Our racing expert marks your card for Tuesday's Flat action at Newbury.
Outofthequestion is likely to go off favourite for the opening apprentice handicap over 1m3f and he certainly deserves to get his head in front after a string of good efforts in defeat, including when looking a shade unlucky at Salisbury last time. But his lack of a finishing kick could leave him vulnerable again here and he’s opposable at shortish odds.
Let’s take him on with Paul Nicholls’ KINGS INN, who is open to improvement now handicapping in a first-time tongue-tie. Runner-up in a 1m maiden when trained in Ireland, he proved disappointing on his two starts over hurdles but shaped okay back on the Flat at Chepstow in May, when finishing third (of 14) behind a couple of progressive three-year-olds getting lumps of weight.
He was up against it on his most recent start at Sandown, going off at 50/1 for what was a good novice, and this is far more winnable, with the trainer’s daughter Megan up top and having more experience in the plate than her fellow apprentices.
Plenty of the runners in the fillies’ novice auction stakes have shown enough promise to suggest they can win a race of this nature. But there is no real standout amongst them and it could be worth taking a chance on the only unraced filly in the field, the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained PONT VERT. She has plenty to recommend him on his pedigree, being related to several winning sprinters at two, and her stable won this race with a debutant in 2016.
Overall, the stable has had four juvenile winners here and while the strike rate is poor, any punter backing them blind would be showing a healthy £80.00 profit to £1 level stakes.
Guns Of Leros was given an enterprising ride when winning at Newmarket last time, when returning from a lengthy absence, and Hector Crouch may again try and make all in this evening’s 1m4f handicap. However, he might get competition for the lead from Teodoro, who also likes to be ridden from the front, and the pair might set things up for TUFF ROCK, who is getting 8lb from the pair besides.
The four-year-old is making his stable debut for David Simcock, having been switched from Ed Walker, and this race looks much easier than the one he ran in at York last time. He could only finish sixth of the seven runners on that occasion, but he was held up in rear with no great gallop on and it suited those ridden more prominently.
Prior to that he was beaten just a neck at Thirsk over this trip and that was following on from an eye-catching fourth in the Roseberry. That’s very respectable form and if the change of scenery has done him good – he’s unlikely to have gone backwards – he should be able to go close to winning off his current mark.
All odds were correct at time of posting.