Betfair Hurdle Guide

2. Lisp

Trainer - Alan King

Jockey - Wayne Hutchinson

Lisp looks a worthy contender in this contest for Alan King - who has been in fine form since racing returned on Wednesday afternoon.

Three good runs this term, he opened his account for the season on return to the track at Fontwell in November, before finishing as the runner-up in two useful Listed contests including here last time.

Leading player on that basis.

5. Mont Des Avaloirs

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey - Lorcan Williams

Trainer has had a good record in this, with a winner and a runner-up in the past seven years, and is also represented this year by Mont Des Avaloirs.

Speedy hurdler who blew out in the Betfair Exchange Trophy here at Ascot before Christmas, but a shame this is not run at Newbury, as his run before was an inspiring third - finishing half a length down in a decent Listed race.

Likely to be prominent.

6. Getaway Trump

Trainer - Paul Nicholls

Jockey - Harry Cobden

Remains ahead of the handicapper, after his excellent second in the Challow behind Champ at Newbury.

Will hope for a good gallop - which there always is in the Betfair, and now drops back in trip to two miles where he enjoyed success at Exeter back in December.

Looks a big danger, and can enhance his claims for the novice events at Cheltenham next month with a quality performance here.

7. Al Dancer

Trainer - Nigel Twiston Davies

Jockey - Sam Twiston Davies

Another trainer with a good record in the race sends out the unbeaten novice hurdler Al Dancer - who is three from three for the yard this season.

His last victory was an emphatic success at Cheltenham, and now steps up in trip for the first time, but if he can stay the hill comfortably at Prestbury Park, he should handle Ascot's lower contours.

Towards the summit in the Supreme market, and appears to be the one to beat.

8. Blu Cavalier

Trainer - Ali Stronge

Jockey - Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Defeated as the 2/11 favourite in a three runner field at Fakenham in a Seller at Fakenham in a Class Four when last seen.

Was a useful novice in his own right, but in a quiet season for the yard as well, has found life difficult.

Faces a mountain to climb now in a different league against established rivals.

9. Didtheyleaveuoutto

Trainer - Nick Gifford

Jockey - William Kennedy

Useful novice who came to grief at Kempton over Christmas - easily brushed aside by the likes of Mister Fisher and Rouge Vif who have both gone onto win since.

Has won twice here in a six race career and could be the one forgotten about in the field.

Successful in a bumper twelve months ago, he was a narrow winner here on his second start over hurdles, and hopefully the short break has freshened him up a little.

10. Equus Amadeus

Trainer - Tom Lacey

Jockey - Stan Sheppard

On and off recently and seems to find it hard to accumulate any real consistency.

Returned this season with a win in a weaker contest at Wincanton, before always trailing in the Greatwood at Cheltenham.

Raced there again latest when well behind in a Class Two Handicap, but in between those he did stay on well in a similar contest at Doncaster.

Strange form and hard to fancy with reliability issues.

11. Distingo

Trainer - Gary Moore

Jockey - Joshua Moore

Father and son combine with Distingo - who was actually last seen on the flat at Kempton on the All-weather, when failing to play apart in a relatively simple handicap over ten furlongs.

Couple of decent runs at Huntingdon and here at Ascot over hurdles, so a return to obstacles is definitely a plus, but will need to find more than the one pace he showed last time at the royal venue.

Trainer in fine form this season, and perhaps he can work his magic again.

12. Zanza

Trainer - Philip Hobbs

Jockey - Richard Johnson

Lightly raced 5yo gelding, who only had the one run in a bumper before bouncing up the hurdles.

Won on debut back in November in a Class 4 Novice Hurdle, clearly proving he was a class apart.

Heavy conditions definitely got the better of him at Sandown, before bouncing back to form when dropping again in Grade at Taunton.

Another rise up the classes, and will benefit from better conditions this time.

14. William H Bonney

Trainer - Alan King

Jockey - Tom Cannon

Tom Cannon took a spill at Plumpton a couple of days ago but is fit enough to step in in place of Wayne Hutchinson, who has notably selected stablemate Lisp instead.

Tenth in that memorable Supreme behind Altior from a few years ago, has been applying his trade at a much lower level and has been mightily successful - at both Hereford and Huntingdon.

Now jumps back into the deep end, where he will need to offer plenty more.

15. Nordic Combined

Trainer - David Pipe

Jockey - Bryony Frost

Been a fine addition for David Pipe since moving from Stuart Kittow's flat yard, and still just cannot get his head in front over obstacles.

Fifth on debut at this event's usual venue, he then went onto finish second three times, all in Class Four's, and is now deemed ready to step-up to the big time.

Highly progressive and maybe worth a chance.

16. Ar Mest

Trainer - Gary Moore

Jockey - Jamie Moore

Another one for the Moore's, Ar Mest can complete what looks an unlikely hat-trick if stepping up in style to sit amongst some fierce challengers in this hugely competitive affair.

Wins at Leicester and Newbury has seen him progress leaps and bounds from some of his novice from shown last season.

Can go on any surface, so could be in contention for a place.

17. Magic Dancer

Trainer - Kerry Lee

Jockey - Richard Patrick (3)

Began season at Cheltenham when placing in a two-mile qualifier, before down the field in a useful Listed race here.

Has since bounced back in lower grades, and was a close second to the useful Oakley from Philip Hobbs' yard at Kempton two weeks into the new year.

More required here however.

18. Nelson's Touch

Trainer - Seamus Mullins

Jockey - Jeremiah McGrath

Sitting at the foot of the weights is the 6yo gelded son of Mount Nelson, who was last seen halfway down the field in a Class Two Handicap at Cheltenham.

Good form in this part of the country though, when second at Sandown twice - recently in a Listed contest.

Not out of sorts nor out of place, so could better himself with a fine display here.

Right handed tracks are as well his way of going.