We’ve teamed up with BetVictor and Charlie McCann to preview the day’s racing.
Significant rain was forecast to hit Newbury on Wednesday evening and rails adjustments mean the hurdle course will be approximately 52 yards longer per circuit and the chase course will be about 40 yards longer than the norm.
Mr Dinosaur won a point-to-point last summer and makes his debut under Rules for the Champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
He could be anything but preference is for Nicky Henderson’s Might Bite (2.30) a half-brother to the yard’s Beat That who finished third on heavy ground on his sole start here back in January over the minimum trip. The selection has three other entries in the next few days and I would think his handler is on the search for decent ground. Let’s hope the ground doesn’t deteriorate considerably.
Chosen Well should make up into a decent chaser next term but it is difficult to say if he is well handicapped for his two recent hurdle successes as neither looked the most competitive of novice events.
The betting will be informative and if the rains arrive the Alan King trained novice might be the one but, granted decent ground, Tistory (3.05) can defy a four-month break for Henderson reverting to timber having disappointed at Ludlow on his chase debut back in November.
The two unexposed horses who have impressed me most in the last week are due to go head-to-head in the next. Owen Na View runs under a 7lb penalty for his facile win here on Saturday over the extended two miles and is 7lbs ‘well-in’ given he has been raised a stone by the handicapper. The ground came right for the Fergal O’Brien seven-year-old at the weekend but overnight rain on watered ground over an additional three furlongs is less than ideal.
Morning Reggie (3.40) won an egg and spoon race at Warwick eight days ago and this is a much stronger race but his jumping was electric and he has been raised 18lbs by the handicapper for that smooth victory and is 11lbs ‘well-in’ on official figures. Westward Point disappointed after a long break over C&D last month but is a talented animal and a market move would be worth noting.
Westaway (4.45) was a winner over hurdles on heavy ground in March last year and ran well at Exeter last month when runner-up on his second start over the larger obstacles.
The yard of David Arbuthnot have been quiet of late but this looks an ideal opening with recent Haydock winner Red Admirable likely to make the market for the selection.
At Ffos Las, Veripek (2.10) can cement the burgeoning recent partnership of Rebecca Curtis and Paul Townend in the opener.
With Barry Geraghty missing Aintree through injury I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two big yards used Willie Mullins’ number two who showed at the recent Cheltenham Festival that he is a top class jockey.
Peter Bowen has his team in rude health and he is naturally going all out to help his son Sean become the leading conditional jockey of the season. Sean gets the leg over Cruising Bye (3.15) and he is taken to upset the Curtis/Townend partnership who saddle the likely short price favourite Red Devil Lads who has been raised 11lbs for winning at Exeter last time.
At Cork Railway Tommy (5.10) can take the valuable handicap hurdle having been raised 6lbs for winning at Down Royal earlier in the month. David Mullins largely negates the rise with his 5lbs claim and he can follow up in a terrific and competitive event.
For all your racing odds check out BetVictor.com and follow us on Twitter @BetVictorRacing.