Today sees the first day of the two-day Newbury Hennessey (oops, sorry – Ladbrokes) meeting and ITV are showing four races.
Most valuable of those is the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase at 2.25 and the field of six is headed by the consistent King’s Odyssey at 5-2.
However, having a quick lurk at the bottom of the weights is the Paul Nicholls‘s representative Touch Kick, which is in receipt of lumps of weight from all its rivals. This 7-y-o has won two of four starts over fences, the latest being on seasonal reappearance after nearly a year off through injury and was probably a pleasant surprise to connections, as it was thought to need the run in preparation for today. A minimal 3 lb rise for that victory is unlikely to stop this improver pouncing late to take this race. A win bet at 11-4 is recommended.
The Ladbrokes Novices Chase at 1.50 sees a fascinating re-match betwwen the three horses that fought out the finish of a beginners chase on this course 3 weeks ago. Then, La Bague Au Roi came out on top, beating Lostintranslation by a length and a half, with Talkischeap a further 5 lengths back in third and they all re-oppose off the same weight differences this afternoon.
That race was also the first run of the season for all three, so they will all undoubtedly improve and a great race is assured.
The only other runner in the race, Spiritoftehgames, is saddled with a 5 lb penalty, which makes this a big ask.
With the drop down to 2m 4f more in Colin Tizzard‘s charge’s favour, we suggest a win bet on Lostintranslation at 13-8.
The Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle at 3.00 has the admirable Wholestone as favourite at 9-4, with the re-appearing Sam Spinner next in at 3-1.
However, our choice for this is the seemingly evergreen Unowhatimaenharry, which runs in this race for the third year in a row. Winner in 2016 and second last year, ‘Arry need not shoulder a penalty this time round and has every chance of reversing last time out form with the favourite. Get on the old boy at 7-2.
The card closes with the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at 3.35 which has a competitive field of 12.
Market is headed by Nicky Henderson‘s French import Dragon D’Estruval, which won a novice hurdle on stable debut with its head in its chest back in May. This horse could well be a ‘handicap blot’ as it is rated 143 over fences yet can run here of 132, so we will start with a win bet on it at 5-2.
We also suggest each way bets on two others – Bobo Mac at 15-2 and de Name Evades Me at 9-1, which should sort things out if the fav is a blow out.
Whilst we are at it, why not stick on a forecast combination bet, involving all three – no reason why not, let’s do it.
Back tomorrow for the (gritted teeth) the Ladbroke.
Touch Kick 2.25 Newbury 2pts win @ 11-4
Lostintranslation 1.50 Newbury 4pts win @ 13-8
Unowhatimeanharry 3.00 Newbury 2pts win @ 7-2
Dragon D’Estruval 3.35 Newbury 4pts win @ 5-2
Bobo Mac 3.35 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 15-2
De Name Evades Me 3.35 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 9-1