Race Time: 3.10pm Meeting: Newbury
Distance: 3m 2f 110y
Full Race Name: Ultima Business Solutions Silver Jubilee Handicap Chase (Class 3)
Our tip for the 3.10pm Newbury live on Channel 4 is:
A tricky 10 runner field has been declared, with all horses looking fairly exposed (aside from perhaps No Duffer for Tom George). With a 4/1 favourite and the biggest price in the field 12/1, it’s no lie when applying the cliché “anything could win”.
Trainer Mark Bradstock is on the crest of a wave after winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup as is jockey Nico De Boinville and they team up here with veteran chaser Carruthers (11/2), who is another trying to recapture past glories. In his younger days he was a top class act with wins here off ratings of 146 and 149, though admittedly that was way back in 2009 and 2011. Now a twelve year old, it seems safe to day we won’t be seeing any further improvement, but as he loves it here (full record, two wins from just the five starts), it may just rekindle his interest and we could have a horse “pensioner” taking the prize. He’s got plenty of solid form on his past starts and this is a major drop down in class from where he’s been tried recently.
Of the form horses, Oliver Sherwood is responsible for the likeliest winner with Financial Climate 4/1, who ticks a lot the right boxes for favourite backers. His last two wins at Sandown and Chepstow have seen gutsy staying on performances over slightly shorter trips, backed up with a course and distance win as well as two third places here, suggesting a liking for the track and the marathon distance.
Any enthusiasm needs to be tempered with a note that the handicapper has put the eight year old up a further four pounds for his latest success. He’s up 8lb to a mark of 126 since winning at Chepstow in February and he’s never managed to win off a mark this high; only 123 in a Novice chase at Wincanton. He’s been consistent but may well be vunerable to an improver finding form again behind him.
Top weight Ikorodo Road (9/1) has won off of this rating of 134 over course and distance, and interestingly tries a first time visor on his 33rd racecourse appearance at the age of twelve. If it wakes him up he certainly has the ability to get close her granted a clear round of jumping. He’s been plenty tried around this distance even though his last win came over 2m 4f at Stratford in 2013, but he’s been lightly campaigned since then and off 134 could be in with a shout if you could catch him on a going day.
Lastly, Master Neo comes here for Nigel Hawk with Jamie Moore on board having been pulled up his last twice. The handicapper hasn’t been too lenient, dropping him just 2lb for each of those, and you have to go back 5 starts to see his last solid performance when he won at Market Rasen. Forgiving him a poor performance in a tough Grade 3 at Aintree in December, the ground could be blamed last time, and he’s quite well handicapped on his best form. He’s not well enough handicapped nor reliable enough for us to recommend him however.