Newbury Hennessy Meeting 2016 (Friday Card)
After the train wreck that was the Cheltenham Open Meeting a much more successful or should we say less disastrous weekends betting at the Betfair Chase Meeting at Haydock went down therefore we’re going into this one with slightly more confidence. However that isn’t hard. Nevertheless the action kicks off on Friday and should be on Channel 4, the first race is the 12.30 Hurdle race headed by odds on shot Jenkins (8/11). A bumper winner and a race Nicky Henderson generally does well in, however I’ve been quite vocal about my discontent with Barry Geraghty of late (that’s as polite as I’ve been) and i’ll be swerving this one and taking it on with an each way punt on Dan Skelton’s Captain Forez. He was second over in France on his hurdling debut and shaped like he should certainly been winning races sooner rather than later. Next up is the 1.05 which is a handicap chase. A tough race where i’ll be going with two 10/1 shots. First in Valsuer Du Granval, AP Heskin rides for Tom George. He’s in good form at the minute and for that reason I don’t think you can ignore the big odds. Secondly Imperial Presence, champion jockey Richard Johnson takes the ride on him, last time out he was on course to beating the highly rated Old Guard before belting the last and on that run could be a huge price at 10/1. The 1.35 is up next and is also a chase headed by Warren Greatrex’s One Track Mind trading at around 13/8. This favourite won the Champion Stayers at Punchestown back in April and on that alone should be good enough to win this therefore I’ll be siding with him. Gavin Sheehan rides. The 2.10 is up next and features probably my current favourite National Hunt horse in Unowhatimeanharry. He won all five times I backed him last season including a win in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and celebrating that was probably the best moment iv’e ever head at a racecourse and potentially one of the best moments of my whole existence. I am however disgusted and genuinely upset that Noel Fehily has lost the ride on him due to him now being owned JP McManus. The partnership between Noel and horse last season was an absolute revelation and if Geraghty gives him one of his ‘lets sit in the worst possible position’ rides then there will be some colourful language branded about. I will still be backing him at odds of around 6/1 as I think he’s more than good enough to beat favourite Ballyoptic and anything else in this. Come on though ay Barry. The 2.45 next and is another handicap chase headed by Dan Skelton’s Three Musketeers. Trading at around 5/2 he has been a little disappointing to say the least as there were high aspirations for this horse, that being said I think i’ll be siding with him again, maybe a last chance saloon situation mainly because I don’t think there is anything else of any real danger in the race. Three Muskeeters should be taking this or at least going very close. Another short priced favourite in a hurdle in the 3.20 in Behind Time for Harry Fry and Kieran Edgar trading at around 10/11. Won at Cheltenham last time and will probably and should be up there again in this, however i’ll be going with Soloman Grundy for one of my favourite partnership’s in jumps racing in Neil Mullholland and Noel Fehily. He’s in decent form at the minute is Soloman Grundy and by my estimations could be a decent price at 5/1 to take the favourite on with.