Newbury Placepot: Saturday September 22

Lionel may not be at Newbury, but Tony will be

The prospect of three 27-runner sprint handicaps will scare off braver men than Tony McFadden, so he is avoiding Ayr and heading to Newbury...

"The bare form of that effort sets a pretty formidable standard and, with the potential of further improvement to come, Bright Strike can hopefully secure victory at the third attempt to leave Placepot followers pretty satisfied, albeit short of dancing on the ceiling..."

13:30 - We are not usually grateful for being provided with an 18-runner maiden to open Placepot proceedings, however, compared with the Bronze Cup at Ayr, this event looks relatively straightforward. Market Town created a fine impression on debut, making stylish headway to get into contention and eventually finishing fourth in what usually proves to be a strong maiden. The winner and second both won next time and, with the benefit of that experience behind him, Market Town also holds strong claims of entering the winners' enclosure. We will also add the twice-raced Monsieur Rieussec to the perm. He has displayed a good deal of promise on both of his racecourse starts and is capable of making the places.

14:05 - The main protagonists are closely matched on form in this intriguing five-runner affair, but we will plump for Lay Time and Cameron Highland. The duo enter this contest in good heart, having each won on their latest start, and they look like two of the more reliable propositions. Cameron Highland has been steadily progressive this year and he produced a career-best effort to score at Windsor last month, when dictating matters, whilst Lay Time, who had been competing in Group 1 races, took advantage of a drop in grade to register victory in Group 3 company last time.

14:35 - Cay Verde has already accrued plenty of experience for a two-year-old and, although horses will be progressing faster than Mick Channon's youngster, he possesses a solid profile and is capable of securing the top-three finish we require. We will also add a horse open to plenty of improvement in the shape of the David Wachman-trained Cougar Ridge. He shaped encouragingly on only his second start, narrowly failing to overhaul the leader in a Group 3 contest having conceded first run. This is clearly a tougher assignment, but he remains with plenty of untapped potential and may be capable of making his mark at this level.

15:10 - Having been hampered in one of the strongest handicaps run all season, Blue Surf is given another chance to atone for his Ascot disappointment. Amanda Perrett's three-year-old met with significant interference in the final couple of furlongs and his finishing position is easily overlooked, especially as he entered that contest with a progressive profile, having travelled extremely well to land a Goodwood handicap on his prior start. It is worth adding another string to our bow in a race as competitive as this, so we will also include Kirthill. A below-par effort at Goodwood was quickly forgotten about as he landed a good handicap at the Ebor meeting, and he looks primed to make another bold bid here today.

15:45 - This competitive sprint doesn't appeal as the easiest leg to negotiate, but it may pay to include the hat-trick seeking Ballista in our perm. Tom Dascombe's gelding is thriving at present, having produced his two best efforts to score at Chester and Leicester recently, and there is no reason why he will not run to a similar level while he remains in such good heart. Angels Will Fall was unsurprisingly unable to make her mark in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes, but she had shaped well at Goodwood prior to that and it might be worth taking a chance on this filly who is unlikely to be carrying many lines.

16:20 - The final leg provides a much needed banker in the form of Bright Strike. John Gosden's colt built on his debut promise to finish a narrowly-beaten third in a strong York maiden, with opening-leg selection Market Town back in fourth. The bare form of that effort sets a pretty formidable standard and, with the potential of further improvement to come, Bright Strike can hopefully secure victory at the third attempt to leave placepot followers pretty satisfied, albeit short of 'dancing on the ceiling'.

13:30- 11, 12
14:05- 3, 4
14:35- 2, 3
15:10- 1, 11
15:45- 2, 11
16:20- 1
= 32 lines

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