Trainer Donald McCain has announced that his stable star, Peddlers Cross, will run in the Jewson Novices Chase at Cheltenham next week. The horse had been high up in the Arkle Chase ante post betting all season but it now appears that connections believe he will be benefit from the extra half mile of the Jewson. It has to be said that it is a surprising decision with most of the vibes from the yard this season telling punters that Peddlers is an Arkle horse in the waiting. We have not seen the horse since he was slammed by Sprinter Sacre at Kempton over Christmas and it now appears that connections are reluctant to have a rematch in the Arkle. McCain has said the horse was not at his best at Kempton and with that setback they believe he will be better suited to the slower pace of a longer race like the Jewson, as opposed to the hurly burly of an Arkle.
Following the announcement of Peddlers Cross running in the Jewson Novices Chase there has been a shake-up in the novice chase markets with the major bookmakers. Peddlers has gone straight to the top of the Jewson betting while the Arkle market has been rejigged following the withdrawal of the McCain horse. Sprinter Sacre remains the favourite for the two mile race but horses like Cue Card and Al Ferof are now his closest challengers with plenty of money coming for his opponents. The Jewson Betting is looking equally competitive with a number of horses being backed against favourite Peddlers Cross at the moment. Despite that there is no doubt that the Jewson is the easier race compared to the Arkle at Cheltenham and that has to have come under consideration by connections of Peddlers Cross. He is a top class type horse on his best day as he showed last season when pushing Hurricane Fly close in the Champion Hurdle and any repeat of that run will see him go very close in the Jewson.