Nick Luck’s blog: Down the golden Highway

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Newbury, Saturday

BRIDGE NORTH is a tentative each way pick in a really shaky looking opener to the ITV action at Newbury on Saturday (1.50pm) at 10/1. His form is a mixed bag, but the best bits of it – the Sefton fifth, for example – have come under these conditions and make him appear fairly treated, particularly in a race where none can be picked with any great conviction. His stable continues in good form.

HITMAN is a bigger price than he should be at 2/1 in the Denman Chase as the horse that everyone loves to hate (2.25pm). He comes out best at the weights here and – barring the run in the King George – has actually been remarkably consistent. An undemanding three miles on a decent surface should make him pretty hard to beat.

FUNAMBULE SIVOLA is a sporting bet to turn over Greaneteen in the Game Spirit (3.00pm) at 5/1. He has a stone to find on figures and isn’t in such obviously good form as last year, but there’s no doubt he’s getting a little straighter with each run this season and I suspect he may enjoy a similar tactical advantage in this small field. Greaneteen has nowhere near as convincing a profile going left handed, while his trainer has stated he’s left a fair bit to work on for Cheltenham.

HIGHWAY ONE O TWO looks way too big in the Betfair Hurdle (3.35pm), and I’ll be getting stuck in each-way at 18/1. The simple truth is that he has taken his game to a new level this season (in common with most of the stable) and he absolutely thumped Hacker des Places (second fav) at Ascot earlier in the year – the revised weights should still see him confirm that form. There is every chance he improved on that behind Constitution Hill and Epatante at Kempton, but the handicapper has left him alone and that could be dangerous. He’ll go hard from the front and could take some pegging back.

Warwick, Saturday

MESSIRE DES OBEAUX could just be the one in the Warwick Castle (1.30pm) at 11/2. This should really be Stolen Silver’s race, but the selection is so dangerously treated that he’s hard to resist in receipt of 18 pounds. He showed just enough before emptying quickly at Wincanton to think he might have needed that race badly, and it seems significant that Alan King is prepared to wheel this fragile customer out again relatively quickly.

MOLLY OLLYS WISHES looks the one at 8/1 in the Mares’ hurdle (2.05pm). Granted, I’m the world’s biggest fan of Love Envoi, but she’s completely unproven on ground that isn’t pretty soft, and that is reason enough not to pile into the long odds-on. There is little value in Theatre Glory, but – at a much bigger price – the selection looks to have good credentials. She doesn’t mind a sounder surface, loves this track (2/2, including a romp in this race), and will surely get the run of the race.

HADDEX DES OBEAUX is a fair price to upset Jonbon in the feature Kingmaker (2.40pm) at 9/2. Rather as above, I’ve nothing negative to say about Jonbon. Rather, his only rather uninspiring effort last year was in his “get ready for Cheltenham” run at Haydock, and you have to think he won’t be on all cylinders here. He might not have to be, of course, but that could underestimate the selection, who has looked a very serious prospect, doesn’t have a mountain to find on the figures, should be well suited by the track and will likely blast hard from the outset. That could just conspire to leave the favourite a shade more vulnerable than the market suggests.

The post Nick Luck’s blog: Down the golden Highway appeared first on William Hill News.

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