Betfair stats point to Bonney

Ian Ogg analyses the last 10 runnings of the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and picks out the key statistics.

William H Bonney (r) can reward each-way support

The formula for finding the winner of the Betfair Hurdle has been fairly simple in the last decade.

For a start, all of the winners have been aged either five or six so you can cut a large swathe through the field for Saturday's race even if you're prepared to give a stay of execution to the relatively lightly raced seven-year-olds Clyne and De Name Escapes Me.

They have raced nine and four times over hurdles respectively and no winner in this period has raced more than 10 times over hurdles which rules out Eddiemaurice and Hargam and leaves us with just eight runners, most of whom the market has identified as leading candidates.

This has by no means been a bad race for market leaders with six either winning or making the frame and the support in the week has been for Champion Bumper winner Ballyandy whose yard took this prize three years ago and saddled the third last year.

Like last year's winner, he had his most recent start in a graded race and will be making his handicap debut and like the last four winners, the six-year-old can be expected to race prominently.

Whether that is a trend that continues to pay dividends remains to be seen but it is a potential negative for De Name Escapes Me and Zubayr whose connections suggested in the week that they could revert to hold-up tactics.

Zubayr and Clyne are a little higher in the weights than ideal while Ballyhill has something to prove on more testing ground which leaves his stablemate to join William H Bonney, Movewiththetimes and Beltor on the short-list.

Movewithetimes seems certain to go well for Paul Nicholls who trained the winner in 2012 and has saddled placed runners in three of the last four renewals.

Beltor finished in front of William H Bonney at Kempton but the latter was having his first start since March that day and improved from the run to win at Cheltenham in the style of a horse who was ahead of the handicapper.

Lightentertainment struggled when attempting to complete the same double and the last three horses to line up with penalties have struggled but a couple prior to that have hit the frame.

Alan King has also gone close saddling runners to finish third, fourth and third in 2010, 11 and 12 and his only runners in this race since have been sent off at 50/1 (twice), 16/1 and 20s.

William H Bonney obviously has stronger claims than that quartet and rates a solid each-way selection at 9/1 to at least make the frame.

  • Winners have been aged 5 (six) and 6 (four).
  • Winners have carried between 10-0 and 11-6 (eight 10-9 or below) with one winning from 1lb out of the handicap.
  • Winners have been rated between 124 and 151 with seven between 124 and 137 and three between 144 and 151.
  • Winners have been priced between 11/4 and 50/1 with four in single figures.
  • Three favourites have been successful with a further three placed.
  • Nine winners finished in the first five on their preceding start, five were successful.
  • No winner had had more than 10 career starts over hurdles; six had had no more than four.
  • Five winners were in their second season over hurdles and five in their first.

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