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Best Betting Sites UK / Ginger Joe - The 2024 Betfair Hurdle – Preview & Picks

Ginger Joe - The 2024 Betfair Hurdle – Preview & Picks

Publish Date:09/02/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland
Key Points
  • My 2024 Betfair Hurdle 1-2-3-4 predictions
  • Is the Irish raider worthy of the hype?
  • Check out my take on the best in the lineup

Betfair Hurdle Weekend at Newbury!

We’re off to Newbury this weekend for one of my favourite races, and one of the biggest on the National Hunt calendar, the Betfair Hurdle. At the time of writing, there are 24 entries still in the lineup, so rather than going through them all, I’ve picked out some of the most promising individuals for this review and finished up by giving you my predicted 1-2-3-4 for Newbury’s highlight race.

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15:15 Newbury - Betfair Hurdle (Premier Handicap) 2m - Going: Heavy, soft in places

The Betfair Hurdle is one of my favourite big-field Handicaps of the National Hunt season because it's fiercely competitive and never fails to provide a thrilling finish. With 24 runners and some very interesting contenders in the lineup, this is sure to be a fascinating renewal. It’s a hard race to nail down as there are plenty in this field with a good shout on paper, but let’s go through some of the runners and see who stands out the most.

Ocastle Des Mottes @ 5/1

We’ll start off with the Willie Mullins-trained Irish raider, Ocastle Des Mottes, who makes his first appearance for connections here. He is hard to weigh up on his French form, but you’d have to assume he has a fair amount of ability considering that he has been thrown straight in at the deep end for his first UK appearance.

Both of his wins in France came on very soft ground, so we know he won't mind the conditions at Newbury, but the fact that he’s untried on British or Irish soil means you’d need to take him on trust. That said, we all know that Willie Mullins has a great track record with his new recruits and Ocastle Des Mottes is likely to be well handicapped, but at 5/1 he’s not the one for me.

Under Control @ 16/1

Nicky Henderson has a total of four Betfair Hurdle runners at the time of writing, including a lovely mare called Under Control. She stands out to me as a very well-handicapped horse running off a mark of 137. She is still lightly raced and she only has a couple of lengths to find with Ashroe Diamond, which gives her a lot of credibility in this race. It also can’t be denied that Henderson has done very well with similar mares in the past, and at a double figure price, she could be a decent each way punt.

Iberico Lord @ 13/2

In the same JP McManus silks, Henderson also runs Iberico Lord, who strikes me as having a fair chance here, having won the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham back in November. He also seems to be well-handicapped, despite being 8lbs higher than his mark that day. But another key factor here is that he is the preferred ride of Nico De Boinville, which would also suggest that he is the stable first string. Expect him to be there or thereabouts at the finish.

Lookaway @ 10/1

Neil King runs Lookaway, who finished second in the 2023 Greatwood Hurdle, but unlike the winner that day, Lookaway has actually gone on to back up that performance and I don’t think he’ll be far away this time either. He’s an ultra-consistent sort, with plenty of experience and plenty of pace too. Basically, he’s overpriced here, and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him as an each way shot.

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Brentford Hope @ 14/1

I’m particularly keen on Brentford Hope, who was a decent horse on the Flat for Richard Hughes and he has taken to Hurdles very nicely indeed. He has won three out of his last five starts and his last two performances put him right in the mix off his current mark.

His penultimate start was over course and distance, where he beat Sergeant Wilson by a massive 16 lengths. He then followed that up finishing a two-length third in the Gerry Feilden to the highly progressive Hansard, again over course and distance.

Brentford Hope has plenty of speed, as we’ve already seen, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t take another big step forward here. He is running for Harry Derham, who is currently enjoying a fine rookie season as a trainer and I think it would be fantastic if he could win this big pot and really make his mark.

My Betfair Hurdle place predictions & bets

  1. Brentford Hope @ 14/1 EW
  2. Lookaway @ 10/1 EW
  3. Iberico Lord @ 13/2 Win
  4. Under Control @ 16/1 EW

Two noteworthy contenders

A couple more at big prices, who both have live chances, are Donnacha for Nigel Hawke, and Olly Murphy’s Go Dante, the latter being piloted by Sean Bowen.

  • Donnacha @ 25/1
  • Go Dante @ 22/1

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