Irish champion jumps trainer, Willie Mullins, looks set for another terrific Cheltenham Festival holding a strong hand in many of the feature races at the four-day National Hunt bonanza. His Felix Yonger has attracted solid support in the racing betting for his intended target, the Grade 1 Racing Post Arkle Chase, despite suffering a surprise defeat last time out.
Runner-up to Nicky Henderson’s high-class Simonsig in the Grade 1 Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival, Felix Yonger was out of action for over a year after disappointing on his subsequent outing at Punchestown but has been making a name for himself once again, this time as a smart novice chaser.
After clocking up three impressive victories from his first three outings over the larger obstacles – including victory in the Grade 2 Maddigans Bars Craddockstown Novices Chase at Punchestown in November, where he defeated the useful Defy Logic by over two lengths – the gelded son of Oscar was sent off a hot 2/5 market leader in the racing live betting for the Grade 2 Greenmount Park Novice Chase at Limerick on Boxing Day, but things didn’t go according to plan.
Paul Townend, who took over from regular rider Ruby Walsh, came in for some stick after possibly laying a little too far out of his ground for much of the race. After driving his mount off in pursuit of the front-running The Paprazzi Kid he was left without enough gas in the tank in the closing stages, coming home second to his lesser fancied stable companion.
Punters appear to have judged that race as little more than a blip and Felix Yonger remains a general 7/1 joint-second favourite with Dodging Bullets in the ante-post betting for the Arkle Chase, behind another exciting Mullins’ chaser Champagne Fever (11/2).Share on Facebook