65 entries for the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle

A total of 65 entries (up from 61 in 2014) are revealed today for the £155,000 Grade Three Betfair Hurdle, Britain’s richest handicap hurdle, which takes place at Newbury on Betfair Super Saturday, February 7.

Staged over an extended two miles, the Betfair Hurdle is always one of the most competitive handicap hurdles of the entire season and has an illustrious history dating back to 1963.

Charles Egerton, who gave up training in March, sent out two winners of the Betfair Hurdle with Mysilv in 1995 and Decoupage in 1999. One of Egerton’s former horses is Seedling (14/1 with Betfair Fixed Odds), who joined Upper Lambourn handler Warren Greatrex this season.

Under Greatrex’s care, the six-year-old has flourished and won on all three of his starts. His most recent victory came at Cheltenham on December 12 in a novices’ hurdle over two miles and a furlong, which was preceded by two facile successes at Plumpton. Seedling is part-owned by Christopher Spence, a former chairman of Newbury Racecourse.

Greatrex said: “The Betfair Hurdle is definitely a race we are looking at with Seedling. Novices have a good record in the race, he has run well around Newbury in the past and is improving.

“I have spoken with Charles Egerton, who won the race twice, and he thought it was definitely worth making an entry and having a look at the race.

“Seedling has been great this season. His last run at Cheltenham was very good and I would say that there is more improvement to come. The big field wouldn’t worry him as he has run in big-field novices’ races around Newbury before and that didn’t seem to bother him. He is pretty straightforward.

“He has form on soft and has won on heavy but I think he would probably be a slightly better horse on good ground. He is a good-moving horse who would appreciate better ground but he can cope with soft ground no problem.”

No trainer can boast a better record in the Betfair Hurdle than Lambourn-based Nicky Henderson, who has sent out five winners of the race. His most recent scorer was My Tent Or Yours in 2013, enabling him to overtake the record of Captain Ryan Price.

The master of Seven Barrows has nine entries in 2015, including Sign Of A Victory (12/1), successful in a competitive handicap hurdle at Ascot in November before taking fourth in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

Henderson’s entries also include Hammersley Lake (20/1), who was runner-up over three furlongs further in a handicap hurdle at Newbury in November, impressive Haydock scorer Vasco Du Ronceray (16/1), the Grade Two winner Royal Irish Hussar (20/1) and Snake Eyes (10/1 co-favourite), owned by J P McManus and the cosy half-length winner of Listed handicap hurdle at Sandown on December 6. Aintree victor Dawalan (16/1) plus exciting juvenile Top Notch (16/1), Rolling Star (20/1) and Cool Macavity (25/1) complete Henderson’s contingent.

Top Notch, winner of the Betfred 'Fun & Friendly' Hurdle at Newbury on 29 December

Top Notch (right), winner of the Betfred ‘Fun & Friendly’ Hurdle at Newbury on 29 December

Another trainer with nine entries is Ireland’s champion Willie Mullins. His selection includes the Grade One winner Diakali (12/1) as well as Grade One-placed Arctic Fire (10/1 co-favourite), Daneking (14/1), who landed a valuable handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse in April, facile Limerick winner Lucky Bridle (20/1) and Clondaw Warrior (14/1), who was third in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November.

There are 11 Irish-trained contenders in total and Tony Martin has entered Blair Perrone (10/1 co-favourite), who caught the eye with an impressive defeat of Silver Concorde in a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27. Jessica Harrington, successful with Spirit Leader in 2003, has made an entry for Rock The World (20/1), a lightly-raced seven-year-old who took second in a Leopardstown handicap hurdle over Christmas. The latest Irish-trained winner of the Betfair Hurdle was Essex in 2005.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls won the Betfair Hurdle with Zarkandar in 2012 and has two entries to choose from. Calipto (14/1) has twice been placed at Grade One level and is unbeaten in two starts at Newbury, while Emerging Talent (12/1) looks a most promising novice.

Garde La Victoire (14/1) has already scooped a major prize this season, having won the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November. The six-year-old is one of three entries for Philip Hobbs along with 2011 Champion Bumper hero Cheltenian (20/1) and Hello George (20/1), who kept on to take sixth in the Ladbroke at Ascot shortly before Christmas.

Get Me Out Of Here (20/1) won the Betfair Hurdle in 2010 for owner J P McManus and trainer Jonjo O’Neill and was narrowly beaten in 2012. The 11-year-old is entered once again along with stablemate Goodwood Mirage (20/1).

John Ferguson has been enjoying a fabulous season from his base near Newmarket and has made a quartet of entries including the Ladbroke runner-up Pine Creek (14/1) and Galway Hurdle fourth Bordoni (25/1).

Harry Fry’s string has been in red-hot form this season, boasting a strike rate of 30 per cent. The Dorset handler has entered Activial (14/1), successful in Grade Two company last season and third on his reappearance at Ascot, and Jolly’s Cracked It (14/1), who was runner-up in the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown on January 3.

Weights for the Betfair Hurdle will be revealed on January 14.

The maximum permitted field size for the Betfair Hurdle is 24 runners.

Betfair Super Saturday also features the £50,000 Grade Two Betfair Denman Chase, a leading trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the £50,000 Grade Two Betfair Price Rush Chase over two miles and a furlong.

Betfair Hurdle – Betfair Fixed Odds:
10/1 Arctic Fire, Blair Perrone, Snake Eyes; 12/1 Diakali, Emerging Talent, Fascino Rustico, Sign Of A Victory; 14/1 Activial, Balgarry, Calipto, Clondaw Warrior, Daneking, Ebony Express, Garde Le Victoire, Jolly’s Cracked It, Pine Creek, Seedling, Wicklow Brave; 16/1 Ballybolley, Bertimont, Dawalan, Hawk High, Mijhaar, On Tour, Top Notch, Vasco Du Ronceray, Willem; 20/1 Amore Alato, Analifet, Arzal, Cheltenian, Cinders And Ashes, Fox Notion, Get Me Out Of Here, Goodwood Mirage, Hammersley Lake, Hello George, Karezak, Kashmir Peak, Laser Hawk, Lucky Bridle, Rock The World, Rolling Star, Royal Irish Hussar, Sea Lord, Swing Bowler; 25/1 As De Ferbet, Ballyglasheen, Baradari, Bordoni, Business Sivola, Chieftain’s Choice, Cool Macavity, First Mohican, Gassin Golf, Lightentertainment, Minella Present, Starluck; 33/1 Aso, Forced Family Fun, Red Merlin, Sleepy Haven, Violet Dancer, War Singer; 50.1 A Boy Named Suzi

Betfair Spokesman Barry Orr commented today: “Obviously it’s early days from a betting perspective but Irish-trained runners are to the fore in the UK’s richest handicap hurdle.

“Artic Fire is of particular interest given his most recent run behind Hurricane Fly and Jezki at Leopardstown, while another Leopardstown winner, Blair Perrone , under the tutelage of Tony Martin and who lowered the colours of Silver Concorde, looks a horse going in the right direction.’’

The Betfair Hurdle

Class 1, Grade 3, £155,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.35pm, Newbury, Saturday, February 7, 2015. For four-year-olds and upwards, two miles and half a furlong.

A BOY NAMED SUZI

7

ABS Partnership Lucy Wadham
ACTIVIAL (FR)

5

Potensis Bloodstock Limited Harry Fry
AMORE ALATO

6

Mrs Sarah Faulks Nick Williams
ANALIFET (FR)

5

Gigginstown House Stud Willie Mullins IRE
ARCTIC FIRE (GER)

6

Wicklow Bloodstock Limited Willie Mullins IRE
ARZAL (FR)

5

The Hennessy Six Harry Whittington
AS DE FERBET (FR)

5

Gigginstown House Stud Willie Mullins IRE
ASO (FR)

5

The Bellamy Partnership Venetia Williams
BALGARRY (FR)

8

Brocade Racing David Pipe
BALLYBOLLEY (IRE)

6

Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies
BALLYGLASHEEN (IRE)

5

R J Gambarini Evan Williams
BARADARI (IRE)

5

Andrew Brooks Venetia Williams
BERTIMONT (FR)

5

Christopher Giles Dan Skelton
BLAIR PERRONE (IRE)

6

John Breslin Tony Martin IRE
BORDONI (USA)

6

Bloomfields John Ferguson
BUISENESS SIVOLA (FR)

4

Simon Munir/Isaac Souede Willie Mullins IRE
CALIPTO (FR)

5

Chris Giles & Ian Fogg Paul Nicholls
CHELTENIAN (FR)

9

Roger Brookhouse Philip Hobbs
CHIEFTAIN’S CHOICE (IRE)

6

Carl Hinchy John Quinn
CINDERS AND ASHES

8

Dermot Hanafin & Phil Cunningham Donald McCain
CLONDAW WARRIOR (IRE)

8

Act D Wagg Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
COOL MACAVITY (IRE)

7

Triermore Stud Nicky Henderson
DANEKING

6

Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
DAWALAN (FR)

5

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
DIAKALI (FR)

6

Wicklow Bloodstock Limited Willie Mullins IRE
EBONY EXPRESS

6

ValueRacingClub.co.uk Dr Richard Newland
EMERGING TALENT (IRE)

6

Mr & Mrs Paul Barber Paul Nicholls
FASCINO RUSTICO

7

John Hales Dan Skelton
FIRST MOHICAN

7

Henry Ponsonby Alan King
FORCED FAMILY FUN

5

The Top Silk Syndicate John Quinn
FOX NORTON (FR)

5

B Dunn Nick Williams
GARDE LA VICTOIRE (FR)

6

Diana Whateley Philip Hobbs
GASSIN GOLF

6

Mr Will Roseff Richard Lee
GET ME OUT OF HERE (IRE)

11

J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
GOODWOOD MIRAGE (IRE)

5

Lady Bamford & Alice Bamford Jonjo O’Neill
HAMMERSLY LAKE (FR)

7

Michael Buckley Nicky Henderson
HAWK HIGH (IRE)

5

Trevor Hemmings Tim Easterby
HELLO GEORGE (IRE)

6

M St Quinton/C Hellyer/M Strong Philip Hobbs
JOLLY’S CRACKED IT (FR)

6

GDM Partnership Harry Fry
KAREZAK (IRE)

4

McNeill Family Alan King
KASHMIR PEAK (IRE)

6

Win Only SP Only Partnership John Quinn
LASER HAWK (IRE)

8

W J Evans Evan Williams
LIGHTENTERTAINMENT (IRE)

7

The Not Over Big Partnership Chris Gordon
LUCKY BRIDLE (IRE)

6

Andrea & Graham Wylie Willie Mullins IRE
MIJHAAR

7

Bloomfields John Ferguson
MINELLA PRESENT (IRE)

6

Lady Clarke Neil Mulholland
ON TOUR (IRE)

7

T Hywel Jones Evan Williams
PINE CREEK

7

Bloomfields John Ferguson
RED MERLIN (IRE)

10

Matthew Taylor Donald McCain
ROCK THE WORLD (IRE)

7

Michael Buckley Jessica Harrington IRE
ROLLING STAR (FR)

6

Michael Buckley & The Vestey Family Nicky Henderson
ROYAL IRISH HUSSAR (IRE)

5

Triermore Stud Nicky Henderson
SEA LORD (IRE)

8

Bloomfields John Ferguson
SEEDLING

6

Equis & Christopher Spence Warren Greatrex
SIGN OF A VICTORY (IRE)

6

Matt & Lauren Morgan Nicky Henderson
SLEEPY HAVEN (IRE)

5

Alan Baxter Anthony Bloor Dave Cheetham Jennie Candlish
SNAKE EYES (IRE)

7

J P McManus Nicky Henderson
STARLUCK (IRE)

10

Andrew Wates David Arbuthnot
SWING BOWLER

8

K Alexander David Pipe
TOP NOTCH (FR)

4

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
VASCO DU RONCERAY (FR)

6

Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson
VIOLET DANCER

5

D Bessell & Galloping On The South Downs Gary Moore
WAR SINGER (USA)

8

The War Cabinet Johnny Farrelly
WICKLOW BRAVE

6

Wicklow Bloodstock Limited Willie Mullins IRE
WILLEM (FR)

5

Ecurie Drost David Pipe

65 entries
11 Irish-trained

 

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