More top-class racing over the festive period with another huge day of National Hunt action on Saturday 29th December.
The ITV cameras head to Newbury to take in four races that includes the Grade One Challow Hurdle – did you know 8 of the last 11 winners were aged 4 or 5 years-old?
So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here at JUICESTORM with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races – we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get going!
Newbury Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV)
1.50 – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV4
6/6 – French (2) or Irish (4) bred
5/6 – Favourites placed
5/6 – Had raced in the last 4 weeks
5/6 – Had won over the trip (2m4f) before
5/6 – Aged 5 years-old
5/6 – Had won 2 or more times before (hurdles)
5/6 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
3/6 – Had raced at the track before
2/6 – Ran at Newbury last time out
2/6 – Winning favourites
2/6 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
The average winning SP in the last 6 runnings is 9/2
Brave Eagle (11/4) won the race in 2017
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Unblinking and Coeur Blimey are the two recent winners in the race that command respect but you feel a bit more is needed here. The Nicky Henderson camp have won two of the last six runnings of this, including twelve months ago so their DRAGON D’ESTRUVAL is certainly one to have on your radar too. He’s won two of his last four starts and despite flopping last time here at the track that run came over 3m and he didn’t really see it out. The drop back to 2m4f looks ideal and with that last run also coming off a break then he should be a lot better for it. I’m A Game Changer and John Constable are others to consider on their best form but the consistent Subcontinent might give the selection most to think about coming from the Venetia Williams yard that have been amongst the winners over the festive period.
2.25 – Betway Mandarin Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-135) 3m2f ITV4
7/7 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
7/7 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
7/7 – Had won over 3m (fences) before
6/7 – Aged between 6-9 years-old
6/7 – Had won between 1-2 times before (fences)
6/7 – Carried 11-2 or more in weight
6/7 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
5/7 – Irish bred
5/7 – Unplaced favourites
3/7 – Had raced at the track before
2/7 – Winning favourites
2/7 – Ran at Fontwell last time out
2/7 – Trained by Charlie Longsdon
Daklondike (6/1) won the race in 2017
JUICESTORM VERDICT: The Pipe stable took this race last year and will be trying to follow-up – this time with Aurillac, but the horse will need to overcome a 654-day absence, so it would be a top training feat. Sandy Beach is the only course winner in the field and is a consistent sort that punters are sure to latch onto, while proven distance winners Reikers Island, who won well last time out at Wincanton, and Carole’s Destrier can’t be ruled out. However, with the Charlie Longsdon stable targeting this race with success twice in the last seven years their BALLYDINE (e/w) is the call. He’ll be a lot fitter for his return fifth last time at Newcastle but wasn’t beaten far and the winner of that race has since franked the form by going in again. Soft ground is fine too and he’s won over 3m in the past so this slightly longer trip looks within range.
3.00 – Betway Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV4
12/12 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
12/12 – Had raced in the last 8 weeks
12/12 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
12/12 – Had won no more than 3 times over hurdles before
11/12 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
9/12 – Favourites that finished in the top 3
9/12 – Went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival (1 winner, Wichita Lineman, 2006)
8/12 – Won between 2-3 times over hurdles before
8/12 – Had won over 2m4f or further (hurdles) before
8/12 – Won last time out
8/12 – Had won a Grade 2 Hurdle race before
6/12 – Aged 5 years-old
6/12 – Irish bred
5/12 – Winning favourites
3/12 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
2/12 – Trained by Nick Williams
2/12 – Ridden by Daryl Jacob
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 3/1
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Some interesting sorts on show here but it’s hard to get away from the Nicky Henderson-trained CHAMP, who hugely impressive last time at Newbury and looks destined to go onto bigger and better things – he’s currently a leading fancy for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. He beat fourteen other rivals that day by 4 ½ lengths and with that proven course experience then he’s got a lot going for him. He’s a strong traveller too that acts well in soft conditions and will have the added assistance of Barry Geraghty riding. Of the rest, Coolanly and Brewin’Upastorm were good winners last time out, while the in-form Paul Nicholls yard have the hat-trick seeking Getaway Trump in the race and he looks as if he’s got more to come too. Kateson is another CD winner in the field that has done little wrong, while Alsa Mix, from the Alan King team has also caught the eye with smooth wins at Exeter and Sandown but all those others mentioned have a bit to find on the current ratings with the selection so I’ll take Champ, who is named after a certain AP McCoy, to continue his winning ways and maintain his trainers excellent 28% strike-rate with this hurdlers at the track.
3.35 – Betway Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+) 2m6½f ITV4
10/10 – Won between 0-1 times over fences
9/10 – Raced in the last 6 weeks
9/10 – Didn’t win last time out
9/10 – Carried 10-10 or more in weight
8/10 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
8/10 – Favourites that finished in the top 4
7/10 – Irish bred
4/10 – Winning favourites
2/10 – Trained by Venetia Williams
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 7/1
JUICESTORM VERDICT: Trainer Colin Tizzard, who has a 24% record with this chasers at the track, has two in the race – Golden Sunrise and Mount Rushmore – but both were pulled up last time out so are on a bit of a recovery mission. Walt bounced back to form last time with a nice win at Taunton, but this looks harder and he’s also 11lbs higher this time. Course winner Wilde Blue Younder would be interesting if his jumping holds up but he’s taken a tumble in both his last two races, so I’d rather see it on the track first. So, the two that stand out are Polydora, who was a good winner at Newcastle last time out and will be popular with the champion jockey – Richard Johnson riding. He’s up 11lbs though so more is required but can still make his presence felt and the Tom Lacey yard boast a decent 43% (3 from 7) record with their chasers at the course. However, the call here is to side with the Nicky Henderson-trained WENYERREADYFREDDIE. This improving 7 year-old was has won his last two and despite being up 3lbs here looks as if he’s got more up his sleeve. He did tend to jump left the last day but that hopefully won’t be an issue around this left-handed track and he looks the sort to improve again now upped in trip too – the Henderson team last took this race in 2008.
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