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I'm not particularly happy with the ride on Bob Bob Ricard, as I don't think Richie McLernon gave his all. I did mention that they might be looking to win when he enters handicaps, and based on that ride I'd say key an eye out for when he next runs, as he won't be getting a ridiculously high mark and they'll exploit it.
Jacamar was just touched off by Larry over 3m 1f. I thought Harry gave him a good ride, for a horse who is untested at the trip he kept him on the best ground which was the widest, but that gave the horse the best chance of seeing out the trip. Fair play to Tom Cannon on Larry who was off the bridle for the majority of the race, he stuck on very well off 12st and headed Jacamar in the final half furlong.
Newbury 12:50 – Fasol 7/4 (1pt, Bet365)
It's a bit of a risk going for Fasol on hurdling debut, but given that this horse was producing RPRs in the 100s on a regular basis on the flat, he should have too much natural ability for this field.
Novice races where horses haven't had many runners isn't my ideal type of race to be having a bet, but 7/4 for Fasol looks a solid price and I think he will go off odds-on. We've seen flat horses transition to hurdles and the classier ones can really become smart horses over obstacles, with Burdett Road coming to mind this year who was a Royal Ascot winner and has lit the Juvenile hurdling scene alight. This horse has been placed in Class 1 races on the flat in France on three different occasions and if he takes to jumping, he could be a nice horse to follow, especially with him being in training with Paul Nicholls who does very well with his recruits from France.
Newbury 2:00 – Kalif D'Airy 7/1 (1pt EW, Bet365)
Off the horses who have form over hurdles in this race I don't think they have outstanding pieces of form, so I'm more than happy to take a chance on another debutante.
Kalif D'Airy caught my eye with the form of the Gary Moore yard. Gary won this race last year with a hurdling newcomer called Cloud Dancer. What is interesting is that Cloud Dancer made his debut in the Listed bumper race at Cheltenham on New Years Day of 2023, which is the same race that Kalif D'Airy made his racecourse debut in, both horses finished in the middle of the pack but that didn't stop Cloud Dancer going on to win this race 12 months ago when being well-backed and running out a ready winner.
It could be complete coincidence that both horses took the same route to this race, but I think there's a bit more to it than just pot luck. This horse has a decent pedigree and is related to Ofarel D'Airy who was a smart horse for Paul Nicholls, which saw him reach a rating of 145 at his peak.
Newbury 2:35 – Invincible Nao 9/1 (0.5pt EW, WilliamHill/PaddyPower 4pl)
Invincible Nao was intended to run over 3m 1f at Hereford but was withdrawn at the start of this year due to the ground, I had a horse in that race and mentioned I don't think he is bred to stay that trip but if the money comes in then he should be respected highly as his form and run from last time out looks decent.
Gary Moore has sacked off the idea of going for 3m or further and has opted for 2m 6.5f, which is likely to be better suited to this horse at this moment in his career. He is a lightly raced chaser who evidently needed his run in November on his chase debut, but was much better at Lingfield the time after. The winner had some decent form entering the Lingfield race and has since finished a close 3rd in a Class 3 contest. The runner-up franked the form when winning the next time out and the fourth in the race he won nto went on to win by 20L nto as well.
I think today's step up in trip on a galloping track will suit as he has been running on strongly in his races, including when 4th/13 over 2m 5f over hurdles in May 2023. Like many Gary Moore horses, I think he'll be a better chaser than hurdler and he could still be on a decent mark, especially with Caoilin Quinn taking off an extra 3lbs.
Newbury 3:10 – Moviddy 11/1 (0.5pt EW, WilliamHill 5pl)
I don't understand why it has taken connections of Moviddy so long to put her up to 3m as she has clearly been crying out for this trip for some time.
It's a bit strange to see them revert back to hurdles as she has made a positive start to her chase career, but the trainer has said on this type of ground they want to send her over hurdles and when the ground is slightly better they'll go back chasing. Either way, I think she is still on a good mark now she is up to 3m as based on her runs over 2m 4f she does her work late on and I think this galloping track and trip combination could see her flourish.
Her chase form looks strong in comparison to this field as she has finished 3rd in a Listed chase, and given I believe that the trip was too short it was a great run. Jack Hogan gets back on board this mare for the first time since combining for a weak hurdles victory last April and he takes off 3lbs, which is handy as she is carrying a big weight.
Newbury - 12:50 pm
7/4 @ Bet365
Newbury - 2:00 pm
7/1 @ Bet365
Newbury - 2:35 pm
9/1 @ William Hill
Newbury - 3:10 pm