Newbury Placepot: Saturday February 7

Harry Fry's the man to turn to in the Placepot
Harry Fry's the man to turn to in the Placepot

Newbury undoubtedly provides the best racing on Betfair Super Saturday and that is where we head for today's attempt at the Placepot...

Activial represents a top yard and has been prepared for this following an encouraging performance on his return at Ascot...

13:15 - Cardinal Walter and Risk A Fine are both exciting prospects, but they might not be the easiest of rides, so Bouvreuil looks the most solid proposition from a Placepot perspective. Paul Nicholls' French import caught the eye for much of the way on his British bow at Sandown, racing against more experienced rivals in bottomless ground, and he looks sure to be on the premises if running to a similar level.

13:50- Milan Bound, who represents the resurgent Jonjo O'Neill yard, is the obvious option as he remains with untapped potential in handicaps. He wasn't beaten far by Closing Ceremony on his latest start at Haydock and now meets that rival on better terms. Closing Ceremony has improved since, though, and has impressed with his straightforward attitude, so is also worth including in the permutation. 

14:25- Taquin du Seuil has a bit to prove after disappointing earlier on in the season, but his yard are in much better form now and he's undoubtedly got plenty of ability. It would be little surprise to see him return to something like his best under conditions that should prove ideal. He is joined in the Placepot by Houblon des Obeaux who, in contrast, has been in top form this season, finishing runner-up in a couple of competitive handicaps, including the Hennessy. He is a tough, reliable type and should give another good account. 

15:00- Champion Chaser Sire de Grugy is clearly the horse to beat, his Cheltenham win the best form on offer by some margin, but he is making his belated return from injury and has fitness to prove, so it might instead be worth siding with the J.P McManus pair of Mr Mole and Uxizandre. Mr Mole has shown signs of temperament, but he has looked a reformed character of late, seemingly transformed by the application of positive riding tactics, and he enters this race operating at the top of his game. Uxizandre was a crushing disappointment in Ireland last time, but he's essentially a tough, sound-jumping front runner, and he should quickly bounce back.

15:35- Plenty in here can be given a good chance, and we'll have to include a few if we are to progress. Activial represents a top yard and has been prepared for this following an encouraging performance on his return at Ascot. He will relish any cut in the ground and appeals as the type that can be relied upon to give his running. Jollys Cracked It also represents the Harry Fry yard and he has made a promising start to his hurdling career, winning twice at Ascot before finding the exciting L'ami Serge too strong at Sandown last time. A strong-travelling, nimble hurdler, Jollys Cracked It should be well suited by the demands of this race and shouldn't be overlooked. We'll also put Sign of A Victory in the permutation as he looked a high-class prospect when winning easily at Ascot, and he wasn't given a hard time in the Christmas Hurdle once it was apparent his chance had gone, so he could bounce back here.

16:10- This should be something of a formality for Kings Palace who has looked a natural over fences and boasts the strongest form by some margin. He can put the finishing touches on his Cheltenham preparation by comfortably winning this. 

Recommendations:
13:15- 4
13:50- 3, 8
14:25- 4, 6
15:00- 2, 3
15:35- 1, 5, 10
16:10- 1
= 24 lines

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