Main port of call today is the meeting at Newbury, with the cameras pointed at two competitive handicaps, beginning with the William Hill Supporting Greatwood Veterans’ Handicap Chase at 2.05.
Readers who were around in 1939 will be familiar with the famous film starring James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich which has inspired the headline and, yes, our main pick for this race is Carole’s Destrier, which is available at 11-2.
Neil Mulholland‘s 11-y-o won over course and distance as recently as last December and was going best of all in the valuable William Hill Grand National Trial at Haddock two weeks ago, only for a rag to go fetlock over stifle right in front of it and bring it to a standstill. We recommended Carole’s that day at 20-1 and hope to get a modicum of compensation this afternoon.
Also in this race we recommend an each way ‘saver’ on Shanroe Santos, which has been threatening to win a decent handicap lately and, now qualified for the ‘golden oldie’ brigade, may just pop up under Maxime Tissier. A palatable 10-1 is on offer.
At 2.40, the William Hill Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup takes place with a field of (hold your breath) 16 and the favourite for this is Kerry Lee‘s admirable mare Happy Diva at 5-1. A consistent and very likeable beastie, HD had what was probably her finest hour when winning a Listed Chase at Huntingdon, beating a 151 rated Irish trained hotpot in the process. With the handicapper choosing to leave her mark of 142 unchanged, we must recommend an each way play at ¼ odds.
The cameras are also at the meetings at Kelso and Doncaster and the executive at the former course must be spitting feathers having put up £160grand of prize money and attracted just 37 runners on the entire card.
The one televised race is uncompetitive with an 8-11 fav which will probably win, so it’s over to Doncaster, where the problem is the unseasonally quick ground.
First race of interest is the 888Sport Bet £10 Get £30 Handicap Chase at 2.25, which has a field of six. Favourite is the Sue Smith trained Cracking Find which is seeking a hat-trick, after wins at Wetherby and over CD last time.
However, looking very dangerous in that race when coming down at the second last was Nuts Well, which re-opposes today on 5lb better terms.
At 7-1 this must be the value, especially each way.
Most valuable race is at 3.35, the 888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase, which has a field of 7, headed by Rocky’s Treasure at 5-2. Two from two at Doncaster, Kim Bailey‘s charge will no doubt try to put the opposition to the sword from the front, but we have a sneaking suspicion that Looking Well will be able to have a quick pounce on the run-in, so we recommend a win bet at 4-1.
Right – time to prepare for the Wembley punch-up.
Carole’s Destrier 2.05 Newbury 3pts e/w @ 11-2
Shanroe Santos 2.05 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 10-1
Happy Diva 2.40 Newbury 2pts e/w @ 5-1
Nuts Well 2.25 Doncaster 1pt e/w @ 7-1
Looking Well 3.35 Doncaster 2pts win @ 4-1