Irish ace Barry Geraghty has been snapped up to ride the gambled-on King Eider in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle at Sandown Park on Saturday.
Malton trainer Brian Ellison had hoped to get Tony McCoy, who won on King Eider at Huntingdon last time, but the champion is unavailable.
“Tony cannot ride him so Barry Geraghty rides,” confirmed the trainer’s daughter and assistant, Lorraine Ellison.
Manx Royal continues to catch the attention of punters and is now 100-30 favourite from 9-2 with the sponsors and 7-2 from the same price with Ladbrokes.
Martin Pipe’s charge was a top-priced 11-1 chance with totesport when betting opened on the race on Monday and is now down to 4-1 with that firm.
However, his position is under threat after totesport reported heavy backing for King Eider.
The five-year-old has been cut to 5-1 from 9-1 for the £75,000 contest.
Totesport spokesman Damian Walker said: “Just like Manx Royal, we were knocked over and had to cut King Eider after heavy support.
“We now have a very lopsided two-horse book, with all the rest winners for us.
“King Eider was a stayer on the Flat, having won over one mile six furlongs. There should be a strong pace on Saturday given the likely big field, so that might bring his stamina into play.”
William Hill Handicap Hurdle betting:
William Hill: 100-30 Manx Royal, 8-1 Goblet Of Fire, King Eider, 10-1 Kingston Town, 11-1 Atahuelpa, The Rising Moon, 12-1 Desert Air, Green Tango, Monte Cinto, Selvas, 14-1 Calatagan, Crazy Horse, Dalaram, Greenhope, Rising Generation, 16-1 Barton Nic, Chivalry, Full Irish, McBain, 20-1 Forever Dream, Hawadeth, Idole First, Totally Scottish, 25-1 bar.
Totesport: 4-1 Manx Royal, 5-1 King Eider, 8-1 Goblet Of Fire, 10-1 Kingston Town, Monte Cinto, 11-1 Atahuelpa, 12-1 Calatagan, Selvas, The Rising Moon, 14-1 Dalaram, Greenhope, Green Tango, Rising Generation, 16-1 Chivalry, Desert Air, Idole First, Kadara, McBain, 20-1 Dangerously Good, Forever Dream, Full Irish, Hawadeth, Palarshan, 25-1 bar.
Coral: 7-2 Manx Royal, 6-1 King Eider, 8-1 Goblet Of Fire, 10-1 Monte Cinto, 11-1 Green Tango, The Rising Moon, 12-1 Chivalry, 14-1 Atahuelpa, Calatagan, Crazy Horse, Dalaram, Full Irish, Idole First, Kadara, Rising Generation, Selvas, 16-1 Barton Nic, Dangerously Good, Desert Air, Dictum, Greenhope, Hawadeth, Kingston Town, Palarshan, 20-1 Forever Dream, Le Duc, McBain, Mirjan, 25-1 bar.
Ladbrokes: 7-2 Manx Royal, 5-1 King Eider, 7-1 Goblet Of Fire, 8-1 Monte Cinto, 9-1 Atahuelpa, 10-1 Full Irish, 12-1 Crazy Horse, Desert Air, Green Tango, Greenhope, Rising Generation, Selvas, The Rising Moon, 14-1 Calatagan, Idole First, McBain, 16-1 Barton Nic, Besieged, Chivalry, Dalaram, Forever Dream, Hawadeth, Kingston Town, Totally Scottish, 20-1 Dictum, Le Duc, 25-1 bar.