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2019 Betfair Hurdle tips – 8/1 and 20/1 tips for Europe's most lucrative handicap hurdle

Lisp (near, right) bears down on Mohaayed (left) before the last in The Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for Saturday’s huge handicap at Ascot and picks out two horses for punters to back on Saturday 16th February.

Since Betfair took over sponsorship of this contest, the Betfair Hurdle has become the richest handicaps in Britain and sits happily in the top ten of most gambled upon races in the entire British racing calendar. Some fantastic horses have scored victory in the Betfair Hurdle during the past decade, with names like Zarkandar, My Tent Or Yours, Splash Of Ginge and Agrapart adorning the roll of honour.

After the equine influenza outbreak caused the race at Newbury to be cancelled, Ascot will stage the Betfair Hurdle for the first time this weekend and our expert has picked out two contenders for punters to place their faith in.

2019 Betfair Hurdle Tip One


When I initially wrote this tip for the Betfair Hurdle, I favoured Getaway Trump over Al Dancer. However, that was around Newbury - where the ground was likely to come up heavy. Switching to a fast, right-handed track makes a huge difference and, out of the two, I this Al Dancer will prefer the conditions of Saturday's race.

The top two in the betting could be very hard to beat. Yet, neither offer too much in the way of value, so I'll look for two names further down the betting, starting with Alan King's LISP.

Lisp was really well backed in the build-up to the Fred Winter at the Festival, where he disappointingly fell at the third. Despite looking a little rusty, Lisp was strong enough to claim victory on his reappearance in a handicap at Fontwell. Wayne Hutchinson then bore down on Global Citizen after the last in the Gerry Feilden here at Newbury, but Ben Pauling’s classy hurdler wasn’t for passing, holding on to claim a half-length victory and has since boosted the form with an impressive win in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.

Lisp had to settle for second again in another big handicap last time out. A strong late challenge from the rear saw King’s charge overtake the likes of Mr Antolini, Grand Sancy and Western Ryder coming down the home straight at Ascot, but an error at the final flight handed the advantage to Mohaayed, who stayed on smartly to get the win.

King’s five-year-old has risen 15 pounds in the ratings since the start of the season and will undertake this challenge off a career-high mark. Yet, Lisp brings some of the strongest seasonal form into this year’s Betfair Hurdle and, where many juveniles struggle on their second season over hurdles, Lisp has continued to progress and he could be an excellent value bet at his current price.

Anemoi (left) beating Nicky Henderson's Pym (right) at Ascot earlier in the season.

2019 Betfair Hurdle Tip Two



Grand Sancy has been in excellent form this season and comes into the Betfair on the back of a strong second in Grade One company. Equus Amadeus could also be well suited by conditions this weekend, but considering the excellent recent record first-season novices have in this handicap in recent season, I'm going to go with ANEMOI as my second selection.

On his first start over jumps, Harry Whittington's charge made a lasting impression, beating Nicky Henderson's Pym comfortably over course-and-distance. Pym has come out again following that defeat. Third placed Fearsome has won four times on the flat since and fourth-placed Nadataik romped to victory in the Grade Two River Don at Doncaster, so there's no doubting that was a very good novice contest.

Anemoi then successfully carried a penalty to victory on firm ground at Doncaster, before travelling to Cheltenham to run in the Ballymore Trial on New Years' Day. Jarvey's Plate ran out an easy winner on the day, but Whittington will have been pleased with his five-year-old's performance on his first crack at two-and-a-half-miles, crossing the line just a head behind beaten favourite, I Can't Explain back in third.

The fact that Anemoi stayed the trip will be important in the Betfair Hurdle, which is always run at a break-neck pace. Good-to-soft ground will be ideal and this course-and-distance winner is unbeaten around right-handed tracks. 20/1 looks excellent value!


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2019 Betfair Hurdle tips – 8/1 and 20/1 tips for Europe's most lucrative handicap hurdle

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for Saturday’s huge handicap at Ascot and picks out two horses for punters to back on Saturday 16th February.

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