Friday Racing Exeter Betting Odds – Empress can reign in Devon National at 8/1 with Bet365

Empress to prove herself queen of Devon

Horse Racing Betting

With 21 fences to negotiate, and in excess of 3m6f to complete, the Devon National requires an abundance of stamina but it is hugely popular with competitive fields nearly always the order of the day.

Since 1998, the race has taken place just as the early signs of spring begin to emerge.
Joe Tizzard has won three Devon Nationals and Sir Anthony McCoy has won it twice, on Samlee for Philip Hobbs in 2000 and Teeming Rain for Jonjo O’Neill in 2009, the only horse to have won consecutive runnings of the race.

Nigel Twiston-Davies has saddled the winner twice and the reigning champion jockey Richard Johnson was the victor in 2008 aboard Obaki De Grissay.

It’s not unusual for long-priced horses to spring a surprise – The Clyda Rover was 22/1 and in 2011 and Ammunition was a 16/1 winner.

Local horses often land the spoils too with Flying Award, trained by Sue Gardner near Exeter, winning in 2014 and Jeremy Scott’s Clash Duff, who is trained on Exmoor, the victor in 2012.

Dawson City, trained in Ottery St Mary, has won the last two runnings of the Be Wiser Insurance Devon National and Polly Gundry’s veteran is back for more at Exeter.

Horse Racing Betting at William Hill

Be Wiser Insurance Devon National Handicap Chase Current Best Odds

Dawson City 9/2
Cobolobo and Christmas In April 6/1
Ice Cool Champs 13/2
Belle Empress 8/1
One Of Us 10/1
Perfect Candidate and Indy Five 12/1
Vinnie Lewis 14/1
Rathlin Rose and St Erney 16/1
Regal Flow 18/1
Billy Bronco 20/1
Weststreet 22/1
(Odds correct at 21.10 February 20)

Belle Empress 16.20


City in peak form ahead of hat-trick bid

On the same mark as when successful 12 months ago, Dawson City looks to have been aimed at a hat-trick in this test of staying power. Polly Gundry’s 11-year-old has stamina in abundance and he should improve again on his recent run at Ascot given the 3m was too short. Definitely shortlist material at 9/2 with Paddy Power.

Lee Ice Cool ahead of Champs’ tough assignment

Herefordshire trainer Kerry Lee, like her father before here, knows how to place her chasers. Ice Cool Champs proved that point at Wetherby and is expected to take a step up in grade in his stride. A 10lb rise in the weights would be of greater concern but the marathon distance should be within his range. He is a best 13/2.

Will blinkers have the desired effect on Cobolobo?

Cobolobo looked a stayer in the making when winning at Haydock in December but he disappointed in a subsequent run at Newbury.
Blinkers are now added and the stable is in good form and, just as significantly, has already had the winner of this race twice. A return to form is clearly expected with the eight-year-old only a best 6/1.

Will April be in Festive mood again?

Christmas In April won the Sussex National at Plumpton last month. Rathlin Rose, Belle Empress, Vinnie Lewis and Weststreet were all behind but the first-named pair weren’t beaten far and are better off at the weights.
Colin Tizzard’s novice has since failed to land the odds at Plumpton and may be in te handicapper’s grip now, though is still only a general 6/1.

Empress could be poised to reign again

Belle Empress won over the course and distance of the Devon National at Exeter in December.
She was staying on over 3m4f at Plumpton so a return to a more galloping track and an extra quarter-mile should be right up her street.
Ben Jones is excellent value for his 3lb claim and his presence means the Emma Lavelle mare will carry just 10st 9lb on her return to Haldon. She’s an unexposed stayer who will have no problem with testing conditions having won on heavy going over hurdles.

Perfect is a Candidate again

Though now 13, it’s impossible to leave Perfect Candidate out of calculations in the Devon National.
He’s not thrived over extreme distances in the past (failing to finish twice in the Grand National at Aintree) but did win over 3m4f at Haydock in November and was second on a return visit.
He’s only rated 135 nowadays, which has allowed him to get into Exeter’s big race, but is conceding at least 4lb to younger rivals.
Fergal O’Brien’s veteran is 12/1 with Bet365.

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