Although on official figures he still has plenty to find to threaten the mighty Dunguib in the opening race of the 2010 Cheltenham Festival, Get Me Out Of Here put up a seriously impressive performance when landing the Totesport Trophy Handicap Hurdle under a typically powerful Tony McCoy ride on a tremendous day's racing at Newbury, writes Elliot Slater.
Dunguib is one of the shortest priced favourites for many a long year being odds-on with all Supreme Novices betting odds to win the Supreme Novices' Hurdle for the Irish, but Get Me Out Of Here, now unbeaten in five career starts, is undoubtedly improving very fast. To my eyes the six-year-old won with a bit to spare in one of the most competitive handicap hurdles of the whole National Hunt season and there could be a great deal more improvement still to come.
Trainer Jonjo O'Neill, clearly delighted with his big Newbury victor, commented that the next stop would probably be the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but made it clear that the big handicap win had been something of a long term plan. That said, the vibe was that the son of Accordion will go to Cheltenham to try and lower the colours of Dunguib.
There are still many punters, particularly those on the western side of the Irish Sea, who will not hear of defeat for Dunguib. Many believe that he only has to go down and come back to record victory in the big field novice hurdling championship and the betting success or failure of many punters' Cheltenham Festival rests exclusively on Dunguib's powerful shoulders.
Philip Hobbs' Menorah remains a general second favourite with Cheltenham betting tips for the race and his form received a boost later on in the day at Newbury when Belvano, runner-up to Menorah at Kempton on Boxing Day, ran out a game winner of the closing novices' event.