Listen to our Ladbrokes Winter Carnival podcast below and get the inside track on five horses who it may pay to follow at the meeting.
The two-day Ladbrokes Winter Carnival at Newbury takes centre-stage this weekend with a string of stars on show.
The feature contest is the Ladbrokes Trophy on Saturday but there are other tremendous treats in store with such as Paisley Park, Kalashnikov and Champ all on course to run.
We have taken a look at five horses worth keeping an eye on at the meeting.
CHANTRY HOUSERace: Ladbrokes National Hunt Maiden Hurdle (12.15 Friday). Odds: --
Chantry House was bought for £295,000 by JP McManus at the Tattersalls December Sale in 2018 following a point-to-point success in Ireland.
The son of Yeats made a fine start under Rules when scoring by three and a half-lengths in a bumper at Warwick in March.
The form of that contest has been franked, including the second (Edwardstone) winning since.
Chantry House looks an exciting prospect for Nicky Henderson and McManus’ retained rider Barry Geraghty, albeit he is set to make his seasonal debut in what promises to be a warm maiden hurdle.
Race: Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Novices’ Hurdle (1.20 Friday) Odds: --
Faustinovick finished second to the exciting Andy Dufresne in a point-to-point in March 2018 and was subsequently snapped up by the Tizzards for £170,000 at the Goffs Aintree Sale.
The son of Black Sam Bellamy was a fine second to subsequent Grade Two winner McFabulous on his first start under Rules at Newbury in March 2019 and returned to action with a creditable second on his debut over timber at Carlisle last month behind a well-regarded rival.
He should have learnt plenty from that experience.
Friday’s contest includes a host of progressive novices, but this five-year-old is one to keep on side this term.
Race: Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase (1.50 Friday). Odds: --
Watch what our experts made of the Old Roan Chase
Amy Murphy’s stable star was not suited by the omission of a number of fences when a creditable two and three-quarter length second to Forest Bihan on his seasonal debut in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month.
Connections decided to bypass the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in favour of this race with their Grade One Manifesto Novices’ Chase scorer. Kalashnikov has not run at Newbury since landing the Betfair Hurdle in 2018, but this £50,000 prize looks a good target.
His rivals could include Glen Forsa, who defeated him in the Kingmaker Chase last season.
Race: Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (3pm Friday) Odds: 5-1
This race clearly centres on the return of Stayers’ Hurdle hero Paisley Park, but it’s fantastic to see another superstar of the game, 2016 King George winner Thistlecrack, returning for what could possibly be his final year competing at the highest level.
The 11-year-old was a cracking second to Clan Des Obeaux in last year’s King George at Kempton and that race is once again the main target for the former Cheltenham Festival hero.
He blew away the cobwebs when galloping at Newbury last week and hopefully a nice return here can set him up for the Ladbrokes King George VI Chase on Boxing Day
Race: Ladbrokes Trophy (3pm Saturday) Odds: 7-1
On just her second start for Willie Mullins, Cabaret Queen routed her rivals in the Munster National at Limerick in October.
The daughter of King’s Theatre will attempt to emulate stablemate Total Recall, who in 2017 followed up victory in the Munster National with success in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Cabaret Queen will race off a much higher mark but Mullins issued a positive bulletin on her wellbeing on Monday. She is owned by the enthusiastic Syndicates Racing, which include broadcaster Mike Vince.
The seven-year-old should be suited by ground conditions and looks a live player.
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