Only ten pounds separates the three main contenders in Yanworth, Willoughby Court and Adrien Du Pont which makes this an interesting contest. Yanworth fell when travelling strongly at Exeter and can be forgiven that and is the pick on hurdle ratings. Willoughby Court had to work hard on his chase debut but that looks strong form ahead of Casablanca Mix and The Unit and he should give the favourite a race. It is hard to find much value but do not rule out Adrien Du Pont @ 15/2, he had a wind operation in the summer, clocked a good time when eased down at Fontwell and is no forlorn hope.
Willie Boy produced a game effort first time out after tracking a strong pace set by Greybougg, he looked like being swamped two out but found plenty for pressure though the worry is that such a valiant performance after a break may have left a mark on this six year old. Space Oddity ran a good race behind a horse of some potential in Benetar last time at Ascot and that looks good form with the 6/1 worth a punt. He is open to more improvement and should enjoy the long straight at Newbury. Ridgeway Flyer has won both starts over fences in what looked relatively weak affairs and this is much tougher while Oldgrangewood ran a shocker on his last visit to Newbury and has the look of a horse needing more of a stamina test. O O Seven can go well fresh but the Capsian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham in a fortnight looks the likely target while Icing On The Cake is a horse of potential but fitness and the form of the Sherwood yard tempers enthusiasm.
A fascinating Long Distance Hurdle as King George winner and top class hurdler Thistlecrack makes his long awaited return from a tendon injury. This is not the main target so fitness is the key question but if retaining his ability, even at 80-90% fitness Thistlecrack would surely go close. Unowhatimeanharry, a top staying hurdler is race fit and possibly a little big @ 2/1 given the unknowns surrounding Thistlecrack, but this is a race to watch and does not appeal on a betting front. There is no reason why Colin’s Sister should not confirm placings with Wholestone given enough cut in the ground and Taquin De Seuil if anywhere near fit should not be a 28/1 shot after his performances at the backend of last season.
A competitive handicap to round off the day with the consistent Whataknight likely to give his running, but is vulnerable off his current mark. Closely matched with Beneagles on their running over course and distance behind Dell‘ Arca, Beneagles looks likely to get the better of things this time around. Forza Milan is open to improvement and should give another good account @ 8/1 but Boyhood, likely to improve, looked to have plenty in hand at Lingfield last time and won as he liked. He should handle the step back up to three miles and looks a fair bet @ 7/1. Hello George gave his all last time at Ayr only to be touched off by Kris Spin and like Whataknight, remains vulnerable, while Actinpieces and This Is It can go well at prices. The Organist has flattered to deceive but at her best would be more than capable of winning this.
Quickened Clear’s Best Bets:
Space Oddity – 2.25 Newbury – 1pt win @ 6/1
Boyhood – 3.35 Newbury – 1pt win @ 7/1