2.05pm Newbury Tips & Betting Preview 26/11/2016

The first ever running of this race so nothing to go on statistically but that hasn’t stopped a strong looking field being assembled in the hunt for the guaranteed prize money of £35,000 that looks up for grabs. Although we won’t be speaking to Nigel Twiston-Davies until Friday morning when he will give us an update on both running pans and his thoughts on his horses’ chances, we can still start here with the in-form Robinshill (8/1 Each Way) who has won his last two races at Wetherby and Huntingdon staying on nicely over two miles on both occasions. Put up a big twelve pounds for the first win he did well to shrug that off to win again but connections will be hoping the step up in trip can negate the other five pounds he has now been given and if that is the case, he can land his hat trick and with it our bets today.

Meanwhile, the Dan Skelton fan club have been up bright and early and have already backed Born Survivor (4/1) to the head of the market on the assumption he will improve considerably for his return at Aintree over two and a half miles. He finished runner up that day, five lengths behind Massini’s Trap when looking a bit one paced and although he may improve for that run he was sent off the favourite and may not have as much improvement in his as some seem to think.

Amazingly for a field of this much quality, Charlie Longsdon’s long absent Battle Born (10/1) is the only other entry who won last time out, and that leaves him with a 100% win record over hurdles after victory on his first try at Uttoxeter over two miles. He was held in high regard and was expected to go on to much better things but hasn’t been seen since October 2014 and despite his love of softer ground (the more rain the better for his chances), it is asking a lot to expect him to be straight enough to win a race of this magnitude after such a long and enforced absence.

Although the Rebecca Curtis yard are not in the best of form with just the two winners from their last eighteen runners they have always thought the World of Beast Of Burden (16/1) who could be interesting switching back to hurdles after three unsuccessful races over fences as well as one equally poor effort over fences. Going back to the beginning and the son of Flemensfirth won a bumper at Ffos Las before two wins in a row over hurdles after a debut second over two miles here at Newbury, and a ninth to Windsor Park in the 2015 Neptune Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when breaking a blood vessel. In all honesty that was his last decent race but the fact is the ability was there, and if they can find a way to bring it back then he is undoubtedly well weighted here off a handicap rating of just 136 and could be thrown in.

Despite this being a Class Two handicap, connections of Gibralfaro (10/1) will see it as quite a drop in class for the Alan King trained four-year-old who has finished third in both races so far this season.  Rounding off last season with a perfectly acceptable ninth to Ivanovich Gorbatov in the Triumph Hurdle at the March Cheltenham Festival he returned with a two and a half length third to Diego Du Charmil at Chepstow in the Hamilton hurdle giving two pounds to the winner and twenty pounds to the runner up, and followed that with a more distant third to stable companion Sceau Royal at Cheltenham in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle, beaten fifteen lengths and looking a bit one paced. Dropped two pounds after that, he steps up in trip here which could be interesting, and with Wayne Hutchinson booked to ride he is one of the class acts here and ought to run well unless the ground is bottomless.

Ignoring Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is never a wise move and he has a very interesting runner here in Favorito Buck’s (9/1), a French import who was bought after winning at Auteuil in September 2015 and is yet to show his true potential in two races since. Pulled up at Kempton behind Gibralfaro after weakening quickly he did do a bit better when a twenty-four length third to Nabhan here over two miles but that in itself just wouldn’t be enough, we just suspect he may be a fair bit better than we have seen so far.

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