There are just over three weeks to go until the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and Metier is the ante-post favourite at the latest entry stage. Max Liu has the latest...
"Metier remains a strong favourite, but we have seen some money for recent two recent winners. Sky Pirate, who landed a novice chase in Warwick last Saturday and could exploit a handicap hurdle mark of 140, is 12/1 from 16/1. While Edwardstone, an impressive winner in Market Rasen on the same day, is 12/1 from 20/1."
Forty-one entries remain on course for the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle on 13 February.
The race is Britain's richest handicap and will be run at Newbury, as part of 'Betfair Super Saturday', for a total prize fund of £125,000.
Has Metier got the measure of his opponents?
With less than a month until race day, Metier is the current favourite at 6/1.
The Harry Fry-trained five-year-old is expected to face competition from Cadzand and Soaring Glory - both 10/1 - while Willie Mullins' Cel De Neige is one of five at current odds of 12/1.
Nicky Henderson (below) has four entries for the race and one of those, Buzz, is 14/1.
Shakem Up'arry finished closest to Metier in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown earlier this month. His two runs at Newbury have both seen him finish second and he's 16/1 in the Betfair Hurdle betting.
Hi trainer Ben Pauling is hoping the Harry Redknapp-owned seven-year-old can go one better if he takes part on 13 February.
Pauling said: "Shakem Up'arry seemed to particularly enjoy the soft, heavy ground at Sandown. If it remains those sort of ground conditions for the Betfair Hurdle, it's a strong possibility we would run him and be hopeful."
Also on target for the race is For Pleasure, who was last seen winning in emphatic style at Cheltenham in November, and is currently 18/1.
Trainer Alex Hales said, "He's on target at the moment. Our plan was always to have a break after Cheltenham in November and then to head to the Betfair Hurdle. He has been going well at home and the break seems to have freshened him up."
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said: "Forty-one entries stand their ground and Metier remains a strong favourite, but we have seen some money for recent two recent winners. Sky Pirate, who landed a novice chase in Warwick last Saturday and could exploit a handicap hurdle mark of 140, is 12/1 from 16/1. While Edwardstone, an impressive winner in Market Rasen on the same day, is 12/1 from 20/1."
10/1 Cadzand, Soaring Glory
12/1 Ciel De Neige, Edwardstone, Mister Coffey, On To Victory, Sky Pirate
14/1 Buzz, The Shunter, Fifty Ball, Llandinabo Lad
16/1 Albert's Back, Ballyandy, Guard Your Dreams, Marie's Rock, One True King, Shakem Up'arry, Wild Max
18/1 For Pleasure, Lightly Squeeze
20/1 Annual Invictus, Faivoir, Friend or Foe, Galice Macalo, Glory And Fortune, Mack The Man, Mount Windsor, Sea Ducor, Thyme White, Torigni
25/1 One True King, Ballinsker, Christopher Wood, Solo
33/1 Fred, Gumball, Marlborough Sounds, Miranda, Oakley, Song of the Hunter, The Pink'n
40/1 Dans Le Vent, Highway One O Two
50/1 Blacko, Elysian Flame, Night Edition