This pair of handicappers should go well at double-figure odds
Newbury stages a competitive six-race card this afternoon and today’s best bets are lurking in the handicaps.
The 2m4f handicap chase (3.40pm) features three last-time-out winners and they are hogging the market. Owen Na View, an impressive scorer here just five days ago, and recent Warwick winner Morning Reggie are potentially well in under their 7lb penalties, while Kadalkin could easily build on his Doncaster novice chase victory. None of the trio are easily opposed but I’m convinced we are yet to see the best of WESTWARD POINT, and he represents real value at the 10/1 on offer.
Warren Greatrex’s charge was pulled up on his reappearance here at the end of February when he did too much to early and today’s pilot Gavin Sheehan wisely didn’t give him a hard time after his chance was gone. With that outing under his belt, a much better run is expected and I’m hopeful he can return to the sort of form that saw him land a handicap chase for novices at Wetherby in December 2013, before missing the rest of that season due to injury.
Still only eight, he has time on his side and surely has more to offer over fences after just three starts over the larger obstacles. His trainer, whose golden spell shows no signs of stopping, has long thought he would be a better chaser than hurdler and it’ll be a surprise if he can’t place him to win a handicap like this one off his current mark of 127. Good ground suits him well.
Dan Skelton is another trainer who is going through a purple patch right now and his GAYE MEMORIES could be the answer to the closing 2m5f mares’ handicap hurdle (5.20pm). She’s not been the most consistent of mares in the past and has not run since finishing stone last at Ascot on November. But the testing ground was to blame for that effort and when she gets her conditions she’s very useful, as she showed when winning on good ground at Stratford and Uttoxeter last spring.
She lines up today off just a 4lb higher mark than her last winning one and, given she’s won over further (3m) and seems best when ridden prominently, I’d expect her rider Harry Skelton to be fairly aggressive on her. Her lack of a recent isn’t that much of a concern considering she can go well fresh and the form of her stable, with nine (three of the last four) stablemates obliging in the last fortnight. It’s a competitive race mind but the upsides to that is we get to back her at double-figure odds.