Betfair Exchange Trophy: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Runners after the final hurdle at Ascot
The Betfair Exchange Trophy takes place at Ascot on Saturday

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot and pick out their 1-2-3.

"...Lightly raced and remains open to further progress..."

Timeform on Arrivederci

Betfair Exchange Trophy
15:35 Ascot, Saturday
Live on ITV4

1. Buzz (Nicky Henderson/ Nico de Boinville)
Showed useful form on the Flat but has quickly developed into an even better hurdler, winning three of his five starts in this sphere. Posted a smart effort when winning a handicap over course and distance last month and there should be more to come. Big player.

2. Master Debonair (Colin Tizzard/ Harry Kimber (7))
Won twice over this course and distance last season, including a Grade 2 novice on heavy ground. However, he was below form on his final outing of the campaign and put in a very tame effort on his reappearance at Wincanton last month. This opening handicap mark looks tough even if he recaptures his best.

3. Botox Has (Gary Moore/ Joshua Moore)
Created a good impression when winning two of his three starts last season and took another big step forward with victory in a conditions event over two miles at Cheltenham on his reappearance in October. Seemingly had no excuses when fourth on his handicap debut at Newbury last month but the return to testing ground may help.

4. Kid Commando (Anthony Honeyball/ Richie McLernon)
Ran well to finish third in the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton on his final start lat season and raised his game further when landing a listed handicap over this course and distance on his return in October. A longer trip on heavy ground possibly stretched his stamina when only sixth at Haydock last time but he can't be ruled out back over two miles.

5. Harambe (Alan King/ Tom Bellamy)
Won the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham last season and was in the process of running well in the Betfair Hurdle on his only subsequent start of the campaign when brought down at the last. Was running to a similar level in the Greatwood Hurdle on his return last month but fell at the final flight when looking held.

6. Not So Sleepy (Hughie Morrison/ Tom O'Brien)
Bolted up in this race by nine lengths from a 15 lb lower mark 12 months ago. Did well on the Flat in the autumn but made an inauspicious return to hurdling in the Fighting Fifth last month, putting the brakes on and unseating at the first. Talented but quirky.

7. West To The Bridge (Dan Skelton/ Harry Skelton)
Has returned in fine form over hurdles this season, proving better than ever when winning a two-and-a-half-mile handicap at Carlisle last month. Ran to a similar level at Haydock last time, despite not quite seeing out the three miles in a competitive event. Drops markedly in trip for a yard that has won this twice.

8. Malaya (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Landed the 2019 Imperial Cup at Sandown but wasn't at his best last season, failing to score in four starts. Looked as good as ever when chasing home the reopposing Kid Commando over course and distance on his reappearance, however, and he is entitled to respect. Fitted with a tongue tie.

9. Arrivederci (Jonjo O'Neill/ Jonjo O'Neill jnr)
Made the most of a good opportunity at Wincanton on his final start last season and showed improved form to beat a couple of subsequent winners on his handicap debut at Wetherby on his return in October. Was close up and still travelling well when falling three out at Haydock last time, looking sure to play a part in the finish. Lightly raced and remains open to further progress so is clearly a big player. Tongue tie added.

10. Lightly Squeeze (Harry Fry/ Sean Bowen)
Made rapid progress last term, racking up a hat-trick before falling at the last in the Betfair Hurdle when still holding every chance. Shaped better than the result would suggest when seventh in the Welsh Champion on his return to hurdling in October, seemingly racing on the slowest ground along the inside. Has since had a wind operation and is fitted with a tongue tie.

11. Oakley (Philip Hobbs/ Richard Johnson)
Largely acquitted himself well without winning last season, and he posted another creditable effort when finishing third in a two-mile handicap hurdle on his reappearance at Wetherby in October.

12. Benson (Richard Newland/ Gavin Sheehan)
Has been in excellent form this season and made it three from three for the campaign when seeing off nine rivals in a Sandown handicap hurdle on heavy ground a fortnight ago. Has gone up 10 lb in the weights but is lightly raced and progressive so is entitled to respect.

13. Night Edition (David Pipe/ Tom Scudamore)
Did well after joining this yard from France last year, getting off the mark at Ludlow before running a cracker when second in the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. That was only his fourth start over hurdles so this lightly raced four-year-old may have an even bigger performance in his locker.

14. Cormier (Brian Ellison/ Daryl Jacob)
Showed a fair level of form on the Flat and has taken well to hurdles, winning in maiden/novice company at Uttoxeter and Fakenham in October before producing a creditable effort when mid-division in the Greatwood at Cheltenham last time. Should benefit from that experience of a big-field handicap and he may still have more to offer.

15. Time Flies By (Nicky Henderson/ Aidan Coleman)
Looked a good prospect when winning a Cheltenham bumper on debut and showed definite promise in a pair of Grade 2 hurdles around the turn of the year. Beaten in a maiden hurdle over two miles and three furlongs here on his reappearance last month, but remains lightly raced and open to improvement on his handicap debut.

16. Belfast Banter (Peter Fahey/ Kevin Sexton)
Beaten on his first nine starts over hurdles but got off the mark in this sphere in a two-mile maiden at Galway in October. Followed that up with a good second at Punchestown and, while he has been pitched in at the deep end on his handicap debut, the yard does well with runners over here.

17. Isolate (Alan King/ Tom Cannon)
Flat recruit who is going the right way over hurdles, arriving on the back of wins in novices at Taunton and Leicester. His strong-travelling style provides hope that he'll be suited by the demands of a race like this and a bold bid cannot be ruled out on his handicap debut.

On Betting.Betfair – Betslip

You can bet without leaving Betting.Betfair with our on-site betslip for Exchange markets. You'll see the Exchange back and lay prices at the end of articles - simply login and place your bets as you would do on the main Exchange site.

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles