King reveals Cheltenham Squad
Alan King paraded his Cheltenham Festival team at the Barbury Castle Estate annual open day on Tuesday morning, stating Medermit is his ‘best chance of the week', with William Hill cutting the seven-year-old from 5-1 into 9-2 second-favouritism for the Arkle Trophy.
The Wiltshire-based handler also has high hopes for Bensalem, who is 6-1 market leader for the Festival Handicap Chase, commenting ‘we're going to see the proper Bensalem at Cheltenham' - William Hill are offering both Medermit and Bensalem at 13-2 to be placed in their respective events.
King was highly enthusiastic with regards to Champion Hurdle contender Mille Chief stating he ‘can't wait' for the big race as the five-year-old will be a ‘better horse on good ground'. Mille Chief is currently available at 14-1 for the showpiece two-mile event, and has been steadily supported in recent weeks following Antepost advice.
Choc Thornton will be the likely partner to many of the trainer's Festival hopefuls, and is 10-1 to be Leading Jockey over the four days.
Lucy Rhodes, spokeswoman for William Hill, said ‘After a disappointing season last year, a revitalised Barbury Castle team will be heading to Prestbury in 2011 on the back of a solid build up this time around, and 13-2 about King's two self-nominated best chances being placed could start the week off with a bang'.
William Hill Specials
Alan King enhanced place double: 13-2 Medermit (Arkle Trophy) and Bensalem (Festival Handicap Chase) both to be placed
Number of Alan King-trained Festival winners: 1-2 under two, 11-4 exactly two, 5-1 three or more
Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey: 6-5 Ruby Walsh, 11-4 Barry Geraghty, 6-1 Tony McCoy, 10-1 Robert Thornton, 16-1 Richard Johnson, 25-1 Jason Maguire, Paul Townend, 33-1 Paddy Brennan, Paul Carberry, Timmy Murphy
(win only - Market will be settled on the number of winners, if there is a tie the greater number of second places will determine the winner, again if there is a tie the greatest number of third places will determine the winner)
Cheltenham Festival Thomas Pink Leading Trainer Award: 11-8 Paul Nicholls, 15-8 Nicky Henderson, 13-2 Willie Mullins, 14-1 Nigel Twiston-Davies, Philip Hobbs, 16-1 Alan King, David Pipe, 33-1 Donald McCain, 40-1 Ferdy Murphy, Jonjo O'Neill
(win only - market will be settled on the number of winners, if there is a tie the greater number of second places will determine the winner, again if there is a tie the greatest number of third places will determine the winner - excludes Derby Charity Race)
Irish Independent Arkle: 4-1 Finians Rainbow, 9-2 Ghizao, Medermit, 10-1 Captain Chris, Realt Dubh, 20-1 Mikael D'Haguenet, Starluck, Quel Esprit, 25-1 Dan Breen, Pepe Simo, 28-1 Torpichen, Rock Noir, 33-1 Bellvano, Blazing Tempo, Giorgio Quercus, Killmurry, Nadiya de la Vega, Morning Supreme, Stagecoach Pearl, Surfing, 40-1 Bar (E/W 1/4 1,2,3)
Stan James Champion Hurdle: 3-1 Binocular, 5-1 Hurricane Fly, Menorah, 6-1 Peddlers Cross, 12-1 Oscar Whisky, 14-1 Dunguib, Mille Chief, 20-1 Cue Card, Khyber Kim, 40-1 Get Me Out Of Here, Soldatino, Starluck, 50-1 Clerk's Choice, Overturn, Thousand Stars, Zaynar, Ronaldo Des Mottes, Tocca Ferro, Walkon, 66-1 Alavain, Blackstairmountain, Barizan, Salden Licht, Solix, 100-1 Notus De La Tour, Sublimity, 150-1 Bygones Of Brid (E/W 1/4 1,2,3)
Festival Handicap Chase: 6-1 Bensalem, 12-1 Blazing Bailey, Midnight Chase, 16-1 Chief Dan George, Great Endeavour, Junior, Meanus Dandy, Presenting Forever, Sunnyhillboy, 20-1 Big Fella Thanks, Hey Big Spender, Niche Market, Ogee, Reve De Sivola, Take The Breeze, The Tother One, 25-1 King Troy, Knockara Beau (E/W 1/4 1,2,3)
JCB Triumph Hurdle: 5-1 Grandouet, 7-1 Unaccompanied, 10-1 Sam Winner, 12-1 A Media Luz, Marsh Warbler, Smad Place, 14-1 Brampour, 20-1 Houblon Des Obeaux, Kazzene, Rigidity, Third Intention, 25-1 Architrave, Local Hero, Moose Moran, Sailors Warn, 33-1 Celtus, Comedy Act, Dolatulo, Fearless Falcon, Higgy's Ragazzo, Joseph Lister, Maxim Gorky, Molotof, Plan A, Pullyourfingerout, Silver Shuffle, Table Mountain, Tillahow, Tonic Mellysse, Tony Star, Trop Fort, Twigline, Zarkander, 40-1 BAR (E/W 1/4 1,2,3)
Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle: 10-1 Recession Proof, 11-1 Aegean Dawn, 12-1 Call the Police, Final Approach, 14-1 Bothy, Dirar, Escort'men, Salden Licht, 16-1 Alaivan, Any Given Day, Hunterview, Notus De La Tour, Ski Sunday, Soldatino, 20-1 Art Professor, Carlito Brigante, Eradicate (E/W 1/4 1,2,3,4)
Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle: 7-1 Court In Motion, 8-1 Back in Focus, Bobs Worth, 10-1 Backspin, Join Together, Oscars Well, So Young, Zaidpour, 14-1 Champion Court, 16-1 First Lieutenant, For Non Stop, Kilcrae Kim, 20-1 Bishopsfurze, Blue Monster, Carlicue, Habbie Simpson, Mossley, Sybarite, Teaforthree, 25-1 Allee Garde, Battle Group, Dynaste, Fists Of Fury, Fully Funded, Gagewell Flyer, Highland Valley, Lackamon, Our Island, Raptor, Si C'Etait Vrai, Skorcher, Tornado Bob, 33-1 BAR (E/W 1/4 1,2,3)
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual: 10-1 French Opera, Pepe Simo, Tanks For That, 14-1 Oh Crick, 16-1 Anquetta, Cornas, Dan Breen, Dave's Dream, Rivaliste, 20-1 Consigliere, First Point, I'msingingtheblues, Radium, Stagecoach Pearl, 25-1 Gilbarry, Pigeon Island, 33-1 Osric (E/W 1/4 1,2,3,4)