A Newbury NAP, Next Best and Each-Way from Timeform
Newbury NAP - 13:50 - Back Nickle Back
All eyes will be on Hermes Allen on his chasing debut, but he takes on some promising rivals, and preference is for Nickle Back with that in mind, who hasn't put a foot wrong in both of his starts over fences this season.
Nickle Back has won a couple of handicaps by an aggregate distance of 43 lengths, and he drummed a solid yardstick at Stratford last time.
His fast jumping technique leaves little margin for error, but it has certainly proved an asset thus far, and he is well worth a crack at this. If he represented a more high-profile yard you could argue he would be shorter in the betting and he remains a chaser to keep on the right side.
Newbury Next Best - 15:35 - Back Ed Keeper
Ed Keeper built on previous promise when opening his account over hurdles in a maiden at Bangor last season, making the most of a good opportunity but pushed harder than expected by an improver who has franked the form since.
He took another step forward on his return and handicap debut in a first-time tongue tie at Ascot at the beginning of November, having every chance and keeping on well on the run-in but just unable to get on top.
Ed Keeper seems sure to relish this step up to three miles for the first time now and, though 6 lb higher in the weights, he is well up to winning handicaps from this sort of mark.
Newbury Each Way - 14:25 - Back Iron Bridge
Iron Bridge progressed well over fences last season, looking a very smart staying prospect when making a winning start in this sphere at Carlisle, and recording two good efforts in defeat on his last two starts.
As expected, he relished the return to three miles when beaten a head by another progressive sort (who won again next time) at Uttoxeter on his final start, and he may well have even won had his rider engaged full drive sooner.
Iron Bridge has won on each of his first runs of the season under Rules, so he clearly goes well when fresh, and though he may have bigger targets ahead, he appeals as a horse who is still on a lenient mark.
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