Although the middle of November, the Cheltenham Festival is firmly in the mind of punters with ante-post wagers and hopes of what might be come Prestbury Park.
Today's JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Registered as the Prestbury Park Juvenile Hurdle) saw a field of eight three-year-olds taking part at Cheltenham (12:30) for a first prize of £14,807.
Racing over 2m 1/2f, on good to soft going, bookies made Paul Nicholls' Hell Red favourite, who started fractional odds against (11/10f), but struggling some way out and a bitter disappointment - pulled-up before the last.
In a race of changing fortunes, Cabot Cliffs led but tired in the closing stages.
Duffle Coat, unbeaten in all three starts to date for trainer Gordon Elliott, ridden by Robbie Power, looked in trouble in the early stages of the race in last place. However, the 2/1 second favourite, in the ownership of R. Stokes, may have been ridden to perfection, as this son Ahebayeb led on the run in winning by five-lengths going away from Adagio.
Duffle Coat is now four wins from four (under a 5lb penatly) and presently best priced at 16/1 (Sky bet, William Hill, Paddy Power & Betfair) for the Triumph Hurdle which takes place on the 19th March 2021.
Gordon Elliott is spoilt for choice having Quilixios, in the ownership of Cheveley Park Stud, in flying form and favourite with many bookmakers for the Triumph Hurdle (generally 12/1) after a couple of facile victories after starting his career victorious with Francois Nicolle.
Race fans will remember Gordon Elliott won last year's Triumph Hurdle with Farcais at 9/1. And previously with Tiger Roll in 2014.
Duffle Coat may well need testing going to show his best form and that might be something backers keep in mind considering he was available at odds of 11/1 in running.
Good luck to connections.
Jason Coote is the founder of many websites and known gambler in Great Britain.