The Grade One Challow Hurdle is the clear standout of the day and we’ll be at Newbury with some on course coverage, if possible.. The race has attracted a field of eight and as with all high class novice races the market is hard to read and mush is based on reputation and snippets from trainers. We’ll have a look at our picks for the race whilst covering all the fancied runners, as well as a brief pick at our other selections from Newbury.
Messire Des Obeaux has the form in the book; no other fancied horse in the race get close to the runs already recorded by Alan King’s 4YO. He was a slow burner last year and never reached the levels connections were aiming for; whilst still showing some signs of encouragement. At 4/1 he has to be the bet of the race for winning purposes. The ground looks as if it will be Good To Soft which is no issue and the trip brought out improvement last time when holding off Ballyandy in a stormer at Sandown. While he will need to improve again to win you’d think, at only four with two wins since re-appearing this campaign, there’s no reason why he can’t come on again.
There’s no chance we could take Robin Roe for the Skelton’s with the price around 7/4. Although we’re hesitant to go as far as saying he has been over-hyped, there can be no denying he has been made favourite because of the trainers positive remarks ever since his Aintree romp. The same goes for Baltazar D’Allier, but at 9/2 creates a more plausible angle than diving in at 7/4. Whilst either of these horses could win handsomely and prove themselves worthy of the claims, we would rather side with the form in the book in any race such as this and over time this method would come out on top. Whilst there will be occasions you kick yourself for not going with the trendy bet, in the long-term it will always pay off.
For an EW poke we’ve gone with the older Ami Desbois available at 16s. As long as eight remain come the off, the 16s once again is way overpriced for this 6YO and he could easily run into a place. Again, he has strong form in the book and the run previously at Cheltenham was very promising, as he looked the inner for quite a way. He was withdrawn from Haydock earlier in the week and it looks as if this race may not have been the original target, but the horse is in good form and will outrun 16s. Elegant Escape for Colin Tizzard would have been our original EW angle but the 11s that it opened up at quickly shortened to 6-7/1.
In the opener, Percy Street should take all the beating if he can carry his flat form over the hurldes. A C2 winner for Karl Burke, connections have found a nice race to start him in under the wing of local trainer Nicky Henderson. The 12 40 is very competitive and picking a winner is no easy task. Potter’s Legend is going well however and off 139 again after only finding the improving Present Man too good at Doncaster, should go close at a backable price. Yanmare is rising in the weights at a rapid rate but off featherweight 10’2 could be hard to beat in the 1 15 despite the marked rise in class. There’s only four in the 2 25 leaving a contracted market, but Romain De Senam looks a bet at 4s for champion trainer Paul Nicholls with the 6L second to Top Notch the standout piece of form to us. Geordie Des Champs has to be the pick in the 3 00. An improving animal, and still only at 129 makes it the one to beat; although Gordon Elliot’s raider could be anything and is prominent in the market. The closing race has been won by Nicky Henderson in 10 of the last 11 runnings and it looks as if this trend will continue with 8/15 shot William Henry needing a good one to get by on debut.