NEWBURY - DECEMBER 30
Last year’s corresponding toteplacepot dividend:
2016: £1,747.20 (6 favourites – No winners – 2 placed – 4 unplaced)
Saturday's Placepot permutation at Newbury:
Leg 1 (12.05): 6 (Nayati) & 2 (Acaro)
Leg 2 (12.40): 6 (Royal Ruby) & 2 (First Flow)
Leg 3 (1.15): 1 (Saint Calvados), 3 (Chirico Vallis) 4 (Remiluc) & 2 (Got Away)
Leg 4 (1.50): 8 (Brave Eagle) & 5 (Huntsman Son)
Leg 5 (2.25): 3 (Knockanrawley), 9 (Henllan Harri) & 7 (Wuff)
Leg 6 (3.00): 5 (Way Back Then), 6 (Dame Rose) & 3 (Mullachys Hill)
Suggested stake: 288 bets to 10p stakes
Overview for Saturday - please scroll down to the bottom of the page
12.05: Alan King’s runners are still blowing a little too hot and cold for my liking but the trainer has saddled four winners of late and with support coming in for his soft ground flat winner NAYATI, it would be churlish to ignore the claims of Wayne Hutchinson’s mount, especially from a Placepot perspective. Robert Walford has been on a crest of the wave by comparison whereby I have little (or no) hesitation in nominating ACARO as the main threat. Special Relation might have to be a well above average type to return with a win after a debut fall at Market Rasen, irrespective of how well he was travelling at the time.
Favourite factor: Nine of the fourteen market leaders (via eleven renewals) have secured Placepot positions to date, statistics which include six successful favourites from a win perspective.
12.40: Nicky Henderson has dominated this event to the point where Nicky’s record is surely the best record in any race under either code. Nicky comes into the race on a seven timer having won nine renewals during the last decade. It’s surprising to find that the only horse which failed to win during the sensational run was My Tent Or Yours back in 2012. Nicky saddles ROYAL RUBY this time around, with connections seemingly having Kim Bailey’s soft ground Lingfield winner FIRST FLOW to beat. Given the results in recent years, I will be startled if the differential in prices (6/4 – 5/2) was in place by flag fall, especially with the projected favourite (First Flow) having to give ROYAL RUBY five pounds.
Favourite factor: Favourites have won six of the last nine renewals during which time, the biggest priced winner was returned at just 5/1. Market leaders come to the gig on a four timer on this occasion, whilst eight favourites have secured Placepot positions during the longer period.
1.15: Harry Whittington remains an unbelievably underrated trainer in my book (two of his last three runners have won) and his French import SAINT CALVADOS would be the call if asked to name the winner of this contest. A winner of three of his four races on the continent, Aidan Coleman’s mount would be the call but given that this is the ‘win only’ event on this Placepot card, I would not like to miss out on what might prove to be a really good dividend by ignoring the other three contenders. That said personally, I will be adding an additional wager by banking on SAINT CALVADOS in this event (alongside the other runners = 72 additional bets), just in case Harry works the oracle again.
Favourite factor: This was deemed to be a new race on the card three years ago as the contest was reduced in trip, with the even money favourite finishing last of the three finishers the first year, before the following 5/2 market leader made amends. Layers had the last laugh twelve months ago however, when the 5/6 favourite was the only horse in the field not to complete the course. It should not be forgotten that Cue Card won this race back in 2011 over the additional quarter of a mile as the race was contested in those days.
Record of the course winners in the third contest on the card:
1.50: Nicky Henderson’s second (and last) runner on the card is BRAVE EAGLE who is attempting to become the fifth consecutive five-year-old winner of this event. Dropped a couple of pounds now, Nico’s mount will have few better chances of building on a previous soft ground victory, with HUNTSMAN SON nominated as the main danger. Nick Williams has his team in fine order (as is so often the case) whereby the chance for Diable De Sivola demands plenty of respect. That all said, there will be worse outsiders on the card than proven soft/heavy ground performer Sir Antony Browne.
Favourite factor: Five of the six favourites have secured toteplacepot positions (two winners at 11/8 & 13/8) via five contests.
Record of the course winners in the fourth race:
1/2—Sir Antony Browne (good to soft)
1/2—Wilde Blue Yonder (good to soft)
1/2—Theligny (good to soft – winner of this race last year)
2.25: The 'Mandarin' is nothing like the race it once was with six-year-olds having won three of the last six contests, though vintage representatives are only conspicuous by their absence on this occasion. From a Placepot perspective, there seems no other place to start than with the only course winner in the line up namely KNOCKANRAWLEY, especially with trainer Kim Bailey having won with five of his last seventeen runners which at this time of year, is always a decent ratio to boast. Having finished ‘in the three’ in 7/8 races on soft ground, KNOCKANRAWLEY has not matched that effort once via three assignments under heavy conditions, though Kim’s nine-year-old should reach the frame today at the very least in this grade/company. HENLLAN HARRI disappointed in the ‘Badger’ at Wincanton the last day but this is likely to be run at something of a ‘married man’s gallop’ which will suit this dour stayer. A heavy ground winner in the past, ‘Harri’ is marginally preferred to WUFF as the main threat to the tentative selection.
Favourite factor: Two favourites have won during the last seven renewals, though they were the only market leaders to secure Placepot positions during the period.
Record of the course winners in the ‘Mandarin’:
3.00: Five-year-olds have won eight of the last sixteen renewals of the Challow Hurdle, with only an outsider to represent their cause this time around, namely MULLACHYS HILL. Warren Greatrex is not the type of trainer to casually ‘tilt at windmills’ whereby the declaration is taken seriously by yours truly, especially as underhoof conditions will trouble other runners more than this individual I would wager. More logical winners in the line up (I grant you) include WAY BACK THEN and DAME ROSE.
Favourite factor: 12 of the 19 market leaders have secured toteplacepot positions (eight winners) to date.
Record of the course winner in the Placepot finale:
1/3—Dame Rose (good to soft)
All place details offered on my pages relate to an 'exact science', whereby horses that finish third in 5/6/7 runner races (and other such scenarios) are not 'placed' regarding my statistics.
Trainers with their relevant number of runners on the Newbury card on Saturday – followed by their ratios at the track this season + profits/losses accrued:
3 runners—Alan King (1/16 – loss of 11 points)
2—Kim Bailey (1/2 +2)
2—Tom George (0/5)
2—Nicky Henderson (6/23 +8)
2—Philip Hobbs (3/8 +9)
2—Gary Moore (0/11)
2—Neil Mulholland (0/3)
2—David Pipe (1/4 +4)
2—Oliver Sherwood (1/7 +6)
2—Dan Skelton (1/4 +3)
2—Colin Tizzard (2/12 loss of 2 points)
2—Tim Vaughan (0/2)
+ 23 different trainers who each saddle just one runner on the card
48 declared runners
General overview - Corresponding Placepot dividends from last year:
Haydock: Meeting abandoned
Taunton: £42.50 – 6 favourites – No winners – 2 placed – 4 unplaced
Lingfield (A/W): £279.10 – 2 favourites – 2 winners – 2 placed – 3 unplaced