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Lucky Loader Previews ITV Racing at Newbury and Warwick

It looks like it’s going to be a wet afternoon of racing as the ITV cameras go to Newbury and Warwick on Saturday. Our racing expert Lucky Loader guides you through his thoughts on all seven ITV races including his main fancy in the tricky Betfair Hurdle.

1.30 Newbury – On The Blind Side (Each Way)

It might be wise to stick to what we know rather than follow the up and coming progressive horses in this one, with the conditions likely to be very testing. That’s why I am going to take a flyer on the outsider of the field, On The Blind Side each-way. There’s not much that we don’t know about the grand old veteran, but Newbury in the mud should be right up his street. His last win came over this course and distance in the rain last March, when he pulled clear with Kilbeg King, who went on to score at The Punchestown Festival. The son of Stowaway is also on his last winning mark of 137. If he gets an easy time on the front end, he might just be able to gallop his rivals into submission.

2.05 Newbury – Shishkin (Win)

Punters have had no luck with Shishkin this season. He refused to race on his seasonal return at Ascot, and then he stumbled and unseated Nico de Boinville at the second last fence, when looking like he was going to win the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. This will be his prep run before the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month, where he could be one of the biggest threats to Galopin des Champs. I think punters will have their faith rewarded this time, as on paper it looks like a relatively straightforward task with

him being 8 pounds clear on ratings, and he gets the nod from me to go in here. Protektorat looks to be his biggest danger, but his best days are behind, even though he didn’t run too badly behind L’Homme Presse at Lingfield last month.

2.40 Newbury – Editeur Du Gite (Win)

Most of the field have some questions to answer in this year’s renewal of the Game Spirit Chase, but I am going to side with Editeur Du Gite. He was disappointing when defending his crown in the rearranged Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham last month, only finishing fifth. Despite this, he is a horse that can bounce back quickly, and he might just have the race setup on his side here with him being the only pace angle. The 10-year-old gelding often likes to make the running, and he can get into a good rhythm, which can make it difficult for his opponents to make up the ground on him. Gary Moore is also reaching for the first-time cheekpieces, which might just help focus. Edwardstone is the best horse in the race on his day, but I don’t see Newbury playing to his strengths, as he tends to race freely, and he needs to put up a better performance after an underwhelming run at Kempton.

3.15 Newbury – Iberico Lord (Each Way)

The Betfair Hurdle looks as competitive as ever, and cases can be made for many. The one I am coming around to is Iberico Lord. He was maybe a bit underwhelming when finishing seventh at Ascot in December, but I don’t think he liked the good ground that day. Most of his best form has come with plenty of cut in the ground, which included his career-best performance when winning the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham. That day, he had the likes of Lookaway and Luccia behind him. The going will be on the soft side at Newbury on Saturday, and I think that will give him an advantage over a lot of the field. I can see him going very close and giving his trainer, Nicky Henderson, a sixth winner in the race.

1.45 Warwick – Up For Parol (Each Way)

Up for Parol has become a little bit frustrating for Jamie Snowden, but he’s a horse who is starting to become well-handicapped, as he’s now 3lb lower than his last winning mark. Connections made no secret that his big season target was the Lanzarote Handicap at Kempton last month after running solid races in the previous two renewals; however, this year he could only finish a laboured thirteenth. On the other hand, you sometimes need a forgiving nature in racing, and I will put a line through that run. This race is less competitive than his last task, and he might just be able to get an easy lead. Furthermore, Daryl Jacob is a positive jockey booking and he has a 21% strike rate when combining with Jamie Snowden over the past five seasons. I think he can put on a bold show here, and he might be worth a go each-way.

2.20 Warwick – Youwearitwell (Win)

This looks like a good opportunity for Youwearitwell to get her head back in front. The last time we saw her, she ran a respectable second behind Marie’s Rock in a Grade 2 Mares Hurdle at Doncaster when trying 3m for the first time. The daughter of Midnight Legend will be happier dropping back down to 2m5f, which seems to be her ideal trip. Moreover, she’s the class act of the race, being 7lb clear on ratings despite giving a 4lb penalty to the opposition. Windtothelightning is an interesting contender stepping up in grade, but she’ll need to improve to give the selection something to think about.

2.55 Warwick – Fast Buck (Win)

Finding horses that will handle soft ground could be key to finding the winner of this race, and that’s where Fast Buck comes in. Testing conditions seem to bring out the best in him, and he bounced back to form when winning at Wincanton last month. Even though the handicapper has given him a 2lb rise for that success, he’s still well treated on his best form. Warwick is a track that can suit front runners, especially on the chase course. If Lorcan Williams decides to make the most of him by popping him out into a nice rhythm, his rivals might not be able to catch him.

NAP Of The Day: Editeur Du Gite

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It looks like it’s going to be a wet afternoon of racing as the ITV cameras go to Newbury and Warwick on Saturday. Our racing expert Lucky Loader guides you through his thoughts on all seven ITV races including his main fancy in the tricky Betfair Hurdle.
Read also...