4.20pm Newbury Tips & Betting Preview 18/08/2017

A field of eight go to post for this competitive handicap at Newbury on Friday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Storm Over has won both of his previous starts and remains unexposed so has to be considered a chief threat. That said, ready preference is for UNION ROSE who has been below form the last twice, but those runs were in better company and he drops into Class 4 today. His last foray into Class 4 company resulted in a runaway win at Bath in July and he’s only four pounds higher here. On that basis, he looks extremely overpriced and should take all the beating under Fran Berry.

1 UNION ROSE – Five-year-old who is accustomed to racing in higher grades than this, with his last drop into Class 4 company resulting in a comfortable victory at Bath in July. Back up in grade the last twice, he was disappointing but he’s now back into Class 4 off a mark of 87 which is easily manageable if he’s here at this best. Fran Berry takes the ride and, with conditions to suit, he should be more than capable of taking this.

2 FOXY FOREVER – Seven-year-old for Michael Wigham who has claimed two victories this year when getting a good pace to aim at and he’s not guaranteed to have that today. Another drawback is the slower ground as he’s usually below form on these conditions. A mark of 85 demands more and this race is unlikely to play to his strengths so others are preferred on this occasion.

3 STORM OVER – Unbeaten in two starts for Robert Cowell, winning well on debut at Wolverhampton in August 2016 before returning this year in May 2017 at Redcar. He made his handicap debut there off a mark of 74, winning easily by three lengths and, as a result, he’s up 12 pounds in the handicap. He beat a pair of subsequent winners on that start and has the services of Adam Kirby today. He is completely unexposed and has to be respected.

4 LADWEB – Inconsistent sort for John Gallagher who posted a solid effort at Thirsk on his penultimate start, keeping on well behind a runaway winner. He didn’t back that up on his latest start when well beaten at Goodwood in this grade and, although a repeat of that penultimate run would see him close here, he’s far from guaranteed to run to that level again. He’s never won off a mark this high and the percentage call is to avoid.

5 ERISSIMUS MAXIMUS – Unlucky not to win at Sandown on his penultimate start and he made no mistake on his latest run at Yarmouth, winning by a head after showing a brilliant attitude to make most after being headed late on. He’s up three pounds as a result and he’s now into a more competitive race, but he’s all heart and another big run would be no surprise with Ryan Moore booked. Conditions will be fine and he’s another to consider.

6 UNDER THE COVERS – Improved for at Bath in June, winning a Class 5 event before a neck second in Class 4 company on her penultimate start. On her new mark, however, she was well beaten at Brighton when last seen and that leaves her with something to prove in a more competitive race. Sam Hitchott takes the ride and conditions are also a question mark, so others are readily preferred.

7 MADAME BOUNTY – Has won two of her last three starts for Ed Walker, winning over course and distance on her penultimate run with a ready victory in Class 5 company. She clearly didn’t take to the All Weather on her latest start at Kempton and that run is best ignored and she is the type to continue improving. Jenny Powell takes off five pounds from her back and she looks set to go close.

8 CROSSE FIRE – Two wins on the turf this year for Scott Dixon, with the latest of those coming three starts ago at Pontefract where he was a comfortable winner in the end. However, he has been poor into two runs since and will need a career best here up in class if he’s to be taking this under Kieran Shoemark. Conditions are fine and Dixon is in the winners at present, but he is unlikely to be good enough to win this.

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