ITV Sunday Newbury, Market Rasen and Navan Preview

Newbury - February 21 2021
Newbury 13:50
5
Harry Cobden

Southfield Harvest

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 7
Weight: 11-9
OR: 135
Days: 57

The Handicap Hurdle over three miles is an extremely competitive event and the Paul Nicholls trained Southfield Harvest may just have gone under the radar of the handicapper.

The seven year old has ran over hurdles four times in his career and has not finished outside the top two on any occasion, winning one of his contests.

This season he has been seen twice, making his seasonal debut at Ascot in a Novices' Hurdle and finishing a good second behind Shang Tang who has sine franked the form.

The gelding then backed up that run last time out when a very close second at Wincanton over 2m5f and the step up to three miles on Sunday is sure to suit.

His handler believes he has weight in hand when it comes to his mark and he can exploit that in this event.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/05/21NAB26Gd11-01
21/02/21NBY24GS11-93
26/12/20WCN21.5Sft11-12
21/11/20ASC21.5Sft11-32
19/02/20LUD24Sft11-41
Market Rasen - February 21 2021
Market Rasen 14:05
2
Brian Hughes

Minella Drama

J:
 
Brian Hughes
T:
 
Donald McCain
Age: 6
Weight: 11-3
OR: 142
Days: 29

Market Rasen host a decent card on Sunday and the first race on ITV from the Lincolnshire based track is the Listed Sidney Banks Novices' Hurdle.

The favourite Minella Drama for the inform Donald McCain is our selection with the gelding showing superb form this year and dropping back into a Listed event should see him dominate.

The six year old gelding has been seen four times this season and with figures of two second and two wins he is highly consistent.

Having been beaten at Bangor on debut by the smart Llandinabo Lad, he then went on to win back to back events at Sedgefield and Bangor again, with the latter run since being franked by Ballybegg.

Last time out he stepped up to Grade Two company and was a narrow second by a neck behind Faivoir for Dan Skelton and it sets the form standard in this race.

Unlike his market rivals this gelding does not have any Cheltenham entries which means he should be primed to go well.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/11/21CRL16GS11-22
29/10/21UTT16GS11-81
10/04/21AIN20GS11-42
21/02/21MAR20.5Sft11-31
23/01/21HAY15.5Hy11-42
Newbury - February 21 2021
Newbury 14:25
1
Harry Cobden

Clan Des Obeaux

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 9
Weight: 11-6
OR: 169
Days: 57

Dual King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux tops the entries for this event with his trainer Paul Nicholls looking to land back to back renewals of this race and we think he can.

Last season he started his term off over in Northern Ireland in November with Nicholls sending him into the Grade One Champion Chase at Down Royal and he finished a smart second behind Road To Respect and it worked out to be the perfect prep run ahead of the King George VI.

He went on to become a dual King George winner on Boxing Day 2019 and looked to add a third on the 26th December 2020 having had a superb prep run at Haydock.

Having not gone down the same route as last year with heading over to Down Royal, Nicholls took Clan Des Obeaux to the Mersyside track for the Grade One Betfair Chase.

Having ran a stormer the whole way round, the heavy ground in the final stages told and saw him finish a close second to triple winner of the race Bristol De Mai.

He headed to Kempton full of confidence, but unfortunately it was not to be with stablemate Frodon stealing the show.

Heading into this event having had some time off should see him fresh and he looks the horse to beat on the face of his form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/04/21AIN25GS11-71
21/02/21NBY23.5GS11-62
26/12/20KEM24GS11-103
21/11/20HAY25.5Hy11-72
13/03/20CHL26.5GS11-108
Navan - February 21 2021
Navan 14:47
2
Sean Flanagan

Beacon Edge

J:
 
Sean Flanagan
T:
 
Noel Meade
Age: 7
Weight: 11-8
OR: 154
Days: 21

The only race on ITV from Navan sees the superb Grade Two Boyne Hurdle over 2m5f and we are siding with the Noel Meade trained Beacon Edge.

The seven year old has been an exceptional horse over hurdles finishing in the frame in all six of his races to date, last time out in Grade One company which sets the standard today.

This season he has been seen four times, winning at Downpatrick by nine lengths in an event over 2m2f and then backing that up in a Grade Three at Galway next time out, seeing off Minella Melody and rival on Sunday Grand Roi with ease.

Next time out he was stepped up to the Grade One Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse over 2m4f when a narrow third behind the smart Honeysuckle and Ronald Pump.

Having a shot break he was then sent into the Grade Three Limestone Lad hurdle over two miles and the drop in trip did not help him at all.

Stepping back up to a staying distance can see him bounce back to form and getting weight off the favourite could be crucial.

Newbury - February 21 2021
Newbury 15:00
6
Daryl Jacob

Sceau Royal

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 9
Weight: 11-0
OR: 163
Days: 56

The second Grade Two at Newbury on Sunday is the Game Spirit Chase over two miles and the Alan King trained Sceau Royal could cause a small upset.

The eight year old has been tried over both hurdles and fences during his career and although winning races like the Shloer Chase and Henry VIII Novices' Chase over the bigger obstacles, last term showed that he may need to step back to hurdles.

This has now seen his handler move him back to the smaller obstacles this term and it looked to be the right move off the back of his seasonal debut when taking the Welsh Champion Hurdle.

He used that run to the go on and land the the Grade Two Elite Hurdle at Wincanton next time out and then ran another cracker in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle finishing second to Champion Hurdle winner Epatante when stepping up to Grade One company.

Having been frequently run already this season, King still entered him for the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December and he ran another superb race to finish a closely bunched fourth.

With the versatile horse predominantly running this season over hurdles, King gave him his chance over fences over Christmas in the Desert Orchid Chase.

Unfortunately it was a disaster with him falling early on in the race, but we still think this gelding can go well in this race having the best form at this trip throughout the field and if improving his jumping should be a player off the back of a break.

Market Rasen - February 21 2021
Market Rasen 15:15
6
David Bass

Ajero

J:
 
David Bass
T:
 
Kim Bailey
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 129
Days: 90

The second event on ITV from Market Rasen is the highly competitive Handicap Hurdle over two miles and Ajero for Kim Bailey looks to have a big chance.

The Kim Bailey yard are in remarkable form of late having four winners from his last 10 runners over the last two weeks which sees him pose a 40% win rate.

Ajero has been a consistent horse for the yard this term, finishing second on hurdles debut at Huntingdon and since then has won both his events in good style.

In October he got off the mark at Ludlow and backed that up at Kempton when seeing off the smart Captain Morgs for Nicky Henderson.

He is unproven on anything worse than good ground but we feel he will handle the surface and should run a big race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/10/21ASC15.5Sft11-5P
09/04/21AIN16.5GS11-47
23/03/21HUN16GS11-21
21/02/21MAR16.5Sft11-21
23/11/20KEM16Gd11-41
Newbury - February 21 2021
Newbury 15:35
18
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Soaring Glory

J:
 
Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T:
 
Jonjo O'Neill
Age: 6
Weight: 10-7
OR: 133
Days: 65

The feature race of the day at Newbury is the £125,000 Betfair Hurdle and with 24 runners set to go to post we have a win and each way selection.

Starting with the shortest of the two prices, Soaring Glory for trainer Jonjo O'Neill is weighted to run a cracker in this event, showing superb form throughout the season.

The gelding made his debut in October at Chepstow over two miles and he managed to see off the superb Bravemansgame to get off the mark for the season and that form has since been franked with the Nicholls trained horse since going on to be unbeaten and also land the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle.

Off the back of that run Soaring Glory went to Newbury and was a good second behind the smart Dusart for Nicky Henderson that is said to be a very talented horse.

He has been seen twice since that run, unfortunately falling two starts ago at Wetherby when going on to take a minor event and then last time out was a fair third in the Grade Two Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle at Ascot behind the smart My Drogo.

Being pitched into this handicap event off 10st 7lb for the form he has shown this term makes him a huge player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/10/21ASC15.5Sft11-111
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-74
21/02/21NBY16.5GS10-71
18/12/20ASC15.5Sft11-03
25/11/20WET16GS11-4F
Newbury - February 21 2021
Newbury 15:35
20
Adam Wedge

Mack The Man

J:
 
Adam Wedge
T:
 
Evan Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 10-6
OR: 127
Days: 31

At a bigger price and advised as an each way punt with plenty of bookmakers offering extra places, we have gone for Mack The Man.

The seven year old was a smart horse last term winning back to back races at Warwick and Sandown before heading into this event last year where he had a huge chance to land the spoils but was unfortunately bought down.

This season he started his term over fences and in both his runs at Ffos Las and Ascot he showed a lack of enthusiasm for the bigger fences.

Williams last time out moved him back over hurdles and he got back to winning ways in a tame event, but it showed he still retains that star ability.

He enters the race this year off 3lb higher than he was in the event last term and with it being a wide open race he could go well at 20/1.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/11/21EXE16.5GS11-121
13/03/21SAN16Sft10-83
21/02/21NBY16.5GS10-60
21/01/21WCN15.5Hy11-91
18/12/20ASC17Sft11-55

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