David Cleary heads to Devon where he finds a pair of promising Wednesday afternoon bets...
An afternoon of bread-and-butter fare is in store, ahead of fancier offerings for the rest of the week. However, there are a few decent betting opportunities, primarily at Newton Abbot over jumps.
There surely has to be a bet in any race in which the very able but thoroughly ungenuine Battle Group starts odds on. He's on offer at around 1.51/2/1.68/13 for the beginners chase at 14:30 so this is a tempting option to start. He faces just three opponents, one of which has no chance, but the other two have something to recommend them, even though both Prince Tom and Mister Chancer are making their chasing debut.
Prince Tom is the more consistent and has slightly better hurdles form and his trainer, Paul Nicholls, is sure to have him well primed for this. Battle Group may well win but he's had similar chances in the past and found ways of getting out of it, particularly in small fields like this. Laying him is one option, backing Prince Tom is another, perhaps in the expectation he will go a fair shorter in running.
The handicap chase at 15:30 has an open look and is sure to be run at a furious gallop. That, though, on this sharp track, doesn't mean the race will be set up for those waited with, and conditions may well be ideal for Marodima to make all.
Back Prince Tom @ 4.67/2 in the 14:30 at Newton Abbot
Back Marodima @ 5.24/1 in the 15:30 at Newton Abbot