Three bets on Thursday
The NAP Kandoo the job
Emitom can enhance perfect Newbury record
Just to let readers know, two horses missed this column at the last minute. Believe In Stars opened at 2/13.00 at Chelmsford at 19:30 and Woolhampton the same at 20:30. Both have good chances, but I wanted 5/23.50 and 7/24.50.
Pull Again Green - 11/26.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - shaped well at Chepstow behind a brilliant one in Chianti Classico and pulled well clear of the field when chasing home the winner.
He built on his bounce back to form victory at Bangor in August. While the ground was probably less in his favour at Chepstow, he confirmed his ability to handle soft ground on that occasion, and today's surface (good to soft, good in places) will be more up his street.
How he quickened down the home straight off a steady pace marked him down as an improving horse, and despite the odd mistake here and there, he emerged with plenty of credit. He has been a slow burner, but as a second-season Novice, he holds a good experience edge on many of his rivals, and he now seemingly has a handle on the game.
He settled far better at Chepstow and Bangor than at any point last season, and he looks like a winner in waiting off this mark of 135. Today's track should prove more to his liking, and he makes plenty of appeal over recent rivals Pounding Poet and Inch House, while Mumbo Jumbo should have learned from his first season over fences.
Back the selection at 7/24.50 or bigger.
Emitom - 13/27.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - rediscovered his form when last seen here in March, and with that effort backed up by the clock, he is fancied to continue winning ways at the first time of asking this season.
The former Warren Greatrex inmate made a positive start to life with Alan King, travelling strongly in midfield and moving to the front stylishly before winning going away in what was a good contest for the time of year.
That race clocked a very good comparative time figure to Twigg's win over 2m4f, and the form has been boosted by the runner-up scoring at Cheltenham's Showcase meeting, and that one is now rated 13 lbs higher in the handicap.
Emiton now boasts a perfect 2-2 record here at Newbury, is ground versatile and has previously gone remarkably well when fresh, so he ticks plenty of boxes and given his back-class, there's undoubtedly scope in his rating of 127.
A former Grade 2 winner in his pomp and having reached a high rating of 155, there's a good chance he has all the ingredients to put in a good shift today at his favoured course.
A handful of these are having a prep run for the Coral Gold Cup here in a few week's time. Zanza - my long-term followers will know affiliation with him - and Grumpy Charley both improve for their seasonal return runs, so it makes sense to protect their chase mark in this contest, and if getting qualified, then it would be a bonus.
Our Power similarly will be having a prep spin while the booking of Adam Wedge also suggests that. Still, he has an excellent first-time-out record and is feared for a yard having winners their first time up this season.
Bold Endeavour is sure to give his running and get qualified for the final in March, while Equinus will need to jump far better than he did at Aintree to land a blow here.
None make more appeal than the selection, but this is a tricky race, so back at no shorter than 6/17.00.
I have this race between two, but Kandoo Kid - 10/34.33 on the Betfair Sportsbook - shaped with a good deal of promise at Warwick behind a runaway winner. However, Harry Cobden didn't chase the subsequent scorer and seemingly gave the seven-year-old a good school around.
He jumped fluently, gaining ground over the remainder of his rivals at his fences and put a good distance between himself and the third after the final flight under minimal pressure despite jumping the last together.
That run screamed potential improver, and with a handicap mark on the very lenient side in the low 120s based on his bumper form, he undoubtedly has room to recover in this sphere.
That seasonal return would have blown away the cobwebs, and it shouldn't be mistaken for a "poor second", given his rider clearly was happy just to hop around.
There's lots more to come from him, and he rates a very promising recruit to this sphere. Northern Bound is the other horse with significant potential, having caught the eye with a strong finishing effort at Wetherby last time and now returning to the race he won last year. Still, this is a far deeper contest than that one was, but he is nine pounds lower and should be making his presence felt.
Still, the younger horse possesses more speed. French horses tend to have a good first-time-out record, and Venetia Williams comes alive during November and December; with a good record fresh, I expect Gallop De Chasse to be in the thick of things.
I want to back him at 3/14.00 or bigger.