Seymour Biz fancies Warren Greatrex’s charge to power home, once again, in the mares’ race at Newbury on Saturday.
It’s the first big handicap of the flat this Saturday and this really does herald the start of the 2018 flat season. This years Lincoln has got some fine handicappers entered and the principals could be worth following right through the rest of the year. We also have a very good meeting at Newbury as we run up to the Grand National meeting at Aintree in the middle of next month. I hope to see the Gold Cup first and second eyeball each other again in the Aintree Bowl and I am sure on better going Might Bite will get his revenge. But that’s all in the future, let’s look at the big handicap at Donnie and three good handicaps at Newbury over the sticks.
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The 32Red Lincoln is at 3.35 at Doncaster and is as usual a wide open betting heat with Michael Bell’s Fire Brigade at the head of affairs. His final race of last season was a victory at Leicester with Jamie Spencer aboard, he didn’t have a clear run that day but still managed to burst clear seeing off several rivals he will face here, including Bravery, London Protocol and King’s Pavilion. However the horse I am looking at to take this prize is Richard Fahey’s Third Time Lucky, he won the Cambridgeshire three years ago but since that win has dropped down the handicap. He had a prep race at Wolverhampton two weeks ago running third to Big Country who has a five pound penalty for that win, that race will have him spot on for this. Top weight Lord Glitters is an Ascot winner and is a really class horse, however top weights do not have a great record in this race. At a bigger price Mitchum Swagger can run into a place, he only won once last year but has been there or thereabouts in his runs.
The 2.05 at Newbury is the Insure With Be Wiser Handicap Chase, this is a very open handicap but I like the look of Dawson City who saw off my selection, Shotgun Paddy, last time. Thomas Patrick was favourite that day but weakened quickly two out and is not to be trusted. Dawson City stayed on well in his penultimate race then came out at Exeter next time to win going away, he can continue in that vein here. Alan King sends Sego Success here but admits he doesn’t find it easy to win these days and also the soft going will be against him. At a bigger price is Henri Parry Morgan who swerved Cheltenham to come here. He has not had a wonderful campaign this year, unseating his rider and pulling up in two out of his last three starts, but he should improve.
At 2.40 is the Be WiserJuvenile Handicap Hurdle and I will go straight in on Malaya, another horse who swerved Cheltenham when well fancied for the Triumph. That race is notorious for spoiling young horses so that may be the reason he is taking a different route and this race is the perfect opportunity for him. He has never been out of the first two but is also engaged at Ascot on Sunday and should be respected wherever he runs. Dan Skelton sends Falcon Sunwho has run well this year without getting into the winners enclosure, last time he faded behind Mister Chow, he can improve on that run.
The 3.15 race is the EBF and TBA Mares National Hunt Novices Hurdle Finale, and I like the look of Warren Greatrex’s Petticoat Tails who has had this race as his target for quite a while. She has won her last two at Wetherby and Newcastle really well despite small margins of victory and should go well here. There are several to make a case for but I should mention Roksana, another dual winner who beat The Vocalist last time, however she has been put up ten pounds for that win which could prove decisive.
Saturday Lucky 15
3.35 Doncaster – ThirdTime Lucky
2.05 Newbury – Dawson City
2.40 Newbury – Malaya
3.15 Newbury – Petticoat Tails
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