Betfair Hurdle Runner-by-runner Preview + Get up to 7 Places on the Betfair Sportsbook
2022 Betfair Hurdle Runner-by-runner Preview
The ultra-competitive Betfair Hurdle takes place at Newbury on Saturday, with a field of 14 classy handicap hurdlers lining up. The race has helped to catapult the careers of My Tent Or Yours and Zarkandar in recent years and racing fans will be hoping that another superstar in unearthed in 2022. Check out our in-depth Betfair Hurdle runner-by-runner preview, which incudes a predicted 1-2-3 and big race verdict.
1. SOARING GLORY (T: Jonjo O’Neill, J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr)
Classy sort who had Bravemansgame (runs 1.15) behind last season. Always looked the type to improve for a big field handicap and he confirmed that when landing last year’s renewal of this event. Reappearance victory at Ascot brought his form figures in fields of 10+ to 1112F11 and only beaten 2 1/2l in Grade 1 company latest, but he’s a stone above last year’s winning mark and likely vulnerable to a less exposed rival.
2. TRITONIC (T: Alan King, J: Adrian Heskin)
Smart middle-distance flat performer who was sent off just 4/1 for last season’s Triumph Hurdle (finished 5th). Not disgraced at Cheltenham in his first two starts this season, and got his head back in front with victory at Ascot in December. Subsequent fourth in Grade 1 company easily forgiven and only 5lb above his Ascot winning mark returned to handicaps.
3. GLORY AND FORTUNE (T: Tom Lacey, J: Stan Sheppard)
Sent off a 33/1 shot for this last year and could only finish mid-field, yet he has shown much improved form since, supplementing a Plumpton reappearance win when taking the Welsh Champion Hurdle back in October. Winless from three subsequent runs but outperformed 28/1 odds when runner-up in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton in December; Soaring Glory and Tritonic directly behind. Player on that evidence returned to handicaps but he is now 9lb above his last winning mark.
4. FIRST STREET (T: Nicky Henderson, J: James Bowen)
Flat-bred being out of Group 3 winning miler Ladys First yet he has shown aptitude for this discipline winning novice hurdles at Bangor and Warwick last year. Bombed out in the Grade 2 Persian War when bidding for the hat-trick yet subsequent wind surgery brought about a revival when going in by 7 1/2l on last month’s handicap debut; Royaume Uni third. 9lb rise demands more in this company, however, and Nico de Boinville jumps ship to ride Broomfield Burg.
5. I LIKE TO MOVE IT (T: Nigel Twiston-Davies, J: Sam Twiston-Davies)
Finished runner-up in the Listed bumper on this card last year before going on to finish 9th in the Champion Bumper. Winner of his first three hurdles starts, accounting for Tritonic at Cheltenham in October before taking a weak Grade 2 back at that venue a month later. Limitations seemingly exposed behind Jonbon at Ascot subsequently, but an opening mark of 138 looks workable switched to handicaps, and his yard has an exceptional recent record in this race.
6. KNAPPERS HILL (T: Paul Nicholls, J: Harry Cobden)
Grade 2 bumper winner at Aintree last April and that form has worked out well since. Not out of second gear to land his first two hurdles starts (victories came at odds of 2/13F & 1/10F), and certainly not disgraced upped in class behind the classy Jonbon at Ascot in December; shuddering error two-out not helping. Given a break since and on his bumper efforts a mark of 135 could underestimate him. Yard out of sorts but if some of their hotpots on the card go in his price could begin to tumble.
7. BOOTHILL (T: Harry Fry, J: Sean Bowen)
Looked an above-average performer in two 2020 starts, scoring readily on his hurdles debut at Taunton. Not far behind Soaring Glory on handicap/seasonal debut at Ascot in October, where the ground would likely have been a little softer than ideal. Chasing plans shelved after finishing well-held at odds of 5/6F at Exeter in December, and a strongly-run 2m could be exactly what he needs back hurdling, for all that others arrive with a little less to prove; tongue tie goes on.
8. BROOMFIELD BURG (T: Nicky Henderson, J: Nico de Boinville)
Evidently well thought of by connections and easy to see why after running out an 8 1/2l winner of a Southwell bumper on just second rules outing; runner-up now rated 130. Out-battled on handicap debut at Cheltenham in December when he cruised into contention, yet he put that behind him when bolting up in a modest Kempton novice on Boxing Day; form franked. Handicap mark untouched returned to this sphere, yet how much will he want it when push comes to shove?
9. JETOILE (T: Ryan Potter, J: Lorcan Williams)
Related to top-class hurdler/chaser Accordion Etoile and looked a potentially useful recruit for connections when an 80/1 third at Cheltenham in October on stable/hurdles/seasonal debut. Built on that showing with victories at Chepstow and Leicester and likely bumped into an exceptional rival in Constitution Hill in last month’s Tolworth Hurdle. This reportedly the target since and better ground won’t inconvenience but his prior victories came at 2m3f+ and he could be tapped for toe back over this distance.
10. FIFTY BALL (T: Gary Moore, J: Joshua Moore)
Useful novice hurdler last season who chased home Soaring Glory in this contest. Only mid-field in the County Hurdle subsequently, however, and he has failed to go on from a respectable seasonal/chase debut at Sandown in November; beaten 32l and 73l the last twice. Back hurdling as a result and that Soaring Glory form taken in isolation makes him look a very well handicapped horse off 131, but a revival is certainly required.
11. JPR ONE (T: Colin Tizzard, J: Brendan Powell)
Out of a Listed bumper winner in Lady Knightess and he looked a potentially exciting recruit for the Tizzard’s when running out a 12/1 winner of a novice hurdle at Exeter on debut. Had a pair of mid 130-rated rivals behind that day and, on RPR’s at least, has bettered the showing in two subsequent runs; 6 1/2l Taunton winner latest. More almost certain to come and he falls into the ‘could be anything’ category, so looks a huge player carrying just 10st 9lb here.
12. HOWDYALIKEMENOW (T: Evan Williams, J: Adam Wedge)
Behind the likes of Echoes In Rain and Gaillard Du Mesnil in maiden hurdles for Declan Queally last season and took three of his first four starts for current connections, running out a ready winner of a handicap hurdle at Ffos Las in January. Subsequent step up to 2m5f in the Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle didn’t suit, yet although dropping back to this distance is a plus he looks up against it at this level.
13. ROYAUME UNI (T: Gary Moore, J: Jamie Moore)
Had some respectable form to his name in this sphere last season yet it took him six goes to get off the mark over hurdles, scoring at odds of 4/7F at Plumpton in October. Fine third in a competitive Cheltenham handicap hurdle subsequently, when just 3 3/4l off Broomfield Burg, yet he failed to match that at Kempton last time and whilst better ground here will suit there is expected to be rivals in here better handicapped.
14. LORD BADDESLEY (T: Chris Gordon, J: Nick Schofield)
Impressive course and distance winner last March and had produced some smart form prior which includes splitting a pair of now 130-rated rivals in a Worcester bumper. Simply hasn’t kicked on since returning from a break, however. An 8 1/2l Kempton third his best showing in four outings, yet that sandwiched between being pulled up at Ascot, and back at Kempton. 1lb out of the weights here and tough to recommend.
Big Race Verdict
A fascinating renewal of the Betfair Hurdle in prospect here. Last year’s winner Soaring Glory bids to become the race’s first back-to-back winner in almost 60 years, yet this looks a tough ask off topweight coming up against some totally unexposed opponents. One horse that falls firmly into that category is JPR ONE, who has been limited to just the three career starts to date, victories at Exeter and Taunton coming either side of a Cheltenham second. On more than one peice of form he looks a well-handicapped horse running off an opening mark of 130, and therefore rates the one to side with this afternoon. Knappers Hill rates a big danger and his supporters could be buoyed if the stable’s two hotpots earlier on the card can bely fears of a yard blip. Whilst Broomfield Burg is clearly thought plenty of but hasn’t looked the heartiest battler under pressure and may have to settle for place money.