Dublin Four to land the BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup
Soft ground at Newbury for the BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup although a dry day is forecast for Saturday with only light showers on Friday.
Senior Citizen was beaten in this corresponding race from a 10lbs lower mark last time on fast ground and conditions are likely to be softer than ideal this year. That said I thought the same prior to his run in the Grand Sefton Chase over the National fences back in November when he ran a cracker in second. A tilt at the Topham Trophy back at Aintree next month is likely to be his primary spring objective.
My two against the field, however, are Glen Forsa and Dublin Four (1.50) with preference for the bottom-weight who was so impressive over C&D on his first start for Fergal O’Brien and comes here fresher than most having been off the track since coming down two out over three miles at Ludlow. This return to 2m 4f will suit and the 4/1 with Bet365 looks fair.
Recommendation: Dublin Four (NAP) 1.50pm Newbury @ 4/1 with bet365
Heartbreak Kid to give champion jockey elect Hughes another winner
There is significant rain forecast for the Scottish Borders ahead of Kelso’s feature meeting of the year. Brian Hughes has a number of excellent chances on the card including Heartbreak Kid (3.43pm) who has won his last couple over fences having lost his first seven starts over the larger obstacles.
This extended 2m 1f trip should be ideal and he has improved for the application of blinkers in his last three starts. The selection is 9/2 with Betfred who are offering three places on this seven-runner race.
Recommendation: Heartbreak Kid 3.43pm Kelso @ 9/2 with Betfred (Each-Way)
Richmond Lake to reverse Aintree form with North Lodge
Earlier in the card Richmond Lake (1.32) is 6lbs better off with the unbeaten North Lodge on Aintree form from earlier in the season. The selection was beaten 3L by Jonbon in a Grade 2 at Haydock last time and this step back up in trip to an extended 2m 2f should suit Donald McCain’s 6-y-old who will make a smart novice chaser next term.
North Lodge has added a Cheltenham Grade 2 on Festival Trials Day but the odds on market leader was an early casualty on that occasion, and he drops back in distance by a couple of furlongs this afternoon.
Recommendation: Richmond Lake 1.32pm Kelso @ 2/1 with 888sport
Witch Hunter to land the Spring Cup at Lingfield
El Cabello is the one to beat in the listed 7f Spring Cup, but I was impressed with the Novice win of Witch Hunter (4.19) over 6f at Wolverhampton earlier in the week and the colt is taken to reverse last summer’s York form with the filly Canonized on the revised terms. The latter was readily brushed aside by El Cabello over 6f at Newcastle last month.
Note Canonised is trained by William Haggas who won this corresponding race three times in a row from 2017-19 inc. but it is the Richard Hannon-trained colt for me.
Recommendation: Witch Hunter 4.19pm Lingfield @ 11/4 with William Hill
It is “Super Saturday” out in Meydan, the second biggest meeting of the Carnival with eight of the nine races on the card mirroring the contests on World Cup night in three weeks time.
I am a fully paid-up member of Suhail’s (2.55) fan club and hope to see him make a winning start to the year in the 7f Conditions event. The selection finished last season with a fluent win in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket when he made all on good to soft ground. He seemed to improve for the drop back to this 7f distance last season and he can lead home a Godolphin 1-2-3 with Path Of Thunder and Storm Damage taken to follow the selection home.
Recommendation: Suhail 2.55pm at Meydan @ 6/4 with Ladbrokes
Three From Home Podcast
With the 2022 Cheltenham Festival little more than a week away, Ed Quigley, Kate Tracey and Frankie Foster dissect this weekend’s excellent jump racing in the run-up to the four-day extravaganza at Prestbury Park.
The trio take a good look at the Listed bet365 Premier Chase at Kelso, Newbury’s BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup, and then head to Town Moor for the Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Handicap Chase at 3.30pm.
As well as detailing their weekend selections, they also declare their Three From Home Podcast NAPs Of The Week.
Your Racing Weekend Starts Here!