With the Betfair Hurdle set to take place on Saturday, Nathan Joyes looks at where the money is going, and who is likely to head the market before the off.
"Outside of the top two in the betting Shakem Up’arry is popular and is 14/1 from 16/1."
Barry Orr, Betfair spokesman.
Metier currently heads the Betfair Hurdle market at 5/1, after notching up three impressive wins on the spin after over a year away from the track.
Sean Bowen has formed an excellent partnership with Metier, who has been a revelation over hurdles since switching trainers from Andrew Slattery to Harry Fry.
Wind surgery prior to this season has clearly helped the five-year-old, who has won his last three races by almost 30 lengths, most recently waltzing 12 lengths clear of Shakem Up'Arry at Sandown over the two-mile trip.
Despite his 100% win record over hurdles, there has been continued support for Metier's runner up to reverse that form this weekend. Shakem Up'Harry was a long way clear of the rest of field on that occasion and they are plenty who believe he can get much closer to the winner on Saturday.
He cantered clear at Fontwell when odds-on on his debut appearance this season, before finding 2m3f slightly beyond him at Haydock, although it was announced after the race that he had lost his right hind shoe.
Closer to the top of the market, Dan Skelton's Cadzand certainly caught the eye at Kempton last time out. The six-year-old drew over three lengths clear of Paul Nicholls' Christopher Wood in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle, a horse which comfortably won the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh last weekend.
Despite his dominance this season, Metier hasn't shortened in the market, with others preferred to cause what would be classed as a minor upset.
Betfair spokesman, Barry Orr, commented today: "Metier remains favourite but Cadzand, who's win in Kempton has been franked since by the runner-up, has been backed from 10/1 into 6/1 and remains very strong in the market."
"Outside of the top two in the betting Shakem Up'arry is popular and is 14/1 from 16/1."
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