Friday Racing Tips: Three bets for a great card at Newbury

Horses take a jump at Newbury racecourse
Will Tony's trio come good at Newbury?

Tony Calvin discusses Friday afternoon at Newbury on day one of the Winter Carnival and makes the case for a trio of bets, including one massive outsider...

"I am going to take two against the field at 15:35, starting off with the massive outsider Invincible Cave at 55.054/1 or bigger. You may well to get a three-figure price about him."

I won't be around tomorrow to preview Saturday's racing - my stand-in will undoubtedly do you proud - but I put up Yala Enki and Takingrisks each way at 25s and 12s ante-post earlier in the week for the Ladbrokes Trophy and the Betfair Rehearsal Chase respectively, so hopefully that pair get to the start line and nick a place at the very least.

Early cracker to get us underway

Thankfully, there is a great Newbury card on Friday to get my gnashers into, and first up on ITV4 is the 2m3f187yd handicap chase at 13:50.

It's a cracker too, with two potentially well-handicapped youngsters in Kalshnikov and Glen Forsa heading the market, but this is no two-horse race by any means. In fact, you can make a case for all bar one or two.

The battle for the lead could be interesting as four of these like to go forward (or at least have done in recent starts), and Glen Forsa in particular could be a tough one to pass if fit and well and able to get into a menacing rhythm on the front end. He looked pretty sensational when beating his main market rival at Sandown in February.

The two I like at double-figure prices were San Benedeto and Eamon An Cnoic.

Reading between the lines, the former needed his summer wind op more than most and you can forgive him his below-par return at Market Rasen as he was far too fresh and keen. He will hopefully settle better off the likely strong pace here

He is still 5lb higher than when beating Gala Ball here over course and distance in March (albeit that was a convincing success) though and would probably prefer better ground, so Eamon An Cnoic is getting a few quid at 12.011/1 or better.

He owes me after unseating his rider at the second in the BetVictor Gold Cup but, if he gets round in one piece, then this race could be run to suit this strong-traveller, too.

He is at his best on a left-handed track with dig in the ground, he is only 1lb higher than when fourth in the Plate at the Festival, and this course could well suit him better than Cheltenham, as he wouldn't always be the strongest of finishers over this sort of trip.

I'm happy to give him another spin at the prices.

Newbury water jump 956.jpg

I know he faces some good opposition but I wouldn't be in a mad rush to oppose Champ in the novices' chase at 14:25 as I thought he was very impressive when beating the 145-rated Dashel Drasher here on his chasing debut.

Black Op was similarly taking when winning on his fencing bow at Stratford, but it would be Champ for me at around 5/4 if I was betting on the race.

But I am not. And, for all the five-runner Long Distance Hurdle at 15:00 features a couple of stars in Paisley Park and Thistlecrack, plus the Wetherby 1-2 of The Worlds End and Unowhatimeanharry and the 2017 winner Beer Goggles - in fact, we have the three winners of the last four renewals in here - it really doesn't offer up much in the way of a bet.

Maybe Thistlecrack at 5/1+ is the bet getting 6lb from the Stayers' Hurdle winner and 4/6 poke Paisley Park , but it is a punt easily resisted.

Two against the field at 15:35

David Maxwell can do little wrong at the moment and, 6lb well-in, his Wincanton winner Dolphin Square predictably heads the betting for the 3m handicap hurdle at 15:35, though I am content to look elsewhere.

And I am going to take two against the field here, starting off with the massive outsider of the field - he was a general 66/1 chance early on Thursday afternoon - Invincible Cave at 55.054/1 or bigger. You may well to get a three-figure price about him.

It is undoubtedly a bit of a left-field flier as he has been pulled up on both starts since leaving Gordon Elliott for Chris Gordon, but both of those runs came in novice chases and even fleeing villains in The Sweeney were more impressive jumpers of a fence when trying to get away (they always got caught and dragged down by their feet, if you want it spelled out....)

He returns to hurdles off a tempting mark of 128 though, and this point/bumper winner is well handicapped on his runaway 3m Thurles maiden hurdle win for Elliott in February, for all he is due to race off 6lb lower marks in future after those chase no-shows.

His new trainer Gordon is a decent operator (as well as being a dangerous live interviewee!), with two recent wins to his name, and I am happy to take a punt on a horse Jack Kennedy described as being a bit of a "monkey."

Let's hope he is on his best behaviour and I don't end up looking like the chimp.

Potters Hedger looks more solid and he is the other bet at 15.014/1 or bigger.

Lucy Wadham has also had a couple of recent winners and the second selection posted a good return over an inadequate 2m3f trip at Lingfield and has been another dropped 1lb for it.

Although he would only have finished fourth had there not been two last-flight casualties that form looks very strong. The winner followed up by 10 lengths next time, while the pair who came to grief at the last have also dotted up since, too.

His best efforts have come over this longer trip and he looks overpriced to me. He came on appreciably for the run first-time-up last season, and hopefully similar improvement awaits here.

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