A big day of racing at Newbury is in store for Saturday, and Alan Dudman has two bets for the ITV races on the card....
"As a lightly-raced nine-year-old, he's always had a touch of class about him with the way he travels. And as a one-time 148-rated hurdler - he is well treated from his chase mark of 140."
This looks a very warm contest with all manner of progressive hurdlers in the line up, and the one that stands out for me is High Bridge at 11/4 on the Sportsbook.
He's an ex-John Ferguson/Godolphin project, who is ridden by John's son Alex - and he's based at Ben Pauling's nowadays. His yard is a good place to be at the moment following Willoughby Court's success yesterday. Pauling's strike-rate in the last two weeks has been 33%.
High Bridge made his comeback for the season last time in a very good race at Ascot behind Elgin, and that contest has worked out rather well. The slow gallop was against him over the 2m, but he ran with plenty of credit in a two length defeat. The steady pace was quite a negative, as he looks the type that will certainly stay further.
As a classy novice hurdler last term, he ran in the Supreme and has to his name a decent run in Ballyandy's Champion Bumper (a race he travelled well in) - so his mark of 145 is still very much one to work with.
The six-year-old is best at Newbury and he acts in soft ground.
Trainer Nicky Richards is one of the northern handlers that doesn't mind taking on the big boys at the southern tracks, and I am hoping his Duke Of Navan can make an impact in the closing handicap chase on Newbury's card.
He needs to reverse form with favourite Baby King from Aintree last time, and he might be able to. The ground was soft that day in Liverpool for his first run of the season, but there's every chance of conditions drying come Saturday in Berkshire to take out the heavy, and the chase course is quicker than the hurdles' track. The selection prefers a sounder surface, but acts fine in soft.
As a lightly-raced nine-year-old, he's always had a touch of class about him with the way he travels. And as a one-time 148-rated hurdler - he is well treated from his chase mark of 140.
He looked exciting when winning a Listed race at Ayr two seasons ago - unfortunately he missed the whole of 2016. But it's good to see him back, as he took a horror fall in his younger days at Cheltenham; a spill that took him a while to get over.
There's a sense of unfinished business with him. Davy Russell rode him as a novice hurdler back in 2012 - and he renews the partnership today.
Alan's Bets of the Day - P/L
This week so far: -1.00
Previous week: -6.00