NEWCASTLE is quite an accompaniment to the main fare at Newbury as the northern track hosts a belting renewal of the Grade Fighting Fifth.
There are also some exhilarating races on the undercard and we’ve put together an all in one preview for you punters to enjoy.
Race 1 – 11.50pm Weatherbys General Stud Book “Introductory” Juvenile Hurdle
An interesting opener where only two of the six runners have had an outing. Oi The Clubb Oi’S sets a decent standard for the others to aim at but he could be vulnerable to a couple of interesting newcomers.
STYLE DE VOLE must have a big chance for trainer Nicky Henderson on his British debut. He was bought for big bucks by JP McManus after winning a Flat race at Saint-Cloud and could be smart. A first-time hood is slightly disconcerting but he could outclass these. Swordbill was a good horse on the level and can pick up third.
VERDICT – 1. Style De Vole 2. Oi The Clubb Oi’S 3. Swordbill
Race 2 – 12.25pm Equine Products UK Handicap Chase
This could go the way of the revitalised HALCYON DAYS. He needs to prove he can do the business over this trip but he’s won on heavy over an extended two miles before and this isn’t that much further. Marley Firth is interesting having his second run since a wind operation for Dan Skelton, while Orioninverness smashed two fences at vital points last time out and has more to offer off his current mark.
VERDICT – 1. Halcyon Days 2. Marley Firth 3. Orioninverness
Race 3 – 1.00pm Weatherbys Racing Bank “The French Furze” Novices’ Hurdle
A competitive little novice hurdle that should be best left to WINDSOR AVENUE. Brian Ellison’s six-year-old was unbeaten in two bumpers and although he suffered a reverse on hurdling debut, got back on track with a win at Hexham last time out.
He retains plenty of potential and can get the better of Beakstown, who benefited from a wind op last time, and Monty’s Award, who struck in handicap company but has to give weight away.
VERDICT – 1. Windsor Avenue 2. Beakstown 3. Monty’s Award
Race 4 – 1.35pm GVA Building Newcastle’s Future Chase
Jack Kennedy is an intriguing booking for ROCK MY STYLE on chasing debut. He was last seen just under a year ago winning a couple of novice hurdle contests and has plenty of scope now tried over fences. His trainer has done well with similar types in the past.
Jack Devine was a gutsy winner over hurdles last time out and is also the type to improve for the larger obstacles. Tom Lacey has his string in fine form and can pick up third with Polydora.
VERDICT – 1. Rock My Style 2. Jack Devine 3. Polydora
Race 5 – 2.05pm Betvictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Grade 1)
On ratings this should be a win for BUVEUR D’AIR. He has won the last two Champion Hurdles and has very few chinks in his armour. A first-time wind op is an unknown but he has stacks of class and can get the better of exciting prospect Samcro.
Gordon Elliott’s contender was sensational last year but needs to bounce back from an underwhelming performance behind Bedrock, who can pick up third under star jock Rachel Blackmore.
VERDICT – 1. Buveur D’Air 2. Samcro 3. Bedrock
Race 6 – 2.40pm Ryder Architecture EBF “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle
LOUGH DERG DIAMOND made his debut in a hot Listed race last weekend and, unsurprisingly, could never land a blow. He’s in much calmer waters today though, and he should be capable of a much more prominent showing for his red-hot trainer.
Idee De Garde makes his debut for Dan Skelton having won a bumper up north for Nicky Richards. He can pick up second spot from Nicky Henderson’s newcomer Champagne Platinum.
VERDICT – 1. Lough Derg Diamond 2. Idee De Garde 3. Champagne Platinum
Race 7 – 3.20pm BetVictor Rehearsal Handicap Chase (Listed Race)
A cracking renewal of this valuable prize can go the way of BISHOPS ROAD. He bounced back to form last time out at Haydock and has the supreme services of Robbie Power in the plate this time around. He stays forever and will take some pegging back off a much lower mark than when he was second in this race last year.
Sharp Response has been in good form and found Cheltenham a touch hard on his most recent outing. Baywing has a progressive profile and can pick up third if ready to roll.
VERDICT – 1. Bishops Road 2. Sharp Response 3. Baywing