Antepost Angle: Betting preview and tips ahead of Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle

Ascot's big handicap hurdle comes under the spotlight
Ascot's big handicap hurdle comes under the spotlight

Matt Brocklebank has already had winners at 33/1 and 12/1 this jumps season - don't miss his 16/1 antepost recommendation for Ascot this weekend.

Recommended bets: Saturday, December 22

If the betting markets are to be trusted on Monday afternoon then Call Me Lord won't be lining up in Saturday's Betfair Exchange Trophy Handicap Hurdle, with a shot at the Long Walk Hurdle (2/1 fav generally) clearly preferred.

Nicky Henderson's 160-rated five-year-old slammed Lil Rockerfeller when last seen in Sandown's bet365 Select Hurdle on the final day of the season and he'll be a significant force in the staying division if taking the step up to three miles (3m 1/2f) in his stride at Ascot.

Either way, the weights for the big weekend handicap look more than likely to shoot up, with the 148-rated John Constable in all probability promoted to top weight should he stand his ground.

Next on the list is Jolly's Cracked It, who has been towards the head of the betting for this race since it first opened up. That's perfectly reasonable to understand after Harry Fry's horse made a winning return from injury over the same course and distance at the end of November, for which a 9lb rise clearly isn't considered insurmountable.

He's becoming a regular in this race having dead-heated for first with Sternrubin in 2015 and finished down the field a couple of years ago, but he's clearly fragile and isn't obviously well treated back up to a mark of 147 as a nine-year-old.

Colin Tizzard will no doubt find the key to Cyrus Darius before long and there was enough in his Haydock return to think second time after the wind op might be the time to catch him. He's down just 2lb after that ultimately flattering run, though, and while he, plus the likes of Fidux, Charli Parcs and Lisp all command plenty of respect, there are a couple lurking down the weights who appeal more at the prices.

Lord Napier (25/1) was a massive eyecatcher at Wincanton when reappearing recently and was a good sixth behind Silver Streak in the Swinton Hurdle at the end of last year. He's versatile in regards to the ground but probably wouldn't want a severe test which just about sways the vote in favour of NOT NEVER (16/1, General).

Gary Moore has evidently found the key to him and he was rated 95 for Hugo Palmer so it's hard to put a figure on what he could achieve when he finally puts it all together in this code.

The six-year-old certainly looked like he was getting the hang of things with back-to-back wins at Plumpton around the turn of the year and the first of those victories - on heavy going - has worked out well with seven subsequent winners (including himself).

Bumped up 15lb for a 16-length romp on his last run, he's clearly now entering the big-time when it comes to handicap hurdling but there's still so much room for further progress from a perch of 128, and he could barely be in better hands when it comes to this type of horse.


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Check out our latest daily racing preview

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Nick Robson makes Haldon Hill his best bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

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Matt Brocklebank is in the nap hotseat on Sunday and he hopes it's a case of third time lucky at Exeter.

Action from Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton evening tips

Deira Surprise is Anita Chambers' best bet at Wolverhampton tonight and she has a tip for every race.