We look for another Betfair surprise with WHB

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February 9

Bookmakers have celebrated surprise results in the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle three times in the last four years, and Alan hopes that William H Bonney might give the layers further reason to smile by winning Europe’s richest handicap hurdle at Newbury tomorrow.

William H Bonney might be one of the outsiders in the 24-runner field, but Alan still has faith that there is a big race to be won with him.

He said:”He ran a blinder in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November, looking as if he might even win turning for home, but three weeks later he disappointed us at Sandown.

“In hindsight, maybe the race came too soon as he is a difficult horse to catch right and runs best fresh, but we have given him a nice break and I hope he might finish off this race better than he has done some in the past.”

With Scarlet Dragon‘s jumping debut having been delayed – “we were going to start him on in Newbury’s opener, but his scope wasn’t quite right so he will now kick-start his new career in the Dovecote at Kempton at the end of the  month” – we won’t get going at Newbury until race two, where we are doubly represented in the three-mile handicap hurdle with Bastien and Talkischeap.

“The more the ground dries out the better Talkischeap’s chance, while Bastien worked well last week and would have been placed at Wincanton on Boxing Day had he not fallen at the last,” added Alan, who, while not expecting Valdez to upset Altior in the Game Spirit Chase, is looking forward to getting him rolling again after an absence of 1204 days.