Fewer novice contests on the Newbury card make it the more appealing Placepot option.
"Winston Churchill is a reasonable second choice, so long as you can excuse his spill last time; he’s generally been a sound jumper this winter."
14:00 - Sebastian Beach and Eminent Poet meet again and it's likely that both will be involved at the sharp end once more. However, with the competition greater this time and the field totalling just seven runners, a selection of Eminent Poet would be a little too risky, so Sebastian Beach goes in on what looks to be his final prep run for the Festival.
14:30 - Minella Rocco's promise is undoubted, but this is a race with more scope for a play against him and the chosen one is Royal Vacation, near-useful in bumpers and third in a typically strong novice here on his hurdling debut.
15:00 - Village Vic is no sort of Placepot option, especially with so many solid options against him. Cody Wyoming is chief among them, having not run a bad race all season. Crafty Roberto is a sensible backup after the encouraging start he's made to his chasing career under conditions somewhat similar to these.
15:35 - This is a difficult leg, made up of novices still finding their feet as chasers. Valid Point is our first choice, still having potential after just two runs for Nigel Twiston-Davies and having plenty of experience from his time with Jim Old. Winston Churchill is a reasonable second choice, so long as you can excuse his spill last time; he's generally been a sound jumper this winter.
16:10 - Be Bop Boru has acquitted himself well in some warm contests this winter. This is unlikely to be one of them, so he's taken to take high order among them.
16:40 - There are plenty of horses here yet to establish themselves, which means we don't know which ones can be relied upon. Obistar looks closer than most in that regard, his only flop this season partly excusable. With him on our side we can also include the more chancey Manballandall, who has often hinted at something better, never more so than last time.
14:00 - 3
14:30 - 4
15:00 - 2, 4
15:35 - 4, 8
16:10 - 1
16:40 - 3, 5
= 8 lines