EVEN though the Flat season gets underway tomorrow, there is still plenty of good action over the jumps, with Newbury hosting a competitive-looking card.

Paul Nicholls has taken the Doom Bar Handicap Chase (3.50pm) in two of the last three years and he saddles the consistent SAMETEGAL in this year’s renewal.

The nine-year-old has been in very solid form so far this season, having been placed on his first three starts on bad ground.

He was last seen finishing eighth in a competitive handicap over three miles at Sandown – a trip which stretches him – so the drop back to 2m4f should be much more to his liking here.

Nicholls’ inmate has performed well in this sort of race in the past, having won the Greatwood Gold Cup over course and distance two years ago.

That was off just 2lbs lower than tomorrow and he looks sure to go well for his in-form trainer at around the 4/1 mark.

The preceding Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Finale (3.15pm) looks hugely competitive with a number of runners possessing obvious chances.

With the forecast rain, it’s hard to tell what the ground will be like, but if it’s bad then I’d be interested in the Rebecca Curtis-trained JUST A THOUGHT.

In all nine of her career starts, she has yet to finish out of the first three.

She has form over much further than tomorrow’s 2m4f trip which could prove crucial if the race turns into a real slog.

Arguably her best performance came at Wincanton back in December and she meets the horse who beat her that day, Midnight Tune, 13lbs better off.

I’m sure she’s overpriced at 16/1 with Ladbrokes and I don’t think she’ll be far away in a wide-open race.


Just A Thought e/w 3.15pm Newbury

Sametegal 1.30pm Newbury


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