PIPE OPENER

The day may have arrived when we get to see Constitution Hill back on a racetrack, with the wonder-horse due to run in the Fighting Fifth (2.10) at Newcastle.

We are sure that Nicky Henderson has had a quiet word in the shell-like of JP McManus, who owns Epatante, the winner of this race for the past two years and laid out for it again before drying ground forced the trainer to re-direct ‘the monster’ to Tyneside.

At 1-4 the jolly, this is clearly just a watch, but there are two other races on the box from the meeting, starting with the Betfair Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at 1.35.

Just five runners go to post and our fancy is Lord Roco at 9-4.

Jaes Ewart‘s 6-y-o made a promising start to its fencing career with a close second at Ayr earlier this month and, off the same mark, can go in at the second attempt.

The Betfair Rehearsal Handicap Chase at 3.25 features the return to action of Cheltenham winner L’Homme Presse, another horse to fall victim to quick ground last week and saddled with the steadier of 12 stone.

Good to soft may be less than ideal for this one and we prefer to go each way on the rejuvenated Dingo Dollar at a tasty 8-1.

Sandy Thomson‘s sprightly 10-y-o ran away with a hot ‘Veterans’ event at Aintree on re-appearance and should be well up to giving us a run for the hard-earned.

Down at Newbury, feature race is the Coral Gold Cup Handicap Chase at 3.05 and we have got this down to ten in with a good chance.

Yes, it’s that sort of race, so we will cautiously advise modest each way bets on Oscar Elite at 8-1 and Gericault Roque at 6-1 and keep our digits crossed.

Better opportunities occur in the other televised races, starting with the Sir Peter O’Sullivan Memorial Handicap Chase at 1.20.

We think that Cap Du Nord has been meticulously prepared for this race by the Hairy Welshman and recommend a decent each way bet at 9-1.

Best handicapped horse in the field is undoubtedly Dublin Four and, if the 8-y-o can avoid taking one of the fences home with it (has been known), should be thereabouts at the finish, so we add an each way tickle at 6-1.

The Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle at 1.55 has suffered from the NR blight, but nine currently stand their ground and we can still do our two selections each way. Step forward Washington at 11-2 and Malakahna at 13-2 – job hopefully done.

The Coral Handicap Hurdle (The Gerry Feilden to us) at 2.30 looked to be at the mercy of Pikar, but the Skeltons have pulled it out, so we have to miss this one.

That just leaves the Coral Handicap Chase at 3.40 which looks like suffering the same fate with just six runners left in and Amarillo Sky down to even money. With give in the ground, we’d give a cracking chance to Monsieur Lecoq at 7-1, but with a record of 0-6 on good and all wins on soft or heavy, we’ll be a bit surprised if it runs. No bet again, we’re afraid.

That’s it for today – bonne chance.

Summary:

Lord Roco 1.35 Newcastle 2pts win @ 9-4

Dingo Dollar 3.25 Newcastle 1pt e/w @ 8-1

Oscar Elite 3.05 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places)

Gericault Roque 3.05 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (5 places)

Cap Du Nord 1.20 Newbury 2pts e/w @ 9-1

Dublin Four 1.20 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 6-1

Washington 1.55 Newbury 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2

Malakahna 1.55 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 13-2

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