Matchbook VIP Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tips – 10th March 2018
It’s Imperial Cup day on Saturday at Sandown Park. The feature race is good enough to entice punters to the Surrey course on its own but it’s not the only quality action on the day.
The Matchbook VIP Novices’ Hurdle (registered as the European Breeders Fund Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final) is well worth closer attention from a betting perspective.
Run over a distance of about two miles, four furlongs, this Grade 3 hurdle is usually a competitive handicap and this year’s running is set to live up to that billing. Among the big field set to compete at Sandown are entrants from some of the biggest National hunt trainers around and we think we’ve found a couple of tempting bets.
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Past Five Winners
2017 – Minella Awards, aged 6, ridden by Noel Fehily, trained by Harry Fry
2016 – Barney Dawn, aged 6, ridden by Paddy Brennan, trained by Fergal O’Brien
2015 – As De Mee, aged 5, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, trained by Paul Nicholls
2014 – Brave Vic, aged 6, ridden by Joshua Moore, trained by Gary Moore
2013 – Close Touch, aged 5, ridden by Barry Geraghty, trained by Nicky Henderson
Examining the Trends to Find Some Betting Hints
As a quick look at the betting shows, the 2018 Matchbook VIP Novices’ Hurdle has plenty of potential winners set to go to post. To make your job a little easier when it comes to picking out a winner, it should help to go through some of the key stats and trends.
This race is open only to novices aged between four and seven. We can narrow that age bracket down even further when looking for a winner as all but one of the winners of this race (which was first run in 1998) were aged either five or six.
The relative inexperience of those competing means it’s common to see horses improve and win from outside the top three in the betting but it’s worth noting that 12 of the last 15 winners finished in the top three in their most recent performance before heading to Sandown.
Irish bred horses have a strong record in the Matchbook VIP Novices’ Hurdle while a little over half of recent winners already had a win over two miles, four furlongs to their name.
Getting it Done the Dubai Way
The Dubai Way may sit outside of the top three in the betting for Saturday’s race but he certainly ticks a lot of the other boxes.
The Irish bred six-year-old has shown his potential already despite only making four starts under rules. He kicked off with a win in a National Hunt flat race in October before winning three in a row over hurdles.
Each of his wins came on ground that was officially either soft or heavy so the expected soft going at Sandown shouldn’t be problematic and far from running out of steam in the latter stages, he actually looks as though a step up in trip will suit him.
Harry Whittington’s never trained a winner of this race but that could be set to chance on Saturday so back The Dubai Way at 12/1 with Betfair.
Quick Each-Way Pick
This is not the sort of race to have just one option up your sleeve. We recommend an each-way bet to go with The Dubai Way and think that Quick Pick fits the bill nicely.
The one major negative about Jennie Candlish’s charge is that he’s seven. However, his experience may turn out to be a positive given how competitive we’re expecting the race to be.
It took Quick Pick three attempts before winning his first race over hurdles. He followed that first win at Sedgefield up with another at the same track. This may be a step up in class from those races but he showed an impressive ability to finish strongly which should see him go close at 20/1 with Ladbrokes.