Paul Nicholls strongest horse is in the opener at Newbury but he has a few more decent runners across the card on Friday...
"Ask For Glory is a nice horse to go novice hurdling, jumps fluently, has done well over the summer and is ready to start."
Newbury - Friday
Glory can go for gold
12:15 - Ask For Glory
A lovely prospect who won his point-to-point before joining us and sprinted clear of his field in a bumper at Chepstow over Christmas. He then found things happening a bit too quickly in the champion bumper at the Cheltenham Festival which wasn't the greatest surprise.
Ask For Glory is a nice horse to go novice hurdling, jumps fluently, has done well over the summer and is ready to start. Soft ground will be fine for him.
One that will enjoy the ground
12:45 - Southfield Stone
He has run well in decent company on both starts over fences this season and from what we have seen he is crying out to go left handed on a galloping track so Newbury looks ideal for him.
On the recommendation of Harry Cobden we are putting cheek pieces on Southfield Stone who made great strides last season, has top weight in this and enjoys soft ground.
13:20 - Brewers Project
A nice prospect who joined us in March 2018 shortly after his taking victory in an Irish point-to-point where he beat Umbrigado who won three novice hurdles for David Pipe last season. Unfortunately while schooling last autumn Brewers Project suffered a hairline fracture of his pelvis which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
He has thrived for the time off, is pleasing at home and is one I'd expect to improve for the run.
Might be up against it
13:50 - San Benedeto
Won a big handicap impressively at Newbury in the spring so is now probably high enough in the ratings on a mark of 152 and the rain they had at Newbury in midweek will not help his cause.
But he ran well for a long way at Market Rasen on his seasonal return six weeks ago when he was a bit too fresh. While he is consistent and in good shape he's probably up against it here.
One to improve across the season
14:25 - Mont Des Avaloirs
He came back into training a bit later than most of mine so whatever he does in this he will improve for the experience. He is a big, strong horse who has needed time to fulfil his potential and I was keen to run him at a big track like Newbury first time out this season to get him jumping.
Mont Des Avaloirs had a breathing op before a long break over the summer and had a nice pop over the fences at the recent media morning at Newbury. I've always thought he would make a chaser and am hoping this is the season he gets it all together.
Best chance. Ask For Glory. 12.15. A smart bumper horse who is shaping up at home as one of our better novice hurdlers.