Betfair Hurdle Tips: Jetoile to fly to success

Kalashnikov was a winner of the Betfair Hurdle in 2018.
Kalashnikov was a winner of the Betfair Hurdle in 2018.

The Betfair Hurdle is usually known as one of the best betting heats of the year over the smaller obstacles, and although we have a small field for the 2022 renewal, it’s still an interesting betting affair…

It may not have the 20+ field that we’re used to in this race, but we have past winners returning and exciting prospects lining up in an interesting race at Newbury on Saturday.

Soaring Glory is the aforementioned past Champion, after he scooted to success by three-lengths in last year’s renewal ahead of Fifty Ball in what looked like a promising run ahead of a big future. He went to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle after that but was no match for Appreciate It and was some 38-lengths beaten, though so were most of the field! He’s ran three times since, with one win in a Listed handicap hurdle at Ascot and a third from five in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle. I think it’s fair to say he’s not cut from the same cloth as the Grade 1 types, but in running in the highest level and winning this last year, his handicap mark is somewhat knackered. He finds himself in a bit of terra nullius right now, and would probably have to come down a few lbs yet to be winning this for a second time.

Fifty Ball is another who hasn’t quite kicked on since chasing Soaring Glory down that day and has recently been way out of the frame in recent attempts at chasing, some 32 and 73-lengths beaten. He returns to hurdles here off the same mark as last year’s second, but this obvious change in plan doesn’t inspire too much confidence, and he already has to step up somewhat from 12 months ago to be winning on Saturday so is best left.

The favourite at the time of writing is Broomfield Burg, a Nicky Henderson runner with an impressive recent formline containing only 1s and 2s. The recent win was an easy 10-length waltz at Kempton as the 1/3 favourite and that form has since been boosted as the second has gone on to win, so he certainly ticks a lot of boxes. The six-year-old, which by the way is the most successful age for Betfair Hurdle winners in the race's history, is hard to steer clear from, and success at the weekend will surely see his odds for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle tumble, so he has to be feared to win this at 5/1 at the time of writing.

Jpr One is the most unexposed horse in the field, representing Colin Tizzard. With only three career runs under his belt, and a formline of 121, he’s certainly an exciting prospect, especially given the ease of his win at Taunton last time out. There is a fear he hasn’t really beat anything to date though, and although he’s very attractively weighted at 10st 9lb he hasn't shown enough yet to be considered with huge confidence and a bet is more done off the promise of what he could be. There’s safer options out there.

Knappers Hill is the sole representative for Paul Nicholls, who looks to reclaim the trophy after success in 2020 with Pic D’Orhy. Another six-year-old with an impressive formline which was only blundered for the first time last time out, when finishing third behind Supreme Novices’ Hurdle fancy Jonbon in the Grade 2 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot in December. The one that was fancied to stick it to Jonbon that day, he didn’t do a whole lot wrong, but it would have been nice to see him be a little more impressive than he was and he only narrowly held onto third that day. He’s a hard one to measure up but his latter run didn’t inspire me with too much confidence and he’s plenty short enough at 7/1.

Jetoile is the other that really catches my eye as a value bet, as much as I do think the favourite is well capable of claiming it. He had the unfortunate task of chasing Constitution Hill home in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle last time out and although well beaten by the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite, he was a good seven-lengths clear of the rest of the field themselves, including recent and impressive Sandown winner Shallwehaveonemore. This is pretty admirable form given he was 12-lengths beaten, and his prior runs - back-to-back wins in lower grade affairs - have protected his handicap mark somewhat leaving him on 10st 12lb. At 10/1, his form is as good if not better than those ahead of him and he offers a really attractive each-way bet. It may also be worth putting into a reverse forecast with the favourite as I expect the two to be battling it out at the line.

I Like To Move It represents the Twiston-Davies team and is currently around the 12/1 mark. The five-year-old is already a Grade 2 winner having won the Supreme trial at Cheltenham in November, but he was in the prior mentioned Kennel Gate and was a pretty comprehensively beaten last that day, Knappers Hill some eight-lengths ahead. He did carry a penalty that day due to his Grade 2 win, so was 5lb heavier than Knappers Hill, but he’s still higher in the weights than him and although he’s only carrying 3lb more this time, he has plenty to find to reverse the form with the Nicholls runner, who himself is up against it.

Boothill, like Fifty Ball, is another to return to hurdles after a poor chase debut when beaten 13-lengths as the odds-on favourite. He’s only ran twice over hurdles in his career, and only on one of those occasions has it been at handicap level when chasing Soaring Glory home in a Listed Handicap Hurdle. He’s running off the same mark as he was that day and although he’s on better terms than he was with Soaring Glory that day it’s still another step up that’s required, though a repeat of that form could see him in the frame and he may chase down the eventual winners in a good third/fourth. 

The final of the sub 20/1 winners are First Street and Tritonic, the latter a Grade 2 winner known for being once well fancied for the Triumph Hurdle. Like Soaring Glory, he’s on a very high mark, especially given he had a crack at Grade 1 level last time out, and although it was encouraging to see him win a good handicap at Ascot earlier this season, he’s up 5lb from then and that could well catch him out.

First Street falls into a similar category but was encouraging when beating Mengli Khan at Kempton after a wind op, though this isn’t 2018 and Mengli Khan isn’t the yardstick he once was. Royaume Uni and Lord Baddesley were also in the field that day, and they will repose him here on Saturday, but that’s looking like a bit of a weaker race compared to others credentials in this field so is best watched.

Prediction:

  1. Jetoile
  2. Broomfield Burg
  3. Boothill
Betfair Hurdle
Jetoile silk

Jetoile (EW)

lost
Cheltenham Festival 2022
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