Zarkandar 10/1 for Champion

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: November 10 2012, 16:25 GMT

Zarkandar was cut into a best of 10/1 for next year's Champion Hurdle following victory at Wincanton on Saturday.

Zarkandar: 10/1 for the 2013 Champion Hurdle

Paul Nicholls' star edged out stablemate Prospect Wells to win the Elite Hurdle and move up the market for March's championship race at the Cheltenham Festival.

Price cuts were made after the hard-fought victory with quotes ranging from 7s to 10s, the latter being widely available.

Sky Bet's Richard Horner, whose firm went into 8/1 from 12s, said: "A slow pace wouldn't have been sure to suit this strong stayer but he was very game in a driving finish with his stablemate Prospect Wells to land the spoils off a mark of 163 and looks set for a good season with next stop the International Hurdle at Cheltenham."

The 10/1 makes Zarkandar the third favourite on best price, behind the 2011 winner Hurricane Fly (6/1) and reigning champion Rock On Ruby (9/1).

Stan James have Zarkandar as second favourite - they are one of the firms at 7s.

Their Rory Jiwani said: "Paul Nicholls said the 2011 Triumph Hurdle winner would come on for the run and he bravely repelled stablemate Prospect Wells to take victory.

"He is a real contender for next year's Stan James Champion Hurdle and we've cut him from 12/1 to 7/1."

Meanwhile, Overturn was cut for Arkle glory at the Festival after making an impressive fencing debut on the same card.

Last season's Champion Hurdle runner-up was a comfortable winner at Sandown and duly saw his price shorten.

12/1 had been available before the race but Donald McCain's charge was into 8/1 afterwards.

William Hill initially offered 10s but they soon joined the throng at 8/1. Taking evasive action, BetVictor were among those to move into 6s.

Sky Bet's Horner, whose firm were one of those at 8/1, described the victory as "impressive" and said: "He should have beaten the three rivals in that style but he has now proved he can jump a fence well and this 164-rated hurdler is now a clear second favourite behind Simonsig."

David Williams, of Ladbrokes, added: "Overturn did his work beautifully and looks sure to be one to follow over fences this term."

Simonsig is the general 3/1 jolly for next March's race.

Hill's offer 7/1 that Overturn wins any race at next year's Festival.

In the Grand National market, The Package was cut to a best of 25/1 (general) - for Aintree glory after also winning at Wincanton.

Meanwhile, Stan James were impressed by Jezki's win at Naas and quickly slashed their Supreme Novices' Hurdle price from 40/1 to 14s.