A super six line up in the BetVictor Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday and I can’t wait. A race for the ages! Buveur D’Air (Evens), Samcro (2-1), Summerville Boy (4-1), Bedrock (14-1), Vision Des Flos (33-1) and Bleu Et Rouge a Grade 1 winner in his own right 100-1. On paper it is phenomenal I’m still expecting a big run from Summerville Boy but all eyes on the Toon at 2.05!
The declarations also came through for Saturday’s big race at Newbury where 14 have declared, I’m torn between Kemboy (5-1), Ms Parfois (11-2) and Black Corton (14-1) but I’ll go into that more tomorrow as there is a great card to concentrate on at Newbury today!
Dr Richard Newland is one of many trainers to follow at present, he has had four winners from his last 8 and pitches in British debutant Dustin Des Mottes to a very hot novice chase at 12.45. Many big reputations are on the line, with Kupatana for Nicky Henderson and Delire D’Estruval who won an equally hard chase at Carlisle. He defeated Stowaway Magic and Hawk High, though the one stand out was his jumping he never stood away from any of his fences in fact the opposite, he is the sort who will thrive at Newbury. He needs a strong pace to bring out the best in his jumping so let’s hope he gets it.
Could it be Ben Pauling’s day? The wonderful Willoughby Court (2.25 Newbury) returns after nearly a year off the track, 333 days to be precise. He won the Novice Chase on this card last year and he is already a Cheltenham Festival winner over hurdles. A classy sort who needs no introduction, his opposition is what he’d like and he is more than capable of battle out victory. My one concern is it is not a race that the favourites have faired well in not one obliging in the last decade, perhaps that is about to change.
Momella might be a tasty each-way price for the Long Distance Hurdle, her weight advantage could be crucial as she gets nearly a stone from Sam Spinner and Wholestone, while a tidy 7lb from Unowhatimeanharry is a bonus. Sam Spinner will no doubt crack on and try and make all a stern test will be set for one and all. Obviously the whole field will be across this and in fact it could well suit Wholestone. In the meantime this is what is need to draw out the finishing kick in Momella. Of course this is the race last year which had us all in floods of tears when Beer Goggles won.
Momella has only run five times including a second to On The Blind Side in a Grade 2 and a third to Black Op in a Grade 1 at Aintree she an able mare and not to be overlooked.
Doncaster hosts seven quality contests and in the 12.35 Mercian King will be seeking revenge on Peppay Le Pugh. When last they met it was advantage Dan Skelton’s runner but by only a head. In fairness Peppay Le Pugh will never gallop away from his rivals instead teasing or torturing those looking on to think will he or won’t he. I’ve mentioned a day or so ago I am a fan of conditional jockey Rex Dingle and he partners up with Mercian King. The 7lb he claims could make all the difference if you are prepared to ignore the horse’s last run.
Slanelough (1.40 Doncaster) was an eyecatcher on his first run of the season he normally lugs around big weights racing against inferior rivals and does that really well over hurdles, but on his chase debut he was in a really strong Beginners Chase which I’ve already touched on. He was able to lay up with Delire D’Estruval and co until two out and over a trip much too short for him. He is over three furlongs further and is less exposed that his rivals so can go very well.