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25th September 2021

2021 Betfair Hurdle Free Tips and Trends

Staged at Newbury racecourse the Betfair Hurdle is a Grade Three contest run over 2m 1/2f in February each year. First run in 1963, the race is always a hotly-contested race, while some punters might know the even 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. More recently in 2018, Kalashinkov won this before running second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

In 2019, we saw the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Al Dancer win the race under jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, while last year the Paul Nicholls camp were successful with a 33/1 shot – Pic D’Orhy.

Here at TQ we look back at recent winners of the race and highlights the key stats ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year staged on Sunday 21st February.


Recent Betfair Hurdle Winners

2020 – PIC D’ORHY (33/1)
2019 - AL DANCER (5/2 fav)
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

18/18 – Carried 11-8 or less in weight
17/18 – Aged 7 or younger
16/18 – Rated 130 or higher
15/18 – Won between 2-4 times over hurdles in the UK/IRE before
15/18 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
15/18 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
15/18 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
14/18 – Came from the first 7 in the betting
14/18 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
13/18 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or less
13/18 – Placed favourites
10/18 – Carried 10-9 or less in weight
9/18 – Came from the top 5 in the betting
9/18 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
8/18 – Irish bred
8/18 – Won last time out
8/18 – Aged 5 years-old (including 8 of last 14)
7/18 – Winning favourites
4/18 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 5 times in all)
3/18 – Trained by Gary Moore
3/18 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (3 of the last 7)
2/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (2 of the last 9)
2/18  - Raced at Leopardstown last time out
2/18 – Owned by JP McManus
1/18 – Went onto win the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival that season (Spirit Leader 2003)
23 of the last 24 winners have been aged 7 or younger
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 14/1

As always, a super-competitive renewal of this Betfair Hurdle. Sky Pirate, who has made giant strides over fences this season, is back over hurdles and off a mark 5lbs lower than when winning over the bigger obstacles last time. He could be thrown-in, but it doesn’t always pan out as the weights suggest and it’s interesting that jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jnr prefers Soaring Glory, who was a fine third in the Supreme Novices’ Trial at Ascot last time out – he gets in here with only 10st 7lbs, which looks dangerous, so it’s no shock he’s been well supported in the build-up to this. Henderson has a good record in the race too and in Buzz and Mister Coffey he’s got two fair chances too. The former is ridden by 5lb claimer Kevin Brogan to offset some of his big 11st 12lbs weight, while you feel Mister Coffey, with Nico de Boinville riding, is better than his showing (3rd) last time at Sandown after getting bogged down in heavy ground. The unbeaten Metier could be anything and comfortably beat the Harry Redknapp-owned Shakem Up’Arry last time out, so certainly can't be ruled out, but the three I like are CADZAND, GUARD YOUR DREAMS and FIFTY BALL. The first-named has won his last two in decisive fashion and the form of his last win over Christopher Wood has since been franked with that horse winning last weekend. He’s up 9lbs for that last win, but did it well to suggest he’s up to the rise in the ratings and gets in here with a nice racing weight of 10st 12lbs. The other main pick – FIFTY BALL (e/w) – comes from the Gary Moore yard that like to target this race – winning it last in 2015. He’s caught the eye in winning his last two and looks a versatile sort that has won on different ground and over trips from 2m up to 2m3 ½f. He’s up 11lbs from this last run, so more on his plate, but still gets into this better race with just 10st 5lbs to carry and that’s a full stone less in racing weight than last time. The final pick – GUARD YOUR DREAMS (e/w) – comes from the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard that have won 3 of the last 7 runnings of this race. This 5 year-old seems to be going the right way after winning three of his four hurdles starts and is up 7lbs from last time when beating Friend or Foe with a bit to spare at Sandown. Trip and ground are fine and son Sam takes the ride for his dad, something he’s done with success in this race twice since 2017!

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