1.45pm Newbury Tips & Betting Preview 28/02/2015

Saturday 28th February, 1.45pm, Newbury, 2m 5f, live on Channel 4

Saturday’s Newbury meeting will open with the first Betfair Supporting Greatwood Veterans’ Handicap Hurdle at 1.45pm. The Class 3, 2m,5f veterans hurdle will see 16 entrants compete on (currently) Good ground as their connections look to earn themselves a share of the £13,000 first prize.

Leave It Be

Neil Mullholland’s Leave It Be is without a win over hurdles but has accumulated two places in big fields when generally un-fancied and his reward for this is his position as market leader here.

The 7/1 joint-favourite was an outsider at 33/1 when second over 17f at Exeter on his hurdles debut, finishing eight lengths behind odds-on favourite Doctor Harper when on level terms. The grey was 14 lengths behind the first two finishers at Chepstow over 20f in a class five hurdle and will have to show improvement to justify this early favouritism.

Leave It Be has been given a helping hand thanks to his 120 rating and be able to draw upon flat experience should push come to shove late on.

Irish Buccaneer

Richard Johnson will be looking to seal victory with Irish Buccaneer for Phillip Hobbs and JP McManus. The 7/1 fancy (although 6/1 general already) is back over hurdles after two not wholly unsuccessful chases, he picked up a Worcester class three at 23f and should have the stamina to do the business here.

Rated 129 as a hurdler, Irish Buccaneer will need to win off a mark that is entirely new to him. The eight-year-old son of Milan was progressive in his first hurdles stint however, improving from taking a Lingfield class five over 16f to secure a class three Kempton runners-up place (21f) on his return. Consequentially, if there’s one horse that will have the ability to shine on his first run back over hurdles it’s this one.

What’s more wins on both good and heavy ground mean that this former division two flat victor has to be considered.


Provo didn’t exactly set Newbury alight when finishing seventh in a 3m class two here on his last outing but should be helped by both the marked step down in both trip and quality of opposition. That was Paul Nicholls’ charge’s first run out since falling at Wincanton back in the December of 2013.

Wincanton did prove to be a happy hunting ground prior to this mistake, the mount of Hilton and Lyn Ramseyer taking a 22f class four there on heavy. Also included in this field, finishing second, was Cloudy Bob, a Cheltenham prospect this year though Provo will do well to replicate this 12 length victory just yet.

A 7/1 shot for tomorrow, the soft ground is in this horse’s favour, as will be his first outing under the stewardship of Nicholls’ number one Sam Twiston-Davies.

Of The Remainder

Brian Ellison’s Bothy (8/1) looked to hit some sort of form when taking third in a 3m class two at Cheltenham back in January. He failed to follow this up in a strong field at Musselbrough over the same distance but should be helped by the course’s testing conditions. Without a win since 2010 and has failed to secure victory on anything longer than 17f.

At slightly bigger odds, 10/1 chance Winning Spark will be taking a step up to this distance for the first time. The eight-year-old earned himself a win and two places at Taunton on soft in his last three rides, his best at 19f but is also leaping up the class divisions here. A lot of ifs but surely not without a chance.

Allthegear Noidea was available at 10/1 for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Ryan Hatch in the stripes of the Yes No Wait Sorries. That quickly went though, and he’s as short as 8/1 in places. The eight-year-old made a winning return back on the track after a two year absence when taking a 2m hurdle at Lingfield on his account opener and this 123 rated charge improved again to steal a third in a class three over 20f at Leicester. All of his seasonal runs have been on heavy but he will need to improve tomorrow to add to his tally of victories.

Sue Smith’s hat-trick seeking Laughton Park is available at 10/1. The former listed flat racer upset the apple cart on both occasions at 21f around Plumpton and is still handily weight despite respective one and five length victories.

This will be Fairy Rath‘s reappearance over hurdles following his ninth placed finish in Doncaster’s listed Skybet Chase at 3m. An inexperienced hurdler carrying 11st8lb tomorrow this 14/1 isn’t without a risk.

Lookslikerainted is another who is back hurdling after an unsuccessful  chasing career in which he only managed to complete on two of his five starts. A one-time hurdles victor on heavy ground (20f), Rebecca Curtis’ mount is available at 14/1, although he’s as short as 9/1 in places and is being well supported.

Last updated 27th February.

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