Through The Card: Newbury, Saturday February 13

Dodging Bullets return in the Betfair Exchange Chase at Newbury on Saturday
Dodging Bullets return in the Betfair Exchange Chase at Newbury on Saturday

Timeform take you through the valuable Betfair Super Saturday card at Newbury.

"Dodging Bullets was a revelation in a tongue tie last season, notching a hat-trick of Grade 1 victories, culminating in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham..."

13:20 - It took Emerging Talent a little longer than expected to open his account over hurdles, but he won in commanding fashion in a first-time tongue tie at Exeter last time and may be able to kick on now. Another positive is that the Paul Nicholls yard is starting to hit top gear, and this race happens to be called the 'Read Paul Nicholls Exclusively at Betfair Novices' Hurdle' for the first time. Meet The Legend looks sure to improve for his hurdling debut and is his biggest danger, though Herewego Herewego could do with a market check.

13:50 - Timeform Fifty To Follow member Zeroeshadesofgrey had a bit up his sleeve (idled) when scoring at Doncaster over Christmas and could still be well handicapped after a 5 lb rise. With this race having lost some of its more interesting entries at the declaration stage, Zeroeshadesofgrey looks a fair bet at around 6.05/1. Smart chaser Argocat is potentially very well treated off his lower hurdles mark, and money for him on his debut for Nicky Henderson would look significant. The current favourite Sykes is beginning to looks more consistent than progressive, while Count Guido Deiro would have good claims on his best form but was never going well over fences last time.

14:25 - The Grade 2 Denman Chase is a difficult race to weigh up, with Ballynagour holding the best form claims but far from consistent, Rocky Creek perhaps the safer option but not a horse you'd want to back heavily at around 2.915/8 and The Giant Bolster and Houblon des Obeaux (does at least have a fair record here, runner-up in this race last year) having both been disappointing this season. No bet.

15:00 - Dodging Bullets was a revelation in a tongue tie last season, notching a hat-trick of Grade 1 victories, culminating in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham when last seen in March. He has reportedly done plenty of work ahead of his return (absence caused by a splint injury) and can give the Paul Nicholls yard its eight win in this Betfair Exchange Chase (registered as the Game Spirit Chase), especially with L'Ami Serge running at Warwick instead.

15:35 - Blazer burst on to the scene as a leading contender for this race when comfortably landing a competitive handicap hurdle (having run twice over fences this season) at Leopardstown last weekend and it looks significant that Barry Geraghty prefers him to the similarly unexposed Modus. Blazer is definitely the most likely winner, but he may be worth leaving out of your Placepot perm given the pool will swell massively if he bombs. The aforementioned Modus, the lightly-raced Affair d'Honneur for the upwardly mobile Harry Whittington stable and Cheltenian, in the frame in this race for the last two years, make up our Placepot team.

16:10 - Activial has made a good start to his chase career, building on his second to Three Musketeers in a Grade 2 at this course here on his chasing debut when winning a maiden at Exeter from subsequent winner Oscar Sunset, and he can strike again up in trip from just two rivals here.

16:45 - This is sure to be an informative bumper, featuring promising horses from a number of leading yards. Ballyandy won his first two starts and then had Full Irish in behind when runner-up to Couer Blimer at Ascot last time, which sets the standard here. Willie Mullins has an outstanding record in this sphere, though, and it's interesting that his Bleu Berry returns from his near 500-day lay-off here rather that over in Ireland. Lithic and Gayebury also have claims.

Recommended bets:
Back Zeroeshadesofgrey in the 13:50

Placepot permutation:
13:20 - 1
13:50 - 2,
14:25 - 1, 5
15:00 - 1
15:35 - 1, 12, 17
16:10 - 1
= 6 lines

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