With the Cheltenham Festival just a few weeks away, the professional gamblers and racing tipsters are watching the warm up races with an acute focus on strong performances that could translate into seriously profitable opportunities.

A display that fitted in perfectly with these criteria was in evidence earlier today when festival hopeful A Media Luz took to the track at Huntingdon as a very short odds-on favourite.

The four-year-old began the race as the one to beat with punters expecting a convincing run from the Nicky Henderson-trained bay filly. They were not disappointed.

With a tendency to pull too hard it was up to jockey Barry Geraghty to get the best out of her and he duly did that.

The horse travelled strongly and strolled home to an eventual 18-length victory over her main rival, Pantoxa.

However, those expecting an entry in the JCB Triumph hurdle following the win may be disappointed with Henderson citing the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle as a more likely target.

The strategy seems to be to avoid stable mate, Grandouet, who is the current favourite for the Triumph Hurdle.

The concern for the trainer is that an impressive victory in a relatively poor race will attract a strong penalty from the handicapper and have a negative effect on the chances of Cheltenham glory in March.

The bookmakers have their own opinions during a time when looking at Cheltenham Tips is so crucial.

Some have shortened their odds from 7/1 into 5/1 for the Fred Winter race, whilst she has also been shortened overall in the betting market for the Triumph Hurdle.