By Dave Nevison
Sometimes the most interesting and exciting cards may not be the best for betting on and that certainly applies to Newbury on Saturday afternoon, which will be a cracker to watch.
I have no objection at all to betting short prices these days (in recent years I very much believe the value has been at the front of the market, rather than with runners at bigger odds) but if I am to bet odds-on I usually do not look for horses coming back from long-enforced absences.
Altior and Native River both fit into that category and though I believe and hope they both win respectively the Betfair Exchange Chase and Betfair Denman Chase I am going to watch them make their reappearances without a bet.
Here are my four for Saturday’s action:
I do not want to keep crying about Jenkins, who I fell out of love with before both blinkers and James Bowen were applied but I cannot go back to him now he is on a hat-trick and I am still skint.
I feel duty bound to put one up in this Betfair Hurdle but will only be going in very small on Kayf Grace, who I believe might be the least popular of the Nicky Henderson five who ar set to line up.
She has been put up 8lbs for winning by just one and a half lengths lengths, which looks harsh on paper but the handicapper clearly saw more in her Kempton win as did I, very much so.
She could have run since, but the trainer has waited which also suggests she might be still ahead of her mark. Betfair are offering six places and are joint-best price so head to the sponsors. At the time of writing BetVictor are 11-1 and are also paying the six slots.
Kylemore Lough is the NAP and I feel he is now running in exactly the right race on a track he has won at previously (hurdles).
Too much was expected of him on his first run since leaving Kerry Lee and, weirdly, he took on Un Des Sceaux at Ascot over two miles but now he races over 2m 4f and against horses he is better than.
I expect him to appreciate the drop in grade enormously and defy top weight in style. Harry Fry should not need more than three goes to win with a good horse!
I am dropping down in grade for the other bets but Ballymoy is my first “wind op” selection since the new ruling.
However I believe this jumping-bred type would win Uttoxeter’s 1.55 even if he had not had an operation.
He has been up against smart sorts the last two runs - beaten by the likes of Kalashnikov and Simply The Betts and the Nigel Twiston-Davies stable are back amongst the winners.
Ebbisham might be better at 7f these days and being drawn widest in a 10-runner field may not be a hindrance for this horse, who will be held up off what is likely to be a strong pace.
I am hoping Joe Fanning can squeeze him through runners in the manner that resulted in Ebbisham landing the 20-1 in October. Bet him small and each-way.
Select any odd to add a bet