Saturday 29th December 2018
Author: Jordan Yates. (EvRacing_)
A big welcome to this week’s Saturday Preview on what has been a week of drama to say the least in the racing world. If your a committed backer of favourites I imagine that the last few days have been somewhat of a rough ride for you with a lot of the so called ‘bankers’ of the festive period getting turned over. There’s more top class cards to be had though on Saturday in the UK and Ireland and i’ve focused on a couple of the feature affairs at Newbury and Leopardstown.
The Challow takes centre stage at Newbury on Saturday at 3pm which is a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle that’s contested over a distance of two miles and four furlongs. The race see’s the well thought of Champ head affairs for Nicky Henderson following his impressive victory here last time within handicap company. He overcame being very keen to power home in taking style that day and there looks as though there’s a lot more to come from him for his powerhouse connections. He’s a general 6/4 chance with Barry Geraghty in the saddle this time around. Brewinupastorm hacked up on his reappearance last time for Olly Murphy and looks to be a chief threat to the market principle alongside Paul Nicholls Getaway Trump who also arrives here in great form.
Fergal O’Brien sends Coolanly to take his chance here following his impressive win at Cheltenham last time over Pym. You can find him trading at a general 7/1 in the betting with Paddy Brennan back on board. Another horse who turns up for this assignment in great form is Alan King’s Alsa Mix. Winner of all three of her starts for her new yard including a Grade 2 success last time out Sandown she’s certainly one not to be underestimated and is an 8/1 shot in the market. Nestor Park concludes the field as the general outsider at 20/1.
An intriguing looking Grade 1 affair with a lot of potentially top class sorts facing off against each other. Judging by his performance the last day here I think Champ could well be another stable star for Seven Barrows and that’s why I think a bold showing is very much on the cards again. A step up is obviously required now within Grade 1 company but I think he could be very much up for the challenge. Alsa Mix looks to be slightly overpriced in my opinion.
CHAMP – (6/4)
Over to Leopardstown and the Ryanair Hurdle is a Grade 1 contest which i’ll be taking a look at which is race with an illustrious back catalogue of winners and is contested over two miles. This year’s renewal see’s one of the most talked about horses in the game at the minute head affairs and that’s of course Gordon Elliott’s Samcro. He was seen by many as the next big star after his exploits last term however the gloss has now slightly come off following two defeats in his comeback runs this season with the latest coming in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle when getting put in his place by Buveur D’air. He’s been put in as the 7/4 favourite for the assignment that lies ahead here and Jack Kennedy is once again on board.
Its the the Champion Hurdle second Melon that takes his place as the second favourite in the line up, he hasn’t been seen since falling at Punchestown when taking on Samcro as well that day. A very talented hurdler who will likely have a big say throughout this division this term and can be found at a general 5/2 for this contest with Ruby Walsh on board. Willie Mullins also sends Sharjah to take his place here. He was last seen when getting the better of Faugheen in the Morgiana but has a bit to find with Samcro from when they clashed earlier in the season. Patrick Mullins is in the saddle in his case and he’s trading at around 6/1. Jessica Harrington’s Supasundae is a very likeable sort and made a very likeable return to the track with a fine second placed effort behind Apple’s Jade last time in the Hatton’s Grace. It’s likely he’ll be a lot more tuned up for this and it wouldn’t be at all a surprise should a bold showing be had. Bedrock got the better of both Samcro and Sharjah in the WKD Hurdle at the beginning of last month and you’d be fool to completely write Iain Jardine’s raider off again here. The Gigginstown duo of Petit Mouchoir and Tombstone conclude the line up.
Samcro certainly looks the one to beat again here however i’m once again going to try and take him and i’m going to do that with the Willie Mullins trained Melon. Despite him not having a recent outing I suspect Willie has got him spot on for this particular assignment and if turning up in anywhere near the same form as his Champion Hurdle effort he’ll put in a bold bid. Supasundae could be one to go well at a bigger price.
MELON – (5/2)
This weeks Value Bet comes in the form of the 2.25 at Newbury and I think Sandy Beach can go well here for Colin Tizzard, he won last time at Uttoxeter on the back of a wind operation during his break and under the red hot Harry Cobden he could well put on a bold show attempting to follow up here.
SANDY BEACH – (6/1) (E/W)