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I’m going to go for one that is likely to be a big price, OFALLTHEGINJOINTS definitely looked in better shape in his last start at Wincanton than he has for a while. He was still in the hunt heading for the third last that day. He drops back down in trip to 2m 6f here, and Colin Tizzard has his horses in much better form now. He’s an each-way shout for me, as I’m not strong on anything else in the field.
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I don’t have a huge preference on this one as the favourite VALLERES is a pretty short price. Daryl Jacobs’ charge has a rating of 132 and it’s hard to argue with that.
Another one at a likely big price has caught my eye in this one, and I’m backing the Evan and Isabel Williams combination that had a big day last Saturday at Haydock. That’s why ANNSAM gets the nod from me. I thought he ran reasonably well at Kempton last time on his comeback run behind Calva D’Auge.
He is down a fraction in trip here, with Isabel claiming weight off him from his pervious outing. He was a winner at Ludlow over fences last season and before that won at Catterick off a much lower mark. I just thought when I watched Annsam at Kempton that he would improve for the run and I believe he’s a nice value play in this race.
I fancy AYE RIGHT to take the Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Handicap Chase. I’ve been a massive fan of this horse for a long time, and I believe he can repay my faith in this for trainer Harriet Graham.
I tipped Gowel Road on his last start at Cheltenham and I did that for the reason that he was going up in trip. I do think a lot of him, as he is a stayer and I believe Sam Twiston-Davies will make the running. But, that’s still just going to set things up for SOARING GLORY, who is a much faster horse than Gowel Road.
Ontheropes is in great form, he had a really good run last season when he was second to Monkfish in the Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse. We didn’t see him again until last month when he won the Munster National at Limerick. He is coming the same route as Total Recall came to win this race back in 2017. I believe he is a very good operator, who could win the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham or end up being a Grand National horse.
However, I reckon there is one in this field with the potential to be a Grade 1 horse and that what this Ladbrokes Trophy can throw up – what could be a Gold Cup horse. EKLAT DE RIRE ticks all those boxes for me. I know he is pretty high in the weights, with 11st 8lbs on his back. But, off a mark of 152, he could still be well handicapped for this contest. He could well be a horse that is capable of winning off a rating in the mid-160s. He has done nothing wrong in his life and you can see that when he travelled behind Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase this year.
He may well have given Monkfish a scare that day if he had not unseated his rider. I believe he is the really exposed horse and he even managed to win in Wexford when all of Henry De Bromhead’s horses were being beaten at the time. I reckon he could be a class above this opposition.
This is a good opportunity for EPATANTE in the Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle and this field is very reminiscent of last year’s one. Sceau Royal comes in on the back of winning at Wincanton, he’s in really good form and is on drier ground here.
Epatante’s jumping fell apart last year and she’s had an operation to rectify that. I still believe she is the most likely winner if I was forced to pick, but it’s not a race I’d be too keen on backing. I like Monmiral, so I’ll be watching to see how he gets on too.
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I’m going with GREY DIAMOND, I just believe the trip looks absolutely spot on for him. He didn’t quite get to 2m 1f at Ascot with the sniff finish there. But, I just believe there is plenty to like about him. The half furlong less, coupled with the long straight at Newbury should suit him much more.
13:15 Newbury – Ofalltheginjoints (Each-Way)
13:30 Newcastle – Valleres
13:50 Newbury – Annsam (Each-Way)
14:05 Newcastle – Aye Right
14:25 Newbury – Soaring Glory
15:00 Newbury – Eklat De Rire
15:15 Newcastle – Epatante
15:35 Newbury – Grey Diamond
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