There's plenty of racing to get stuck into on Saturday with the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury; Adam Baylis previews the action...
"I see no issue however in taking the 5/1 on offer about Harry Fry's American. He carried all before him when notching three victories on the bounce last season, all on soft ground and all over three miles."
With Apple's Jade heading to Punchestown, the Fighting Fifth at 14:10 looks at the mercy of Buveur D'Air and a price of 1/3 very much reflects that. Last year's winner Irving returns as a nine-year-old but should have the beating of John Constable & Flying Tiger so at 5/1 looks an each-way bet to nothing.
Air Horse One heads the betting at 4/1 in the 2m4f Handicap Hurdle at 13:50 and it's easy to see why with the form of his fourth behind Elgin at Ascot working out tremendously well - winner went on to land the Greatwood and second won a big pot at Haydock last weekend.
This contest doesn't look totally straightforward though with the Paul Nicholls' pair - Amour De Nuit & Old Guard - both potential challengers at 8/1 and 11/2 respectively. The former has progressed well this season but soft ground could be an issue for both. At a bigger price I do like the chances of Jaleo at 20/1 if he lines up for Ben Pauling. He's run well fresh previously, shouldn't be overly inconvenienced by conditions and his current mark is still on the lenient side.
Charli Parcs looked like a potential superstar for Nicky Henderson on his first run last season before disappointing in the Triumph Hurdle. He makes his re-appearance in the Gerry Fielden at 14:25 but at 4/1, his fitness has to be taken on trust. For that reason I'd be keener to re-visit that Elgin line of form with the bronze medalist, High Bridge, second in the betting for this contest at 9/2.
He rattled off a hat-trick of victories last year including at this course before finishing down the field in the Supreme. His re-appearance run behind the eventual Greatwood winner obviously looks strong now and he's already got five lengths on Verdana Blue who follows him in the betting here. It could be a very productive afternoon for the Ben Pauling stable.
Total Recall goes for Willie Mullins in the Ladbrokes Trophy (formerly Hennessy Gold Cup) at 15:00 and despite an impressive performance on his first run for the stable - beat a subsequent Grade 2 winner by seven lengths - his price looks a little skinny at 11/2. The eight-year-old has never recorded back-to-back victories in his career and while the master trainer could eek out further improvement his profile just looks a tad exposed to be regarded as a Hennessy winner.
I see no issue however in taking the 5/1 on offer about Harry Fry's American. He carried all before him when notching three victories on the bounce last season, all on soft ground and all over three miles. The extra two furlongs won't be an issue and while he doesn't have the best record fresh, his trainer seemed delighted with a recent racecourse gallop at Wincanton stating "He jumped the three down the back straight perfectly and strode up on the straight."
He could well follow in the footsteps of last year's winner Native River by going on to take the Welsh Grand National if successful on Saturday.
Back Jaleo @ 20/1 Each-Way in the 13:50 Newbury (Betfair Sportsbook)
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