THIS novices’ chase is virtually a repeat of a race at this track three weeks ago and I’m expecting the same result.

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LA BAGUE AU ROI came out on top from in the 2m6f contest from Lostintranslation and Talkischeap with Thomas Campbell – a winner since – back in fourth.

The drop in trip won’t worry my fancy and she meets the other pair on exactly the same weight terms.

Spiritofthegames made a nice debut over fences when successful at Chepstow.

This is his best distance so his proven pace might well see him chase home La Bague Au Roi against a couple of rivals likely to be better over slightly further.

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PUT the boot into the bookies with TOUCH KICK.

He gets plenty of weight off all his rivals and he arrives for today’s race after winning at Hereford a couple of weeks ago.

The way he came home way most pleasing and I’m sure there’s more to come from Paul Nicholls’ hope.

Willoughby Court is a class act. He was one of the top novice hurdlers before winning his first two chase starts.

Injury cut short last season and he tends to improve a fair bit for his first run of the season.

Beggar’s Wishes is on a great roll but the handicapper has been pretty brutal. He’ll do well to give weight to a decent field.

King’s Odyssey will probably come into his own when the ground gets even deeper.


PLAY it again Sam.

The way SAM SPINNER developed into a top staying hurdler was great to watch last season.

He destroyed a good field from the front at Haydock before taking the leap from handicaps into a Grade 1 in his stride in the Long Walk at Ascot.

I didn’t think he went quick enough in front when favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The sprint to the line was never going to suit him and he did well to finish fifth.

His record when fresh is good and he will be hard to get by.

Wholestone was in front of Sam Spinner at Cheltenham and Aintree last season but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

He made a winning return when Unowhatimeanharry was in behind and he looks the danger, though smart mare Momella is interesting on her first run for Harry Fry.

Templegate’s TV tips

  • 1.50 Newbury – La Bague Au Roi
  • 2.25 Newbury – Touch Kick
  • 3.00 Newbury – Sam Spinner
  • 3.35 Newbury – Dragon D’Estruval


DRAGON D’ESTRUVAL looks well treated for his British handicap debut.

He won three chases when trained in France and he could not have won much easier on his first start for Nicky Henderson at Ffos Las.

The opposition in that novices’ hurdle was pretty ordinary but he kicked them away in the manner of a horse sure to be better at today’s 3m distance.

De Name Escapes Me also looked a nice staying prospect when winning at Warwick three weeks ago.

The form got a boost when third-placed Worthy Farm won yesterday and he has potential from his handicap rating.

Aux Ptits Soins has been given a chance at the weights and Virginia Chick was progressive last season.


12.00 Drumlee Water

12.35 Mercian King

1.10 Dory

1.40 Buster Thomas (nb)

2.15 Joueur Bresilien

2.50 Mon Palois

3.25 Lantiern


12.10 Strong Glance

12.45 Kupatana

1.20 Morning Vicar

1.50 La Bague Au Roi

2.25 Touch Kick

3.00 Sam Spinner

3.35 Dragon D’Estruval (nap)


5.15 Insurplus

5.45 Fightwithme

6.15 Bengali Boys

6.45 Melgate Majeure

7.15 Roman De Brut

7.45 Matterhorn

8.15 Spirit Of Zebedee

8.45 Skyva


11.20 Honey Gg (treble)

11.50 Sir Geoffrey

12.25 Star Ascending

1.00 Victoria Drummond

1.30 Huntsmans Close

2.05 Mr Minerals

2.40 Mr Coco Bean

3.15 Tagur

Nico de Boinville and Nicky Henderson out to bag big prizes on the way to the Festival


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