Its a big day of racing with the Betfair Hurdle & Irish Hennessy at Leopardstown as Cheltenham fans can pick up the latest odds and live streaming of all the action with Paddy Power.
With Cheltenham on the horizon jockeys, trainers and punters are getting their last gallop in before the Festival begins in March.
Saturday’s Super Saturday meeting at Newbury is one of the biggest single meetings of the entire season.
Cheltenham Festival hopefuls are entered left, right and centre.
Arkle Chase favourite Simonsig has his last race before Cheltenham in the Betfair Super Saturday Chase (Registered As The Game Spirit Chase) whilst Puffin Billy, one of the market leaders for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Novices´ Hurdle.
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Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has promised to take a strong string to Newbury and is set to run his chief Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Silviniaco Conti, who is as short as 7/1 shot for the Cheltenham showpiece, and RSA Chase contender Unioniste.
And forget the main punting event of the day in the form of Europe’s richest handicap hurdle – the Betfair Hurdle – which is likely to put on show huge clues for this year’s Champion Hurdle at the festival.
Millions of pounds are expected to be traded throughout the land on the Betfair Hurdle, which, as per usual, is shaping up to be a fascinating race.
These two-mile hurdles will go off at a ferocious pace and put on a real show for the paying public, whose battle against the bookmakers to come out in profit is especially engaging for this race. So many punters with have so many different opinions on the race and you can make a case that at least six or seven of the field could be well handicapped.
The £150,000 prize fund means that trainers have been plotting this route with their best hurdlers all season. Only the best two-mile handicappers line up in this event, which makes it a brilliant betting race for both punters and bookmakers.
Leading the markets is Nicky Henderson’s young hurdler My Tent Or Yours, who is also a leading contender for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Owned by hard-hitting gambler JP McManus My Tent Or Yours has been lined up for this race ever since he set for on a racecourse. Henderson has run the horse in three easy novice hurdles in order to him to qualify for this lucrative handicap and the horse looks to have all the capabilities to run very well in this event.
The 4/1 shot with 888Sport and Coral, has a similar profile to Darlan, who looked the winner of this race last year until taking a crashing fall two fences from home.
My Tent Or Yours travels like a stag and looks to have a very good turn of foot, however anyone taking a short price will be well aware that a race like this throws the horse very much in the deep-end. A 20+ runner field won’t be something he’s dealt with before and he could get intimidated.
For that reason, we think the value lies elsewhere. We feel that Cotton Mill, who is a general 10/1 shot with Coral, could be the horse to follow for the Betfair Hurdle.
John Ferguson’s charge has been off the track for nearly a year but he was a real star last season and is one that looks very capable of being a lot better than his current mark of 145.
He was running the top-class Simonsig very close in the Neptune Investments Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season before crashing through the rail two from home. His potential is unfulfilled and Ferguson believes he is good enough to challenge in the Champion Hurdle. That is a huge statement, and if he’s good enough for a Grade One, then he really should be winning a handicap like this.
We think he can. Take the 10/1.