Twenty Four Declared For Thrilling Betfair Hurdle
A field of 24 have been declared for the Betfair Hurdle, Britain’s richest handicap hurdle worth £155,000, taking place on Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury Racecourse on 10 February.
Betfair Super Saturday will be the inaugural Premier Raceday to be staged at the Berkshire track with a total prize pot of £411,000 on offer across the card.
Willie Mullins’ Ocastle des Mottes, owned by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, heads the betting for the 2m½f contest. Mullins also runs Alvaniy with jockey Bryony Frost on board.
Nicky Henderson’s Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle winner Iberico Lord, owned by J.P McManus, is well fancied and will be partnered by Nico de Boinville. Henderson also runs Under Control, Doddiethegreat and Luccia, winner of the Betfair Exchange Trophy. Harry Fry’s Altobelli, who finished third behind Luccia, will be aiming to reverse the form. Go Dante, who beat Doddiethegreat at Cheltenham, has been declared by the Olly Murphy team, and Ben Pauling’s consistent Tellherthename also lines up.
The Neil King trained Lookaway, a close second in the Grade 1 Coral Challow Hurdle at Newbury behind Captain Teague, returns to the track seeking to go one better on Betfair Super Saturday. Dan Skelton will have three representatives in the race including Faivoir, Knickerbockerglory and L’Eau Du Sud, the choice mount of Harry Skelton.
All five have been declared in the £85,000 Grade 2 Betfair Denman Chase including multiple Grade 1 winning Shishkin.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin, a clear favourite, will hope for better luck on Saturday following his unfortunate stumble in the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day under Nico de Boinville. Dan Skelton’s Fleur De Lys Chase runner up, Protektorat, goes to post along with the Kim Bailey-trained Does He Know who finished fourth. Paul Nicholls’ Hitman who finished 9th behind Ga Law at Cheltenham last month, his first run since wind surgery, and runner up in last year’s Betfair Denman Chase, has been declared. Twelve-year-old Sam Brown, winner of the Veteran’s Chase Series Final at Warwick last time out for trainer Anthony Honeyball, completes the field.
On Shishkin’s preparations, Trainer Nicky Henderson said: “Nico [de Boinville] rode him on Saturday morning and schooled him yesterday. He jumped five fences and there was no point in him jumping any more – he was very sharp and Nico said he feels in terrific form.
“We’re happy with his preparation and it will be nice to get another run under his belt. Kempton was his first run of the season and that particularly made it a pretty strong performance. He might well have won if he had stood up – Nico felt that was the case and Shishkin hadn’t been asked anything at the time.
“It was a very unfortunate incident, it looked like he hit the inside of his off-fore with his near-fore, and it did create a splint that was very sore for a week afterwards.”
All six entries have been declared for the £85,000 Grade 2 Betfair Game Spirit Chase.
Declarations for the Grade 2 Betfair Game Spirit Chase include Harry Fry’s Boothill who enjoyed two wins under regular jockey Jonathan Burke in November, before falling in the Desert Orchid Handicap Chase at Kempton last time out. The Gary Moore-trained eventual winner, Editeur du Gite, also goes to post. The gelding finished last in the rescheduled Clarence House Chase, reportedly having made a jumping error early on.
Alan King’s Grade 1 winning Edwardstone finished fourth in the Silviniaco Conti Chase last time out, having been stepped up in trip and hampered by a faller at the last. The gelding reportedly hung left handed and returns to his favoured trip and distance on Saturday.
Last year’s winner, Funambule Sivola, trained by the in-form Venetia Williams bids to retain his title. After a lengthy time off, Joe Tizzard’s dual course and distance winner, Amarillo Sky goes to post and Dan Skelton’s yard will be represented by Calico.
Gary Moore’s Assistant Trainer, Josh Moore said: “I think Editeur du Gite threw the towel in at Cheltenham after he made that mistake. He’s schooled well since, will run in cheekpieces and is in good form at home. He is somewhat ground dependent and doesn’t want soft or heavy.”
Betfair spokesman, Barry Orr, commented today: ‘’The Willie Mullins trained Ocastle des Mottes has easily been the most popular selection with punters and is now clear fav at 4/1 having been 7/1 earlier this week. Another attracting a decent level of support is, L’Eau du Sud, who has been cut from 20/1 to 12/1 after attracting some interesting each-way attention.
‘’Protektorat is the big mover in the ‘Denman’, 2/1 from 3/1. As a result, Shishkin has eased from 2/5 to 8/11.
‘’Flip flopping favs in the ‘Game Spirit’ with Edwardstone proving popular at 2/1. He is 6/4 now and Boothill is 2/1 from 6/4. Of the outsiders, Amarillo Sky, is a positive having been backed from 14/1 to 8/1.’’
The 2024 Betfair Super Saturday meeting takes place at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday 10th February.Tickets are priced from £33 and are available on Newbury Racecourse’s website until 11:59pm on Friday, while U18s go free.
Two Betfair Super Saturday legends – Altior and Native River – will parade ahead of the Betfair Denman Chase (between the 2nd and 3rd race).
The only horse to win the Betfair Exchange Game Sprit Chase on three occasions in 2017, 2018, 2020, Altior will parade in front of his home crowd at the track at which he became synonymous. Having nearly lost his life to colic early last year, it will be a treat for racegoers to see him fit and healthy once again. Native River, the most successful horse in the history of the Betfair Denman Chase – winning the race in 2017, 2018 and 2020 – as well as the now Coral Gold Cup in 2016, will also return.
The Betfair Hurdle: 4/1 Ocastle des Mottes, 5/1 Iberico Lord, 7/1 Altobelli, 8/1 Tellherthename, 10/1 Lookaway, Aurigny Mill, Brentford Hope, 12/1 L’Eau du Sud, 14/1 Under Control, Onlyamatteroftime, Spirit d’Aunou, 20/1 Kamsinas, 20/1 Luccia, Go Dante, Doddiethegreat, Norman Fletcher, 25/1 Donnacha, 33/1 Knickerbockerglory, Our Champ, 40/1 Faivoir, Alvaniy, Moveit Like Minnie, 50/1 Jilaijone, 66/1 Ito Ditto, 100/1 Yorksea
*EACH-WAY 1/5 ODDS 5 PLACES
The Betfair Denman Chase: 8/11 Shishkin, 2/1 Protektorat, 10/1 Hitman, 14/1 Does He Know, 25/1 Sam Brown
The Betfair Game Spirit: 6/4 Edwardstone, 2/1 Boothill, 7/1 Editeur du Gite, 9/1 Funambule Sivola, 8/1 Amarillo Sky, 16/1 Calico
Tickets for Saturday’s Betfair Super Saturday are available at the Standard rate after Super Early Bird, Early Bird and Advance tickets sold out.
Tickets will then be available to purchase on the East Gate from 11am on Saturday 10 February.
Ticket and swing badge collection – and the reprinting of misplaced tickets – will be available at the East Gate. For those racegoers requiring ticket collection or ticketing reprinting services we ask that a booking reference number is at the ready to provide to staff.
Under 18s go free to Betfair Super Saturday with complimentary tickets available to purchase on the gate.