Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle 
Grade 3, Ascot 15:35
£100,000 added,
4yo plus,
1m 7f 152y, Class 1  
Saturday 19th December 2020

1 Not So Sleepy 20/1
2 Buzz 13/2
3 Lightly Squeezed 22/1
4 Benson 5/1JF
17 ran Distances: 1¾l, 1½l, 3l
Time: 3m 53.06s (slow by 13.06s)

Hughie Morrison’s talented dual-purpose performer Not So Sleepy has been called a few names in recent months because of his antics on more than one occasion.

He has been reluctant to race in the past and only recently decided to unseat his jockey at the first flight in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, before running loose and carrying out Silver Streak at the next.

Ironically Silver Streak’s jockey at Newcastle was Tom O’Brien, yet this time he got the leg-up off Morrison in the Ascot paddock – hoping the 20-1 chance would behave himself.

To his credit Not So Sleepy then never put a foot wrong, and nobody has ever denied his talent – he even ran in last season’s Champion Hurdle.

Having strung the field out, he began to tire having jumped the last – but O’Brien had saved just enough and held off top weight Buzz by a length and three-quarters.

Lightly Squeeze was third, with the well-backed Benson flying home for fourth to pip Belfast Banter.

Trainers Quotes

O’Brien told ITV Racing: “He cost me a few quid at Newcastle – but he’s paid me back now!

“He has his quirks but he seems to love it here. I thought I was pressing on soon enough, but I didn’t want to disappoint him turning for home. He tried so hard.”

The competitive 17-strong race clearly suited Not So Sleepy, and O’Brien added: “It’s different at the start of a big-field handicap.

“We all wanted him to make the running at Newcastle, but he didn’t want to. Five wanted to make it today, so he had to fight for it.”

Morrison had observed before the race that Not So Sleepy won with a stone in hand last year, and just might have to fight a bit harder this time.

After he had done so, the Berkshire trainer was already planning a second Champion Hurdle attempt this season.

“He’s an absolute star, isn’t he?” he said.

“He’s in good form and was in great form going into Newcastle – it was just that things went slightly wrong there.

“But he didn’t quicken past (Champion Hurdle and Fighting Fifth winner) Epatante for nothing after the last with no jockey, having been halfway round Newcastle.

“So we were hopeful.”

Not So Sleepy’s route back to Cheltenham in March is set to be a quiet one through the remainder of the winter.

Asked about that date, Morrison added: “I think so, probably – we might as well go straight there, no messing around this year.

“I’ll give him a bit of a break – he obviously runs well fresh. We won’t be tempted by any other races, I don’t think.”

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Betfair Exchange Handicap Hurdle
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 152y, Class 1
17 ran
Going: Heavy

POS. FORM HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1       Not So Sleepy 8 11-6 Hughie Morrison Tom O'Brien 20/1

2 Buzz 6 11-12 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 13/2
3
Lightly Squeeze 6 11-1 Harry Fry Sean Bowen 22/1
4
3 Benson 5 11-1 Dr Richard Newland Gavin Sheehan 5/1JF
5
¾ Belfast Banter 5 10-7 Peter Fahey Kevin Sexton 10/1
6
Oakley 7 11-1 Philip Hobbs Richard Johnson 22/1
7
½ Malaya 6 11-3 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 12/1
8
hd Harambe 7 11-6 Alan King Tom Bellamy 18/1
9
1 Time Flies By 5 10-7 Nicky Henderson Aidan Coleman 7/1
10
1 Isolate 4 10-6 Alan King Tom Cannon 14/1
11
Arrivederci t 5 11-2 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 5/1JF
12
Botox Has 4 11-10 Gary Moore Joshua Moore 16/1
13
Cormier 4 10-11 Brian Ellison Daryl Jacob 33/1
14
½ Night Edition 4 10-13 David Pipe Tom Scudamore 33/1
15
23 Master Debonair 6 11-11 Colin Tizzard Harry Kimber 40/1
PU Kid Commando 6 11-7 Anthony Honeyball Richie McLernon 16/1
PU West To The Bridge 7 11-4 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 22/1

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BETFAIR EXCHANGE TROPHY ROLL OF HONOUR (1987-2018)

Run at Sandown in 2005 (January 7, 2006) and in 2004 (January 8, 2005); run at Leopardstown in January up to & including 2000.

Year Winner Age/Wt Owner Trainer Jockey SP

2019 NOT SO SLEEPY

2018 MOHAAYED

2017 HUNTERS CALL

2016 BRAIN POWER

2015 STERNRUBIN

2014 BAYAN

2013 WILLOWS SAVIOUR

2012 CAUSE OF CAUSES 4-10-03 JP McManus, Gordon Elliot,t DJ Condon 25/1

2011 RAYA STAR 5-10-01 Simon Munir A King W Hutchinson 12/1

2010 Abandoned due to frost

2009 Abandoned due to snow

2008 SENTRY DUTY 6-11-09 Peter Spiller Nicky Henderson Barry Geraghty 12/1

2007 JACK THE GIANT 5-11-00 Hanbury Syndicate Nicky Henderson Mick Fitzgerald 9/4F

2006 ACAMBO 5-11-09 David Johnson David Pipe Timmy Murphy 7/1

2005 DESERT AIR 7-10-09 Belinda Harvey Martin Pipe Tom Scudamore 25/1

2004 TAMARINBLEU 5-10-11 Arthur White Partnership Martin Pipe Tony McCoy 14/1

2003 THESIS 5-11-02 1961 Partnership Venetia Williams Brian Crowley 33/1

2002 CHAUVINIST 7-10-00 Bunny & Nick Roberts Nicky Henderson Norman Williamson 15/2

2001 MARBLE ARCH 5-10-11 Martin & Mary Wilson Rory SweetHughie Morrison Norman Williamson 7/1

2000 MANTLES PRINCE 6-9-12 R J McSharry Pat Hughes IRE Fran Berry 12/1

1999 ARCHIVE FOOTAGE 7-11-08 Michael Smurfit Dermot Weld IRE David Evans 25/1

1998 GRAPHIC EQUALISER 6-10-00 BRASK Syndicate Arthur Moore IRE Conor O’Dwyer 5/1F

1997 MASTER TRIBE 7-10-04 Jebel Ali Racing Stables Jenny Pitman Norman Williamson 18/1

1996 DANCE BEAT 5-9-12 Mrs E Queally Jessica Harrington IRE Anthony Powell 12/1

1995 ANUSHA 5-10-02 G A Hoggard Michael Hourigan IRE Shane Broderick 25/1

1994 ATONE 7-10-08 Robert Sinclair Bunny Cox IRE Kevin O’Brien 10/1

1993 GLENCLOUD 5-10-13 D Tierney Noel Meade IRE Gerry O’Neill 20/1

1992 HOW’S THE BOSS 6-10-02 Edward Farrell John Brassill IRE Jason Titley 20/1

1991 THE ILLIAD 10-10-13 Elizabeth Furlong Andy Geraghty IRE Pat McWilliams 7/1

1990 REDUNDANT PAL 7-11-05 P S O’Neill Paddy Mullins IRE Conor O’Dwyer 20/1

1989 REDUNDANT PAL 6-10-00 P S O’Neill Paddy Mullins IRE P Kavanagh 16/1

1988 ROARK 6-11-01 P Leeper Arthur Moore IRE Tom Taaffe 5/1

1987 BARNBROOK AGAIN 6-11-08 Mel Davies David Elsworth Colin Brown 5/2F