Swing Bowler: no bigger than 12-1 for Saturday's race after supportPICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Bowler backed for Betfair Hurdle at Newbury
BOOKMAKERS on Wednesday adopted a position once horribly familiar to them as a handicap hurdler trained by a man called Pipe came in for a significant ante-post support – only for Swing Bowler's owner David Johnson to almost immediately suggest his challenger might not be the stable's best chance of landing Saturday’s Betfair Hurdle.
An early-morning move led to Johnson's homebred mare being cut with almost all firms and every bit of the 14-1 that had been available being taken.
Five wins from five career starts – including an easy victory at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day – make Swing Bowler an obvious threat to clear Newbury favourite My Tent Or Yours, but Johnson believes his David Pipe-trained stablemate Ronaldo Des Mottes has a more obvious chance of winning the event his father Martin landed with Make A Stand and Copeland.
Both Pipe representatives now trade around the 10-1 mark but Ronaldo Des Mottes, runner-up in the 2010 Betfair Hurdle, will be without regular rider Timmy Murphy. Johnson has claimed his retained jockey for Swing Bowler, whose listed weight of 10st 1lb seems likely to be met by Murphy, who wasted down to 10st for a race at Wetherby in October.
“She has done nothing but surprise us,” said Johnson. “You can also argue David has placed her very well but even allowing for that she has done well to win five races from just five runs and she was quite impressive on her last run in Scotland.
“She has a nice racing weight on Saturday and Timmy is dieting this week to make the weight. She is also working well but I’m still not overly excited about her chance. This is a very big step up in an open handicap and I personally think David’s other runner, Ronaldo Des Mottes, has the more obvious chance when it comes to the Pipe horses.”