Now Victis is handed an option in Cathcart

The puzzle for punters of whether to step in now to back Gloria Victis for one of his Cheltenham assignments was further complicated yesterday when the gelding was among 46 entries for the Cathcart Cup on the final day of the Festival.

The puzzle for punters of whether to step in now to back Gloria Victis for one of his Cheltenham assignments was further complicated yesterday when the gelding was among 46 entries for the Cathcart Cup on the final day of the Festival.

The 6-1 chance for the Gold Cup, winner of the Racing Post Chase at Kempton last month, can win a £50,000 bonus if taking the Cathcart, the Gold Cup or the National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Festival. However, he is also entered for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, for which he is quoted at evens by William Hill.

If, as seems likely, Gloria Victis misses the Royal & SunAlliance, then the current quotes of 7-1 and 8-1 against Ireland's leading staying novice chasers, Native Upmanship and Alexander Banquet, would look attractive. Pipe's Deano's Beeno is also an 8-1 chance.

Gloria Victis is not quoted by sponsors William Hill for the National Hunt Handicap Chase, but their market leader, Marlborough, second to Pipe's horse at Kempton, was well supported yesterday and is now 13-2 favourite, from 8-1. Niki Dee was also cut, from 14-1 to 10-1, for the same race.

Support for Peter Beaumont's charge, who is perceived to be better on good going, may have been inspired by the latest forecast for Prestbury Park, where fine weather has started to dry out the ground.

"The forecast is for very mild weather up to the weekend, no significant rain is forecast and I'm leaving the ground description as good to soft, soft in places," Philip Arkwright, the clerk of the course, said.

Conscious of the criticism that will ensue if there are a host of fatalities at next week's meeting, where the ultra-competitiveness of every race places a heavy burden on the thoroughbred horses, the Cheltenham executive will have been relieved to have received the seal of approval of the Jockey Club's senior inspector of courses, Richard Linley.

"He went round, measured every fence, looked at every hurdle and checked all the rail alignment," Arkwright said. "There was the odd comment on hurdles and there was one bit of rail he thought we could line up a bit better, but overall he was entirely happy."

Coral have tried to liven up betting on the Champion Hurdle by offering prices on Istabraq's winning distance. Aidan O'Brien's charge is 3-1 to win the race by less than three lengths, 11-4 to win by three to six lengths and just 5-2 to win by more than six lengths.

"Ante-post betting on the three feature races has been killed by the presence of short-priced favourites," Simon Clare, Coral's spokesman, said. "The man in the street is not going to back Istabraq at 2-7 but he is not going to back against him."

The firm, who are offering a similar "distance special" for Flagship Uberalles and See More Business, also made a dramatic cut in the odds against Rathbawn Prince for the Arkle Trophy. Quoted at an over-generous 80-1 yesterday morning, the firm have taken a scythe to the price of the Dessie Hughes-trained gelding and now quote 25-1.

Josh Gifford will have just two runners at the Festival after ruling yesterday's Fontwell winner Mr Markham out of the meeting. "If he'd trotted up we might have thought about the Cathcart," Gifford said. "His heart's in the right place and you don't want to break it."

Gifford's Festival pair are Mr Percy in the Champion Hurdle and Skycab in the Mildmay of Flete Handicap Chase on the Wednesday. "It's sad, but there's no point going just for the sake of it," said Gifford, who believes that his Champion Hurdle outsider is good enough to pick up prize-money. "I bet you Mr Percy is in the first four," he declared.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence