Tag Archive for: Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle

Gifford ‘hopeful’ for ground-dependent Didtheyleaveuoutto

Nick Gifford believes Didtheyleaveuoutto “won’t be far away” in the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.

One of the key pointers to the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival, the extended three-mile Grade Three event appears to be a competitive renewal and has attracted 16 runners.

Gifford is hopeful that the rain will stay away, as the eight-year-old has a preference for quicker ground.

A three-quarters of a length runner-up at Newbury last time to Stoney Mountain, who won this race two years ago, Didtheyleaveuoutto is owned by JP McManus.

The trainer admits he is going to Haydock more in hope than expectation and explained: “I think the only question mark is the ground. When I gave him the entry, I thought it was going to be fanciful, because nine years out of 10 it is proper soft ground up there.

“So, if it stays good to soft, good in places, we’ll take a chance. He does stay and he’s backed two races up now, which is great.

“We’d be hopeful he’d be there or thereabouts, providing the ground doesn’t go too soft and tacky.

“At Chepstow, on his penultimate run, he came from a long way back, because he has always been very keen. We are just hopeful. This is an extra – it wasn’t part of the programme. It is purely because of the dry weather we have been having.

“We thought we’d give him one more run before he has a break. It is a valuable pot and hopefully he won’t be far away. I would have thought the long-term plan would be the Pertemps, as he has qualified for that now. But again, it will depend on the ground. In the past he has proved to be a one-trick pony.”

Didtheyleaveuoutto Stoney Mountain on 2lb better terms this time and the latter’s trainer, Jamie Snowdon, is hopeful the eight-year-old can frank that form.

Snowdon said: “He won very nicely at Newbury the other day and he only went up 4lb for it.

“That win qualified him for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham in March and that will be the plan later on, but short term this has been very much on our radar since when we brought him back in from his summer out.

“It is only two weeks since his last run but he is in good form and we will now try to win this race, which he won back in 2019.

“He was off 138 that day, which is the rating he won off at Newbury, so he is higher than his previous mark but he is only eight and he should certainly run a nice race in a proper handicap like this.”

Didtheyleaveuoutto is 1lb better off with the well-supported Orbys Legend after finishing a length behind the Philip Hobbs-trained five-year-old at Chepstow in a similar Grade Three contest over an extended two miles and three furlongs on his penultimate run.

Orby Legend seeks to make it four wins out of five over hurdles and shoulders an additional 8lb for his hat-trick bid after previously scoring at Sandown.

Hobbs said: “He was brilliant at Chepstow, we were very pleased with that run so we’re going to run him again on Saturday.

“He’s in good shape and we’re looking forward to it.”

In contrast to Didtheyleaveuoutto, Paul Nicholls is hoping the ground rides easier for Storm Arising, who won two from three over hurdles last season and has his first run since finishing 14th of 22 in the Pertemps at Cheltenham in March.

Nicholls said: “I’ve been waiting on some softer ground for him – he’s been ready to run for a while.

Storm Arising in action under Bryony Frost
Storm Arising in action under Bryony Frost (David Davies/PA)

“You could wait forever at the moment and he’s fit and well, so we’re going to let him take his chance.

“If you were going there with an optimum chance, you’d like the ground soft or even slower than that.

“He needs a prep run before he goes chasing, probably over Christmas.”