Our resident website tipster has advised 12-1, 13-2, 4-1 and 6-5 winners in the last week and thinks the big-priced outsider can go well in the feature Mares' Finale at Newbury. Enjoy more live action from Kelso, the start of the Irish Flat season at the Curragh and Dubai World Cup night on Racing TV.
2.05 Newbury: Heltenham
The hat-trick looks on the cards.
Heltenham improved immediately for the switch to fences and after a couple of decent runner-up efforts this young horse has won his last two starts, jumping well but for one mistake last time. His win at Newcastle on Boxing Day produced three next time out winners and he looks well weighted on that run, and especially so having already won again since.
There are some useful chasers at the top of this handicap but they have all been around for a while and it looks highly unlikely that they now have improvement in them. This looks yet another sound bit of placing by trainer Dan Skelton.
2.40 Newbury: Phillapa Sue
The Mares’ Finale is a race I look forward to every year and this renewal is a typically impossible one to arrive at a strong view, but I really don’t think that Phillapa Sue should be the 33/1 outsider in this field and especially so with extra each-way places on offer.
This eight-year-old is older than most winners but is the same age as last year’s winner, while she has been very lightly-raced and presumably difficult to train. She has run good races on most of her starts and looks to have got a solid run together this term, finishing a creditable third the last twice. She has been dropped 1lb since her latest run and is closely weighted with Great Snow, who is much shorter in the betting, on their Wincanton running early last month.
Trip and ground are ideal and the 5lb claim of young Jack Hogan is very much worth having (four claimers have won in the last 11 years). Phillapa Sue could well have been put by for this and I am hopeful of a place at least.
3.00 Kelso: Bonntay
I think she can complete a sweep of mares’ finals for the Fergal O’Brien yard on the day with victory here over the minimum trip.
Bonntay is a Listed bumper winner and has shown good form in three runs over hurdles, winning on her second start at cramped odds. She should have finished closer last time but was left with too much to do at Market Rasen yet still finished second to a useful type. It is possible that she has got a lenient handicap mark for this as a result of that run.
Paddy Brennan is on a recovery mission here and I doubt he will make the same mistake twice, while the jockey will be hoping the journey north will not be without reward for his only ride on the card.
4.25 Newbury: Calgary Tiger
He looks another chaser who seems likely to complete a hat-trick, albeit from an unlikely source.
Calgary Tiger has been a revelation this season and, after winning at 50/1 on his first run after almost two seasons, he followed up as favourite last time over this course and distance. Observers of stable form might be scratching their heads about where this phenomenon has come - William De Best-Turner is hardly noted for sending out winners - but this eight-year-old has certainly bucked the trend and the fact that he has jumped around Newbury is always a plus for me.
Calgary Tiger will be suited by carrying a low weight given his very aggressive running style and he clearly gets on well with his young rider, who has partnered other winners.
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