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The Cheltenham Festival is now just a fortnight away and the weekend's racing just gone may have offered some of the final genuine clues for the Cotswolds showpiece.

There were graded races on both sides of the Irish Sea across Saturday and Sunday and, based on the outcome of Kempton's Adonis Hurdle, it appears the balance of power in the juvenile division rests very much with the Irish heading to Cheltenham. 

Get right up to date with all things Cheltenham Festival in our guide to the meeting and read about some of the horses, trainers and jockeys bound for the Cotswolds in our series of informative articles.

Pipe's Thanksforthehelp showcases Pertemps claims 

The David Pipe-trained Thanksforthehelp is now as short as 8/1 for the Pertemps Network Final on 16th March following his ultra-impressive score at Chepstow on Saturday. 

The JP McManus-owned runner cruised clear of his rivals at the Welsh venue, seemingly improving for the rise in trip, and now leaves his connections facing an anxious wait to see if he gets into the Pertemps Final. 

The Pond House handler had Kevin Brogan doing the steering and he credits a recent wind operation with some of the improvement. 

"Obviously, he'd had the wind op and it looks like it had the desired effect,” said Pipe. "The sheepskin sidepieces helped him focus a bit more, he was just looking around a little bit last time. 

"I'll see what the McManus team want to do," Pipe added. "I'm not sure he gets in the race but we'll see what happens closer to the time." 

Thanksforthehelp is now the shortest priced British-based runner in the betting for the Pertemps Final.

Nusret hands Britain's juveniles a knockout punch 

Any hopes of a British-trained winner in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham were dealt a severe blow on Saturday at Kempton as Nusret won the Adonis Hurdle for trainer Joseph O'Brien. 

Nusret's stablemate Comfort Zone is 10/1 for the Festival's four-year-old race, while Lossiemouth is 7/4 and Blood Destiny is 3/1

Those market leaders have both given Nusret a wide margin beating this season in Ireland, but the Simon Munir and Isaac Suede owned youngster defeated some of Britain's perceived best hopes at Kempton. 

"He's a lovely horse," said rider Daryl Jacob. "I thought his Punchestown win in November was very good. He did a few things wrong that day but still came out on top in a tidy race. 

"The ground was a little bit soft for him on his last two starts and coming back to a sounder surface has definitely helped." 

Nusret doesn't hold a ticket for the Triumph Hurdle but now finds himself at 8/1 for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on 14th March. 

Scriptwriter, who had some smart form going into the race, bottomed out and finished unplaced, much to the disappointment of trainer Milton Harris, who was seeking successive wins in the Adonis. 

"We haven't run our race for whatever reason but he hasn't coughed or anything," said Harris. "We'll get him home and there's no point rushing to conclusions, but he looked legless to me."

Pauling positive on Samuel Spade 

Rider Luca Morgan believes Samuel Spade can go to Cheltenham with hopes of better after he eased to a decisive win at Huntingdon on Friday. 

Second to fellow Cheltenham hope Perseus Way – who might have won the Adonis on Saturday had he jumped the last flight better - in the Chatteris Fen Hurdle at the track in January, Samuel Spade made light work of his task at Huntingdon where he was long odds-on to make it two wins in three starts over timber. 

The Ben Pauling-trained Samuel Spade finds himself a 20/1 chance in the Boodles market following his latest score and his rider sees Cheltenham suiting him. 

"It wasn't ideal making the running but we didn't want a messy race," Morgan said. "He jumps left, so he'll be better going around Cheltenham. Kielan Woods is injured so the mount will be up for grabs and hopefully I could be in the mix."

Derham hoping for Festival runner 

Harry Derham has barely had his license two month but he is already dreaming of saddling his first runner at the Cheltenham Festival following Shared's victory at Doncaster recently. 

By smart Flat performer Almanzor, Shared has won hurdles races at Wetherby and Doncaster either side of coming up short in the bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle at Musselburgh at the start of the month. 

Formerly assistant trainer to Paul Nicholls at Ditcheat, Derham has sent out six winners from just 27 runners since Seelotmorebusiness got his training career up and running in style at Huntingdon on Boxing Day. 

Shared is another with Boodles ambitions and he trades at 20/1 to give his young trainer a first-season Festival winner. 

"That (the Boodles) is the ambition and dream and you would like to think after winning two and only beaten four lengths in a Listed race, you would get in,” said Derham. 

"He's the type of horse that is tough and hardy, has experience off the Flat and jumps slick, you would like to think he would run a nice race. 

"He's a tough little horse so I don't think he would be worried by plenty of runners. I think he is going to keep progressing – he came to us when he was just going the wrong way on the Flat and was maybe not enjoying it, but he's really enjoying his life and his job now."

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