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Cheltenham Festival | WEEKEND REVIEW: Former Prestbury Park hero Knight Salute shortens to 12-1 for Gloucestershire glory

A couple of market movers for Cheltenham across the weekend, particularly in the juvenile division with Knight Salute trimming for the Friday opener



Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire, UK

Milton Harris confirmed Knight Salute was on course for the Triumph Hurdle after he landed the Adonis at Kempton Park on Saturday afternoon to maintain his unbeaten record over timber.

The former Andrew Balding-trained gelding saw off fellow leading British juvenile Porticello when last seen at Doncaster before proving too strong for another Gary Moore contender in Sunbury-on-Thames under Paddy Brennan.


And while the Irish contingent continues to dominate the head of the market, Harris is confident his representative will do himself justice at Prestbury Park next month.

He told the Racing Post: “I was enormously satisfied with that.

“He had a little cough and a splutter ten days ago, but he worked like a demon on Tuesday, which he doesn’t normally do.

2H657F2 Knight Salute ridden by jockey Paddy Brennan on their way to winning the JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle during day two of the November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse. Picture date: Saturday November 13, 2021.
Knight Salute holds course form at Cheltenham, winning the Triumph Trial back in November

“The Irish horses are all talented but some have been beaten and we haven’t. He should be suited by better ground. I’m not sure we’ll beat them but they’ll have a race from the last. He’ll work a few more times but he doesn’t do a lot.”

Brennan, who has partnered the son of Sir Percy to his last three successes, said: “He’s probably the quickest horse I’ve ridden over hurdles – he’s so accurate. If you were to time him from one side of a hurdle to the other, he’s very quick.

R245D8 Bun Doran ridden by Paddy Brennan on their way to victory in the BetVictor Handicap Chase during day one of the November Meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Paddy Brennan (pictured) bids for a first Festival success since 2010

“He stays very well and Cheltenham suits him. While the Triumph looks competitive, we know he’ll go and perform.”

At Fairyhouse, the Willie Mullins gelding Icare Allen moved into 9-1 for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle after a facile success in the Normal Colfer Winning Fair under Mark Walsh.

Trainer Willie Mullins after Turban won the Underwriting Exchange Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Steeplechase at Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Ireland.
Two of the top five at the head of the market for the Boodles are trained by Willie Mullins

Closutton, remarkably, have never landed this race since its inception back in 2005, but Ireland have taken the last four renewals.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.