Today at Newbury and just six weeks before the Cheltenham Festival, a jump racing highlight comes in the form Betfair Super Saturday.
Whilst precious winners have included Altior – before he won the Champion Chase – today, we’re especially interested in two races, the Betfair Bet In-Play Handicap Hurdle (1.50pm) and the Betfair Hurdle (3.35pm).
Our analysis of the selections follows:
1.50pm – Newbury – Class 2, 9 horses, 3 places, 3 miles
Cobden-Tizzard combo Ainchea at 9/1 (The Sun)
Racing Post says: “Lightly raced for his age; useful novice at up to 2m4f two seasons ago but down the field in both starts back from two years off the track, though late mistake ended all chance when favourite at Cheltenham last time; brother to One Track Mind, a 3m Grade 1 hurdles winner, and it is possible this step up in trip will be a significant plus for this 7yo.”
Templegate adds: “Ainchea was backed off the boards for a strong contest at Cheltenham last time and was going well before a late error proved costly. Trainer Colin Tizzard steps him up in distance here, which looks a wise move as there’s plenty of stamina in his family. He looks on a fair mark and has more to offer.”
Maxwell-Hobbs combo Dolphin Square at 5/1 (The Sun)
Racing Post says: “Progressive novice who has taken really well to hurdling, last time making it four from seven in this sphere when winning at Ludlow (3m); ground fine and leading contender up 6lb, with regular rider David Maxwell again in the plate.”
Templegate adds: “Dolphin Square won as he liked at Ludlow latest and has a big engine under the bonnet. He’s gone up 6lb but should be in the mix again for competent amateur David Maxwell.”
Skelton trained Anytime Will Do at 6/1 from 13/2 earlier (Radio 4)
Racing Post says: “Lightly raced since beginning hurdling career with two wins (both on good) in October 2018; ran very respectably at Huntingdon (soft) last time but better form when fifth in competitive race over C&D (good to soft) the time before; a repeat of that course form off this 1lb lower mark would see him in the thick of things.
3.35pm – Newbury – Class 3, 23 horses, 6 places, 3 miles
Twiston-Davies double Stolen Silver at 16/1 (Racing Post ‘Dark Horse’, Daily Mail)
Sam Hardy says: “Nigel Twiston-Davies has won this race in three times in the last six years with novice hurdlers and Stolen Silver ticks all the boxes for the in-form stable.”
Racing Post adds: “Came with a strong late run to land Grade 2 novice at Haydock (1m7f, heavy) three weeks ago and he has the right sort of profile for this prize; incurs 5lb penalty but he’s progressive and has to enter calculations; trainer has won three of the last six runnings.”
Mack The Man at 15/2 from 10/1 earlier
Racing Post says: “Has shown plenty of improvement this term, winning 2m handicaps at Warwick (good to soft; beat Lightly Squeeze) and Sandown (heavy-ground Listed event); the form has substance and he looks capable of further progress; gets in off a low weight despite another rise in the handicap; big player.”
Templegate adds: “Won well at Sandown last time and has major claims, especially if the rain comes in time as he loves it soft. Trainer Evan Williams is having a purple patch.”
Geraghty-Henderson combo Never Adapt at 7/1 (The Times ‘NB’, Daily Telegraph)
Racing Post says: “Unexposed mare who justified favouritism in Kempton handicap (2m, good to soft; now 10lb higher) four weeks ago; ideally needs to learn to settle better but this big-field scenario may prove right up her street; trainer has won this race five times; considered.”
Templegate adds: “Was a game winner at Kempton and should progress for Nicky Henderson who has a good record in this race.”