Lalor on course for Betfair Hurdle after weights are revealed
Richard Woollacott is pleased with the 10st 6lb allotted to Lalor for the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 10.
The six-year-old is the 9-1 ante-post favourite with the sponsors for the valuable handicap hurdle after showing smart form when placed in good novices’ contests on his first three starts over jumps after a successful bumper campaign.
“All is good with Lalor. He is pleasing us and going nicely. We are looking forward to Newbury with him,” said Woollacott.
“He has a nice weight for the Betfair Hurdle. I said at the start of the year, we would like him to be rated between 133 and 137, and that is where we at the moment.
“Everything has gone to plan and it’s just a question now of whether we are good enough. We wouldn’t want really heavy ground – that would probably be our biggest worry.
“He has a similar profile to Ballyandy who won the race last year and that is why I said at the beginning of the season that if we are going to be good enough for the Supreme or the Ballymore at Cheltenham (in March), we need to be rated 150 and the Betfair Hurdle is a good test along the way. If Cheltenham comes too quick, then we could always wait for Aintree.
“If we are not good enough, then we are not good enough. With the wonderful prize money on offer for the Betfair Hurdle, it’s certainly worth trying for.”
Also prominent in the betting is Kayf Grace (10st 9lb), one of nine entries for Nicky Henderson, who has saddled a record five winners of this race.
Entries from the Seven Barrows stable also include Lough Derg Spirit (10st 7lb), second in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton and Diese Des Bieffes (10st 6lb), a close fifth to stablemate William Henry (11st 6lb) in the Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton last weekend.
Gary Moore, who has won this prize three times, is double-handed with Knocknanuss (10st 4lb) and Maquisard (9st 3lb) while Philip Hobbs’ Defi Du Seuil heads the weights on 11st 12lb.
The 11 Irish entries include the Willie Mullins-trained Bleu Et Rouge (11st 1lb) and Gordon Ellliott’s Campeador (11st 6lb).