2023 Newbury Friday Preview and Tips – DS

by | Nov 30, 2023

2023 Newbury Friday Preview & Tips

A new month and hopefully, a new start. Our bad run continued last weekend. Schalke was never put into the race and on the evidence of that run, connections must have a different target in mind. Malystic stopped very quickly again and he is probably best left alone until showing some of his old spark. The weather could play havoc with this weekend’s fixtures but hopefully, all will go ahead. Check out Dave Stevos’ 2023 Newbury Friday tips below.

1.15 – Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle (Listed)

A very tricky contest to start the day. This Listed hurdle for 3yo fillies is not an easy puzzle to decipher. On form, there should only be one winner, the 130 rated and unbeaten Wodhooh. Trained by Gordon Elliott, this daughter of Le Havre gets 3lbs from the 117 rated Max of Stars so on paper, she ought to win this comfortably. However, you won’t get rich quick from backing her at odds of 4/6.

At much bigger odds, Majestic Jameela could go well. Trained by in form Stuart Edmonds, it took this daughter of Postponed a few runs to get off the mark over timber. She achieved a rating of just 57 on the flat but she has taken well to hurdling. On the form of her debut over timber at Aintree in June, a rating of 90 may underestimate her.

Decent Form

She finished 2L behind the winner Two Past Eight that day on Merseyside. She was in receipt of 7lbs and the winner is now rated 113 and she finished 9L clear of the third. Her second at Cartmel was also a fine effort. Majestic Jameela was 5L behind the now 120 rated Gifted Angel (in receipt of 14lbs) and she had Balboa 12L behind her in third. That gelding has since won at Chepstow and is now rated 110.

Last time out, she got off the mark in a weak race on heavy ground at Leicester. That is questionable form but those Cartmel and Aintree efforts look good in the context of this race.

Saisissante, for example, was 25L behind Gifted Angel on her hurdling debut at Stratford. Max Of Stars was only a length ahead of Balboa at Market Rasen on her last start. Those fillies are 9/1 and 15/2 respectively, Majestic Jameela is 33s. At the odds, a small e/w interest on Stuart Edmonds’ charge is advised.

2023 Newbury Friday Tip: Majestic Jameela e/w @ 33/1

1.50 – John Francome Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

Not a race that appeals as a betting heat. Old friend of the blog, Colonel Mustard, continues his chasing career and he does look a shade big at 8/1 on his hurdling form. However, I am not convinced he is made for chasing and his jumping wasn’t great when beat 8L at Down Royal last time out.

Hermes Allen is the 6/4 fav. He is the top rated (148) but he lacks a recent run and it is his chase debut. He does have experience in P2Ps but even so, 6/4 does look a touch short.

Nickel Back put in a serious performance at Stratford last month. He absolutely hosed up in a handicap chase off 135, his second win from two chase starts. After that win his trainer, Sarah Humphrey, said he would be heading to the ‘bigger tracks’ and it’ll be fascinating to see how he fares today. If he gets loose on the front, he could be hard to peg back.

This race should be a good watch but I won’t get involved. No bet.


2.25 – Handicap Chase (Class 2)

With Whodini likely to head to Doncaster if racing goes ahead there, that will leave just eight in this handicap chase. Just two of them are double figure odds, Red Rookie and Goose Man. The former horse is trained by Emma Lavelle and his last win came off 137 at Warwick in March. That came over 16f and he has looked a non-stayer every time he has tried further than that.

Goose Man is the other ‘outsider’ but the money has come for him. He hacked up off 130 over hurdles at Huntingdon on his first run for Jamie Snowden after a two and a half year absence. He’s off the same mark today over fences but it’s just 17 days since that run and there’s always a big chance that a horse will bounce on their second run after being off the track for so long.

Presumably some other tipster has put him up because the 25s that was available earlier this week has disappeared. He’s into as short as 10s and 11s with most firms now, so the value has gone.

Newbury Form

The only one at a half decent price that I can make a case for is The Big Bite at 10/1. Last sighted pulling up at Aintree in May, Henry Oliver’s charge has a solid record at Newbury. On his first visit, he finished a fine third in the Greatwood Gold Cup off 146 and on his next and only other run at the track, he won the same race off 135 in May of this year.

Last year, he pulled up on his seasonal return and he unseated on his comeback in 2021. However, he did win on his first outings in 2017, 2018 and 2020 so he is capable of running well fresh. The form of Henry Oliver’s yard is a worry so keep stakes small, but if The Big Bite is on a going day, he is capable of making his presence felt off a mark of 139.

2023 Newbury Friday Tip: The Big Bite e/w @ 10/1

3.00 – Coral Long Distance Hurdle (Grade 2)

Just six run and it is hard to look past the market leaders. Marie’s Rock is odds on and she beat Dashel Drasher by 6L on her seasonal return at Cheltenham back in January. She meets him on the same terms here and even though Dashel is rated 7lbs higher, you’d have to fancy the Henderson horse to come out on top again if she is in good form.

Paisely Park is a legend of a horse but the 11yo finds winning a bit harder these days. He ran a blinder in this race last season on his first run back behind Champ and if he could repeat that, he shouldn’t be far away.

Dark Horse

If anything is going to make an impact at a price, it could be Hugos New Horse. He ran an absolute stinker on his return at Cheltenham when sent off the 9/2 fav for a class 2 handicap hurdle. He was far too keen and fresh early on but he is a better horse than he showed that day.

Last season he won five of his seven starts over hurdles and he also ran a cracker in a Premier Handicap off 130 at Sandown (20f hvy) behind Crambo. He signed off with an emphatic win in an Ayr novice (20.5f gd/sft), scoring by 2.5L.

Bred For 3 Miles

On that run he looked well worth trying at 3 miles, but things didn’t work out at Cheltenham. The return to a smaller field could help him and he is bred for this trip. His half-brother, Black Corton, finished 2nd at this meeting in the John Francome chase back in 2017 and he also won a Kempton Grade 1 at today’s distance for Paul Nicholls.

Obviously, if this horse runs like he did at Cheltenham, he has zero chance here. However, he is still only a 6yo and while he clearly didn’t produce his best there, he is undoubtedly a better horse than that. With two of the three market leaders lacking a recent run, Hugos New Horse is worth chancing e/w for minimal stakes at odds of 33/1.

2023 Newbury Friday Tip: Hugos New Horse e/w @ 33/1

3.35 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)

If Espoir De Romay strips fitter for his comeback run at Cheltenham, there is no doubt that he has the ability to feature in a race of this nature off 137. He is rated 155+ over the bigger obstacles but his chasing career was aborted after an error strewn round of jumping at Aintree on his last start in that sphere.

He reverted to hurdles last season and after a 25l defeat on his comeback at Exeter (23f gd) he ran much better the next twice at Ascot (21f gd/sft) and Uttoxeter (23.5f gd). The 9yo son of Kap Rock was beat 9L into 2nd at Ascot off 138 and then 5.5L into 3rd at Uttoxeter off the same mark.

Wind Op

Kim Bailey’s charge had wind surgery in the off season and it looked like his first run since, at Cheltenham a month ago, was merely a confidence builder. David Bass always had him out the back and wide and he trailed in 11th, a distance behind the leaders.

Gavin Sheehan now takes over in the plate and he is 3/8 with three 2nds and a 4th when riding for Bailey. Good to soft ground is fine for Espoir De Romay and his trainer has fired in 7 winners from his last 19 runners. He has yet to win at this distance but that run at Uttoxeter back in May proved that he stays the trip well.

Sometimes, when a horse has wind surgery it can take a couple of runs for them to realise they can breathe freely again. There is always a chance that he might need another confidence building run to get back to his best, but there is also a chance that his run at Cheltenham was all that he needed. In the hope that the latter scenario is the case, Espoir De Romay is the e/w selection at odds of 40/1.

2023 Newbury Friday Tip: Espoir De Romay e/w @ 40/1 (4 places)



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