Seymour Biz previews the big contests, at Newbury and Newcastle.
This week we have some fizzing festive action from two courses that really know how to put a show on where racing is concerned. The action comes thick and fast this weekend, let’s hope there is.some decent ground this and the horses and riders are able to show their class. The Newbury meeting has as its highlight on Saturday the Ladbrokes Trophy, formerly the Hennessey, this has always been known as a classy race won by a classy horse. There are excellent races to back it up, and a big crowd will enjoy some tasty pre-Christmas fayre. Up at Newcastle the Fighting Fifth Hurdle looks a procession, there are more competitive races on the card so I will run the rule over the Rehersal Chase.
The Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at 1.50 (Newbury) is ultra competitive, but I will side with Air Horse One. He was my selection last week but connections pulled him out. I conclude they are looking for better going, I hope.they get it here. Old Guard ran well last time behind Elgin in a hard fought race at Cheltenham after winning at Kempton. This was a fortnight ago he may need more time. Another in the mix is Monbeg Legend, Nicky Henderson’s unbeaten 7 year old won a small race at Worcester last time, but I don’t think he is ready for this yet. He can still run a decent race, but the selection looks too good.
The big race, the Ladbrokes Trophy, has Henderson’s star Whisper in the line up.. The nine year old won well at Kempton last time and previous to that was second to Might Bite at Aintree, the fancy for the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. That has to be top form. American is fancied and if it comes up soft will run well, but I think going will be against him. A lively outsider is Carole’s Destrier, he has not run since winning last December.and has been waiting for decent ground. There some interesting a Irish horses declared.but I will stick with Whisper
The 3.35 Handicap Chase could fall to Tom George’s Baby King. He ran a fine race last time at Aintree, where after finding himself with plenty to do three out he rallied to be third over the last then ran on strongly to lead near the line. That sort of run could see him take this. Exitas won well at the beginning of the month, but then failed at Cheltenham when favourite last time out. I shall watch him for while. I think Red Devil Star could run a good race at a big price. A winner at Ascot last December, he has been knocking on the door and coul run well. He is also engaged at Bangor. I will however be following Baby King.
Up at Newcastle the At The Races Rehearsal Handicap Chase over thee miles looks a good opportunity for Beware The Bear, he runs well on his seasonal debut and can take this race for Nicky Henderson. He is also declared at Newbury on Friday and should be respected wherever he runs. Henderson’s other declaration, O O Seven is also making seasonal reappearance after his fine fourth in the Grand National, he is also declared on Friday. Yala Enki was pulled up after being bumped at Wincanton earlier this month and deserves another chance. But I’ll go with Henderson’s Beware The Bear.
Saturday Lucky 15
3.20 Newcastle – Beware The Bear
1.50 Newbury – Air Horse One
3.00 Newbury – Whisper
3.35 Newbury – Baby King
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