Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has been temporarily banned from racing in Britain after admitting that a picture of him sitting on a dead horse was real.
An investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board is in process, but the British Horseracing Board has acted swiftly, following widespread condemnation of Elliott’s actions.
With Cheltenham just two weeks away, there is the very real possibility that Elliott will not be allowed to compete at the festival.
And Tiger Roll’s bid to win a record third Grand National is also in doubt.
Elliott is set to saddle some major players at Cheltenham, but their odds are holding firm as we all wait for clarity from the racing authorities.
However, punters are as keen as ever to exploit any edge they can, and money is coming in for some of Elliott’s festival rivals.
Energumene – 5/2 into 2/1
Willie Mullins has yet to decide whether his highly-rated gelding will challenge Shishkin in the Arkle or Envoi Allen in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.
However, his mind could be made up if Envoi Allen can’t compete, and punters seem to agree, as Energumene has been backed down accordingly.
Tritonic – 3/1 into 9/4
The Elliott-trained Zanahiyr is the Triumph Hurdle favourite, and one of the best juvenile hurdlers in Ireland.
His nearest rival for that race is Tritonic, who won the Adonis Hurdle on Saturday and has come in for plenty more support after the Elliott news.
Kilcruit – 13/8 into 6/4
After catching the eye at the Dublin Racing Festival, Kilcruit is the hot favourite for the Champion Bumper.
And he could have a much easier ride if one of his main rivals Sir Gerhard is kept from the festival.
Please note that all odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.