Through The Card: Newbury, Wednesday December 20

There is a good-quality card at Newbury on Wednesday
There is a good-quality card at Newbury on Wednesday

Timeform take you through the card at Newbury on Wednesday.

"Has the physique for chasing and, from a potentially lenient mark, over a trip he is bred to relish, he makes a fair bit of appeal..."

12:30 - Given the ammunition Nicky Henderson has in the juvenile hurdle division it's kind of hard to get away from the claims of STYLE DE GARDE (1) who is potentially another smart French recruit for the yard. He has already won a similar event in France in October, and given the level of form he ran to that day, he is fancied to defy a penalty with further improvement almost certain.

13:00 - This is a little more complicated, a big-field novice hurdle with plenty of top yards represented. It's not surprising to see POTTERMAN (16) heading the betting given the promise he showed on his hurdling debut at Ascot last time, leaving the impression he may well have won if jumping better. He's likely to have derived plenty from that initial experience and seems sure to improve and win races in this sphere. Brainstorm also caught the eye on his hurdling debut and merits respect, but a bigger threat could come from DOUX PRETENDER (6) who was well fancied for a bumper at Huntingdon on his British debut last season. He shaped as though in need of the experience that day, but he is clearly held in some regard, and Nicky Henderson has won this race twice in recent years.

13:30 - Another race which could be dominated by Nicky Henderson, who saddles two live chances in this interesting novices' handicap chase. Baden is potentially well handicapped on the pick of his novice hurdles form, and shaped well on his chase debut last time, but has shown on more than one occasion that he isn't one to trust entirely. Therefore, COSMOS DES OBEAUX (3) is preferred from a betting point of view. Indeed, he is making both his chase and stable debut here, having been trained by Dan Skelton last season. He shaped well on his sole start for that yard in a novice hurdle at Bangor - a race which has worked out well - and it is interesting that Henderson quickly sends him over fences. Still only a five-year-old, Cosmos des Obeaux certainly has the physique for chasing and, from a potentially lenient mark, over a trip he is bred to relish, he makes a fair bit of appeal.

14:05 - This looks a trappy event but MS PARFOIS (3) ought to take the beating if this doesn't come too soon. She put up a career-best effort when winning a mares' handicap chase at Cheltenham on Friday, clearly sharper with her reappearance under her belt, travelling well and produced to lead at the last, but just idling on the run-in. Ms Parfois remains with scope for improvement in this sphere and is worth chancing up in grade. Two Swallows caught the eye on her chasing debut at Fontwell last time and seems sure to improve, and is taken as the main danger.

14:40 - Not a race to go overboard with by any means, but with the Placepot in mind, it is BALLY GILBERT (4) who gets the nod. He showed improved form from his chasing debut when finishing third at Sandown last time, losing his place around halfway but rallying well to be beaten two and a quarter lengths by a solid yardstick. On just his third run over fences, he remains with potential, and he won't have to improve too much to play a leading part here.

15:15 - The Harry Fry-trained MELROSE BOY (7) looked well ahead of his mark when winning a handicap at Cheltenham on his return last month by six lengths and he looks the one to beat returned to novice company. That was a useful effort, and gives the majority of these some work to do if they are to beat him, which is also reflected in his price. Still unexposed at this trip, he looks a solid choice.

15:45 - EMPREINTE RECONCE (1) won a bumper in good style on her sole outing in France and, though that form is hard to quantify, it would come as no surprise if she was able to defy a penalty on her British debut for top connections. Smartly-bred Aweeminit hails from a yard that has an excellent record in bumpers so rates the obvious threat.

Recommendation:

Win back COSMOS DES OBEAUX (3) in the 13:30 at Newbury on Wednesday

Placepot permutation:

12:30 - 1
13:00 - 6, 16
13:30 - 3
14:05 - 3
14:40 - 4
15:15 - 7

2 lines

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