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Betway Welsh Champion Hurdle day at Ffos Las

30 Jan | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Betway Welsh Champion Hurdle day at Ffos Las

The first ever horse race under the Betway name will go ‘off’ at Ffos Las just before 1pm on Saturday

The first ever horse race under the Betway name will go ‘off’ at Ffos Las just before 1pm on Saturday. The Betway Novices’ Hurdle gets a cracking card underway – but it no doubt plays second fiddle to contests further down the card.

It’s an important race for us though and actually a significant one. For a novice hurdle that’s only been staged three times you might be surprised to find out that the trio that took past honours have bagged nearly £800,000 in prize money to date. Then again, maybe not so surprised if you knew that the inaugural running was won by a 5-year-old by the name of Sprinter Sacre.

A facile 10-length success was the third victory of his career and the first win in his second season. Now at 9 years of age Nicky Henderson’s superstar is heading to our headline sponsorship of the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and provides us with an excellent link between our first race and our flagship race in 2015.

Nine runners are planning to line up in this year’s renewal. While it’s extremely unlikely another horse with the ability of Sprinter Sacre is waiting to be uncovered, it’s worth remembering that the last two winners went on to take other decent prizes. 2013 winner Top Gamble completing a hat-trick just a fortnight ago.

Recent Exeter winner Souriyan is sure to be popular as well as Got The Nac from the Oliver Sherwood stable, who will be looking to defy a penalty from his Lingfield win on what is likely to be very heavy ground.

The Betway Handicap Chase at 1.30pm is an ultra-competitive affair with every horse in with a chance of taking the £6,500 prize. Overnight prices range from just 4/1 favourite to 12/1 outsider. Four former course winners go to post but we’re unlikely to see an easier win than last year’s 39-length romp by David Pipe’s Poole Master.

For those not attending with us at Ffos Las, the chance to see the two big races of the day is provided by Channel 4 Racing, who zoom over from Sandown to take in the next two races on the card. The Betway Welsh Champion Hurdle at 2.05pm was won by Cheltenham bound Saphir Du Rheu last year and the 14-runner contest on offer promises to be one of the highlights of the month.

Paul Nicholls looks to retain the prize with Silsol, with Jack Sherwood (claiming 7lb) up on top reducing the burden of an allotted maximum weight (under the race conditions) of 11st 10lb. Oscar Sunset fits the profile of a likely winner of this race and appeals in an open affair. He’s one of three Evan Williams trained runners in the race making the 60-mile journey from Llancarfan.

Two other horses making the same journey are King Massini and Firebird Flyer. They line up with eight other entrants in the Betway West Wales National which is due off at 2.40pm. The three-and-a-half mile trip will take plenty of getting on the rain-soaked ground. With stamina to the fore distance winner Gorgehous Lliege hasn’t escaped the attention of our trading team. Swerving Venetia Williams’ bottom-weight would seem a good strategy for any bookmaker.

French import Cyclop got off the mark at Huntingdon on Boxing Day and is an interesting runner in the Betway Handicap Hurdle at 3.10pm. Evan Williams’ six-year-old Hughsie looks to get off the mark at the sixth time of asking in the Betway Maiden Hurdle at 3.45pm. The closing Betway ‘bumper’ at the end of the card sees Williams with 60% of the five-runner field with Sparksfrommyheels looking to be his best chance

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