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Alan Thompson returns today and is looking to take us into the new year with some more profits. His first two selections of the week run in very interesting novice races at Newbury…

Alan King is double handed in this but which is the best?

Newbury 12:05

There are some interesting newcomers to the hurdling game in this Class 3 Novice Hurdle and I think Alan King may hold the key to this contest, he won this race last year and he saddles a couple of useful looking hurdle debutants.

The first of his runners is Running Cloud who is currently the market favourite, he was a solid handicapper on the flat and when last seen was running on at the end of the race to finish a five length fourth over 1m 3f at Kempton. The fact that Wayne Hutchinson has opted to ride this one suggests he will get the trip no problem.

However, at the prices I much prefer the King second runner Praeceps, he was a three time winner on the Flat for Sir Mark Prescott and this improving type posted a career best last time over two miles on the Tapeta at Newcastle in October. On the back of that effort, connections were happy to hand over 58,000 Guineas and he moved to the Alan King yard for what is sure to be a good career even if he doesn’t get the win today. Going over the obstacles for the first time is an obvious concern but if he handles them he could be much better than these.

I especially want to take on the Tom Symonds runner Song For Someone who was a beaten favourite last time out, beaten 11 lengths and the time before that the three-year-old colt failed to get the better of the 132 rated Elysees at Ludlow. He has more to prove than the two King runners for me and I am happy to leave him out of the shortlist.

Champ is well named and expected to go in today

Newbury 15:00

The second Novice race that I am looking forward to is the days Grade 1 hurdle race and even though he is a short price it is difficult to look past favourite Champ, already the winner of four races from six starts. Nicky Henderson‘s charge is progressing with every run and although this will be his biggest test to date, stepping into group company, Champ has already proven himself over this extended two and a half miles after he won here over course and distance last time out.

That was also his first run for six months and only his fourth start over hurdles. With plenty more to come he could be a top class performer and I expect him to take care of these today but just keep an eye on his price, he is short enough already and personally I would only back him at evens or better.

I expect Brewin’Upastorm to chase him home, he looks the best of the rest to me. He was impressive when winning his bumper and then backed that up with a comfortable winning hurdle debut at Huntingdon over two miles at the beginning of this month. There could be more to come from Olly Murphy‘s charge now stepping up in trip and would be my selection for any forecast punters.

2018 Overall (prior to this week): +80.04pts

This week so far…

Staked: 0 pts
Returned: 0 pts

2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts



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