2.35pm Newbury Tips & Betting Preview 19/05/2017

Just a single race on ITV from Newbury on Friday afternoon, but it is a competitive looking six furlong sprint. Jedd O’Keeffe has not had a runner at the track in the last five years so it is with interest we note his runner here, Shared Equity. He has York in his back yard this week, so to bring a runner to a track he rarely frequents is taken to be a sign of intent. He has a decent record fresh, including winning on his 2014 debut before beaten less than a length when making his 2015 return. He has slid down the weights after a 2016 campaign that saw him run consistently but without being able to get his head in front. He finds himself just a pound above his most recent winning mark and can reward each way backers here.

Clear Spring is one who generally comes on leaps and bounds for his seasonal opener as he has the last two years when taking this very contest. Connections clearly have had this in the back of their minds for some time now in an attempt to land the hat-trick. All ground comes alike to him, having won from firm all the way through to soft so he should have no problem with underfoot conditions. He was finally gelded over the winter, rather late given that he is now nine years old, running well enough on his return. He is weighted to run a big race but he is priced on his victories in this race rather than what he has achieved in recent starts.

It’s hard to know what to expect when Captain Colby turns up. He ran a stormer on his return this season at Doncaster on good to soft ground, no disgrace in coming off second best to a rejuvenated Tupi. A subsequent run on quicker ground at Newmarket though, saw him eased out on contention as if something had gone wrong. It could be that he was feeling it a little bit on the surface, something that he won’t have a problem with here. He has the ability to make the frame but lacks consistency.

Another who lacks consistency but is talented on his day is Gunmetal, an impressive winner at Newmarket during the Craven meeting. He has won with plenty of cut in the ground but he bounced off the good to firm surface on that occasion to a comfortable victory. He didn’t get much of a clear run in his one outing since and the yard are scuffling a little, but the ability is there for him to make the frame, especially if he is allowed the run of the race as he was at Newmarket.

There are few cannier trainers than David Evans and while his representative, Dougan, is not the same force on turf as he is on the all weather, he was talented enough to finish third in this race last year off a similar mark. Very soft ground would be something new for him but he is worth keeping an eye on in the market with Adam Kirby in the plate.

Finally, at a huge price, the rain will have not harmed the chances of Blaine at all who makes his debut for Brian Barr who has Frankie Dettori booked for the ride. At the risk of being repetitive, he is another Jekyll and Hyde character and it is difficult to know which Blaine will turn up at the races on any given day but he has the ability to get involved if putting his best foot forward. He is on a workable mark on his best form and it will be interesting to see if the under-rated Barr has been able to sweeten up the ex Group 2 winner.

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