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Saturday, 10 February 2018

Native River for the Gold Cup?

Today we see last years Gold Cup 3rd Native River, make his seasonal debut at Newbury in the race he won last year, the Denman Chase. As he did last year, he meets just 2 rivals (which is very disappointing) but they are a talented pair in Cloudy Dream and Saphir Du Rheu.  The latter is an old favourite of mine and sent here by Paul Nicholls and Saphir Du Rheu is also having his seasonal debut.  I don't think there is that much in this race and, on Gold Cup form, Saphir Du Rheu holds a 3lb advantage.  I also think this trip (2m7f & 86 yards) will suit Saphir Du Rheu better than the 3m2f of the Gold Cup.  Cloudy Dream needs to step up abour 10lb on previous form to be involved in my opinion.  At odds of 4/1, the value has to be on SAPHIR DU RHEU.

The Betfair Hurdle is far too competitive a race to review, but I do like the 3-mile Class 2 handicap hurdle earlier in the day at 1:50pm.  Just 8 runners go to post and they are headed in the market by Barters Hill who returns from injury after 456 days off the track.  I'm sure he will be fit and well, but fit on the gallops and "race-fit" are different things. If he is still as good as he was then he will take all the beating.  I'm not sure if Bastien is a true 3-mile hurdler, and will the ground be deep enough for King Uther? Last February, Lough Derg Farmer chased home Testify over 2m7f on soft ground at Bangor, at level weights.  He was beaten nearly 3-lengths that day and now Testify is rated OR145 as a chaser. I think that is the best recent form in the race, and trainer Nicky Henderson is in top form.. Odds of 11/2 about LOUGH DERG FARMER look decent value to me and quarter-odds 1,2,3 with Bet365 means that an eachway play is available.

I've not had much luck this pace couple of weeks after a tremendous day at Cheltenham, and jumping was a big issue with all 3 of my selections last weekend, with COGRY falling at the 1st fence in his race. I've wagered on 3 x 1st fence fallers in the past 2 weeks! It is a surprise to see Cogry contesting a race over 2m4f at Warwick today, as he's best known as a 3-mile-plus chaser, but he did win a couple of hurdle races over this trip so he may not be out of his depth.  He certainly wont be stopping due to lack of stamina and I expect him to be going for it from the off to make is a stamina test.  If Kylemore Loch can recover his best form of 2016 then he's in with a great chance off OR151 and this is his trip and ground. I'm not sure Value At Risk will be up for this as he's a much better hurdler than chaser. Templehills is a stablemate of Cogry and will try and make-all as he did last year to win - but that was a much weaker race than this. It is very tempting to take the odds of 11/1 about COGRY to small stakes.

Newbury 1:50pm - LOUGH DERG FARMER, £5 eachway @ 11/2
Newbury 2:25pm SAPHIR DU RHEU, £10 win @ 4/1
Warwick 3:15pm COGRY, £5 win @ 11/1

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