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Day Three of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival kicks off with the Turners Novices’ Chase, an exciting, middle-distance race over fences. Won last year by Bob Oblinger for Henry de Bromhead and Rachel Blackmore, this race sorts out the serious players from the pretenders. Past winners include big names such as Vautour, Sir Des Champs and Noble Prince.
Willie Mullins has an unsurprisingly strong recent record in the race, saddling five winners since 2011, but another trainer who has enjoyed success in this race is Gordon Elliott, who won with Shattered Love in 2018, before training 2020 winner Samcro. This year’s favourite Might Potter, who is well fancied by all accounts, is the latest in the Elliott line of exciting young chasers. Can he make it three wins from the last six runnings for his trainer?
Worthy favourite or overpriced?
There’s often a fine line between a worthy short priced favourite and something that’s overpriced, especially at Cheltenham Festival. The question here is, which one is Mighty Potter. Well, unfortunately, for our money, he looks a bit on the short side.
Make no mistake about it, Mighty Potter is a very, very good novice, he’s proved that. Gordon Elliott had him in fine shape at Fairyhouse in December, while the mount of the ever present Davy Russell could hardly have been more impressive in the Ladbrokes Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February, when he stayed on strongly to win by a wide margin ahead of Tuesday’s Challenge Cup winner Gaillard Du Mesnil.
However, there must be a question mark over his ability to reproduced that form at Cheltenham. You could argue that he looked anything but comfortable at this venue last season. He was never really going well in the Supreme Novices, despite seemingly coming into the race with a decent chance, and he was pulled up before three from the finish. It may just have been that he wasn’t right, but if it is that he’s not ideally suited to the undulating nature of the Cheltenham track, then he could struggle to produce his best form in a race as hot as this.
At the end of the day, we know he has lots of quality, while his trainer is about as shrewd as they come, so it would be little surprise if he gets the job done, but at the prices, he looks a little bit on the short side.
The Mighty Potter Odds Today
At the time of writing, early in the morning of raceday, Mighty Potter is a strong favourite. Any even-money is long gone and the six-year-old, who is the youngest horse in the race, is now a best price of 10/11. Most firms, including the likes of Betfred, William Hill and bet365 currently have the Mighty Potter odds at 10/11. This essentially means that those in charge of pricing up for the big bookmakers give the youngster a slightly greater than 50% chance of coming up the Cheltenham Hill in front.
At the latest odds, some firms have decided to take a slightly more cautious approach. Paddy Power currently have Mighty Potter best odds of 4/5, while the same can be said for betfair and Betvictor. 888Sport go 5/6,while Starsports really are running for cover, as they’ve gone 8/11.