NAP: Fine Casting improving nicely
Fine Casting - 14:25 Newbury
Fine Casting progressed well in bumpers last season and is following a similar path over hurdles, building on his previous promise when opening his account in this sphere at Ffos Las last month.
He was very well backed to do so in what were testing conditions, settling better back in trip and finding plenty to fend off the persistent runner-up in the closing stages. He is the type that will relish this bigger field now sent handicapping and he appears to be on a lenient mark. There should be plenty more to come from him.
NEXT BEST: Luna can follow up
Gran Luna - 15:30 Newbury
Gran Luna was easy to back and ultimately finished well held on her handicap debut after eight months off at Taunton last month, but she appeared to be much fitter for that comeback when resuming winning ways over this course and distance three weeks ago.
She had the reopposing Voice of Calm, Megan and Pogo I Am all behind her that day, taking her record at this venue to three from three. She rallied well on that occasion and, while she will be well worth another try over further, she is clearly at home at this distance, and is fancied to improve on her already excellent strike rate.
EACH-WAY: Hawthorn Cottage interesting back in a handicap
Hawthorn Cottage - 15:00 Newbury
Hawthorn Cottage proved better than ever when recording a second win over fences at Kempton in November, typically ridden from the front and putting her experience to good use. She wasn't in the same form under a double penalty at Huntingdon on her next starts, but she excelled herself in a strong listed event over course and distance last time.
Hawthorn Cottage was seen to good advantage after getting an easy lead, but she looks attractively weighted still back in a handicap, and she has a bang in-form rider taking a valuable 7 lb off now. Another bold show from the front in expected.