Horse Racing: Newbury and Newcastle, Preview & Tips – Saturday

Our racing correspondent Stefan Fellows marks your card ahead of the meetings at Newbury and Newcastle on Saturday.

Stefan Fellows

Another top-quality day of action for racing fans on Saturday ahead with Newbury playing host to the Ladbrokes Chase Trophy. 

Meanwhile, up at Newcastle, the Fighting Fifth Hurdle is the highlight where last season’s champion Hurdle winner Epatante makes her seasonal reappearance.

Here’s a look at the feature races along with our ones to watch.


Horse Racing Tips 3

13.50 2m4½f (2m4f118y) Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-150)

Nicky Henderson has won this a couple of times recently and he looks to hold a strong hand once more saddling 3 of the runners. The possible pick of his trio looks to be Champagne Platinum, who seems to be the choice of Jockey Nico De Boinville.

Things did not go exactly to plan last season over fences but reverting back to hurdles off a mark of 137 an improved run would not surprise. Another who has recently switched back to hurdles from fences is the Paul Nicholls trained Amour De Nuit.

There did not seem to much confidence about his chances when he won on his return from a 20-month absence so the impression is he could come on again for that effort.

A 3lb rise in a much stronger race makes things tougher but he has a touch of class about him and will have conditions to suit.A winner of 4 of his 5 starts to date Tea Clipper has to be respected once more, he was a ready winner of Chepstow`s Silver Trophy last month and his trainer Tom Lacey has a good record here at Newbury.

Selection: Amour De Nuit

14.45 2m½f (2m69y) Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Intermediate Hurdle (Listed Race) (A Limited Handicap)

The unbeaten Marie`s Rock is sure to be popular here with her trainer Nicky Henderson unleashing future Champion Hurdle winner Epatante in this event last season. She has the potential to be much better than her current rating suggests and has to be respected.

This however is not just about the favourite with another progressive type from the Gary Moore yard Botox Has. A winner of 3 of his 4 starts over hurdles, there was a lot to like about how he stuck to the task when winning at Cheltenham after a long layoff recently.

He won’t have it easy giving weight to all his rivals but he is the other in the field who gives the impression he couild progress out of handicap company and his juvenile form to date has a solid feel to it.

The Paul Nicholls trained Thyme White was a ready winner at Chepstow on his return and he along with the likes of Sebastopol and Milkwood who bring solid handicap form to the race should also not be underestimated in tough looking handicap.

Selection: Botox Has

A Plus Tard Horse

15.00 3m2f (3m1f214y) Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

The usual competitive field in a race that it can tend to lean towards with the big yards with the likes of Nicholls, Henderson, Tizzard all having good records in the race and looking to hold strong hands once more this season.

There is little between Vinndication and Aye Right based on there placed efforts behind Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase. Both could have more progression to come over this type of test but slight preference of the pair is the Kim Bailey runner with his yard in fine form.

Secret investor looks the pick of the Paul Nicholls runners, he ran Native River close here last February and made an impressive return to the track last month at Chepstow with a comfortable victory. The 6lb rise makes things tougher but his chase form last season has a solid feel to it and should have more to offer still over this type of test.

Black Op goes into handicap company for the first time and has the potential to go well but doesn’t win often enough.  

Selection: Secret Investor (Next Best)

15.35 2m½f (2m92y) Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Handicap Chase (For The Jim Joel Memorial Trophy) (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-150)

Ibleo gave the impression there was still more to come this season when making a solid return at Ascot last month. This is the time of year it can pay to start following the Venetia Williams yard he is expected to go close once more depsite the 5lb rise for that recent effort.

Moonlighter was a good second in the Haldon Gold Cup on his latest run, he should run his race once more has to give weight all round. Hatcher will be better suited to this type of track and the unexposed The King Of May are others to consider.

Selection: Ibleo (NAP)


Ben Dundee Horse

14.05 2m (2m46y) Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

The Alan King trained Sceau Royal is 2 from 2 since switching back to hurdles and looks set to go close once more being race fit and in top-class form.

However, he does have to give 7lbs to his main market rival Epatante and the Nicky Henderson runner is likely to be plenty fit enough after a recent racecourse gallop.

The winner of 5 of her 6 starts including last season’s champion hurdle could still have more to come this season and should be hard to beat on these terms.

Selection: Epatante

15.15 2m7½f (2m7f91y) Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

A chance is taken on last year’s winner Takingrisks to make it back-to-back victories in the race. He didn’t show much form in a recent spin over hurdles but that was always likely to be prep run for this and racing of just a 4lb higher mark should see him go close if returning to that kind of form.

Pym hasn`t always found it easy over fences but was better last time at Sandown and the Nicky Henderson runner has to be respected. Whatmore showed improved form when returning this season in a handicap at Ascot and should be thereabouts.

Selection: Takingrisks (Each Way)


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