Wow! What a showcase Newbury have put on for the first of their two-day spectacular! It’s not just Newbury on today, though. Punters have Doncaster and three all-weather meetings at Dundalk, Lingfield and Chelmsford to keep busy on a fantastic Friday.
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
The morning market drifters!
Which horse are on the drift on the Betfair Sportsbook?
Mark your card – Newbury
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
In the opening contest at Newbury, the 12:10 Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Novices’ Hurdle, Paul Nicholls will look for back to back wins in the race with Stage Star 1.75/7. He won this contest with Bravemansgame last season, but his runner has stiff competition from the over-priced Bumpy Johnson 9.08/1, who shouldn’t be underestimated.
Nicky Henderson has a 22% strike rate at Newbury, yet he is dubbed a prolific trainer at this course which is not the case.
Jonbon hype put to the test
The now 13:15 Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle has been moved to accommodate ITV racing due to the presents of the expensive point to point recruit Jonbon 1.84/5.
The brother of the exceptional Douvan will make his hurdle debut at very short odds. His bumper was slower than the hurdle race on the card here at Newbury last time and has produced no winners, and his point to point run has produced just one Maiden winner – is it all hype? Surely he goes off closer to 3.02/1 than his current odds-on price tag.
In the 14:25 Get Your Ladbrokes GBP1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase, Fanion D’Estruval 3.55/2 takes a drop in class and is back into a handicap for just the third time in his career and first since reappearance last season when second to Magic Saint at Cheltenham off a handicap mark of 150. He runs off 151 today and is the class act in the field.
In the 15:00 Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle, Paisley Park 3.814/5 will be tried in first-time cheek-pieces for which trainer Emma Lavelle is three for seven in 2021. He was previously tried in the visor for the first time in the 2018 Albert Bartlett and ran too keen and finished 13th.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.
12:30 Doncaster – Barton Knoll – Has won here twice (50%)
13:40 Doncaster – The Macon Lugnatic – Has won here twice (100%)
14:25 Newbury – Morning Vicar – Has won here twice (33%)
14:50 Doncaster – Manning Estate – Has won here twice (100%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
14:40 Lingfield – Sword Exceed – Has won off 73 runs off 53
14:50 Doncaster – Manning Estate – Has won off 120 runs off 110 (also has a 10lbs claimer on board)
15:15 Lingfield – Kraka – Has won off 61 runs off 49
18:45 Chelmsford – Katheefa – Has won off 89 runs off 69
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Trainer Alastair Ralph has had three winners from his last eight runners for a 38% strike rate in the last 14 days. Today he sends one runner to Doncaster in the form of Grooveur 15.014/1 in the 14:50 Walls Classic Century Of Ice Cream Handicap Hurdle.
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer David Pipe with his runner Paricolor 8.515/2 in the 14:50 at Doncaster. He makes the 238 mile journey from his base to Doncaster with just the one runner on the card.
Race of the day
It’s very tricky to assess, but wow, what a belter the 13:50 Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Chase is. It is a contest where some sort of chance can be given to nearly all of the seven runner field, and it already looks like this will be a race to follow for the short term.
Boothill is a very exciting prospect for Harry Fry, but it’s no surprise to see his early show price of 13/8 drift out to a more reasonable 9/4. This race has a good bit of depth to it and will be no easy introduction to chasing for the lightly raced six-year-old.
He made a bright start to the season after being off with an injury for the best part of last term when an excellent second to Soaring Glory over hurdles at Ascot.
That piece of form looks very strong, and he is sure to leave this mark of 135 behind him in due course.
He looks made for fences, and the positives really stack up for him today, and although he could benefit from today’s experience, he is impossible to write off.
Last season, Mister Coffey offered plenty of promise and looked a stunning picture here at Newbury last week when taking in the scenery for a racecourse gallop.
He also makes his chase debut and has been well supported in the overnight markets, but he does need to reverse the form with rival Fifty Ball from their meeting here in the Betfair Hurdle.
You get the feeling that this could be the coming of age for Mister Coffey who will need to improve to defy this mark and it could be argued that he may be better over further than this 2m trip, but he has an excellent record fresh.
He is yet another who is very tough to dismiss.
Fifty Ball was an excellent second behind Soaring Glory in the Betfair Hurdle and is just four pounds higher today. He made a very bright start over fences with a good third at Sandown over 2m4f on seasonal return and the drop back to 2m today looks a big positive.
He holds a fitness edge and experience over those shorter than him in the market, and he represents a good bit of value in the race.
He has done nothing but improve with every start and has very likeable claims today.
Big race verdict
This could be one of the deepest Novice Chases we will see this season, and for that reason, it’s very tough to split these while Not Available, and Cascova are not out of it either. If there is a bet in here, it may be on FIFTY BALL, who arguably has the strongest hurdle form in the race, has race fitness and an experience edge, and probably should be closer to the top of the market than he is.
Sign, sealed and delivered – Timeform at Chelmsford
The Timeform team offer their NAP, NB and each way shout.
Nicholls sets the stage for his stars at Newbury
A big weekend of racing commences at Newbury on Friday, and Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls has six good chances on the afternoon…
Weight allowance is a huge positive for improving Nassalam
Nassalam can take advantage of the weight for age allowance of nine pounds from favourite Millers Bank in the 12:40 Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Novices’ Chase.
The unexposed youngster made a bright start to chasing when scoring on seasonal reappearance at Ascot despite jumping out to the left and losing plenty of ground at each of his fences.
He was much better than the winning margin of a nose on that occasion, and with the front two pulling eleven lengths clear of their rivals, it looks a solid piece of form.
The runner-up jumped perfectly throughout the contest and lost little if any ground at his obstacles, so his excuses are few and far between, but the selection is sure to improve for going left-handed today.
He receives weight all around, including 14 pounds from Tea Clipper, who saddles a penalty for his Listed success at Chepstow.
Pic D’Orhy has failed to progress over fences but likes it here, and Millers Bank’s win at Huntingdon recorded a slow time and may not be as good as the visual impression suggests.
Nassalam improved significantly for the run last season, so better can be expected today.
Calvin’s splashing the cash on Dolphin
Newbury’s excellent two-day meeting commences with some cracking action on Friday, and Tony Calvin has a couple of tips for you to consider…
Brilliant Betfair Fighting Fifth field examined
Six horses go to post on Saturday afternoon in the Betfair Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, with five of those runners looking to dethrone Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old…
My goodness, what a weekend we have to look forward to! Excellent racing at Newbury and Newcastle, including the Betfair Fighting Fifth, where Epatante should take a good deal of beating! If that’s not enough, Fairyhouse holds an excellent and informative two-day meet Saturday and Sunday.
Spoilt is an understatement, not just with the racing, but you rascals get this column for a second Saturday running!
Until tomorrow, be lucky!
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