Horse Racing By Jon Ivan-Duke

Ballyoptic The One The Bookies Want To Beat

Ballyoptic is the 7-4 favourite with William Hill for the Long Distance Hurdle and a well-backed horse ahead of Friday’s feature hurdle race at Newbury.

“Backers have had their eyes on Ballyoptic all week and he heads in to the Long Distance Hurdle as a bad result for William Hill,” said company spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Six-time Grade 1 winner Reve De Sivola is next in the list at 6-1, while Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner Unowhatimeanharry is 13-2.

“There’s some big odds about for genuine Grade 1 winners and there could well be each-way support for them before ‘the off’, but Ballyoptic is definitely the one the bookies want to beat,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

Meanwhile, Native River is 11-2 favourite for the Hennessy Gold Cup, while Henri Parry Morgan has shortened from 16-1 to 7-1 since Monday.

Long Distance Hurdle: 7-4 Ballyoptic, 6-1 Reve De Sivola, 13-2 Unowhatimeanharry, 7-1 Menorah, The Romford Pele, 9-1 Snow Falcon, 14-1 Maximiser, Ubak, 25-1 Shades Of Midnight, (EW 1/5 Odds Places 1,2,3)

Hennessy Gold Cup: 11-2 Native River, 7-1 Blaklion, Henri Parry Morgan, 8-1 Un Temps Pour Tout, Vyta Du Roc, 9-1 Saphir Du Rheu, 10-1 Smad Place, 18-1 Theatre Guide, 20-1 Houblon Des Obeaux, Vicente, 25-1 Coologue, Holywell, Local Show, 33-1 Aubusson, Carole’s Destrier, Hadrian’s Approach, Regal Encore, Triolo D’Alene, Upswing, 40-1 Double Ross, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2,3,4)

Fighting Fifth Hurdle: 2-1 Sceau Royal, 11-4 Apple’s Jade, Petit Mouchoir, 4-1 Irving, 16-1 Hidden Cyclone, 40-1 Mirsaale, (EW ¼ Odds Places 1,2)