AMATEUR HOUR

AMATEUR HOUR
December 29, 2020 Lee Bolingbroke

The meeting at Newbury has survived the worst the Weather Gods could throw at it, which means five races on ITV to get stuck into.

Coverage starts with the MansionBet Limited Novices’ Handicap Chase at 1.30, which has Kerry Lee‘s Demachine installed as the 2-1 jolly.

This 6-y-o is 2-2 over fences, but is now 8lb higher than when winning at Ascot last time out and we prefer the chances of Dickie Diver at 5-1.

NJH‘s 7-y-o was last seen finishing 4th in the 2019 Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, not too far off the 160 rated Minella Indo and ahead of World Hurdle winner Lisnagar Oscar.

An expensive purchase after an easy win in an Irish Point, chasing was always going to be the main event and, if ready to go, could be very well in off 141, so we recommend an each way bet.

The MansionBet Handicap Hurdle at 2.05 has cut up to just 5 runners and we think that Calva D’Auge should win it.

Paul Nicholls‘ charge won a good ground, 16 runner handicap at Taunton at the end of last month, for which it has been raised just 4lbs.

Much better suited by today’s wet stuff and with the stable Conditional still able to take off 7lbs, a win bet at 5-2 is suggested.

At 2.40, the once prestigious Mandarin Handicap Chase takes place with a field of 14 and, frankly, we don’t really rate the horses at the head of the market.

Two more attractively priced darts have therefore been selected, namely Amateur at 9-1 and Nestor Park at 10-1 in the hope we get a good run for the moolah. Each way, de rigeur.

Grade 1 action at 3.00, with the MansionBet Challow Novices’ Hurdle, in which we hope that Stargate will remain unbeaten.

Evan Williams‘ 4-y-o won a Grade 2 at Sandown last time out in the manner of a very good horse and, although still learning, the upward curve s there for all to see. 2-1 may turn out to be generous at 3.10pm.

Coverage ends with the MansionBet Handicap Chase at 3.00 and, although the 7-4 fav King D’argent was quite impressive when winning last time out, we are not sure what it beat and therefore suggest an each way bet on Shanacoole Prince at 13-2 instead.

Kim Bailey‘s 7-y-o ran a good race to be second on chasing/handicap debut at Southwell and this ex-pointer looks the value alternative.

Back for Cheltenham on Friday, which will be 2021.

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Summary:

Dickie Diver 1.30 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 5-1

Calva D’Auge 2.05 Newbury 2pts win @ 5-2

Amateur 2.40 Newbury 1.5pts e/w @ 9-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet)

Nestor Park 2.40 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places Hills/Skybet)

Stargate 3.15 Newbury 3pts win @ 2-1

Shanacoole Prince 3.45 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 13-2

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