**Note, the 2019 Betfair Hurdle is now set to be run at Ascot on Saturday 16th Feb**
Staged at Newbury racecourse the Grade Three Betfair Hurdle is run over 2m 1/2f in February each year. First run in 1963 the contest is always a hotly-contested race, while some punters might know the race better as either the Tote Gold Trophy or the totesport Trophy, being that’s what the race was called before Betfair took over the sponsorship in 2012.
Despite more obvious Champion Hurdle trials on offer during the season the race has thrown up two horses – Persian War and Make A Stand – that went onto glory at the Cheltenham Festival in the Champion Hurdle later that season, while the 2013 hero – My Tent Or Yours – went onto be second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. The 2003 winner, Spirit Leader, went onto land the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival the following month, while in 2017 the Nigel Twiston-Davis-trained Ballyandy won the race before running fourth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, plus last year (2018) Kalashinkov won this before running second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Here at JUICESTORM we look back at recent winners of the race and highlights the key stats ahead of the 2019 renewal – this year staged on Saturday 9th February.
Recent Betfair Hurdle Winners
2018 – KALASHINKOV (8/1 co-fav)
2017 – BALLYANDY (3/1 fav)
2016 – AGRAPART (16/1)
2015 – VIOLET DANCER (20/1)
2014 – SPLASH OF GINGE (33/1)
2013 – MY TENT OR YOURS (5/1 fav)
2012 – ZARKANDAR (11/4 fav)
2011 – RECESSION PROOF (12/1)
2010 – GET ME OUT OF HERE (6/1)
2009 – No race
2008 – WINGMAN (14/1)
2007 – HEATHCOTE (50/1)
2006 – No race
2005 – ESSEX (4/1 fav)
2004 – GEOS (16/1)
2003 – SPIRIT LEADER (14/1)
2002 – COPELAND (13/2)
2001 – LANDING LIGHT (4/1 fav)
Betfair Hurdle Betting Trends
16/16 – Carried 11-7 or less in weight
15/16 – Aged 7 or younger
14/16 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
14/16 – Rated 130 or higher
13/16 – Won between 2-4 times over hurdles in the UK/IRE before
13/16 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
13/16 – Came from the first 7 in the betting
13/16 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
13/16 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
12/16 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or less
11/16 – Placed favourites
10/16 – Carried 10-9 or less in weight
8/16 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
8/16 – Irish bred
8/16 – Came from the top 5 in the betting
7/16 – Won last time out
7/16 – Aged 5 years-old (including 7 of last 10)
6/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 5 times in all)
3/16 – Trained by Gary Moore
2/16 – Raced at Leopardstown last time out
2/16 – Owned by JP McManus
1/16 – Went onto win the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival that season (Spirit Leader 2003)
21 of the last 22 winners have been aged 7 or younger
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 14/1
JUICESTORM VERDICT: The Nigel Twiston-Davies team have won this in 2014 and 2017 so their Al Dancer, who has been very impressive this season, is sure to be popular. This 6 year-old has won all three of his starts this term and was hugely impressive when winning at Cheltenham back in December. He’s up 12lbs for that though and does have two significant trends to overcome. All of the last 16 winners carried 11st 7lbs or less, while 13 of the last 16 had run in the last 8 weeks – he falls down on both. Getaway Trump is another that’s going to be popular, being he’s from the Paul Nicholls yard and has also done well this season. However, with 11st 9lbs it won’t be easy and he’s also up 4lbs from his last run. He did, however, run the promising Champ to 2 ½ lengths that day and with the winner looking very useful he’s still not one to dismiss lightly. The consistent Lisp should go well for the Alan King yard, but it won’t be easy with 11st 12lbs to carry and having to give weight away all-round. So, the answer here could be the Nick Gifford runner – DIDTHEYLEAVEYOUOUTTO (e/w). This 6 year-old ticks a lot of the main stats and gets in with 11st 6lbs. Yes, he flopped on Boxing Day at Kempton, but the track might not have suited that day. The move to Ascot for this race also looks in his favour as he’s 2-from-2 here at the Berkshire track, while Barry Geraghty is an obvious bonus in the saddle too. Finally, he’s owned by JP McManus, who loves to target this race – he’s won it in 2010 and 2013. Of the rest, the Gary Moore pair of DISTINGO (e/w) and AR MEST (e/w) are others to note. The yard has won this prize three times since 2007 and both get in with light weights, especially the last-named who has just 10st 7lbs to carry and also a 10lb claiming jockey riding!
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