Arkle fancy Overturn slams Musselburgh rivals
Report: Musselburgh, Sunday
Scottish Arkle Novices' Chase 2m, 5yo+
OVERTURN geared up for his Racing Post Arkle clash with Simonsig with another hugely convincing win at Musselburgh on Sunday.
Last season's Champion Hurdle second is now three from three over fences after dismissing his rivals in the style a horse sent off 1-5 should.
The Donald McCain-trained Overturn, who also has a Chester Cup and Northumberland Plate on his cv, was cut to 7-2 (from 4) by Paddy Power for the Arkle, in which Simonsig remains odds-on favourite.
However, Nicky Henderson's exciting star looks set for a real test at the Cheltenham Festival if the gelding's impressive 29-length stroll is anything to go by.
Racing in his customary front-running role, Tim Leslie's nine-year-old produced a polished round of jumping to slam 9-2 chance Tetlami and Next Sensation, the 100-1 outsider.
His already straightforward task was eased further after 22-1 shot Asaid refused to race and jockey Jason Maguire was able to ease his willing partner home in the perfect prep for the Cheltenham Festival.
Like Paddy Power, William Hill cut the winner, going 4-1 (from 9-2).
"Jason said he was magic today," said McCain. "We hunted him round at Sandown and we went two miles three furlongs at Doncaster, but we were waiting until today to jump him out and send him on.
"That's what he wants and that's what he appreciated today. He's a very special horse and he'll go straight to Cheltenham now."
ALSO ON SUNDAY
Superior Quality saw off a resurgent Lord Wishes (noseband) after the lastPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
OVERTURN was not the only horse to advertise his Festival claims at Musselburgh, with the Charlie Longsdon-trained Superior Quality and the James Ewart-trained Lord Wishes both enhancing their claims for the Albert Bartlett in the Scottish trial for the Cheltenham Grade 1.
Both settled off a strong pace, set by Witness In Court, and as the field turned into the home straight the three pulled away from the rest of their rivals.
Witness In Court was the first to crack and Superior Quality looked to be just that at the last, but the rallying Lord Wishes came back at him and made it a fight all the way to the line.
Paddy Power cut the winner to 25-1 (from 66) for the Albert Bartlett, while the runner-up was trimmed to a general 33-1. Noel Fehily, who rode Superior Quality, said: "He did it nicely, travelled well and did it in good fashion."
Viva Colonia (centre) and Desert Cry (right) shortened for CheltenhamPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
THE Grand Annual market also got a shake up after the Scottish Future Champions Novices' Chase, with winner Viva Colonia now 16-1 (from 20) for that race, while runner up Desert Cry has been cut to 20-1 (from 25 - both with Paddy Power).
Brian Ellison, trainer of the winner, said: "He's a good horse, he always has been, and Danny [Cook] gave him a great ride. He's in the Arkle, but I think it makes more sense to go for the Grand Annual. He won't be out again before then, we'll go there fresh."
The race had centred around 4-7 favourite Tap Night, who beat Captaqin Conan over hurdles last year, but he disappointed, finishing last of the four runners. Peter Scudamore, assistant to trainer Lucinda Russell, said: "It wasn't a truly run race but still I'm disappointed."
Sametegal won by eight lengths and is now favourite for the Fred WinterPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
KASHMIR PEAK unseated Dougie Costello in the John Smith's Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial and as such could not enhance his festival claims for last year's winning yard, but Sametegal, who won decisively in his absence, is 20-1 (from 25) with William Hill for the JCB Triumph Hurdle.
BetVictor were more impressed, going 16-1 (from 33) for the Triumph, but making the Paul Nicholls-trained winner their new 14-1 favourite (from 16) for the Fred Winter.