You might remember Calipto travelling strongly in last year’s Triumph Hurdle as they came to the second last, only for his jockey’s stirrup leather to break. He finished 4th, and would almost certainly have been a good deal closer bar his mishap. He never won over hurdles, though ran well in most, weak finishes becoming typical for him.
Over the summer, he got the usual Nicholls treatment in the operating theatre when they tried to improve his wind. On his first Chasing outing at Fontwell last week, it looked like that op had done him good. He won comfortably after a round of jumping that showed flashes of real promise, despite him being slightly untidy at a couple.
The almighty Mullins, and especially his Douvan, will be hard to beat in the Arkle come March, but Calipto might well deliver over fences what he failed to when hurdling. He has the physical scope for fencing, and if the wind operation holds good, he could be a single figure price when the flag rises. Even as it is, I think he’s twice the price he currently should be and is well worth a bet at the 33/1 offered by Skybet.
Bear in mind that with ante-post bets, your cash is lost if the horse does not run, and there’s a long season to go before the Festival. But the risk of that is built into the price, in my opinion.