Some very competitive racing at Newbury that will be complemented nicely by the return of Buveur D’Air in the Fighting Fifth hurdle at Newcastle after the meeting was given the green light after this morning’s inspection.
He can be very quirky but has been shaping like this step up to 2m 4f will really suit and he looks value for trainer David Pipe whose stable is in good form.
The other runner that could be potentially very well treated is Nicky Henderson’s Downtown Getaway. Both are capable of hitting the places at least in a race where Paddy is paying the first 5 home.
If Henderson doesn’t strike in the first race on ITV he can with Elusive Belle who looks on a very attractive mark of 134. She had trouble settling in her races last year, most notably at Sandown when trying to concede a penalty to the 151 rated Reserve Tank (dual grade winner subsequently). She wears a hood today to help her settle and should be suited by how this contest will be run.
The old Hennessy is as always very competitive and Paddy’s paying 6 places as a result. Colin Tizzard’s Mister Malarky has some very good form from last year, most notably at this track, and the application of cheek-pieces and booking of Jonjo O’Neill Jnr are also positives for a yard that has won this contest twice in recent seasons. If you want a bigger priced outsider to avail of the 6 places then Walt could be the answer.
Last season’s novices have been mopping up the early season handicaps and that trend could continue with Top Ville Ben who was an excellent third behind Lostintranslation and RSA Chase winner Topofthegame at Aintree last season.
The recent Troytown Chase winner Chriss Dream was well behind him that day so he looks well up to defying his mark of 151 in a weak enough looking handicap.
He could out-run his price for his new trainer D J Jeffreys.
Paul Nicholls’ Magic Saint ran a promising race when fifth at Cheltenham on his reappearance. For those looking for an each-way option in a ace where Paddy is paying the first 4 home, Tree Of Liberty could be the answer. He has a very good record first time up, most notably when second to Capeland off this mark last season.
* All odds correct at time of posting.