We have a good day of horseracing ahead of us with the opening day of the Hennessey meeting at Newbury, together with supporting cards at Taunton and Uttoxeter. I haven't submitted a mid-week blog of late, but today's horseracing is too good to pass-up.
The 2m1f novice chase looks very competitive with 5 x LTO winners in the 6 horses that line-up. This will be a very informative race, especially in respect of the Arkle at next March's Cheltenham Festival. Is the winner of the Arkle running today? I was very taken with the manner in which Kruzhlinin won his debut chase, but I can't advise a wager in such a competitive race.
My old friend HOUBLON DES OBEAUX goes for the 3-mile novice chase at 2:05, and this is even more competitive with all 6 runners being LTO winners! This trip of 3-mile will suit Houblon Des Obeaux even better than the 2m5f he won over LTO, and he's currently the 7/4 fav. The one in the race that could prove the biggest danger to the fav is Nicky Henderson's Hadrian's Approach.
The 2m6 & 110yards handicap chase at 2:40 will revolve around whether Cedre Bleu (Paul Nicholls) is as good as was hoped last season. He was highly tried earlier this season and found wanting, so he's clearly shown ability at home. He shares top-weight with Alvarado and this horse is proven race-fit having won LTO on 17th October, and he's won over 3-mile on soft, tho' that was only a 3-runner race. The one I like the look of as a value wager in this race is SIZING SANTIAGO who was only beaten by the well-prepared Swing Bill at Cheltenham over 3-mile. Jockey Jamie Moore is back in the saddle today and, at 8/1 (available generally) he looks the best eachway value in the race.
My final advice is in the 3:15, and it's VALID REASON, currently 11/2 (available generally). He's unexposed as a hurdler and his rating of OR130 looks lenient to me as he was giving the winner LTO 22lb and the rest of the field were well beaten. He won't be lumping the 11st 11lb he carried that day, he's just 10st 10lb to carry. We know he handles the soft going, and he'll enjoy a strong run race which this should be. He would prefer a slightly longer trip than 2m, and that's probably why he's 11/2 and not half that, but there will be no horse finishing stronger.
Newbury 2:05 No wager - I don't recommend wagers at shorter odds than 9/4, but I expect HOUBLON DES OBEAUX to win.
Newbury 2:40 - SIZING SANTIAGO, ½pt eachway @ 8/1
Newbury 3:15 - VALID REASON, 1pt win @ 11/2
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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Newbury Hennessey meeting - Day 1
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