The Betfair Hurdle

Welcome once again, dear readers.

Today we have a detailed analysis of tomorrow's Betfair Hurdle from Connor Gallagher of - I've been negotiating with Connor to come on board for some time now and I'm glad to say we will be seeing a lot more of his work on Make Your Betting Pay in the coming months. Enjoy!

Take it away, Connor:


OK, so first things first, who am I?

Well, my name is Connor Gallagher. I’m 20 years old, and I’ve been earning a very healthy full-time income from betting on horse racing for the last 4 years.

I’ve had a keen interest in horse racing from a very early age, and have been betting ever since I was 11. A different story to many of the so-called “experts” I am sure you will agree…

Secondly, you’ll be glad to hear I’m not going to lie to you by saying that I’ve made millions from betting. I haven’t. I don’t live in a luxury mansion in the centre of Newmarket. And I don’t claim to have access to any “inside information.”

My selection process combines trends analysis with in-depth form study in an attempt to identify “value”. I bet mainly in the top class races - i.e. big handicaps, graded races, and so on.

This week I wanted to focus on the Betfair Hurdle and give you an in-depth analysis of the main contenders, together with some free betting advice. I’ve also agreed to write for Kieran on a regular basis, so I hope you enjoy!

If you’d also like to check out my full service, I’m currently running a special offer for the next few days whereby you can sign-up until the end of the year for a very low price. But hurry, there are limited places available. I’m also giving away a free report. You can find out more at

Anyway, let’s get cracking!

Big Race Analysis - Betfair Hurdle (3.35 Newbury)


Petit Robin

Not getting any younger at the age of 10, has gone up another 4lbs in the weights for recent Ladbroke 2nd behind Cause Of Causes, and likely to be vulnerable to a few here. He also seems more effective going right-handed and has a poor trends profile.


Cause Of Causes

Improving 5yo has been on the go for a while now, culminating in a 4-length success in the Ladbroke last time out when doing all his best work at the finish from a long way off the pace. It’s possible he’ll be seen to best effect over further, or at least when conditions are very testing, and a 10lb rise since that effort means he’s probably vulnerable here. The Ladbroke has typically been a poor trial for this more competitive contest, and despite boasting a decent trends profile, the two winners to have won this race rated 145+ had already won a Grade 1. He hasn’t.


My Tent Or Yours

Unexposed novice who won impressively at Huntingdon last time out and represents the same connections as Get Me Out Of Here, who won this 3 years ago, and Darlan, who fell in this contest when travelling strongly last year and was ante-post favourite for next month’s Champion Hurdle before unfortunately suffering a fatal injury earlier in the week. This one looks sure to be suited by a strong gallop and could also be an ideal sort for the Supreme Novices’ at the Festival, for which is currently a best-priced 8/1. He has a strong trends profile but will have to be every bit as good as his rating of 149 suggests if he’s to win this.


Dark Lover

It has hard not to be impressed by the manner of his victory in a useful Cheltenham handicap in December, and a form line through Dan Breen suggests he should be competitive in this higher grade. That said, he has a poor trends profile, is very inexperienced for an 8yo and it’s hard to see him winning such a competitive race given that he struggled in the Racing Post Hurdle off a 17lb lower mark in November.


Pearl Swan

A quirky 5yo open to plenty of improvement and also represents last year’s winning connections, Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh. He looked slightly unlucky when falling at the final flight in the Triumph Hurdle, and we’ve only seen him once since, when finishing 2nd in a jumper’s bumper at Kempton 2 weeks ago. That’s hardly an ideal preparation for this but he must be in with a decent shout and cannot be ruled out.


Cash And Go

A Grade 1 winner in Ireland last term who was recently transferred to Nicky Henderson, but got no further than the 4th flight in the Ladbroke last time out on only his second run for new connections. He previously ran well to finish 2nd in the Racing Post Hurdle on seasonal debut, finishing 2nd to Olofi. He’s only 2lb higher today, has a fair trends profile and is clearly well-regarded. Also holds an entry in the Champion Hurdle.



Admirable sort who was given a sabbatical last season before returning in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, where he made the running, eventually finishing 6th. It’s possible this has been the plan for a while, and if he’s back to his best he’ll have a decent chance, but as a fairly exposed 10yo it’s likely he’ll prove vulnerable to several of these and he won’t be carrying my money. That said, I wouldn’t put you off if you fancy him each-way.


Cotton Mill

Classy 2nd season hurdler who hasn’t been seen since finishing 3rd in the Sefton Novices’ at Aintree last term. I’d backed him previously when he looked likely to battle it out with Simonsig in the Neptune before coming to grief 2 out, so he surely wants at least 2m4f and it’s easy to see him being vulnerable to a couple of speedier sorts at the business end of the race. He also lacks match fitness, which is another question mark given that 15 of the last 20 winners had run within the last 52 days. Nevertheless, he should be staying-on late and shouldn’t be too far away.


Ronaldo Des Mottes

I backed Ronaldo Des Mottes last time out at Sandown, where he finished 4th, having been off the track for almost 2 years. He finished 2nd in this race in 2010 and stays a bit further, so a quickly run 2m should suit. Tom Bellamy claims 7lbs, which should help, but he’s a little older than the typical winner of this race and it’s hard to see him winning. Has a small each-way chance.


Baby Mix

Probably the forgotten horse of the race, Baby Mix has been running well consistently without winning and has dropped to a mark of 141. He’s arguably better in smaller fields, but I can see a strongly-run 2m suiting him and he has some very high-class form to his name. He’s also ridden by Noel Fehily, one of my favourite jockeys, and has to be respected given the prolific record of 5yos in this race. Could he spring a surprise?


Princeton Plains

Ran well enough in the Ladbroke last time, finishing 6th, having been off the track for a while, but is starting to look fairly exposed now and off only 1lb lower it’s hard to see him being competitive in a much stronger race.


Claret Cloak

A really promising sort who returned to action with an encouraging 3rd behind Raya Star in a Listed Hurdle at Ascot in November, having raced much closer to the pace throughout than the front two. He’s open to bags of improvement, travels strongly in his races and should appreciate a softer surface. He’s also a course and distance winner and has a really strong trends profile. Holds an entry in the Champion Hurdle so is obviously very well thought of at home.



Certainly won’t be without his supporters and interesting that connections have held on to him after 818 days off the track. Was 3rd in this race 3 years ago and was formerly a high-class novice, but it’s possible he’ll want a bit further and is likely to come on for the run.


Swing Bowler

Unbeaten mare who clearly left last year’s form behind when dismissing a useful field at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day. Of course, this is much tougher off an 11lb higher mark, but she has a very strong trends profile and should be thereabouts. The noises coming out of the Pipe camp this week have been a bit strange to say the least, but it should be noted that Timmy Murphy has wasted down to a weight of only 10-1 to ride her. Personally I think she might find 1 or 2 too good at this stage of her career.


Village Vic

Another who’s obviously very well-regarded at home, representing a trainer with a decent record in this race, but either way it’s difficult to see this one finding the improvement necessary to trouble the leading contenders.



Yet another Nicky Henderson-trained runner who, like stablemate Cash And Go, disappointed in the Ladbroke last time out. That’s obviously not an ideal preparation, but he was very impressive in the Gerry Feilden over today’s course and distance previously, and has a brilliant trends profile. He should handle conditions, and Barry Geraghty thought after his win here that he’d be suited by a stronger pace. He’ll get that today and ought to go very well at odds that vastly underestimate his chances.


Ingleby Spirit

Has a bit to find on official figures and last ran only 6 days ago, but generally a very consistent type who might run into a place at enticing odds.


Court Minstrel

Improving 6yo having only his 4th appearance over hurdles, having finished 4th to Melodic Rendezvous in a hot Grade 1 at Sandown last month. His jumping often leaves a bit to be desired, but it’s likely that today’s stronger pace will help in that department, and Adam Wedge takes off 3lbs. He shouldn’t be far away.


Into Wain

A useful individual whose 2nd to Petit Robin at Sandown was a big step in the right direction, but he’s risen 7lbs since and that could prove a bit difficult to overcome in such a competitive race. Finished a well-beaten 8th in the Ladbroke last time, but today’s faster surface should be more suitable and this one has small place claims.


Caid Du Berlais

Paul Nicholls-trained runner was staying-on at the death in the Chepstow Finale (Grade 1) last time suggesting that a strongly-run 2m should suit. This has been the ante-post plan for a while and with Harry Derham claiming 5lbs and soft conditions looking sure to suit, he could go very well at a big price.



A very competitive event, as always, and a worthy favourite in the shape of My Tent Or Yours. That said, the mount of A P McCoy offers little in terms of value at around the 7/2 mark and should be opposed.

Cash And Go was unlucky when unseating Barry Geraghty in the Ladbroke last time, but his 2nd to Olofi (finished in front of Cause Of Causes) at Cheltenham sets the standard here and he offers significant value at 10/1. So too does another Henderson stablemate, Lyvius, who was a comfortable winner over today’s course and distance previously. He’s also a 5yo, an age group that boasts a prolific record in this race, and is fairly treated off an official mark of only 133.

Of the remainder, Claret Cloak ran a blinder last time to finish a close 3rd to subsequent Christmas Hurdle runner-up Raya Star, and looks set to go well if able to cope with the hurly and burly of a big race.

Caid Du Berlais, a French import, is only a 4yo but ran encouragingly last time and is likely to improve significantly. Today’s stronger pace should also suit and Harry Derham claims 5lbs. He’s too big at 25/1.

Betting advice

Cash And Go - 1pt win @ 10/1

Claret Cloak - 1pt win @ 14/1

Lyvius - 0.5pt win @ 33/1

Caid Du Berlais - 0.5pt win @ 25/1


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