ITV Racing Newbury And Newcastle Preview

13:50 Newbury - The Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle Race

In this Class 2 Handicap Star Of Lanka for trainer Warren Greatrex looks a huge price at 14/1 to take the spoils off the back of his seasonal debut.

This five year old was up and down last year winning at Hereford in December but when upped in grade massively struggled to keep up with leaders.

He made his seasonal debut at the start of November finishing second on heavy ground with the gelding coming on for that race he looks a huge price.

14:05 Newcastle - The Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle Race (Grade 1)

The feature race on the Newcastle card every year is the Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle and we have sided with Buveur D'Air to land the hat-trick of wins in this contest.

The eight year olds still believes he is the horse to beat in the two mile hurdling division and with the sad passing of Espoir D'Allen who landed last seasons Champion Hurdle for Gavin Cromwell, the division is now open again.

Buveur D'Air landed back to back Grade Ones at the Cheltenham festival in 2017 and 2018 but last season did not have his most convincing season results wise but still ran to a good standard.

He started his season off in this race as he did the season before putting in his best performance of the season when seeing off superstar Samcro like he was not there.

He then suffered a shock defeat to stablemate Verdana Blue in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day before getting back on track at Sandown in the Listed Contenders Hurdle.

His hat-trick bid in the Champion Hurdle loomed and if it wasn't for suffering his first fall of his career many think he would have picked up the pieces and landed the race that ultimately fell apart.

He headed to Aintree stepping up in trip and could only manage a narrow second to Supasundae but finished his season off in superb style showing that he still holds star ability when taking the Grade One Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown festival and reversing the form with Jessica Harrington's gelding.

Henderson's superstar has the Tuesday Cheltenham feature has his main target for the season and can start off his campaign nicely in this one.

14:25 Newbury - The Ladbrokes Intermediate Hurdle (A Limited Handicap)

The Intermediate Hurdle over two miles on Saturday sees the return of the very likeable Epatante who looked a serious prospect last season when winning both her starts over hurdles before unfortunately flopping at the Cheltenham festival.

The Nicky Henderson trained mare won nicely at Kempton before romping the field at Exeter to put her favourite for the Grade Two Mares Hurdle.

It was said that she was not quite right before that race having her flu jab just weeks before the meeting with the Equine Flu saga still in the air and it obviously unsettled her.

Now back for a fresh new season she can get back to her best and currently at 9/2 she looks a huge price for this race she is capable of winning.

15:00 Newbury - The Ladbrokes Trophy Steeple Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3)

The feature race on the Saturday at Newbury is the Grade Three Ladbrokes Trophy and with 24 going to post we fancy two big selections.The first is the Emma Lavelle trained De Rasher Counter and this seven year old gelding looks to be a big improver for a inform yard.

De Rasher Counter made his seasonal reappearance at Uttoxeter finishing sixth of 11 runners that was more used as a prep run to blow away the cob webs and it certainly did that.

The gelding should be much fitter and stronger for that run and he has an added advantage on some of the field having been a course winner last season.

The step up in trip will be welcome for Emma Lavelle's runner with three miles previously proving to be a really steady stamina test for him.

Secondly at a bigger price is The Conditional for trainer David Bridgwater who has started the season off in really healthy form.

This contest is a huge step up to contests he has been racing in previously but from what he has already done this season he looks like a horse to improve for his runs.

The seven year old made his seasonal bow at Worcester in a weak event finishing third of six runners that was used as a prep run to get him fitter.

He then went to Cheltenham for jumps racing HQ's October meeting and stepped up a huge amount to take the Class 2 Handicap Chase with that form being franked since.

The gelding went on to beat West Approach for Colin Tizzard and during the November meeting that horse went on to land a competitive race that boosts The Conditional.

15:20 Newcatle - The Betfair Rehearsal Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race)

The Listed Handicap Chase brings to an end the racing from Newcastle on Saturday and we like the look of the Henry Oliver trained Kilfilum Cross.

This eight year old was superb last season in his first year over fences with the pinnacle of his campaign coming at the Cheltenham festival when finishing second in the Kim Muir.

He made his seasonal debut at the end of October at Stratford finishing third of 12 in a nice prep run that should prime him perfectly for this contest.

15:40 Newbury - The Ladbrokes In Memory Of Tara Von Ihering Handicap Steeple Chase

The final race of the afternoon is the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase and in this Class 2 event over two miles No Comment for Phillip Hobbs looks overpriced.

The eight year old ran to a fair standard over fences last season with his stand out run coming at the Cheltenham festival when finishing fifth of 23 runners in the Kim Muir

.He made his seasonal debut at Hereford and finished a modest third in an average event but should be stronger for that run and poses a big each way threat.

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