Friday, February 10, 2023

The 2023 Betfair Hurdle

Eighteen were declared for tomorrow's Betfair Hurdle (3.35 Newbury) but Hacker Des Places is now a non-runner; the going is described as good, good to firm in places.

When Glory And Fortune won last year's renewal off a mark of 143 he became the first horse older than six to come home in front since Geos in 2004. Racing off 148 tomorrow, Tom Lacey's charge carries top weight and is unlikely to appreciate quick ground.

Novices boast an excellent record in the race - unfortunately a fact bookmakers have taken the trouble to factor into their prices. 

Given the trends, I've focused attention on trying to identify a young horse whose handicap mark might have some juice in it. 

Icare Allen looks to have his share of weight with the ground an unknown. 

Rubaud, trained by Paul Nicholls, will handle the ground but was beaten seven lengths by Rare Edition in a Kempton novice hurdle on Boxing Day; Rare Edition was beaten by Marble Sands in the listed Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon earlier this week.

Between them trainers Gary Moore and Nigel Twiston-Davies are responsible for six winners since 2007 - and Nigel went close with I Like To Move It last year. 

His Master Chewy was beaten by Gary's Hansard at Plumpton last month which suggests Gary will know where he stands with his two runners, Teddy Blue and Yorksea. 

Teddy Blue won a Lingfield maiden hurdle eleven days ago - demolishing the final flight and taking half of it with him - for which he was raised five pounds.

Yorksea finished behind his stablemate in the Gerry Feilden but beat some fair sorts next time in a Class 3 handicap hurdle at Fontwell - second Pyramid Place won at Wetherby last weekend.

Monviel was impressive at Ascot the last day; his chance is respected even with a ten pounds hike but to date he has not raced on a left-handed track.

Alan King saddles two - Restitution and Tritonic. In the Weekender the handler is more bullish about Restitution:

"This is quite a big step up for him but he's maturing and I think he's quite a progressive horse. He's one who wouldn't mind the quicker ground and I could see him running well." 

Tritonic, beaten over 16 lengths in this last year, sports cheekpieces for the first time as 'he can be a bit lazy in the early part of a race'.

Of the older horses I thought Aucunrisque, who likes to race up with the pace, worth a second look returning to the smaller obstacles. 

His second behind Frere D'Armes over fences at this track in November reads well, as does his second behind Boothill in the Wayward Lad Novices' Chase at Kempton at Christmas. Rated 145 over fences, he goes off 138 tomorrow.  

However, given the strong record of younger horses, I'm going to take a chance with the Sam Thomas trained Deere Mark. 

In a Straight from the Stable article [Weekender 09-13.11.22] the handler said about his charge:

"He is an exciting horses (sic) who is not overly big, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed...

"The plan will be to try and get him a handicap mark high enough to get in the Betfair Hurdle in which novices have a very good record in. A strong gallop over 2m will suit him perfectly. He is among the best work horses I have, although that does not always mean he will be the best on the track, but the way he travels and quickens marks him out as a nice prospect."

Since the publication of the above resume Deere Mark disappointed behind Fennor's Cross in a Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham before winning a Hereford maiden and then a Class 3 Handicap Hurdle at Kempton.

Violet Dancer (132) is the lowest rated winner over the past ten years.  

Deere Mark's rating of 125 looks too low by comparison but I'm hoping in a fast run affair on quick ground the gelding will be able to show the speed his trainer has seen on the gallops.

As always, an ultra competitive affair.  

Deere Mark is the each-way suggestion, 16/1 generally at the time of writing with Sky Bet, Paddy Power and William Hill all paying one fifth the odds six places. 


TW said...

Betfair Hurdle


Filey Bay has already rewarded connections with two nice touches since moving to Emmet Mullins, no doubt has more to offer but 7/2 looks mighty short from where I’m sitting.

Tritonic has the highest system rating [159]; whilst it is easy to forgive his last two efforts it is harder to forget his effort in last year’s renewal of this race or at the Festival.

All of which let me umming and ahing over No Ordinary Joe, York Sea and Deere Mark who might all have a bit more to offer.

We are on the same hymn sheet as my dart eventually landed in Deere Mark.

Second behind the probably very useful Fennor Cross at Cheltenham in October before bombing out at the same venue in November against the same rival. Two, largely unextended, wins from two runs since suggests he’s put that disappointing effort well behind him and may still be ahead of his mark. A bit of after timing but I took 20/1 [B365] 5 places 1/5 odds earlier today (16/1 at time of posting).

Let’s hope we get a run for out money!


P.S Valiant effort by the boys last Tuesday.

GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW, and not disgraced last Tuesday. Back to the priority now - trying to win the league... ;)

Anonymous said...

Deere Mark voided sadly!

TW said...

A great day for the Gordon family!

16:10 NAVA 17 Runners
2. TEMPTATIONINMILAN(IRE) TW: 1PT EW 8/1 5 plcs 1/5 Odds

BET365 have refunded the wages from my paper round on the non-runner so I've re-invested them in Temptationinmilan [T] tomorrow.

Sweet Will's handicap hurdle win at Cheltenham has worked out really well so he could be on a very decent chase mark. That said, he did not capitalise on it LTO and if he does not take this T might be the one to take advantage in a race that does not look to competitive.


GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW!

GeeDee said...

Deere Mark was declared a non-runner on account of the ground.

In what looked a fast run affair Aucunrisque (9/1) set off in front and, with two left to jump, faced just one serious challenge - from Filey Bay (4/1f).

The favourite made a mistake at the penultimate flight which allowed the leader to come home a length to the good with Teddy Blue (10/1) 11 lengths adrift in third and stablemate Yorksea (20/1) a further threequarters of a length behind in fourth.

Monviel (12/1) made ground from the rear to finish fifth ahead of Master Chewy (8/1) in sixth.

GeeDee said...


I see Temptationinmilan holds Galon De Vauzelle a short-head at Navan.

Nice work.

TW said...

Temptationinmilan was a fortunate winner on two fronts; he only just held on and the favourite was still traveling sweetly when falling.

Still, I’m a great believer that luck plays no part in punting as it simply evens itself out if you bet long enough. I’ve lost plenty of photo finishes!