Timeform Shortlist: Newbury, Saturday February 13

There is racing from Newbury on Saturday
There is racing from Newbury on Saturday

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1.20 Read Paul Nicholls Exclusively At Betfair Novices' Hurdle (3) 2m69y

Timeform Top Rated:
154 1. EMERGING TALENT Paul Nicholls Nick Scholfield
133p 6. MEET THE LEGEND Dan Skelton Harry Skelton
118 4. BURNING DESIRE Richard Hughes Brendan Powell

Analyst's Verdict:
It took Emerging Talent a little longer than expected to open his account over hurdles, but he won in commanding fashion at Exeter last time, and may be able to kick on now, especially with his yard starting to hit top gear. Meet The Legend looks sure to improve for his hurdling debut and is the danger, while Herewego Herewego is an interesting type on paper and needs a market check.

1.50 Betfair Acca Edge Handicap Hurdle (2) 3m52y

Timeform Top Rated:
152 5. COUNT GUIDO DEIRO Nigel Twiston-Davies Mr J. J. Slevin (7)
151 7. MILLANISI BOY Richard Woollacott Tom O'Brien
150 2. ZEROESHADESOFGREY Neil King Trevor Whelan

Analyst's Verdict:
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. Smart chaser Argocat is potentially very well treated off his lower hurdles mark and is an obvious threat on his first start for Nicky Henderson, particularly if the market speaks in his favour, while the unexposed Millanisi Boy is going the right way.

2.25 Betfair Denman Chase (Grade 2) (1) 2m7f86y

Timeform Top Rated:
182? 4. BALLYNAGOUR David Pipe Tom Scudamore
173 1. ROCKY CREEK Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
172x 7. THE GIANT BOLSTER David Bridgwater Jake Hodson

Analyst's Verdict:
Some guesswork involved given the whole field have questions to answer, but Ballynagour is the clear pick on these terms if back to anything like his best and he gets the nod over Rocky Creek. The Giant Bolster and Houblon des Obeaux are also capable of having a say in matters.

3.00 Betfair Exchange Chase (Game Spirit) (Grade 2) (1) 2m92y

Timeform Top Rated:
178 1. DODGING BULLETS Paul Nicholls Sam Twiston-Davies
172 2. TOP GAMBLE Kerry Lee Richard Johnson
167p 3. L'AMI SERGE Nicky Henderson Daryl Jacob

Analyst's Verdict:
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. He has reportedly done plenty of work ahead of his return and will likely prove tough to beat. L'Ami Serge may prove a bigger threat than Top Gamble if side-stepping his Warwick engagement.

3.35 Betfair Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3) (1) 2m69y

Timeform Top Rated:
167p 18. BLAZER W. P. Mullins Barry Geraghty
164+ 15. STARCHITECT David Pipe Tom Scudamore
162+ 9. MAD JACK MYTTON Jonjo O'Neill Joshua Moore

Analyst's Verdict:
Blazer burst on to the scene as a leading contender for this race when comfortably landing a competitive event at Leopardstown last weekend and it looks significant that Barry Geraghty prefers him to the similarly unexposed Modus, who also has plenty to recommend him. The Philip Hobbs pair Cheltenian and War Sound and the reappearing Starchitect head a long list of possible dangers.

4.10 Better Odds With Betfair Novices' Chase (3) 2m7f86y

Timeform Top Rated:
162p 1. ACTIVIAL Harry Fry Noel Fehily
157 3. MILANSBAR Neil King Trevor Whelan
155p 2. OUT SAM Warren Greatrex Gavin Sheehan

Analyst's Verdict:
Activial has made a good start to his chase career, taking advantage of the drop in class to score at Exeter last month, and can strike again up in trip. Out Sam may emerge second best.

4.45 Tap Tap Boom Bumper (Standard Open National Hunt Flat) (Listed) (1) 2m69y

Timeform Top Rated:
129 1. BALLYANDY Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
125+ 4. GAYEBURY Tom Symonds Barry Geraghty
124 3. FULL IRISH Emma Lavelle Aidan Coleman

Analyst's Verdict:
Some smart prospects clash in what is sure to be an informative contest. Ballyandy had Full Irish in behind when runner-up at Ascot last time and can make it 3 wins from just 4 starts. Willie Mullins has an outstanding record in this sphere and the returning Bleu Berry would be a massive threat if the market suggests he's fancied, while Gayebury did it nicely under similar conditions at Exeter.

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