Potter saddles up for richest handicap hurdle with Jetoile

Saturday 5th February 2022 12:00 pm

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RYAN Potter is relishing the chance of challenging for the biggest race of his career with Jetoile in the £155,000 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury later this month.

The Wye Valley trainer, who is only in his second season, saw his horse come second to Cheltenham Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite, Constitution Hill, in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown last month.

And Jetoile is among 31 horses to stand their ground after the latest scratching stage for Britain’s richest handicap hurdle, the feature race of Betfair Super Saturday on February 12.

The seven-year-old is a 12-1 chance in the sponsor’s betting which is headed by the Colin Tizzard-trained Jpr One on 6-1, with Broomfield Burg, Knappers Hill and Onemorefortheroad next on 8-1.

The former point-to-point handler, who took out a licence midway through the 2020-21 campaign when the amateur game was brought to a halt by the pandemic, has already out 12 winners from his base in Sellack near Ross-on-Wye.

Jetoile has contributed two of his victories with wins at Chepstow and Leicester before finishing second in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown.

And Potter said: "This horse is bringing me to races I have never been to before so it’s exciting to fall upon a horse like this so early in my career. It’s only my second season.

"Jetoile is coming along brilliantly. He came out of the Tolworth Hurdle really well. Although he came second he didn’t have the hardest of races.

"Once Lorcan Williams realised he wasn’t going to beat Constitution Hill he gave him an easy enough time, because he had second sewn up.

"He went up 8lb, which is fair enough, although obviously I would have preferred a bit less."

Potter trains out of the former yard of John Edwards, whose best horse Pearlyman won the Game Spirit Chase, also part of the Betfair Hurdle card, in 1987.

"I was training pointers but it all stopped because of the pandemic," he said.

""By then I had already done some of my modules for the trainers’ course so I thought this was the time to go for it."

"Everyone knows the Betfair Hurdle is going to be really competitive," he added. "Jetoile won’t get his own way in front, as he has been able to in novice races.

"If he is thereabouts, it would be great and if he could win it would be amazing."

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