Don’t let anyone tell you that the next big prize in racing is at Aintree in three weeks time, for the people at Kelso and Newbury will be outraged.
Well we may be exaggerating slightly, but there are still some cracking contest in store, both in the Borders and further south in Berkshire.
But let’s cut to the chase, we want winners.
Hopefully this trio from Newbury could be just the ticket to get you those winners, and probably trigger Ladbrokes’ Free Bet offer as well!
Even carrying top-weight Paul Nicholls’ charge looks capable of putting in a big run.
He’s been running consistently well of late, only the bottomless ground at Wincanton in January causing a blot on his copybook.
His victory at Ascot two months ago looks rock-solid now with third placed Eastlake finishing second in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham and a couple of others winning since.
He was outstayed by Soll at Exeter last time out, so a drop back to 2m4f will suit, as will the drying ground.
With course and distance form to his name – second in the Grade 3 Greatwood Gold Cup last year – and a talented young claimer on board, he can put in a solid weight carrying performance.
A return to a sounder surface could be the making of Colin Tizzard’s gelding, having run well on soft ground that perhaps doesn’t best suit.
He was a respectable sixth in the Welsh National having turned in well in contention, but the ground seemed to take any sting out of his finish.
Before that on his first appearance this Autumn he was third in a good handicap at Cheltenham, finishing third off 1lb higher behind Victors Serenade.
He’s a dour stayer, but needs that decent ground to show his turn of foot, and likely to get that at Newbury looks a massive price.
A potentially trappy race, it could be worth taking a chance on Neil King’s maiden hurdler, with plenty of the others relatively exposed.
He looks to have bumped into some useful types on his trio of hurdles starts to date, and could potentially be well handicapped off a mark of 125.
The horse that beat him on his jumps debut, Devilment, has since gone on to finish fourth in the Triumph Hurdle, and is now rated 142.
Of the four other horses that have finished in front of him to date, three were thought of highly enough to contest that same Festival race, some to more effort than others.
A step up in trip could be what he needs after looking to get outpaced last time, and could go well.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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