12.45 Newbury: Eritage at a general 100-30
The handicapper might have been generous in only putting up this horse 3lb for his win on chasing debut at Ludlow last time, albeit he would not have won by as far without being left clear at the last.
The Ludlow fences are much stiffer than in the past and I believe will have prepared him well for a novices’ chase around Newbury.
Tipping and backing Nicholls/Cobden runners is not putting your faith in something others don’t know but very often they represent solid, well-placed contenders and that is the case here. Hopefully, my view on his mark is correct.
2.25 Newbury: Defi Sacre at a general 11-1
Defi Sacre is a two-time scorer over these fences and a winner in a very good time at Musselburgh.
I believe he could be set to have a good season if he comes on for his useful reappearance effort. The second, third and fourth in the last race he won here are all now rated much higher now and it is possible Defi Sacre could be very much underrated.
Several the head of the weights look exposed and he rates value at double-figure odds on a track he clearly loves. Cheekpieces for the first time also suggest positive intent here as I cannot see what he has done to require them.
3.35 Newbury: Coeur De Lion at 12-1 with bet365
He did us a massive favour when winning at Royal Ascot and I am confident that he will do us another good turn over hurdles this winter off his present mark.
The key would appear to be the step up to three miles for the first time over hurdles, which is sensible given he needs 2 ½ miles to win on the Flat these days.
Also, Tom Bellamy would appear to be the perfect jockey booking for him as he is likely to be held up off the pace. He ran his best race last season on this course under a very inexperienced rider so he definitely has plenty in his favour.
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