The racecourses at Newbury and Doncaster both stage two-day meetings this weekend on Friday and Saturday. On the first day we will provide Horse Racing tips, previews and predictions for two races from the Berkshire track and one from Town Moor.
At Newbury our first selection runs in the 4.05pm race, an extended 3m handicap hurdle, followed by the 2m Racing TV Handicap Chase at 4.35pm. Over at Doncaster, today’s Horse Racing nap comes in their 3.40pm race, the 2m 3f Virgin Bet Handicap Chase.
“Tip of the Day” – Numitor – 3.40pm Doncaster
After failing to handle the testing conditions at Sandown last time, the Heather Main-trained grey gelding is fancied to defy top weight in this 2m 3f handicap chase.
Numitor (NAP) – 3.40pm Doncaster
Joke Dancer is beginning to look very well handicapped now off the gelding’s lowest ever chase mark. And following his best effort for some time when third at Wetherby last month, the nine-year-old’s first start since having a wind op, the mount of Ryan Mania could well record his first victory in 15 months.
Sue Smith’s charge is respected but this looks a good opportunity for top weight Numitor to record his fourth win over fences from eight starts. Impressive when making all of the running to win comfortably at Wetherby last October, the grey came up against a very well-treated horse in Il Ridoto at Newbury next time, beating all bar the Paul Nicholls-trained winner.
Tom Scudamore’s mount failed to handle the very heavy ground at Sandown on his most recent start and with conditions on Town Moor sure to be less testing, Heather Mains’ contender is fancied to get back to winning ways.
Hurricane Harvey (Longshot) – 4.05pm Newbury
Alan King’s Coeur De Lion, a decent staying handicapper on the Flat, returned to something like his best form over hurdles when beating all bar the improving The Brimming Water over today’s course and distance last month and must have a good chance of going one better off a 1lb higher mark.
The unexposed Guerlain De Vaux and Risk And Roll are another couple who could go well. But on his return to the smaller obstacle, the Fergal O’Brien-trained Hurricane Harvey looks well-handicapped if the Doyen gelding can recapture some excellent novice form of two years ago.
After finishing a narrow second on his debut over hurdles at Huntingdon, the mount of Paddy Brennan won his next two starts before stepping up to Grade 3 company at Kempton. Beaten less than eight lengths by the high-class McFabulous, that was the last time the gelding was seen over hurdles before commencing a career over fences.
While the eight-year-old went on to win two chases, some far from fluent jumping has let Hurricane Harvey down on more than one occasion. This could prove a shrewd move by connections for a horse who is clearly better than his current mark of 128.
Commis D’Office (Next Best) – 4.35pm Newbury
Last seen when being pulled-up in the Cross Country chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, the Richard Hobson-trained Chic Name would have a big chance of taking this extended 2m handicap chase if fit enough following a break of almost two years.
Casa Tall, from the Tom Georege stable, disappointed over today’s course and distance last month. The mount of Jonathan Burke would have a chance based on any of his previous four runs but this can go to the Venetia Williams-trained bottom weight Commis D’Office, providing recent wind surgery has helped the 10-year-old, as was the case some two years ago.
Following that procedure in February 2020, the mount of Charlie Deutsch ran well to finish second over today’s course and distance before another creditable effort at Wetherby, finally achieving a much-deserved success at Southwell 12 months ago.
While Commis D’Office has failed to see out both of his races this season, this second wind op could once again enable the gelding to return to something like his best. And off the same mark as when recording his last victory, is more than capable of winning this modest handicap.
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