Newbury 4.10 tips – Close Touch can be an early present for Her Majesty

Newbury 4.10 tips - Close Touch can be an early present for Her Majesty

Close Touch

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Betting Tip: Close Touch @ 7/1 with williamhill

Gala Ball has been put in as favourite for the 2m handicap hurdle run later on the card (due off 4.10pm) and that’s understandable as the Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old is chasing a four-timer after a couple of wins at Wincanton and here last time. A confirmed mudlark, connections were aiming him at Aintree but with the ground likely to go against him, it’s no surprise to see him turned out this afternoon with the officially going still ‘soft’ – there’s a chance it could dry out a little from that.

However, that’s not the main reason to oppose him as he is up in class here and having been raised a further 10lb for his latest win, he is giving weight away all round. He may still win but the current 9/4 looks pretty stingy, whereas the 8/1 on Nicky Henderson’s CLOSE TOUCH looks excellent value given his profile.

The lightly-raced eight-year-old has been superbly placed by his trainer to win five of his nine career starts (a bumper, three hurdles and a chase). He hasn’t been seen out since pulling up in the Grade 1 novice chase at Aintree last April won by Saphir Du Rheu, but we needn’t worry as he has an excellent record fresh, winning on his racecourse debut and on his reappearance last season after a layoff of over 21 months.

He was also entered in a chase at the track on Saturday but this looks an easier opportunity and his stable seem to do well with chasers who switch back to hurdles, with easy Ascot winner Different Gravey being just one example. Nico de Boinville will get the leg up and I’m hopeful he can give the selection’s owner, The Queen, an early 90th birthday present. Three cheers!

Betting Tip: Close Touch @ 7/1 with williamhill

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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