2023 Newbury Saturday Preview & Tips – DS
2023 Newbury Saturday Preview & Tips
So much for a fresh start. Our rotten run continued unabated on Friday at Newbury, though to be fair, Majestic Jameela did run a good race to finish 4th. Espoir Du Ronay went well for a long way too, he just couldn’t sustain it. The Big Bite drifted to 40s from 10s and ran accordingly. Hugos New Horse was ‘backed’ but he was pulled up too. It feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall at the moment but the tide has to turn soon. Hopefully it’s today. Check out Dave Stevos’ 2023 Newbury Saturday tips below.
1.40 – Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
This time last year we backed Sebastopol to beat Stage Star in a Grade 2 Novice Chase here. After falling on his next chase start, he has reverted to hurdling and he hacked up at Newton Abbott off 138 on his seasonal reappearance. With Cameron Iles claiming 7lbs, he is effectively 2lbs lower today. However, the worry is that the bit of soft in the ground may not suit him. 20s is tempting but I’m instead going to take a chance on Cobblers Dream.
Trained by Ben Case, this horse carries the famous Croco Bay silks of Lady Jane Grosvenor. By Yeats, he went agonisingly close to winning the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham off 136 in 2022. He only ran three times last season and didn’t produce his best but on the plus side, he is now down to a very workable mark of 134.
His last win came in the valuable Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton in January 2022. That was a comfortable 5l win off 128. Jack Quinlan was on board that day and he is in the plate again this afternoon. He’s won twice going left handed so this track should be grand, good to soft/soft ground is ideal and he shaped as though he’d improve for the run at Kempton last time out. At odds of 16/1, Cobblers Dream is the e/w selection.
2023 Newbury Saturday Tip: Cobblers Dream e/w @ 16/1 (4 places)
2.15 – Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (Premier)
With the likes of Doyen To Win, Celtic Art and Our Champ in the field, this race should be run at a decent clip. If they do go a proper gallop, that might suit Suzy Smith’s Tapley. The dashing grey is a 6yo son of Geordieland and he comes into the race in top form.
Two starts ago he hacked up in a handicap hurdle at Kempton off a mark of 110 for Elizabeth Gale. He sat close to a decent early pace, she produced him at the second last hurdle and he scooted clear to win handily by 3L.
At the same track last time Tapley was a shade keen in the early stages and it turned into a bit of a sprint in the last couple of furlongs. It didn’t suit him but he still ran ok to finish third, 7L behind the winner.
He’s in off the same mark here and this race could be run to suit him. The better ground here is in his favour too and he comes into this piping fit. With Elizabeth Gale again claiming 7lbs, he’ll be carrying less than 10 stone and at odds of 22/1, hopefully Tapley can run a big race.
2023 Newbury Saturday Tip: Tapley e/w @ 22/1
2.50 – Coral Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier)
Irish winners of the Coral Gold Cup are few and far between. Total Recall (2017), Bright Highway (1980) and the mighty Arkle, who went back to back in 1964 and 1965, are the only horses that have managed the feat.
Since Total Recall’s win for Willie Mullins, Irish horses have produced form figures of: 2018 – No Runners; 2019 – 10/F/P; 2020 – No Runners; 2021 – 34PF; 2022 – 5. So, while it is true to say that Irish horses struggle to win this race, in the last two years, with you’d have been paid e/w on three of the five Irish raiders.
Obviously, the fact that the UK handicapper applies an ‘Irish Tax’ to horses travelling over does not help. Stumptown is rated 140 in Ireland, but he has to shoulder an extra 3lbs here.
Mahler Mission also gets an extra 3lbs but that is negated by Ben Harvey’s claim. The worry for me with him is his lack of experience in big fields. This is his handicap debut and all his wins have come in fields of eight or smaller.
Max Flamingo is the only other horse making the trip across the Irish Sea. We backed him for the Irish Grand National off a mark of 142 but he didn’t get his ground and was pulled up. He is a pound higher today and given that I believed he was well enough treated to run big at Fairyhouse, I can hardly abandon Francis Casey’s charge now.
Ground Key For Max
When this horse gets his favoured good ground, he is a classy animal. In 2022 he pitched up in the Irish National as a Novice on yielding ground and ran a cracker to finish 7th off 144. He was only 1.75L behind Gaillard Du Mesnil in third and if the ground had been better, he’d probably have finished a lot closer.
When he’s been trying in chases on ground with good in the description, Max Flamingo has form figures of 3P on good to yielding and 211 on good. He was pulled up in the Mayo National at Ballinrobe but I don’t think that sharp, right handed track suited him.
Francis Casey has given him a couple of spins over hurdles to prep him for this return to chasing. He shaped nicely over an inadequate trip of 17f when fifth at Down Royal last month so fitness won’t be an issue. Judging by Friday’s times, the ground is lovely at Newbury and if Simon Torrens can get Max Flamingo into a nice rhythm early, I think he could have a huge run in him off 143. At odds of 50/1, a small e/w interest is advised.
2023 Newbury Saturday Tip: Max Flamingo e/w @ 50/1 (6 places)
3.25 – Coral handicap Chase (Class 2)
Just six run in this finale and it is a race I am more than happy to swerve. Given his overall record, Master Chewy isn’t one for maximum faith at 4/6 and I’d probably prefer the chances of Elixir Du Nutz with Freddie Gingell taking off 5lbs. He’s only 5/1 though so we’ll leave him alone. No bet.