Race Time: 3.45pm Meeting: Newbury
Distance: 2m 3f
Full Race Name: Doom Bar Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
Our tip for the 3.45pm Newbury live on Channel 4 is:
Ending with a juvenile hurdle (four year olds only) will make sure anyone left in the SCOOP6 still won’t find life very easy, as this looks as competitive as every other race on the day.
As things stand, the Philip Hobbs yard intend to allow the consistent Golden Doyen (10/1) to try and shoulder eleven stone twelve here with Richard Johnson in the saddle, though that is like having me in the saddle, and I wouldn’t wish that on any horse! His form is solid with a win over Triumph Hurdle third Hargam at Cheltenham, and a second to Triumph Hurdle runner up Top Notch at Ascot, though his own Cheltenham exploits in the Fred Winter ended with a fall when going well enough mid race where we learnt nothing more about him.
He is the class act here without a doubt but is weighted accordingly and that is asking a lot of any four year old, though historically big weights have been carried to victory here, so all things are possible. The key negative to him is he’s far more exposed than most of the other horses in the race, having had 6 starts over hurdles, and he’s vulnerable to one improving from behind him.
Bishop Wulstan (12/1) is next on the card and should improve for the step up in trip having run on powerfully here over a quarter of a mile less and he does get twelve ponds from the top weight but in my mind, I still expect the class of the top weight to show through. Gimme Five (6/1) has to be considered if only because the Alan King yard are in such fine form, and has finished in the first four home in all of his last ten races, on the flat and over hurdles, suggesting we will at least get a good run for our money here. He won his last attempt over hurdles at Huntingdon albeit narrowly and may not have the class to win a race of this caliber. Place only punters should take note of his consistency and maybe bet accordingly.
Storm Force Ten (9/2) is my tip for this race after his great run to finish fourth in the Cheltenham January Triumph Hurdle (Grade 2). Sam Whaley-Cohen rode a great race that day, running on powerfully up the Cheltenham hill, and Storm Force Ten seems the most likely in this field to have both the necessary class and to appreciate the extra two furlongs. Sam is another jockey who is good value for his three pound claim which can only help his chances. Three runs without success leave him well handicapped this afternoon and if he does improve as expected he is yet another option to get involved in the final furlongs, running on strongly at the death. He was a high class Flat horse and this looks to be a much better opportunity than his high class attempt last time out!