Last Saturday (11TH Feb) Newbury Racecourse hosted the Betfair Super Saturday along with a variety of racehorse stars including the likes of Native River, Altior, Bristol De Mai and many more. The race card included the highly anticipated Betfair Hurdle, along with the Denman Chase which would offer an insight into two of the top five favourite Gold Cup runners – Native River and Bristol De Mai. Five of the seven races on the card were won by the betting favourites, Bristol De Mai went off favourite in the Denman Chase but failed to reward punters.
High Bridge won the first race making it his third win out of three over Hurdles. This puts him in great form coming up to Cheltenham Festival, he is currently entered for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, but obviously he will only be racing in one.
Tobefair picked up his seventh straight win in the second race at Newbury meaning he is unbeaten since changing yards from Lucy Jones to Debra Hamer taking his winning streak to 7 consecutive races since Cheltenham Festival in 2015. With only four weeks until the Festival he will be looking to continue his winning streak and make it eight consecutive wins at the Festival. It seems Tobefair is becoming a horse of the Nation as Coral reported he was the third most backed horse of the day only behind Ballyandy and Clyne. He is now priced at around 12/1 for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham Festival but bookies expect odds to lower to single figures before the race takes place.
The Denman Chase was the third race of the day at Newbury and was won by Native River, the field was made up of only 3 horses and Bristol De Mai went off favourite at 10/11 but failed to impress and came in 3rd a disappointing 9 ¼ lengths behind the winner Native River. The disappointing performance pushed Bristol De Mai further adrift in people’s minds for the Gold Cup. However with Native River securing his 3rd straight win after the Hennessy Gold Cup in November and the Coral Welsh National in late December, he is now 2nd favourite for the Gold Cup priced at 4/1, the favourite being Thistlecrack at around 7/4.
The Betfair Exchange Chase was the 4th race of the day and this saw the clash of Altior and the more experienced Fox Norton. Prior to the race people were wondering how Altior would perform against a more experienced Fox Norton and whether he could win like he has in such impressive fashion in the past. However Altior silenced everyone winning in an incredibly impressive fashion and storming away with four to jump. He is now 1/3 favourite for the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham.
Ballyandy went off favourite at 3/1 in the 5th race of the day - The Betfair Hurdle, which he went on to win making it his first win over Hurdles in 4 starts since winning last year’s Champion Bumper. He had previously struggled to get the win over Hurdles coming second on two occasions to 2015 Champion Bumper winner Moon Racer. It was a tight race with the final 2, Ballyandy and Movewiththetimes battling it out in a close finish.
Final Nudge won the 6th race of the day at 5/1 and made it his second consecutive win and 3rd win out of 5 over fences. He looks to be a good chaser in the making after finishing 3rd in his other 2 starts over fences. Keep a look out for him as he has won or placed in 14 out of 18 of his career starts.
The final race of the day was the Betfair Ready Bumper which was won by Daphne Du Clos at 15/8F. In a close second was Western Ryder who went off a stone and a half heavier than the winner. After his performance bookies have slashed Western Ryders odds for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham Festival from 20/1 to 10/1.
After such a great race card and the Festival being just 4 weeks away Altior, Native River and Ballyandy are all horses that should stand a great chance of a win at the festival.