Newbury 13:50 Handicap Hurdle
The Ladbrokes winter carnival will serve up some really good racing, and we kick off Saturday’s TV with a Handicap Hurdle. Old Guard heads the weights, and he’s a really good each-way bet as his form is really strong.
But Master Dancer won so well at Cheltenham that he has to be the one to beat. At 5/1, he’s the value in the race.
Newbury 14:25 Gerry Feilden Hurdle
I really like High Bridge in here. This horse has some really good form where he was third to Elgin with Limited Reserve second, and both of those have won big prizes since then.
Mount Mews has a second in a graded race to his name, and Charli Parcs is bound to be popular in a small field.
Newbury 15:00 Ladbrokes Trophy Chase
The artist formerly known as the Hennessy Gold Cup is traditionally a great race and the weights are headed by a former Gold Cup winner.
Coneygree is really interesting here, as a reproduction of his Punchestown Gold Cup run will be good enough to win this.
It is a handicap, though, and brings lots of others into it.
A Genie In Abottle is one they will want to bounce out handy and get in a rhythm early. His form is decent and he has the right profile.
Total Recall has a lot more on his plate now that he has been hit with an 18lb rise for his win at Limerick. It’s silly to underestimate him as he was so dominant and the horse he beat has cranked the form.
Singlefarmpayment is a strong traveller who looked in need of the run at Cheltenham and will love the way this race will be run, which just swings it in his favour. My prediction for the four places in no particular order is:
Singlefarmpayment, Coneygree, Total Recall, A Genie In Abottle.
Newbury 15:35 Ladbrokes Handicap Chase
I am really tempted by Theinval in the last race at Newbury, and he is always a better horse after a few runs.
However, the obvious one is the favourite, Baby King, who has won his last 2 completed starts.
Newcastle 14:10 Fighting Fifth Hurdle
The Fighting Fifth has a disappointing turnout, with Apples Jade going to run in Ireland at Fairyhouse instead of here. However, we do have the reigning Champion Hurdler, Buveur Dair, on display.
By all accounts he should emerge victorious, as he can afford to be a little under par and win because he is so far ahead on the ratings. Irving, with his good record on this ground at this track has to be the one for second spot.
Newcastle 15:20 Rehearsal Handicap
Hard to believe, but the Rehearsal is a race that saw Bristol De Mai get beaten last year! Our Kaempfer is a horse I like here and has an interesting jockey booking with Barry Geraghty in the saddle.
This horse ran away with a decent contest at Kempton in January, and at 8lbs higher here, if he can get back on track he will be a great each-way bet. Bishops Road’s form of last year could be key too, as he was not beaten that far, and Kerry Lee is bound to have this horse fit on ground that we know he loves.
Odds correct at time of posting.