Gary Moore looks to have a potentially serious candidate on his hands for the forthcoming Grade 1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 15 after his Chris Pea Green maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles with an impressive success at Huntingdon in the Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle, writes Elliot Slater.
Sent off a 12/1 shot for the well contested two-mile hurdle, Chris Pea Green had won at Huntingdon on his racecourse bow earlier in the season in a bumper before struggling to handle the Polytrack at Lingfield on his second start.
A wide-margin winner on his hurdles debut at Lingfield in January, punters clearly felt that form was nothing to write home about but were proved completely wrong as the gelded son of Proclamation took up the running at the third from home before easily quickening away from his 11 rivals to draw clear before the final flight.
Chris Pea Green eventually coasted home to a highly impressive seven-length success over the Venetia Williams-trained favourite, Zamdy Man.
Available at up to 66/1 in the ante-post market for the Triumph Hurdle prior to this latest success, Chris Pea Green is now a general 25/1 shot to land the two-mile juvenile hurdles crown at the home of National Hunt racing.
He looks to be good value at that, having shown his ability to handle heavy ground when winning at Lingfield before proving at least as effective on good to soft ground at Huntingdon with his latest win.
Moore felt it was too early to confirm whether the four-year-old will definitely go to Cheltenham, mentioning that the Aintree Festival three weeks later would also be a viable alternative for the Flat-bred half-brother to decent sprinter, Smoker Ryder.
Fans of horse racing can get a headstart on their Festival gambling by picking up a Cheltenham Free Bet on the Betfair website: http://betting.betfair.com/horse-racing/cheltenham/cheltenham-ante-post-betting/.