Nicky Henderson will have a good day at Newbury
Jet Powered can prove well ahead of the handicapper
Dusart has serious claims and is a great E/W bet six places
There is plenty to consider in this, but a chance is taken with Cap Du Nord - SP on the Betfair Sportsbook- having shown more at Haydock seven days ago and now reunited with Jack Tudor for a repeat win in this race.
Christain Williams' ten-year-old has been trained with a target in mind, and the quick turnaround is very interesting, having gone well at Haydock for a long way on Saturday. He won this race in 2020, is back on the same mark, and has Jack Tudor in the saddle.
This looks to have been his plan, and he is easily the best handicapped in this race if he returns to form. It's slightly concerning that they have removed the cheekpieces, and it could be a case of running here and reapplying for Kempton at Christmas for a victory. Still, Jack Tudor's presence is of interest back here at Newbury. Having seen claimers on the last three outings, it's worth taking a small flyer.
He could go one or two ways in the market, so I am happy to back him at BSP, but any 16/117.00 or bigger would suffice.
Jet Powered - 7/24.50 on the Betfair Sportsbook - comes with risks attached, having been off the track for so long, having disappointed when last seen, but the significant potential he holds off this opening rating of 131 is too hard to ignore.
Nicky Henderson's six-year-old was highly touted for a Supreme Novice Hurdle last season but failed to back up his impressive debut performance when running like something was a miss. His absence on that front is a positive sign to suggest all wasn't well that day. He bolted up in a point-to-point and is yet to be seen off the bridle and asked under maximum pressure. He surely has more hidden from the handicapper than any of his rivals.
Nicky Henderson described this horse as one with "massive potential", and I would have to agree, given the effortless debut he made this time last year. He sauntered clear of his rivals, and there was no second to him on that occasion, but the 16-length third was rated 117 before heading to France, and he won well over a now 125-rated horse at Hereford before leaving Paul Nicholls. The fourth is rated 116, and his point-to-point form saw a 131-rated hurdler now with Mark Fahey in fourth.
There's good reason to be positive about his chances on handicap debut, while the move up in distance is another positive. He still rates a very promising prospect.
Back him at 11/43.75 or bigger.
I look at the top of this market and feel most of these are priced the way they are because of horses they have finished behind rather than in front.
Complete Unknown is a grand horse on his day, but Mahler Mission held him over hurdles with no excuse, and he indeed wants deep ground to be seen to best effect while his seasonal return was a laboured display, and the form of his victories is not strong at all.
Mahler Mission will be popular, but the case for him is built on a non-completion effort in the National Hunt Chase over 3m6f and watching back that race, it's notable that Jamie Codd on Chemical Energy was in no panic to go and pick him up while his fourth last fence to second last fence clocked an exact time to suggest Mahler Mission was slowing down and tiring. His winning form is also questionable to suggest he is well handicapped.
The same applies to Monbeg Genuis, who was no match for Fastorslow or Corach Rambler in the Ultima Handicap when receiving 10 lbs from the former, and his last win came off of a rating of 132. He is respected with more upside to his claims than his fellow market competitors.
I quite fancy Nicky Henderson to have a good day on Saturday, and his Dusart - currently 16/117.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - makes plenty of appeal with an unexposed profile.
I am happy to put a line through Dusart's runs at Cheltenham as all three have seen him run poorly - beaten 14 lengths, 15 lengths and PU - and it might be that he doesn't like the place.
Instead, outside those runs, his career form figures read BD1131. He was travelling very well in the Scottish National before being brought down and having his race ended through no fault of his own, and that was his only run outside of Cheltenham since April 2022.
There's also a good case for him on handicapping terms. Unlike the market leaders, he has beaten a horse rated much higher than him.
He gave two pounds and rallied strongly to beat Sounds Russian at Ayr, and that one is now rated 16lbs higher, having gone very close in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase off of a rating of 157. Sounds Russian also gave Ahoy Senor something to think about in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase. Interestingly behind that pair at Ayr was Now Where Or When, who was due to line up at Aintree earlier this season off of a rating of 140 - some 15lbs higher, having chased home the subsequent Irish National runner-up Gevrey and having finished less than two lengths off of Kemboy in the Grade 3 Bobby Jo Chase.
Dusart easily put to bed Sail Away on Chase debut despite jumping violently left at Leicester, and that rival is rated 145 - and on the evidence of his Ayr win, should be rated a lot higher.
Today, Dusart returns to good ground and the scene of his Novice Hurdle debut victory. He has more upside than many of his exposed rivals, having had just nine career runs. He makes great appeal at 12/113.00 or bigger, having gone well first time up in the past, and he is unexposed at staying distances and should relish this trip today.
The Betfair Sportsbook are paying six places here.
Master Chewy - 2/13.00 on the Betfair Sportsbook - clocked an excellent number at Aintree on his penultimate start, running some 20 lengths quicker down the home straight compared to Jetoile, who won the Old Roan Chase - despite the graded race being run on the flat having had fences omitted for low sun - Master Chewy jumped them all.
That marked him down as ready to fulfil his potential over fences and surely a 145 minimum horse, having put in some good shifts over hurdles last season. His latest effort, when touched off by Djelo, saw him improve again, but he was inconvenienced by removing the fences, given how well he was jumping compared to his conquerer.
This test should suit Master Chewy, who is fancied to continue his upward curve. Real Stone was impressive at Haydock, but the race completely fell apart, and I can't see him reversing form with the selection.
Elixir De Nutz is feared along with our recent winner, Xcitations, who goes well at this time of year, while the remainder has work to do if Nigel Twiston-Davies' runner is at the peak of his powers.
I mentioned on the podcast that I wanted 3/14.00, but I was being a little tight; I've now revised my thinking, having conferred with colleagues and suggested any 15/82.88 or bigger is acceptable.
Watch this week's Racing...Only Bettor