Cheltenham Festival: Appreciate It slashed for Champion Hurdle as plans change

The Cheltenham winner won't be going chasing this season!

Appreciate It Paul Townend Cheltenham Festival March 16, 2021

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Appreciate It could emerge as Honeysuckle’s big rival in the Champion Hurdle after plans to go chasing were ditched by Willie Mullins.

A 24l winner of last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the seven-year-old was a hot fancy for next year’s Arkle Chase after trainer Mullins previously expressed hopes that he could “replicate over fences what he does over hurdles at two miles”.

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Appreciate It will now be geared towards a hurdling campaign, however, after suffering a setback that has delayed his chasing career from lift off.

Paddy’s traders reacted to the news by bumping Appreciate It to second in our antepost betting market for the Champion Hurdle, although the unbeaten Honeysuckle remains the odds-on favourite.

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A clash between the pair would be a fresh spectacle as Henry de Bromhead’s superstar mare has conquered all before her and won last season’s Champion Hurdle at a canter from the likes of Sharjah and Epatante.

As a result of Appreciate It’s campaign being rerouted, Ferny Hollow has emerged as the clear favourite in our antepost betting market for the Arkle Chase.

The 2020 Champion Bumper winner, who beat Bob Olinger on his only appearance last season, scored in a Beginners Chase at Punchestown earlier this month.

Gordon Elliott’s progressive Riviere D’etel and Alan King’s Grade-1 winning Edwardstone are rated by our traders as the principal threats to Ferny Hollow.

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