Gifford hoping to extend family link with Betfair Hurdle as 41 horses remain in contention

Nick Gifford is hoping the weather stays dry, so he can run Didtheyleaveuoutto in the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 9, for which 41 horses have stood their ground.

The Gifford family connection with Britain’s richest handicap hurdle stretches back to 1963 when his late father Josh rode the Ryan Price-trained Rosyth to land the inaugural running of the race.

It was the first of four wins in the saddle for Gifford snr, the most successful jockey in the race’s history, who remains the only person to win it as a trainer as well following the success of Deep Sensation in 1990.

“Obviously the family connection needs no introduction with the success of Dad and Ryan and Dad trained a winner of the race too,” said Gifford. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a runner in the Betfair Hurdle so it would be lovely to go there with a squeak if the ground allows us to do that.”

The J P McManus-owned Didtheyleaveuoutto is 10-1 third favourite behind Al Dancer (5-1) and Getaway Trump (6-1) with the sponsors after the latest acceptance stage for the Betfair Hurdle from which Mohaayed, Global Citizen, Western Ryder, Ballymoy and Grand Sancy were notable withdrawals.

As a result, We Have A Dream (11st 12lb) is at the top of the handicap with the weights having risen 1lb.

The novice Didtheyleaveuoutto has won two out of three starts over hurdles and finished fifth of six behind Mister Fisher at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Gifford, who trains in Findon, West Sussex, fears soft ground could prevent the horse running but said: “It will be down to J P McManus, Frank Berry and the team, but he has the entry and if the ground is suitable he will go. If the weather stays like this we will probably run him.

“The horse is in great form and I couldn’t be happier with him here. It appears he’s got a nice weight. I would love to run him, and it would tell us more come the spring which direction we should be heading in. It’s a lovely race for him. There will be plenty of pace, going left-handed will suit him slightly better and it would be a fantastic race to be involved with. I wasn’t born when Dad rode his winners, but I do remember Deep Sensation winning it.

Didtheyleaveuoutto is still unexposed. He was a little bit disappointing at Kempton, make no mistake, but if he was a bit flat and he didn’t quite like the ground, trying to give 5lb to Mister Fisher, who has come out and won again, could have proved to have been an impossible task. I am hoping he was a bit flat and we’re better than that.”

Most betting interest continues to focus on the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Al Dancer and Getaway Trump, from the Paul Nicholls stable, who have been jostling for favouritism since the entries were released.

Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: “Al Dancer and Getaway Trump have dominated the betting in recent days and punters preference is just for the former who’s now clear favourite at 5-1.

“We have also seen some each-way cash for Apple’s Shakira at 20-1 and she would be an interesting proposition if taking up this engagement.”

The Betfair Hurdle is part of Betfair Super Saturday which, aside from the Betfair Hurdle, also features the £50,000 G2 Betfair Denman Chase, a leading trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the £50,000 G2 Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase over an extended two miles.

Betfair Hurdle – Sponsors Betting:

5/1 Al Dancer

6/1 Getaway Trump

10/1 Didtheyleaveuoutto

12/1 Monsieur Lecoq

14/1 Mont Des Avaloirs

16/1 Nube Negra, Vision des Flos

20/1 Apple’s Shakira, Ch’tibello, Lisp, Thomas Darby

25/1 Ballyandy, Blu Cavalier, Countister, Equus Amadeus, Jolly’s Cracked It, Leoncavallo, Nordic Combined, Saglawy, Style de Garde, Thistle Do Nicely, We Have A Dream, Zanza

33/1 And The New, Ar Mest, Chti Balko, Jetez, Kasakh Noir, Magic Dancer, Sayar, Sussex Ranger, William H Bonney

40/1 Distingo, High Expectations, West To The Bridge

50/1 Flash The Steel, Garo de Juilley, Keyboard Gangster, Man of Plenty, Nelson’s Touch, Splash of Ginge

Animal Age Weight Owner Trainer
We Have A Dream (FR) 5    11 12 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson  
Vision des Flos (FR) 6    11 10 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Colin Tizzard  
Saglawy (FR) 5    11 9 Sullivan Bloodstock Limited W. P. Mullins  
Chti Balko (FR) 7    11 6 Mr D. G. Carrington Donald McCain  
Ch’tibello (FR) 8    11 6 The Can’t Say No Partnership Dan Skelton  
Lisp (IRE) 5    11 5 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Alan King  
Jetez (IRE) 6    11 5 Mr G. M. McGrath Mrs J. Harrington  
Jolly’s Cracked It (FR) 10    11 5 GDM Partnership Harry Fry  
Leoncavallo (IRE) 7    11 4 Dr Richard Newland  
Ballyandy (GB) 8    11 2 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Getaway Trump (IRE) 6    11 2 Owners Group 023 Paul Nicholls  
Mont des Avaloirs (FR) 6    11 2 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls  
Al Dancer (FR) 6    11 1 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Style de Garde (FR) 5    11 0 Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Style Nicky Henderson  
Apple’s Shakira (FR) 5    11 0 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson  
Blu Cavalier (GB) 9    11 0 Ali Stronge  
Garo de Juilley (FR) 7    11 0 Mr G. Thompson Sophie Leech  
Thomas Darby (IRE) 6    11 0 Mrs Diana L. Whateley Olly Murphy  
Didtheyleaveuoutto (IRE) 6    10 13 Mr John P. McManus Nick Gifford  
Equus Amadeus (IRE) 6    10 11 Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Tom Lacey  
Sussex Ranger (USA) 5    10 10 The Tongdean Partnership Gary Moore  
Distingo (IRE) 6    10 9 Alan Jamieson Site Services Ltd Gary Moore  
Zanza (IRE) 5    10 9 Louisville Syndicate Elite Philip Hobbs  
Sayar (IRE) 6    10 8 Mrs Audrey Turley W. P. Mullins  
Nube Negra (SPA) 5    10 8 Mr T. Spraggett Dan Skelton  
Thistle Do Nicely (IRE) 5    10 8 Appletree Stud, M Gumienny & A Signy Jamie Snowden  
Keyboard Gangster (IRE) 8    10 8 The Buyers Club Donald Whillans  
Nordic Combined (IRE) 5    10 7 Chris & David Stam David Pipe  
Kasakh Noir (FR) 7    10 7 Mr T. P. Radford Dan Skelton  
Countister (FR) 7    10 7 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson  
High Expectations (FR) 8    10 7 Mr M. Wasylocha Gordon Elliott  
William H Bonney (GB) 8    10 7 Mr & Mrs R. Scott Alan King  
And The New (IRE) 8    10 7 Mr Peter Randall Johnny Farrelly  
Man of Plenty (GB) 10    10 6 Mr G. Thompson Sophie Leech  
Monsieur Lecoq (FR) 5    10 6 Mrs Jane Williams Mrs Jane Williams  
Splash of Ginge (GB) 11    10 6 Mr J. D. Neild Nigel Twiston-Davies  
West To The Bridge (IRE) 6    10 0 Mr J. Tierney Dan Skelton  
Magic Dancer (GB) 7    9 13 Mark E Smith & The Magic Partnership Kerry Lee  
Nelson’s Touch (GB) 6    9 13 Mrs P de W Johnson & Mr John M Cole Seamus Mullins  
Flash The Steel (IRE) 7    9 13 Mr John J Reilly Dan Skelton  
Ar Mest (FR) 6    9 9 Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Gary Moore