Newbury Saturday Preview - 31/12/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 12:10
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 4
Weight: 11-13
OR: 122
Days: 35

The first selection of the afternoon comes in the Class 3 Handicap Hurdle over 2m 1/2 and we can't look past Grivetana who does normally like good ground but has form in France in soft conditions.

Holding leading form from this season heading into the event the Paul Nicholls trained filly has been unlucky in defeat on both runs this season just running into some nice horses.

Having her first start of the season at Newbury over course and distance in November she was second to the talented Herbiers.

Again back at Newbury for her latest run in the competitive Gerry Feilden Handicap Hurdle, although receiving a lot of weight she ran well in behind the talented First Street to finish second again.

Only raised 1lb for that defeat she sees herself in much calmer waters in this race off a mark of 122 and she should go close.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 12:40
Nico de Boinville

Jet Powered

J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 5
Weight: 11-12
Days: 36

The Introductory Hurdle sees some potentially smart horses go to post this season and the stand out one is the Supreme Novices' Hurdle second favourite Jet Powered for Nicky Henderson.

Looking to extend his claim for the Grade One for the Cheltenham festival, under a penalty he takes on a field that will give him more of a test.

He was extremely impressive on debut over the same course and distance when demolishing Ittack blue who the Skelton’s like a lot, by 11 lengths and although under a penalty for this race he should win and will be shorted in the Supreme market behind Facile Vega.

The gelding cost £350,000gns in December 2021 and looks a superstar in the making.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 13:15
Charlie Deutsch


J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 115
Days: 327

Next up is the Class 3 Handicap Chase over 2m 1/2f and if the ground turns soft Gamaret for Venetia Williams looks to have a big chance.

Seen three times during his career to date, he made his debut at Ffos Las in a bumper back in October 2021 on soft ground and went on to score straight away in good fashion.

Sent to Exeter in January for his hurdles debut he was a bright second behind a horse that went on to win after that race and Gamaret also franked the form when winning at Fontwell next time out.

Always bought to be a chaser, getting his preferred soft ground and racing off a mark of 115 on seasonal debut when we know he goes well fresh make him a big player.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 13:50
Harry Skelton


J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 5
Weight: 10-13
OR: 130
Days: 66

A really interesting event at Newbury on Saturday is the 2m 4 1/2f Class 2 Handicap Hurdle and with 14 going to post we have picked out two runners who should go close.

The first and favoured selection is the Dan Skelton trained Pikar, having been a NR on a few occasions due to no fault of his own, we are over the moon he gets the chance to race again.

Finishing last season when fifth of seven in the Grade Two Supreme Novices' Hurdle Trial behind Jonbon only just over nine lengths behind the winner, he was always set to be a nice type.

Showing his true form on seasonal debut this season he made an emphatic debut at Chepstow when landing a strong Novices' Hurdle by five lengths, with the form of that race working out really well with the second, third and fourth since franking the form.

Given a mark of 130 that looks extremely lenient and he has a big chance of going close in this especially having been extremely well backed for his previously expected run before the meeting was called off.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 13:50
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Soaring Glory

J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T: Jonjo O'Neill
Age: 7
Weight: 12-0
OR: 145
Days: 34

At a much bigger price and a horse back down the handicap and reverted back to hurdles is the Jonjo O'Neill trained Soaring Glory.

He is the top weight in this event but his form in handicap events on soft ground over hurdles is something to take not of.

In Feburary 2021 as a novice, having previously shown some good form when beating Bravemansgame and finishing second to Dusart, he went into the Betfair Hurdle off a mark of 133 and landed the 23 runner event.

Sent into the Supreme Novices' Hurdle he managed fourth behind Appreciate It and was not seen again that season, but on his seasonal debut last term, off a mark of 143 back in handicap company he got back to winning ways on soft ground at Ascot in the Listed London Handicap Hurdle.

Since then he has seen his mark up to 149 and he struggled in a few events, but this has seen his mark drop back down 145 over hurdles.

He was seen once this season on chase debut when being pulled up with it not working out, but back over fences he is worth taking a chance on.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 14:25
Sam Twiston-Davies


J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 6
Weight: 12-1
OR: 136
Days: 22

The 3m2f Mandarin Handicap Chase sees a field of staying chasers go to post and although top weight we are hoping Undersupervision can build on his seasonal debut.

Undersupervision was one one of the biggest eye-catchers from Cheltenham's December meeting from the way he looked to be finishing a well beaten sixth but stayed on from absolutely nowhere to rattle home and grab third, in the end only being beaten by 5 1/2 lengths.

He has the potential to be better than his current mark of 136 with more to come from him throughout the season as that was only his first run of the season.

What we like about this horse is he is only six years old so you would think there is still plenty more to come and hopefully he will have come forward in this event.

Interesting contender.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 15:00
Harry Cobden

Hermes Allen

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 142
Days: 50

The feature event of the afternoon at Newbury is the Grade One Challow Novices' Hurdle and we have a win and each way selection.

Paul Nicholls has won the last two renewals of this race and three times during his career with Denman, Bravemansgame and Stage Star all being superstar horses and Hermes Allen for the same trainer looks like he will follow suit.

One of the most expensive PTP horses this season, the French bred gelding cost £350,000 at Cheltenham's December meeting and was given to Paul Nicholls.

Unleashed for the first time over 2m6f in October at Stratford when easily landing the Maiden hurdles event by 27 lengths, he was last seen being sent to Cheltenham on the Friday of the November meeting up into Grade Two company and saw off a very smart field by nine lengths going away.

The Cheltenham markets reacted accordingly to the strong performance with Hermes Allen going from 33/1 into 10/1 for the Ballymore in March and now going into Grade One company, he has a big chance to strengthen his festival credentials.

One to beat.

Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 15:00


Nicky Henderson
Age: 4
Weight: 11-7
OR: 133
Days: 22

With 14 runners in the race we thought there was value in the each way market and that comes from the Nicky Henderson trained Attacca.

A horse that has done very little wrong this season and always looked like a step up to this trip is exactly what he wanted, the four year old now gets his chance at the top level.

Second in March this year on his rules debut when behind the talented Are U Wise To That in a bumper at Warwick, he has been seen over hurdles twice this season and remains unbeaten.

Making his seasonal/hurdles debut at Kempton in November over two miles he showed strong staying ability to battle late on and win by a length.

Sent to Cheltenham on the Friday of their December meeting last time out he gave 6lb to the second Master Chewy who looked to be travelling best, but jumping the last up the hill, he once again showed clear staying ability to win convincingly late on up the hill.

Although this is much tougher the youngster has been crying out for a step up in trip and it could bring more improvement.


Newbury - December 31 2022
Newbury 15:35
Luca Morgan


J: Luca Morgan
T: Ben Pauling
Age: 7
Weight: 11-3
OR: 132
Days: 35

The final race of the afternoon at Newbury sees the Novices' Limited Handicap Chase over 2m 6 1/2f and having tipped him on seasonal debut we are going in again with Malinello for Ben Pauling.

A horse that is very lightly raced for his age of seven, making his seasonal debut on heavy in a bumper at Chepstow in December 2019 and was second in a decent bumper.

Fourth behind Third Time Lucki and Bothwell Bridge next time out at Huntingdon, he was then sent hurdling in November 2020 at Kempton when second over 2m5f.

Getting off the mark in the December at Market Rasen in impressive fashion, he was then last seen In January 2021 when second of 15 at Wincanton behind Flash Collonges.

Back this term when off for almost two years, he made an exceptional return on chase debut at Newcastle over 2m 7 1/2f when jumping brilliantly and winning by more than what the margin finished.

His mark of 127 was very lenient that day and now only 5lb higher and potentially stripping much fitter for that first run for a while.