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Overpriced Mixer sets the standard of those that have already run over hurdles, but it isn’t a cracking one, and it could be worth taking a chance on his stablemate GOODBYE STRANGER, who is making his debut for leading owners. He makes a fair bit of appeal on pedigree, his dam a winner on the Flat and lightly raced over hurdles, and Nicky Henderson tends to bring his better hurdlers to Newbury for their debut.
Again, the ones with form don’t set an exacting standard, and it is another Nicky Henderson newcomer who could make a winning debut. LECALE’S ARTICLE cost connections a whopping €320,000 after winning his sole start in points in April 2018 and, while he has taken enough time to get to the track since, he could hardly be in better hands. He is likely to be strong in the market for another top owner.
This looks a competitive handicap chase and preference is for the Dan Skelton-trained NO GETAWAY. He only managed to win once over hurdles, but is very much a chaser on looks, and made a very encouraging start over fences when runner-up at Market Rasen last month. That was his first start for eight months, and his rider’s sweep to the front a long way out off a gallop that held few prisoners told against him late on, left behind by the winner after the second-last. No Getaway is sure to come on for that run and the handicapper has left him on the same mark.
A poor turnout for this listed mares’ chase and it looks like another penalty kick for MAGIC OF LIGHT. She has won this race for the last two years (both small-field affairs) and she should be cherry-ripe to land the hat-trick following a pipe-opener over hurdles at Punchestown last month. The cheekpieces are also back on and she is impossible to oppose.
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Sizable Sam is an unlikely runner following his win at Wincanton on Tuesday, therefore a chance is given to hurdling newcomer THE BOMBER LISTON. He has been well found in the market for a couple of starts in bumpers this season, but has been unable to get his head in front, not seeming suited by the track when beaten by the narrowest of margins at Catterick last time. The step up in trip, and switch back to a more galloping track will suit now sent jumping, so he is expected to go well for leading connections.
SAO showed fairly useful form when trained by Paul Nicholls, and opened his account in Britain in style on just his third start for Rebecca Menzies at Hexham last month. He settled better than usual on that occasion, racing in midfield before being produced to lead at the last under a confident ride from this conditional jockey and quickly asserted. A subsequent 5 lb rise looks lenient and Sao should remain very competitive.
A junior bumper with no worthwhile form on offer, so Flat-bred filly STEEL AN ICON could be the way to go on debut for a yard with a good record in this sphere. Call Me Tara boasts a stout pedigree so may need a stiffer test of stamina but is still second choice.
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