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I'd be lying if I wasn't counting my money before the final fence on Frero Banbou. He had the race in his hands and the horse didn't jump the final fence at all, clattering through it and sending Charlie up in the sky. It was some sit by Deutsch to keep the partnership intact but it did throw away the win as he was run down by the Nicholls favourite.
Newbury 12:30 – Inch House 9/4 (1pt, PaddyPower)
To win a race of this nature you're going to need to be ahead of the handicapper and I think Inch House has the perfect profile to win this.
There are other horses who are well-handicapped, but that's because they're falling down the ratings rather than putting in progressive performances and rising through the weights. Cap Du Nord is the prime example of the former, he is always campaigned with winning one or two big pots, he's on a very tempting mark and if he were to win it wouldn't be a shock, but it's a matter of when they want to try with this horse, normally when the headgear returns is a good indicator.
I rate the form of Inch House's chase starts so far, especially his debut behind Chianti Classico. I thought he put in a nice round for a chase debut at Chepstow, he didn't win, but he was well-supported like they believed he'd be a better chaser than hurdler and that he was on an attractive mark. The winner was meant to be a chaser and has since won under a big weight, so it was no disgrace to finish 3rd in that race. Mario De Pail was fourth that day and I think he is a very good horse for his current rating, but he struggled to jump a fence, and I believe he'll be in the winner's enclosure back over hurdles in the near future. Inch House then won at Newbury on his second start over fences, and I think he won it with plenty to spare even though he did only win by 4.75L. He travelled powerfully through that race, jumped well and when he was in the clear and Jonjo Jr asked for an effort he was idling and had a high head carriage, which isn't ideal, but I think it shows how much he had left in the tank.
Newbury 2:15 – Under Control 11/8 (1pt)
If any horse out of the top three in the weights were to win this I'd be surprised as I think it does revolve around the classy horses in this. Of the three I've sided with Under Control.
I can see why people would side with Hansard and Brentford Hope, but I just though there was plenty more to come from Nicky Henderson's already smart 4yo. This horse was pretty much flawless last season when joining Nicky's yard, apart from the Cheltenham Festival run, but I think you can ignore that as you saw her true class when gliding through the field in the big 4yo race at Sandown, looking like a really smart horse. The form looks good with the runner-up since winning a Grade 3 at Cheltenham and beating some fairly good yardsticks for that level and beating them well, also looking like a lovely horse to follow for the future. Under Control had that horse cooked at Sandown and it only got close in the final 50 yards or so where the runner-up probably showed he'd be better over further and stiff tracks, but Under Control cruised through the race and looked to be suited to more speedy tracks like Newbury.
She has had a wind-op since her final start of last season, which surely can only be a positive, especially with her finishing kick. She will have to prove her fitness but with how Nicky's seasonal debutantes have been running I think it's hard to believe that she won't be ready for her first assignment of the season.
Newbury - 12:30 pm
9/4 @ PaddyPower
Newbury - 2:15 pm