Saturday 25th March 2023
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
A big welcome aboard to this week’s Saturday blog where the ITV cameras will be at Newbury and Kelso so that’s where I’ll be focusing my attention. Kicking things off for me will be the 1:30 at Newbury which is a Novices’ Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs. I like the chances on Inneston here at 10/3 for Gary & Jamie Moore. He arrives having two tries within handicap company so far winning the first one and finishing second in his most recent outing which came in a Grade 3 handicap at Sandown earlier this month. That’s solid form, and he’s proving to be a solid yardstick for connections by seemingly always running a good race. If he turns up in the same kind of form again he should be bang there once more.
The 2:05 at Newbury is the next race I’ll be looking at which is a Handicap Chase that’s contested over two miles and four furlongs. This is another competitive affair with not much separating the betting, however, I’m taking a chance on Espoir De Guye at 9/2 for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden. He’s been a smart chaser on his day over the last couple of seasons when trained by Venetia Williams, and he made his stable debut for Ditcheat when finishing fifth of seven at this track at the beginning of the month. That was a slightly underwhelming effort, but it’s likely that he needed that outing and as a result has been dropped four pounds by the handicapper. He’s now on what looks to be a very appealing mark as it’s five pounds lower than his last winning one, which came just over twelve months ago when he bolted up at Warwick by seven lengths, beating the useful Alnadam in the process. I think he’s got every chance of going well here if he still has some of his old enthusiasm for the game.
Staying at Newbury for the 2:40 which is a Mares Novices’ Hurdle that’s ridden over a distance of two miles and four and a half furlongs. The race is a Grade 2 event which is another extremely competitive affair as it’s currently 7/1 the field. I’m going with Aubis Walk here who’s currently trading at a best price of 8/1 for Nicky Richards and Sean Quinlan. She comes into the race on the back of a decisive victory at Sedgefield last month when she bolted up by the tune of twenty-three lengths and looks to still have scope to progress even further. Sporting the famous silks of Kenny Alexander who has had some wonderful mares in his time, I think he could well have another smart one on his hands here. She probably won’t reach the heights of a Honeysuckle but she’s going in the right direction and if progressing again from her last run she could prove to be a massive player in this.
The 3:00 at Kelso is where my fourth and final punt of the day comes from, and this particular contest is a Mares Novices’ Handicap Hurdle that’s ridden over two miles. I think that this can go to Bonttay at 2/1 who’s my NAP of the day for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan. She developed into a smart bumper horse when winning and being placed listed events at Cheltenham, before transferring her solid form over hurdles when hacking at Exeter by seven and a half lengths on her penultimate outing back in February. She tries handicap company for the first time off what looks a very fair opening mark of 110. She’s a big player here and if anywhere near her best could prove a very tough nut to crack.