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13:25 Newbury

An open looking contest where market favourite Gallic Geordie sneaks in this race at the bottom weight. Going for a hatrick of wins he made a mockery of his rivals in his last race at Lingfield on heavy at pretty much a canter. Reasonably lightly raced as a 8-year-old but has to be respected.

Doukarov won last time out but is now 6 pounds higher after winning last time out but will like the soft ground expected. Heart Of A Lion has never ridden on soft so that has to be a concern.

The remaining contenders has a lot of question marks to answer being badly out of form like The Russian Doyen but also a few of these have question marks about the ground.

My selection though is Gary Moore Early Du Lemo who will relish the softer conditions. Was a good 2nd in this race a couple years ago and hasn't really been seen much since. However, is weighted to go well in this. The Moore's are both operating at around a 25 percent strike rate so the yard is in good form. The Signs suggest this maybe a race they have targeted for Early Du Lemo.


written by Luke Tucker

13:45 Leopardstown

The first of two Grade 1 contests from Leopardstown this Wednesday and despite the eight runner field it looks one of the most competitive contests on the card with a case to be made for most of the lineup.

Current market leader Run Wild Fred is a former Irish Grand National runner-up who finally claimed his first chase victory at the ninth time of asking. Given how good a ride jockey Davy Russell gave Galvin yesterday the fact Russell climbs aboard is an almighty plus. Would you normally side with a horse who’s only won once in their last nine starts in a Grade 1 race? No probably not but considering connections it’d be foolish to discount him in any way.

Unlike his aforementioned stablemate Fury Road has been competing at the highest level for the past few terms both over hurdles and the larger obstacles. He may not be a prolific winner but if he finishes his races he often goes close. At current odds of 7/1 he looks a value bet for punters looking for an each way angle as I doubt he’d finish out of the first three.

If the yard of Henry De Bromhead wasn’t in somewhat of a slump you’d argue Mr Incredible would give any of these rivals a run for their money but with his horses seemingly out of sorts it’s perhaps best to look elsewhere.

One trainer who is firing on all cylinders however is Willie Mullins. He’s set to saddle the Chevely Park owned Ontheropes who was well fancied for the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury when last seen. A return to his native Ireland is likely to suit as is this smaller field. His price looks a tad generous (best odds of 5/1) at the moment but I doubt it’ll that size come the off. Another runner who I expect to go very close.

Stablemate Bacardy’s is the veteran of the group who made his long awaited return to chasing when second behind Bob Olinger at Gowran last month. He’s had a fantastic hurdling career but hasn’t faced a fence since Ruby Walsh aimed him at these bigger obstacles back in 2018. The form of that run behind Bob Olinger now looks mightily impressive considering the third has gone on to win a Grade 1 at Limerick just a couple of days ago. Just like Fury Road he’s another who’s odds look very generous indeed.

Vanillier has been well supported in the betting but without seeming too unkind you have to question the level of form that race provides with two of the quartet falling.

I’m now left with the decision to either side with the worthy favourite who looks to be on an upward trajectory and has the connections to boot but is far from a consistent victor, a horse from a yard in-form who went well last time out but needs to improve further to compete at this level or to opt for one of the two at bigger prices who’ve been dining at the top table for a long while but seem to be proverbial bridesmaids.

I couldn’t put anyone off one of these four but I’m going to hope that experience counts for plenty and hope that Bacardys can further boost the form of his most recent performance and go equally as close at a big price.


written by Rory Paddock

14:00 Newbury

Master's Legacy probably bumped into one the last day and appears a big player on that effort despite having three pounds more to carry today. Still relatively lightly raced, he hails from a yard in decent form at present and a big run looks on the cards.

Dashel Drasher hasn't been seen over timber since winning at Cheltenham nearly three years ago, high class over fences and a tough front running type, he looks an intriguing candidate though this will take some winning off top weight and there is every chance this is being used with a future chase in mind.

Beauport was slightly disappointing in defeat last time though he had looked highly progressive before that and he does have an appealing profile. Likely to be suited to how this is run, he looks sure to have a say and further rain would enhance his already solid claims.

Monte Cristo and Dickie Diver represent Henderson and are worthy of consideration though Master's Legacy is taken to regain the winning thread for Philip Hobbs.


written by Chris Connolly

14:20 Leopardstown

Sharjah bids for a fourth consecutive victory in this Grade 1 contest and confirmed his wellbeing when landing the Morgiana when last seen in action. He proved too good for Zanahiyr that day but Gordon’s charge is open to further improvement and shouldn’t be underestimated. Echoes In Rain was another to chase home Sharjah at Punchestown and came out of the race with plenty of credit. That was her first run of the season and only her seventh run over timber so may progress past her rivals.

It looks between these three horses with plenty of question marks hanging over the others in the field.


written by Peter Keogh

14:35 Newbury

Fourteen runners going to post for this Mandarin Chase over three miles two furlongs.

Despite the number of runners this may not be as competitive as it looks.

Crypto is an interesting runner for the Venetia Williams yard who tasted success over course and distance with Cloudy Glen in the Ladbroke Trophy. Connections paid a decent sum for this gelding and he has been improving gradually without setting the world alight.

He has plenty of time on his side, and he certainly has the look of a horse that has been primed for a contest like this.

The two that are likely to head the market stand out massively here. Firstly Saint Palais who has absolutely hacked up in both his recent starts over fences. He won with any amount in hand at Wetherby last time and even with being hit with a ten pound rise, there’s every chance he’s up to it. The one caveat is he’s only a four old.

The selection however is the other unexposed type in the field Gericault Roque. This five year old has done little wrong since joining the Pipe team. He actually did really well over hurdles considering he was always going to be a staying chaser. His latest start at Chepstow was eye catching when just failing to reel in Pats Fancy (who was an impressive winner since) and there’s no doubt this horse could be incredibly well handicap.


written by Matt Polley

14:50 Doncaster

Chirico Vallis showed he is capable of battling for a victory by holding off the sustained challenge of Kitty’s Light at Chepstow in October, making all and jumping like a stag, with then both pulling almost ten lengths clear of the rest of the field. The runner-up followed up with a second in The Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase so the form looks decent and with both trip and conditions in his favour he looks to hold a solid chance.

Oscar Robertson was a facile winner when last seen at Wetherby last month, however it is difficult to go off the bare the form given there was only one other finisher and two of the rivals who failed to complete also disappointed next time out. He gets weight from all rivals but all wins have come in lower grades so he looks a little short in the betting for my liking.

Glen Forsa is a former Grade 2 winner but has proven expensive to follow since falling in the 2019 Arkle Chase at Cheltenham and hasn’t shown any improvement since switching stables, although does drop down markedly in grade for today’s race and as such can't be completely dismissed, while Cat Tiger should strip fitter for his run at Aintree last month and also has both trip and conditions to suit so completes the shortlist.


written by Dean Kilbryde 15:05 Newbury Stage Star could hardly have been more impressive over course and distance last time out and sets a very high standard for this contest. Gringo D’aubrelle has only been beaten once over hurdles, by the ante-post favourite for the Albert Bartlett, Blazing Khal. It’s very possible that he can serve it up to Stage Star and his performance last time out was particularly eye catching considering two miles on good ground wouldn’t have been ideal and he should improve further for todays conditions. Lossiemouth is another who could have a say and will enjoy the soft ground that will be on offer. A fourteen length winner of a Grade 2 last time out and he seems to be improving with every run. An exciting Challow Hurdle lies ahead and I can’t see any of three market protagonists going down without a fight but I’m predicting that Gordon Elliott’s Gringo D’aubrelle will come out on top! GRINGO D’AUBRELLE (WIN)

written by Tom Bates

15:20 Doncaster

Unless Nada To Prada improves a bundle on her second start since having the wind op, this looks a straight shootout between Zambella and Kapga De Lily. The latter arrives here on the back of a clear career best effort and is taken to follow up for Venetia Williams despite needing to produce another career best. Zambella hasn't done much wrong since joining Nigel Twiston-Davies and looks a worthy enough favourite. She pulled right away in good style at Aintree last time though that was only a four runner race and she has been known to belt one or two on the way around. Anything else winning would be a massive upset though Midnightreferendum will surely find an easier race at some point in the near future.


written by Chris Connolly

15:35 Newbury Flash Collonges will probably start favourite for this tricky affair. He was well out of his league on chase debut in a Grade 2 and this is much a more realistic task for him. Valleres has started favourite for both his career chase starts and has disappointed on those occasions. He will need a big jump in form if he is to play a part in the outcome of this contest. An interesting alternative would be Rapper. His two chase starts so far have not been without promise and all of his best runs so far have been on soft ground so that looks to play into his favour. He is a good each way price at the moment and he is my selection in an open looking contest. RAPPER (E/W)

written by Tom Bates


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