Newbury provides the main venue for today’s televised racing, with the centrepiece at 3.00, when the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase takes place.
With 21 runners scheduled to line up for this three and a quarter mile slog, one might expect something like 6-1 the field but the market is headed by Eklat De Rire at 7-2.
The reason is that the Henry and Rachel show has hit town with a lightly raced 7-y-o, which will take all the beating.
Eklat De Rire (Burst of Laughter in Le Frog) tuned up for today with an easy win in a Listed Chase at Wexford at the end of October and makes its handicap debut off a mark of 154 which could be lenient.
Our first dip into the betting market, therefore, is a win bet on the beastie.
Another Irish challenger that also makes appeal is the Willie Mullins‘ trained Ontheropes, which came back from nearly a year off to win the Munster National last month and surely must go well. We suggest an each way bet at 13-2.
The home team, frankly, look a bit sub-standard this year, but the improving youngster Fortescue may well outrun its odds and has a definite chance, so we finally advise an each way tickle on this one at an almost derisory 50-1.
Televised action kicks off with the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase at 1.15, in which we like the look of Kalooki.
Philip Hobbs‘ 7-y-o boasts just the one chasing win from 5 attempts last season, but that was over this CD and, with the stable in good form and stamina doubts about many of the other runners we recommend an each way bet at 11-2.
The Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at 1.50 is next up and we may have this one sussed, with a race at Kempton the key.
That race was won by Calva d’Auge, who reappeared seemingly fit as a proverbial flea, but with two potentially big improvers in 4th and 5th.
First choice is Annsam, which finished fourth when quite clearly in need of the run. Substantially better off with Calva d’Auge, Evan Williams‘ 6-y-o also has the assistance of the rapidly improving (and fragrant) Isobel Williams who is able to remove a further 5lbs of impost. At 10-1 we recommend a decent each way batter.
The horse in fifth was Boreham Bill, the horse we recommended when winning the Lanzarote at 66-1 (“Didn’t you just know that would get a mention?” “Yup”).
Emma Lavelle‘s charge has come down to just one pound higher than for that win and was similarly in need of the run, so it makes sense to have a modest each way on this one as well at 10-1.
The 2.25 is a four runner handicap hurdle which we can’t work out, so we move on to the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy Handicap Chase at 3.35 and we are double-handed in this, suggesting each way bets on Grey Diamond and Frero Banbou which are both available at 5-1.
The weather gods have not been kind to the meeting at Newcastle, with gale force winds and heavy rain the order of the day, but assuming racing goes ahead we give you two selections in the Betfair Rehearsal Chase at 2.05.
First one is Glen Forsa, now in the capable hands of Charlie Longsdon and the mount of Aiden Coleman. This 9-y-o was rated in the 150s when trained by Mick Channon but is now down to 136 and made a pleasing debut for the current yard after a break of seven months. We think that, if this horse has still got it, it could win turning handsprings but, if it hasn’t, it’ll be tailed off. A win bet at 9-2 is therefore recommended.
Our other selection is The Ferry Master, which won the Novice event on this card last year and ran a warm-up race full of promise at the start of the month. An each way bet at 13-2 is the way to go.
Let’s up we are laughing al the way to the bank.
Eklat De Rire 3.00 Newbury 2pts win @ 7-2
Ontheropes 3.00 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (7 places Hills/Skybet)
Fortescue 3.00 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 50-1 (7 places Hills/Skybet)
Kalooki 1.15 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 11-2 (5 places Skybet)
Annsam 1.50 Newbury 2pts e/w @ 10-1 (4 places Hills/Paddy)
Boreham Bill 1.50 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (4 places Hills/Paddy)
Grey Diamond 3.35 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (5 places Skybet)
Frero Banbou 3.35 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (5 places Skybet)
Glen Forsa 2.05 Newcastle 2pts win @ 9-2
The Ferry Master 2.05 Newcastle 1pt e/w @ 13-2 (5 places Skybet)