Newbury Placepot: Thursday, November 29

Venetia Williams has a good chance with Houblon des Obeaux

Timeform's Tony McFadden attempts to land the Placepot on the opening day of Newbury's Hennessy meeting...

Houblon des Obeaux is the obvious call having made a seamless transition to chasing, winning on both starts, including in Grade 2 company last time...

12:25- The Cesarewitch winner Aaim To Prosper is obviously an interesting recruit to hurdling but, as an eight-year-old, he is starting his new career at a late stage and whether he will prove to be a natural over obstacles is unclear. The percentage call is to take him on with a couple of proven contenders in Kings Lad and Meganisi. The former caused a bit of an upset at Wincanton last time, turning over a long odds-on rival, while the latter should be suited by dropping back in trip having seemingly failed to stay on his latest two outings.

12:55- Despite the numbers, this looks like a competitive race and we may need to keep a couple onside to secure progression. Parsnip Pete is the first horse to concentrate on. Tom George's charge often shaped well over hurdles but he already looks like a better chaser, justifying support at Haydock when running out a smooth winner. His bold jumping should stand him in good stead today and he holds solid claims. Howard's Legacy was also an impressive victor over fences last time, jumping accurately to score on his seasonal reappearance at Ffos Las. He is also included in the 'pot'.

13:30- A winner on his last three outings, Ivor's King may not have finished improving and should make another bold bid here. He completely dominated his rivals at Ascot last time, racing with plenty of zest out in front, and looks up to defying another rise in the weights.

14:05- None of the runners can be ruled out in this fascinating affair and we will include both Houblon des Obeaux and Harry Topper. The former is the obvious call having made a seamless transition to chasing, winning on both starts, including in Grade 2 company last time. Testing ground suits the Venetia Williams-trained novice and he should go well. Harry Topper is another that can boast a decent level of form on bad ground and, having made a winning start over fences at Exeter recently, is entitled to plenty of respect.  

14:40- Alvarado made a winning start on his bow for the Fergal O'Brien yard at Wetherby, finishing strongly in the closing stages to get on top close home. Today's extra distance should suit him ideally and he is the first horse that makes the perm. Cedre Bleu has possible stamina doubts hanging over him, but he is on a tempting mark and could be the type to go well fresh, so he also makes the shortlist.

15:15- Undoubtedly disappointing on his seasonal return at Aintree, Vendor is taken to bounce back to form over the C&D where he made such an impressive start to his British career. He went on to finish third in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival and a repeat of that form should see him involved in the finish. Edgardo Sol is another horse that finished placed at the Festival, this time in the County Hurdle, and he is arguably the most consistent and reliable among today's performers so he is also included.

Selections:
12:25- 1, 2
12:55- 1, 4
13:30- 1
14:05- 4, 5
14:40- 1, 2
15:15- 1, 3
= 32 lines

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