Our resident tipster runs the rule over this afternoon's Newbury card.
There’s a decent midweek card at Newbury this afternoon and the following horses should go well
The betting for the opening juvenile hurdle (12.10pm) is dominated by Clan Des Obeaux, who is making his British / hurdles debut for Paul Nicholls, and John Ferguson’s Jaleo, but they could be worth taking on. The former horse has been described as a “baby” by his trainer and is seen as more of a long term prospect, while Jaleo is penalised 7lb for a short-head success at Catterick last December when last seen out, the form of which is nothing special.
They help to make the market for the selection, the David Pipe-trained CLOSER TO HOME was purchased by current connections after winning a Deauville claimer in August. He too is making his British / hurdles debut and is an unknown quantity, but his trainer said he could be a “surprise package” in a Stable Tour and fitness is rarely an issue for stable runners. He may be more of a prospective juvenile hurdler than the Nicholls horse.
Exmoor Mist has been chalked up as favourite for the 2m handicap chase (1.50pm) and it’s easy to see why as he looks progressive and is likely still one step of the handicapper. However, both his wins have come when going right-handed and he may struggle to cope with the Jonjo O’Neill-trained ALLOW DALLOW, who also looked progressive when winning on his reappearance at Uttoxeter. That was only a class 4 but he jumped and travelled well throughout, despite looking in need of the run. An expensive purchase from the Irish point-to-point field, he’s only now starting to fulfil his potential and looks the type to run up a sequence.
The four-runner graduation chase (2.25pm) is an interesting affair with all the participants holding claims. I’m not sure Cheltenham winner Sausolito Sunrise wants the ground this soft so he could be worth opposing at shortish odds. The 2014 RSA Chase winner O’Faolains Boy is an interesting opponent now that his stable is beginning to show signs of emerging from a spell in the doldrums, but preference is for Paul Nicholls’ exciting novice ARPEGE D’ALENE. He will strip fitter for his reappearance second at Wincanton when badly in need of the run and gets 11lb from the top two.
I’m a big fan of trainer Harry Whittington and his EMERGING FORCE must take all the beating in the 2m2f “national hunt” novices” hurdle (3.00pm). The five-year-old confirmed the promise of a highly encouraging final run in Irish points when hacking up on his stable / hurdles debut at Fontwell. The winning margin was just three lengths but it was the style of his success that impressed and his trainer rates him very highly, saying post race that he was “one of three horses I have who are why I get out of bed in the morning.” He could well be up to defying a penalty in this better race.
His stablemate WOOLSTONE ONE is interesting in the closing bumper (3.30pm) and especially if attracting market support. She’s a daughter of Derby winner Authorised and is related to several black type performers who were owned by the Aga Khan. She’s not going to be slow then and, while the stable record in bumpers is nothing to get excited about (1-15), Whittington does particularly well with his runners here, with three winners from just eight runners (38%) since he took out a licence. The in-form Gavin Sheehan rides.
Newbury 12.10, Close To Me @ 9/2 BetVictor
Newbury 1.50, Allow Dallow @ 5/2 bet365
Newbury 2.25, Arpege D’Alene @ 2/1 BetVictor
Newbury 3.00, Emerging Force @ 7/2 Paddy Power
Newbury 3.30, Woolstone One @ 15/2 bet365
All odds were correct at time of posting.