sacre is just 2/5 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase after a simply awesome victory in the Sportingbet Tingle Creek.
Settled in second behind front-running Sanctuaire, Barry Geraghty's mount took it up at the Pond Fence and stormed clear as his market rival paid the price for trying to get him off the bridle, eventually conceding second to Kumbeshwar.
At the line, Sprinter Sacre had 15 lengths in hand and he's a best of 4/7 with Stan James and Boylesports for the March contest.
1430: Stan James have cut Join Together to 25/1 from 66s for the Grand National after he was a fast-finishing second in the Becher Chase.
Today's contest went the way of 14-year-old stalwart Hello Bud, advised at 14/1 by our top-class tipster Ben Linfoot in his weekly value bet column.
1410: Captain Conan has been widely cut for the Arkle after he won the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at Sandown.
Sent off a 4/7 favourite for the Grade One contest, the five-year-old made all under Barry Geraghty for a convincing victory over Hinterland to make it two wins from as many starts over fences.
Sky Bet, Stan James, BetVictor, Ladbrokes and William Hill all cut him to 5/1 second-favourite for the Arkle behind Simonsig, who is 7/2 with William Hill, leaving Betfred, totesport and bet365 as the only firms quoting 6/1.
The runner-up is out to 25/1 with Paddy Power.
1330: There's an hour and a half until today's Premier League games get under way so let's have a look at where the money is going.
Perhaps unsurprisingly given their recent form, Arsenal are easy to back against West Brom at 3/5 with BetVictor and generally 4/7, as punters look to get the draw (100/30 Sky Bet) and the visitors (generally 11/2) on side.
Stoke are very strong 2/1 shots to win at drifting 9/5 chances Aston Villa and again the draw has backers at 9/4.
Paddy Power and Stan James quote evens about Southampton ahead of their crunch clash with Reading, who can be backed at 16/5 with Betfred in a quiet betting heat.
Chelsea and Swansea are the best backed favourites at 3/4 and 4/5 respectively while Wigan are also very strong at 13/10 ahead of the visit of QPR.
1305: Sky Bet have cut Kentford Grey Lady to 8/1 from 14s for the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle after she carried top weight to victory at Sandown.
Stan James cut the grey from 20/1 to 12s, BetVictor offer 14/1 from 20s and bet365 cut her to 12/1 from 16s initially, before revising that price again to 10/1.
Quevega remains favourite at a best of evens with William Hill and sportingbet.
1235: Betfred and Stan James are among a clutch of firms who make Golden Hoof 25/1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle following his comfortable victory in the opener at Sandown.
However, the layers were more impressed by Un Atout after he too landed the odds at Navan, and he's 16/1 from 33s for the Supreme with bet365 and Paddy Power and 20/1 from 25s with William Hill.
1210: John Senden is 5/4 favourite for the Emirates Australian Open having moved into a two shot lead with one round remaining.
Senden bounced back from a bogey-bogey start to shoot 70 and he's favourite to take the title ahead of Justin Rose, who is alone in second and can be backed at 5/2 with Boylesports.
Pre-tournament favourite Adam Scott is out to 16/1 with Stan James - he's five behind - while recent Q School graduate Matt Jones is one of a group of players with three shots to make up and he's 18/1.
It's 22/1 bar.
1150: Stan James spokesman Rory Jiwani brings us news from the firm's trading room.
"Sprinter Sacre has looked superb over fences so far but Sanctuaire is a serious rival with Paul Nicholls' charge definitely suited by Sandown. If Sanctuaire is to beat Sprinter Sacre anywhere, it'll be here and we're now 1/2 about the Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite.
"In the opener at 12.20, Sprinter Sacre's stablemate Golden Hoof is out from 8/11 to even money with support for Beckhani. The five-year-old is 3/1 from 4/1 to keep up Jonjo O'Neill's excellent run of form.
"In the Pertemps Hurdle qualifier at 1.25, Cloudy Bob is 9/1 from 12/1 for Pat Murphy with Paul Nicholls' Sam Winner the clear 5/2 favourite despite carrying top weight.
"Captain Conan is 1/2 for the Henry VIII Novices' Chase at 1.55 in another battle between Henderson and Nicholls with Hinterland 10/3 having touched 7/2 this morning.
"Ifandbutwhynot looked a well-handicapped hurdler when winning at Cheltenham last month, and David O'Meara's six-year-old is the 3/1 favourite having been available at 4/1 last night. Pricewise selection Into Wain is 7/1 from 9/1 for Steve Gollings.
"And in the last, the London National at 3.40, we're currently clear top price about Tempo De Cotte for Paul Nicholls with he and Donald McCain's Lively Baron 11/4 joint-favourites. Any Currency is a notable non-runner but there's been good money for Sheena West's frontrunner Golan Way who is 3/1 from 11/2.
"Over at Aintree, we're top price every runner in the Becher Chase with Join Together now backed into favouritism at 6/1 with last year's winner West End Rocker after being tipped by Pricewise.
"In the novices' handicap hurdle at 1.35, Master Of The Sea has been backed to follow up his easy win at Hereford on Wednesday with Nigel Twiston-Davies' five-year-old the 11/4 favourite from 4/1 last night. Peter Bowen's Awaywiththegreys is 5/1 from 7/1 in the handicap hurdle at 2.45.
"And in the last, the Grand Sefton at 3.20, Twiston-Davies' Little Josh is in from 6/1 last night to 7/2 with Blackstaff now 10/1 from 25/1 for Nick Williams."
1125: England are 1/100 for victory in the third Test having moved into a commanding position this morning.
A wonderful spell from England's bowlers saw them reduce India to 239-9 at the close of play, which means that the hosts lead by just 32 runs with one wicket remaining.
At present, no firms have reformed their series betting markets but should they wrap up victory England will lead 2-1 with one match remaining.
1110: Sky Bet's Kyle Brady brings us the latest news from the firm's trading room.
13.25 Sandown Gilbarry 10/1 from 14/1
Landed a Grade 2 Chase back 2011 but has had a torrid time since, ending up on the deck in two of his last four starts. Returns to hurdles today off an attractive mark and is expected to go well with Noel Fehily booked.
14.25 Aintree Constant Contact 9/1 from 11/1
Handicapper has now given him a chance and he comes here with plenty going for him. Donald McCain's charge shapes like a step up in trip will suit and has already shown a liking for this ground in the past.
15.20 Aintree Blackstaff 10/1 from 14/1
Despite being out of the handicap in the Grand Sefton, Mark Quinlan's mount does appeal as a lively outsider. The seven-year-old has shown fair form in points and could run a big race on his first start for Nick Williams.
14.20 Wetherby War Poet 2/1 from 5/2
An obvious favourite when assessing the race. David O'Meara's inmate could be feasibly handicapped over hurdles and it's no surprise to see support for the gelding on his first start in handicaps.
1050: Shaun Murphy is 10/11 for the UK Championship with William Hill after his remarkable semi-final victory last night.
Trailing Ali Carter 8-4 in the best of 17 encounter, Murphy won the remaining five frames to come back from the dead having traded at prices in excess of 20/1 in-running.
He'll meet either Mark Selby or Mark Davis, who meet in today's second semi-final.
Selby is a strong 2/5 favourite to beat Davis, who is 12/5 with BetVictor, and they're 6/4 and 8/1 respectively in the outright betting.
1030: The feature race at Aintree is the Betfred Becher Chase and Join Together is now 6/1 favourite ahead of last year's winner West End Rocker at 13/2 with totesport and Betfred.
Big Fella Thanks is solid in the market at 8/1 but former Grand National winner Ballabriggs is easy to back at 10s, the same price available about In Compliance and Problema Tic.
Click here to find out who Channel 4 commentator Simon Holt fancies.
1000: Sprinter Sacre is 1/2 with Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and sponsors Sportingbet ahead of this afternoon's Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Nicky Henderson's horse hasn't yet been beaten over fences and is currently evens for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, a price which is sure to disappear should he put in the kind of stylish performance to which we've become accustomed.
He does face a fascinating rival today in Sanctuaire, a winner of all three starts over fences including, crucially, a pair of wins at Sandown.
The Paul Nicholls runner is a general 5/2 chance to win today and a standout 8/1 shot for the Festival feature with Boylesports.
Arguably the biggest betting race on the card is the handicap hurdle at 14.30 for which Ifandbutwhynot is a strong 100/30 favourite having been put up by Pricewise in today's Racing Post.
David O'Meara's horse won well at Cheltenham, form which has been franked, and is clear at the head of the market from 6/1 shot Softsong.
Our very own value hunter Ben Linfoot fancies Monte Cavallo, a general 10/1 chance, and you can read why here.
0930: Good morning and welcome to the Market Moves Centre on what will be another busy Saturday.
Today we discover whether Sprinter Sacre really is the next superstar of racing while the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea bid to bounce back to form in the Premier League.