Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury: Ballyandy enters the betting calculations
Tony Calvin revisits Saturday's massive Betfair-sponsored card at Newbury where he has found another Betfair Hurdle bet
"Ballyandy was obviously a top-notch bumper performer, winning at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016, and it is surprising to note that this is only the eight-year-old's eighth start over hurdles, so there could well be plenty of untapped potential in this sphere."
Second look at Betfair Hurdle reveals another bet
I had a good look at the Betfair Hurdle before and after the five-day declarations came out yesterday - you can read it here - and I have to extend my apologies.
Because I have gone through the race again, and the horse that I am just about to put up as a bet, albeit to small stakes, only got the briefest of mentions on Monday.
So step forward Ballyandy, pictured below, who is available to back win-only at [18.0] on the exchange, or each-way at 14/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook.
Given that the front three in the betting do look very solid, and that fact that the Sportsbook are currently alone in in the industry in offering five places on the race, I am going to suggest the each-way route at the lesser price.
Either option looks decent, though. The horse is a probable runner at this stage.
The reason for re-visiting the Betfair Hurdle is that I went through the videos again - yes, I was bored - and I was taken with the way Ballyandy travelled en route to his Uttoxeter win last time. He really did tank along throughout.
And, even with his 5lb penalty he is actually 1lb well-in, making him the officially best handicapped horse in the race alongside recent course-and-distance winner Ar Mest.
And that Uttoxeter win does look very solid form.
Ballyandy beat the hat-trick seeking Burrows Park by 4½ lengths there, with Theo's Charm, now becoming very attractively handicapped again and ridden by capable of 5lb claimer Rex Dingle, a length away in third.
That was only his second start back after a thoroughly unconvincing spell chasing, having not hurdled with a greater of fluency, but still shaping well, back over the smaller obstacles at Kempton.
And his two hurdle starts prior to that Kempton run were a win in this race in 2017, and a fourth in the Supreme.
He was obviously a top-notch bumper performer, winning at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016, and it is surprising to note that this is only the eight-year-old's eighth start over hurdles, so there could well be plenty of untapped potential in this sphere.
We know he loves the track - he won a Listed bumper here on heavy ground on his only other start at Newbury - and more rain throughout the week, as is forecast, will be no hardship to him at all.
I still quite like the claims of Sussex Ranger at around 25s on the exchange, but Ballyandy is my new number one and the horse that I will be shortly be chucking a few quid at, while not going mad.
Early thoughts on the early prices
The Betfair Sportsbook has priced up all of the seven races at Newbury on Saturday, which is a brave move given running plans are seemingly up in the air for the bigger contests, let alone the lesser prizes.
It looks like we will definitely be getting Native River against Clan Des Obeaux (pictured below) in the Betfair Denman Chase - 4/5 plays 7/4 there - but who knows if we will get to see Un De Sceaux lock horns with Fox Norton in the Betfair Exchange Chase?
The Sportsbook originally made Un De Sceaux 6/5 and Fox Norton 6/4 on Tuesday morning, but the market quickly changed to make Colin Tizzard's horse the 8/11 jolly over the Irish charge at 2/1.
Anemoi is surprisingly made the 11/4 favourite over Supreme favourite Angels Breath at 7/2 in the opening novices' hurdle and fair play to whoever in the trading room put their hand up to price up the 17-runner bumper that ends the card.
Rather them than me, though I do have a healthy disregard for betting on National Hunt races.
The two other big-field handicaps are also priced up, but I am happy to leave them alone until we know the final line-ups.
In the meantime, good luck punting throughout the week and I will be back, as per usual, on Friday afternoon.
Back Ballyandy 14/1 each way with Betfair Sportsbook, five places (or [18.0], win only, for exchange backers)