I was expecting to take on either Altior or Native River today, or perhaps both, but the fields have cut up for the Grade 2 races at Newbury, and while the odds-on favourites are expected to be short of peak fitness, I’m not sure there’s a great deal to gain by laying either or both aggressively at current prices for all there is an air of vulnerability about them.
It seems daft to put up a lay in the ultra-competitive Betfair Hurdle, but the place market enables us to take on the market leaders at more manageable levels, and that makes it a viable option. I must admit to being a fan of Irish Roe, and she will be one of the favourites for the big race after a smashing run at Doncaster, but two things worry me.
This race come soon enough after a gruelling battle on Town Moor, and this sparely-made mare is not certain to enjoy getting a buffeting in a big field of strapping geldings, and I could see her failing to run to form as a result. I’ll take her on in the place market at 4.0 or less.
Also in the Betfair Hurdle, I would look to be against hold-up horses as a rule, with the nature of the start at Newbury allied to the maximum field meaning that a good early position is vital, and with the exception of last year’s substandard renewal, the placed horses tend to be well placed before the home turn.
Verdana Blue is going to be nearer last than first in the early stages, and unless the field gets more stretched out than tends to be the case in this contest, I think she will be poorly positioned when the sprint for home begins. Comments made about Irish Roe’s physique also apply to her to some degree, and she is another to lay for a place.
Finally, I want to be against the well-hyped Good Boy Bobby in the listed bumper which closes the card. This is a red-hot contest and while Good Boy Bobby has won both starts with ease, those races have been against second-rate opposition, and he’s not achieved a great deal on the clock.
He may prove the real deal, but the percentage call is to oppose style-over-substance winners up in class, and that’s the advice here.
- 15:35 Newbury – Lay Irish Roe for a place at 3.9 or shorter
- 15:35 Newbury – Lay Verdana Blue for a place at 3.75 or shorter
- 16:40 Newbury – Lay Good Boy Bobby @ 5.0 or shorter