How good a guide is the Betfair?

  • By: Ben Coley
  • Last Updated: February 6 2013, 14:51 GMT

Ben Coley takes a look at the last five renewals of the Betfair Hurdle to see whether they uncovered subsequent Cheltenham winners.

Zarkandar (centre) landed last year's Betfair Hurdle

2012

A race notable for the performance of ZARKANDAR, who recovered from a mistake three from home to get the better of Get Me Out Of Here. The latter would go on to defy a 4lb rise to finish runner-up to Son Of Flicka in the Coral Cup, while Zarkandar finished fifth in the Champion Hurdle. Third and fifth home Raya Star and Olofi were each sent along the County Hurdle route but never figured in that contest, however the seventh horse Sailors Warn did, finishing third behind Alderwood. Only two horses went from the Betfair Hurdle on to the Martin Pipe race and each was well held in both. One, the ill-fated Darlan, went from falling at Newbury to running in the opening race of the Festival, the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. He finished an arguably unfortunate second to Cinders And Ashes.

Subsequent Festival runners: Coral Cup (4), County Hurdle (6), Champion Hurdle (2), Martin Pipe (2), Neptune (1), Supreme (1)
Subsequent Festival winners: 0
Subsequent Festival places: 3

2011

A race dominated by five-year-olds and one which saw RECESSION PROOF get the better of Bothy by the narrowest of margins. The winner was the only one of the field sent to the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and he ran a fine race, finishing on the heels of the leaders in fifth. Bothy was joined by Solix (7th) and Walkon (11th) in the Coral Cup and although no match for winner Carlito Brigante, he finished second off just a 2lb higher mark. The 2011 renewal proved a most accurate pointer towards the County Hurdle, where three of the first five home had run behind Recession Proof at Newbury. They were eighth home Get Me Out Of Here (2nd), Newbury tenth Nearby (3rd at 66/1) and Salden Licht, who finished fifth at Cheltenham having been brought down when closing on the leaders at the second last in the Betfair Hurdle. Soldatino, Zanir and Notus De La Tour also ran in the County, leaving well-beaten Palomar as the sole representative in the Martin Pipe. He was also beaten a distance at Cheltenham.

Subsequent Festival runners: Coral Cup (3), County Hurdle (6), Martin Pipe (1), Supreme (1)
Subsequent Festival winners: 0
Subsequent Festival places: 3

2010

GET ME OUT OF HERE took his unbeaten record to five with an impressive victory over Ronaldo Des Mottes, before going down by just a head in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the only runner from this renewal to go down that route. Similarly, third home Manyriverstocross was the sole horse to go from this race to the Neptune and he ran a fair race to finish seventh. European Dream, Songe, Eradicate, Mutual Friend, Fushe Jo and Any Given Day were non-factors in the Betfair Hurdle before failing to show in the County Hurdle behind Thousand Stars. That left Spirit River to provide the strongest tie as, having finished way down the field at Newbury, he went on to win the Coral Cup in decisive fashion at 14/1. Ring The Boss finished 13th in both races, and Takeroc also failed to figure in either, while Betfair Hurdle favourite and fourth home Mamlook also ran behind Spirit River without troubling the judge. Just two, Simarian and Fairyland, went to the Martin Pipe, with the latter mid-division when falling. Stravinsky Dance was last of 20 finishers at Newbury before being pulled up in the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle.

Subsequent Festival runners: Coral Cup (4), County Hurdle (6), Martin Pipe (2), Supreme (1), Neptune (1), David Nicholson (1)
Subsequent Festival winners: 1
Subsequent Festival places: 1

2008

WINGMAN made the most of a feather weight to provide Gary Moore with back-to-back winners in the race, before disappointing when sent off 10/1 for the County Hurdle. Missis Potts went down the same route and bettered her Newbury sixth by a place, while Mohayer, fourth behind Wingman, could do no better than 14th. Caracciola, Victram, King's Revenge and Roman Villa finished down the field in both races meaning seven ran in both the Betfair Hurdle and the County. Instead, it was second home Punjabi who represented the success story, gamely finishing second to Wingman despite conceding over a stone to his rival before finishing third in the Champion Hurdle, a race he'd return to win a year later. County Zen went from finishing third at Newbury to disappointing as favourite for the Coral Cup. Only Whispered Promises joined him down that route, and he sadly died following a fall. Five Dream disappointed favourite backers at Newbury but ran a reasonable race to finish seventh, and as the sole four-year-old he then went on to finish down the field in the Triumph Hurdle. Jayo and Pigeon Island, fifth and eighth respectively at Newbury, were both asked to run in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle and neither featured.

Subsequent Festival runners: Coral Cup (2), County Hurdle (7), Champion Hurdle (1), Triumph Hurdle (1), Supreme (2)
Subsequent Festival winners: 0
Subsequent Festival places: 1

2007

A real boil-over with the first nine home all sent off at double-figure prices, and 50/1 shot HEATHCOTE coming out on top for Gary Moore. He didn't go to Cheltenham but runner-up Overstrand did, finishing down the field in the World Hurdle. However, third home Pedrobob went straight from Newbury to win the County Hurdle for trainer Anthony Mullins. The form worked out particularly strongly, with Newbury fourth Caracciola finishing a close sixth in the County and eighth home Kawagino improving to take fourth at Cheltenham. Betfair Hurdle favourite Tarlac also ran in the County but could do no better than 14th, as did New Field and Papini who didn't feature in either. Mister Hight went to the Coral Cup after finishing fifth in the Betfair Hurdle and filled the same place at Cheltenham as the only horse to run in both.

Subsequent Festival runners: Coral Cup (1), County Hurdle (6)
Subsequent Festival winners: 1
Subsequent Festival places: 1

*There was no race in 2009


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