Betfair Hurdle Betting Tips & Predictions – Ascot, Saturday 16th February 2019

Please note that this race was originally scheduled to run at Newbury on the 9th February at a distance of 2m 1/2f. This race will be run over 1m7 1/2f with a reduced prize fund of £85,000.

A cracking card at Ascot lights up the racing action this coming Saturday with the addition of two races, including this Betfair Hurdle, added after the equine flu shutdown. The classiest contests of the day come in the form of the Grade 1 Ascot Chase and two Grade 2 chase events, but from a betting perspective it is this competitive handicap hurdle which takes centre stage.

There will no doubt be plenty of these that come in for support as the race approaches in what is always a highly targeted contest. This has been an excellent event for the youngsters of late though, and we will be betting on that being the case again this year.

Top Tips

Getaway Trump to Win @ 11/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

1m7½f is the revised trip for this Grade 3 handicap contest. Set to be run on good to soft ground this year, the race now offers £85,000 in guaranteed prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good to Soft 1m7½f 3 £85,000 18 Runners 1/4 1-4

Recent Winners

There is a very definite trend in evidence here concerning the age of the winner. With each of the past 10 editions having been landed by a runner aged five or six, this is a race which very much favours the younger performers who perhaps haven’t yet reached their peak rating.

Nicky Henderson is the most successful trainer in the history of this valuable contest with a total of five wins in all. As a seven year old though, his sole entry Countister will have that age trend to defy.

2018 Kalashnikov 8/1 Amy Murphy Jack Quinlan
2017 Ballyandy 3/1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
2016 Agrapart 16/1 Nick Williams Lizzie Kelly
2015 Violet Dancer 20/1 Gary Moore Joshua More
2014 Splash Of Ginge 33/1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Ryan Hatch

Analysis: Cobden Looking Good For Big Race Success

We have a really interesting line-up once again, with just about the full range of experience on show; from the five year old handicap debutants to the 8 year old former winner, Ballyandy, and everything in between.

Davies To Dance To Victory?

Nigel Twiston-Davies has tasted his share of success in this race, with two wins in the past five years, and it is he who saddles this year’s favourite in the form of the four-timer-seeking Al Dancer. Prominent in the betting for this year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, he has improved with every run this season. Seriously underestimated when handed a mark of 129 for his handicap debut at Cheltenham last time out, he promptly bolted up by 11 lengths. Bumped up to 141 ahead of this, he may well have a bit more in the tank yet, particularly if he is to fulfil those lofty Cheltenham Festival goals.

Ballyandy to Repeat Success?

Please note that this horse has switched races to run in the Ascot Supports Berkshire Community Foundation Handicap Hurdle at 1:00 from Ascot

A second Nigel Twiston-Davis runner, Ballyandy, won this race back in 2017 and will be looking to follow up January success at Uttoxeter with a repeat victory here. Before the beginning of the jumps season the gelding had been off the track for 263 days and had a stuttering start when finishing third as a 10/11 jolly at Wetherby. He was unlucky next time out in November's BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham after travelling well before being badly hampered, pulling-up two from home. There was enough promise there to suggest that the 2016 Champion Bumper winner could take this again as an 8 year old.

Nicholls To Trump Rivals?

Another of the younger runners with rock solid credentials is the Paul Nicholls-trained Getaway Trump. The multiple champion trainer has taken just the one edition of this race – with Zarkandar in 2012 – but did go very close with Movewiththetimes in 2017, and rates this six year old as a similar type. Back to back impressive successes in Novice contests saw him pitched straight into the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle, where he found only the impressive Henderson runner Champ too good. A mark of 142 for this handicap debut looks perfectly fair on the back of that and he seems likely to go close.

Final Verdict: Getaway Trump to Win

There is no shortage of serious contenders here, with the likes of Zanza and Ar Mest interesting for those looking for one at a bigger price. Overall though we agree with the market, with Al Dancer and Getaway Trump at the top off our list.

Al Dancer has possibly achieved the most of that duo, but with the novices having a strong record in this race we will take a chance on the rapidly improving Getaway Trump in the hands of Harry Cobden as long as Paul Nicholls picks this contest over the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton.

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