Kelly’s eye on second Betfair Hurdle triumph as weights published

Lizzie Kelly is relishing the prospect of having another chance to win the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle on her stable’s latest up and coming horse Monsieur Lecoq.

Kelly guided Agrapart, trained by her stepfather Nick Williams, to land Britain’s richest handicap hurdle at Newbury in 2016 and puts Monsieur Lecoq, who is owned and trained by her mother Jane, in a similar bracket.

After wins at Ffos Las and Sandown this season Monsieur Lecoq has risen to an official handicap mark of 132 and been allotted 10st 5lb in the big race weights which are published today.

Mohaayed has been set the top weight of 11st 12lb with Getaway Trump and Al Dancer, the sponsor’s 6-1 joint favourites on 11st 1lb and 11st respectively.

Monsieur Lecoq, who is 12-1 in Betfair’s odds, will need 21 horses to defect in order to be guaranteed a start in the February 9 race, which has a maximum field of 24 plus two reserves, but he would have made the cut in each of the last two runnings of the race with that rating.

Monsieur Lecoq, who is trained in South Molton, Devon, was raised 10lb after his latest win when he comfortably landed a Class 2 handicap at Sandown by nine lengths.

“He is a nice horse and though slightly immature everything he does, he does quite easily so he is an exciting type,” said Kelly, 25.

“When Agrapart won it, he ran and finished third in the Tolworth Hurdle which was the same meeting at which Monsieur Lecoq ran, so in terms of preparation it has been similar and with Kalashnikov winning as a novice last year he has the right type of profile.

“There is definitely more to come from him. He is not as forward as Agrapart. He very much knew his job at his age but at the same time he had run on the Flat at a younger age and had probably done a little bit more. This horse is more immature but will have learned a lot from his run at Sandown.”

Kelly’s 2016 victory completed a memorable winter coming just two months after she became the first female jockey to ride a Grade 1 winner over jumps on Tea For Two in the 2015 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase.

“I remember everything about the day I won on Agrapart,” she said. “He had a light weight and I had to work quite hard to get down to the weight.  

“We were quite adamant that we wanted to be out in front or near the front. There was a standing start but because he had come out of the stalls earlier in his career he understood the idea of jumping and running. That worked in our favour.

“I remember a jockey beside me telling me that I shouldn’t push too early when I was getting down to push turning in because it’s a long way home he was saying. But I knew the horse very well and I continued.

“It was a fantastic day. It was my first big winner after winning the Grade 1. It couldn’t have been more different going from a three-mile chase to a two mile hurdle. Agrapart is such a lovely horse.

“It’s really exciting to get another chance to ride in the Betfair Hurdle. The horses we train at home are of a high quality and to be able to ride in races like this is a privilege.”

Lizzie Kelly winning the 2016 Betfair Hurdle on Agrapart

Kelly has a closer connection to Newbury than most having spent the summer working in the racecourse marketing department.

“I was a marketing assistant,” she said. “I’ve done a degree in event management. I was always very keen on the marketing side of things. It was a massive learning curve, even by being in a completely different environment like an office.

“It was a great way to spend the summer when we don’t have very many runners. It was a brilliant opportunity. Newbury took a bit of a punt on me because I had never done anything like it before and I thought it was fantastic.”

Since the entries were released last week two horses, the Paul Nicholls-trained Getaway Trump and Al Dancer, from the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable, have attracted most punters’ interest.

Betfair spokesman, Barry Orr, said: ‘’It’s no surprise that the Betfair Exchange Trophy winner, Mohaayed, is allocated top weight but all the money is for the top two in the market with Al Dancer backed from 10-1 to 6-1 and Getaway Trump 6-1 from 8-1.

‘’Didtheyleaveuoutto looks to be on a nice racing weight, he has come in for support at 12-1 and is now 10-1.’’

The Betfair Hurdle is part of Betfair Super Saturday, which 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.

The Betfair Hurdle – Sponsors Betting:

6/1 Getaway Trump, Al Dancer

10/1 Didtheyleaveuoutto

12/1 Monsieur Lecoq

14/1 Grand Sancy, Thomas Darby, Uradel

16/1 Vision des Flos, We Have A Dream

20/1 Apple’s Shakira, Ballymoy, Ch’tibello, Global Citizen, Lisp, Mohaayed, Western Ryder

25/1 Saglawy, Anemoi, Ballyandy, Blu Cavalier, Countister, Equus Amadeus, Jolly’s Cracked It, Leoncavallo, Mont Des Avaloirs, Nordic Combined, Style de Garde, Thistle Do Nicely, Zanza

33/1 And The New, Ar Mest, Chti Balko, Cut The Mustard, Dolciano Dici, Jetez, Kasakh Noir, Magic Dancer, Mr Antolini, Nube Negra, Ratoute Yutty, Sayar, Sussex Ranger, William H Bonney

40/1 Distingo, High Expectations, Not Never, 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
Mohaayed (GB) 7    11 12 Mrs June Watts Dan Skelton  
We Have A Dream (FR) 5    11 11 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nicky Henderson  
Western Ryder (IRE) 7    11 9 Albatross Club/Bryan Drew & Friends Warren Greatrex  
Global Citizen (IRE) 7    11 9 The Megsons Ben Pauling  
Vision des Flos (FR) 6    11 9 Ann & Alan Potts Limited Colin Tizzard  
Saglawy (FR) 5    11 8 Sullivan Bloodstock Limited W. P. Mullins  
Ballymoy (IRE) 6    11 6 Mr Simon Munir & Mr Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Chti Balko (FR) 7    11 5 Mr D. G. Carrington Donald McCain  
Ch’tibello (FR) 8    11 5 The Can’t Say No Partnership Dan Skelton  
Lisp (IRE) 5    11 4 Mr & Mrs R. Kelvin-Hughes Alan King  
Jetez (IRE) 6    11 4 Mr G. M. McGrath Mrs J. Harrington  
Jolly’s Cracked It (FR) 10    11 4 GDM Partnership Harry Fry  
Leoncavallo (IRE) 7    11 3 Dr Richard Newland  
Grand Sancy (FR) 5    11 2 Martin Broughton Racing Partners Paul Nicholls  
Ballyandy (GB) 8    11 1 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Getaway Trump (IRE) 6    11 1 Owners Group 023 Paul Nicholls  
Mont des Avaloirs (FR) 6    11 1 Mrs Johnny de la Hey Paul Nicholls  
Al Dancer (FR) 6    11 0 Walters Plant Hire Ltd Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Mr Antolini (IRE) 9    10 13 Alan & Sally Coney Nigel Twiston-Davies  
Style de Garde (FR) 5    10 13 Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Style Nicky Henderson  
Apple’s Shakira (FR) 5    10 13 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson  
Blu Cavalier (GB) 9    10 13 Ali Stronge  
Garo de Juilley (FR) 7    10 13 Mr G. Thompson Sophie Leech  
Thomas Darby (IRE) 6    10 13 Mrs Diana L. Whateley Olly Murphy  
Didtheyleaveuoutto (IRE) 6    10 12 Mr John P. McManus Nick Gifford  
Equus Amadeus (IRE) 6    10 10 Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Tom Lacey  
Uradel (GER) 8    10 10 Luke McMahon W. P. Mullins  
Sussex Ranger (USA) 5    10 9 The Tongdean Partnership Gary Moore  
Distingo (IRE) 6    10 8 Alan Jamieson Site Services Ltd Gary Moore  
Dolciano Dici (FR) 6    10 8 Slaneyville Syndicate W. P. Mullins  
Anemoi (FR) 5    10 8 Kate & Andrew Brooks Harry Whittington  
Zanza (IRE) 5    10 8 Louisville Syndicate Elite Philip Hobbs  
Sayar (IRE) 6    10 7 Mrs Audrey Turley W. P. Mullins  
Nube Negra (SPA) 5    10 7 Mr T. Spraggett Dan Skelton  
Thistle Do Nicely (IRE) 5    10 7 Appletree Stud, M Gumienny & A Signy Jamie Snowden  
Keyboard Gangster (IRE) 8    10 7 The Buyers Club Donald Whillans  
Nordic Combined (IRE) 5    10 6 Chris & David Stam David Pipe  
Kasakh Noir (FR) 7    10 6 Mr T. P. Radford Dan Skelton  
Countister (FR) 7    10 6 Mr John P. McManus Nicky Henderson  
High Expectations (FR) 8    10 6 Mr M. Wasylocha Gordon Elliott  
William H Bonney (GB) 8    10 6 Mr & Mrs R. Scott Alan King  
Cut The Mustard (FR) 7    10 6 Sullivan Bloodstock Limited W. P. Mullins  
And The New (IRE) 8    10 6 Mr Peter Randall Johnny Farrelly  
Man of Plenty (GB) 10    10 5 Mr G. Thompson Sophie Leech  
Monsieur Lecoq (FR) 5    10 5 Mrs Jane Williams Mrs Jane Williams  
Splash of Ginge (GB) 11    10 5 Mr J. D. Neild Nigel Twiston-Davies  
West To The Bridge (IRE) 6    9 13 Mr J. Tierney Dan Skelton  
Magic Dancer (GB) 7    9 12 Mark E Smith & The Magic Partnership Kerry Lee  
Not Never (GB) 7    9 12 Hail Sargent Evans Gary Moore  
Nelson’s Touch (GB) 6    9 12 Mrs P de W Johnson & Mr John M Cole Seamus Mullins  
Flash The Steel (IRE) 7    9 12 Mr John J Reilly Dan Skelton  
Ratoute Yutty (GB) 6    9 9 The Yes We Named Her Syndicate Dan Skelton  
Ar Mest (FR) 6    9 8 Galloping On The South Downs Partnership Gary Moore