Betfair Hurdle 2019 Betting Tips, Preview, Trends & Odds
- Back Zanza Each-Way at 25/1 with Betfair (5 places)
- Back Getaway Trump at 9/2 with Betfair (5 places)
- Bet On West To The Bridge at 33/1 with Betfair (5 places)
Newbury hosts one of the jumps season's classiest handicap hurdles this Saturday, as a host of talent lines up for the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle.
The 2m 1/2f test has welcomed Triumph and Champion Hurdle winners, and produced countless subsequent Grade 1 stars, but it has never been won by the same horse twice.
That's the feat 2014 and 2017 heroes Splash Of Ginge and Ballyandy aim to pull off for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who also fields the far more intriguing betting option Al Dancer.
Ground conditions were described as soft at Newbury on Tuesday, but wintry and wet conditions are due to set in later in the week, Saturday's going likely to be testing.
Is There A Trends Winner?
Analysing the Betfair Hurdle trends across the last 10 renewals highlights some very strong trends to help you short-list this year's Newbury betting heat.
The last 10 winners were aged 5 or 6, had finished in the first three last time out, either winning or being placed in a Graded or Listed hurdle. The last 10 winners had won no more than three hurdle races, and no more than one handicap hurdle, the last eight winners winning none.
Betfair Hurdle 10-Year Trends
- 10/10 winners were aged 5 or 6
- 10/10 winners finished in the first three last time out, last five did not win
- 10/10 winners either won last time out, or were placed in a Graded or Listed hurdle
- 10/10 winners had won 1-4 times in races with distances from 15f-17f
- 10/10 winners were running off a handicap mark no more than 3lbs lower than their career-high
- 9/10 winners last ran at least 28 days ago
- 9/10 winners had won 1-3 hurdles only
- 8/10 winners featured 10th or lower on the weights list
- 8/10 winners had never won a handicap hurdle - that’s the last eight winners
- 7/10 winner had run no more than four times over hurdles
- 7/10 winners had never run in a handicap hurdle
- 7/10 winners had at least placed in a Graded bumper or hurdle
Just three of the last 10 winners had run in a handicap hurdle before, and all 10 were either running off a career-high handicap mark, or no more than 3lbs less. What you're looking for is a very classy young hurdler, with weight not too much of an issue, though eight of the last 10 winners featured 10th or lower on the weights list.
Zanza, Saglawy, West To The Bridge, Al Dancer, and Getaway Trump, tick so many key boxes, and unsurprisingly two of them - Al Dancer and Getaway Trump - head the Betfair Hurdle betting.
At these odds though, 25/1 chance Zanza is the best trends bet; this five-year-old hits all five 10/10 trends, but unlike the top two, is also booked to carry under 11st and could have miles of improvement left. Look out for champion jockey Richard Johnson taking the ride.
Betting Betfair Hurdle Favourites
Betfair Hurdle favourites had won four times in the last seven years, and in Al Dancer and Getaway Trump, this year's betting boasts two serious contenders.
Al Dancer (4/1 Betfair) perhaps blew his Betfair Hurdle chances by winning his handicap hurdle debut so impressively last time out, the handicapper adding 12lbs for his 11-length win at Cheltenham.
The six-year-old couldn't have won more easily, taking it up from the last and cruising up the hill, but how much more improvement has he got?
This race's history shows that horses with Graded form do better than those with handicap form, marking Grade 1 second Getaway Trump (9/2 Betfair) as the best bet here.
He's from a stamina-laden family and has been largely campaigned over 2m3f+ during his first hurdling season, but won professionally over 2m4f and 2m1f, and was no match for Ballymore Novices' Hurdle favourite Champ after the last hurdle, in a 2m4f Grade 1 last time out.
Beware Betfair Hurdle Topweights
Though class is important when looking for a bet in the Betfair Hurdle, only the most talented topweights should be considered - a negative for present topweight Saglawy (20/1 Unibet), and perhaps his nearest rival on weights Ballyandy (16/1 Coral).
No topweight has finished closer than fifth for nine years, three of the four to make the top 10 in that period doing so because they were ridden by conditional jockeys claiming at least 5lbs off their backs.
Betfair Hurdle Topweights To Place
- 2008 - Punjabi - 2nd under 11st 5lb, jockey Felix De Giles claiming 7lb
- 2004 - Rooster Booster - 2nd under 11st 12lb, jockey Richard Johnson
- 1994 - Oh So Risky - 2nd under 12st, jockey Paul Holley
The exception was Cheltenian, who managed to carry the full topweight to fifth because he was classy enough to win the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
Since the Betfair Hurdle was upgraded from Listed to Grade 3 level in 1992, three topweights have finished in the first four - all finishing second. These topweights were former Grade 1 winners, one the reigning Champion Hurdle winner, another a former Triumph Hurdle winner and a Group 3 winner.
So if you do fancy Saglawy, the best bet is to wait until declarations to see if trainer Willie Mullins deploys a claiming rider. And if you fancy Ballyandy, or even Ch'tibello (20/1 Bet365) or Lisp (16/1 Ladbrokes) who are next in the weights, wait until declarations to make sure they don't go to the top.
Betfair Hurdle Betting Long-Shot
With sponsors Betfair paying down to fifth place in Saturday's test, the ante-post betting is the place to be, with about half the entries priced at 20/1 or bigger.
We've already tipped up 25/1 chance Zanza, who has a cracking chance for Philip Hobbs, but lurking at 33/1 is Aintree novice hurdle winner West To The Bridge.
The six-year-old is by Flemensfirth and should handle whatever ground materialises, he hails from in-form team Dan Skelton, already has Bridget Andrews booked, and has seriously gotten his act together in his last two runs.
The free-running sort is best suited to big fields with strong paces, making him ideal for handicaps, which he's never run in, but he did put in a career-best effort last time out, carrying a 5lb penalty into third in a Fontwell novices' hurdle.
Newbury's long straights will allow him to get into his stride better than Fontwell's twists, and this time, he's almost bottom weight, not topweight.
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