Newbury tips Wednesday 18 December – Race-by-race selections for the day’s feature fixture

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race tips and best bets for Wednesday's feature meeting at Newbury which features competitive Listed and handicap action.

A solid seven-race card goes to post at Newbury on Wednesday, getting underway from 12.20pm and featuring Listed action with the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Chase heading up the day’s action at the Berkshire venue.

There is also some good handicap action on the card on what looks a good quality fixture for Wednesday’s feature meeting.

12:20 – Prodec Networks Juvenile Hurdle Cl4 (3yo) 2m½f
12:50 – Prodec Networks Maiden Hurdle (Novices’ Championship Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl4 (4yo+) 2m½f
1:20 – Prodec Networks Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 2m7½f
1:55 – Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f
2:25 – Conundrum EBF Stallions “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) Cl4 (4-6yo) 2m4½f
3:00 – Powersolve Electronics Greatwood Charity Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase Cl4 (4yo+ 0-120) 2m½f
3:30 – Prodec Networks Fillies’ “Junior” Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl5 (3yo) 1m4½f

Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look at Newbury’s seven-race card on Wednesday, and he gives his picks for every race throughout the afternoon at the Berkshire track.

12:20 – Prodec Networks Juvenile Hurdle Cl4 (3yo) 2m½f

FRASER ISLAND (11/8, William Hill) was a useful sort on the flat for Mark Johnston, winning at Beverley back in April and making the frame on several subsequent outings prior to joining Nicky Henderson ahead of a switch to hurdling.

The Australia gelding sets out over obstacles in what looks a very winnable introduction, and he may well prove a tough nut to crack on his debut over hurdles where he can get off the mark at the first attempt in this sphere if adapting to this different discipline.

12:50 – Prodec Networks Maiden Hurdle (Novices’ Championship Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl4 (4yo+) 2m½f

Nicky Henderson has introduced a few notable names in this contest, with the Seven Barrows maestro winning the race four times since the turn of the decade, and he could collect again with SHISHKIN (4/7, Coral) who arrives here on a hat-trick of wins having rounded off his time in the pointing sphere with a win at Lingstown before readily scoring in a Kempton bumper on his debut for this yard.

The Sholokhov gelding ran out an impressive winner that day, making all the running and only needing pushed out to score by eight lengths from his rivals, and he could well find improvement switched now to hurdling given he’s bred to appreciate the jumps game.

Those with the benefit of a prior start over obstacles don’t appear to set the bar particularly high, and likely to be well schooled ahead of his hurdles debut he could prove a smart hurdling prospect so he ought to post a big effort where he can get off the mark over obstacles and enhance his trainer’s fine record in the contest.

Nicky Henderson

Nicky Henderson can get amongst the winners at Newbury on Wednesday.

1:20 – Prodec Networks Chase (A Novices’ Limited Handicap) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 2m7½f

NOTACHANCE (10/3, William Hill) showed some useful hurdles form in a handful of starts last term over timber which included a win at Newbury in March; but Alan King’s charge looks to have improved for the switch to chasing, and the Mahler gelding can improve again to double his win tally.

He returned from a break to go down only by a nose behind Fortescue on his chase debut at Southwell, caught on the line by the winner, and he stepped up on that reappearance to run out a neck winner over De Name Evades Me at Exeter last time out.

He jumped and travelled well in that race, but he appeared to idle in front and was all-out for the win; the front pair had pulled ten lengths clear, and the fourth from the race almost scored at Carlisle on Sunday so the form could prove decent.

A winner over hurdles at this venue, he could have more to offer over the larger obstacles and every chance he can find further improvement to strike again.

1:55 – Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares’ Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f

MAGIC OF LIGHT (2/7, Bet365) ought to prove too strong for her three rivals, and Jessica Harrington’s charge can take this Listed price back to Ireland for a second successive year.

The Flemensfirth mare showed her class last time to win ths race twelve months ago when beating the reopposing Drinks Interval by 14 lengths, and she followed up over hurdles at Ascot in January when beating Jester Jet to claim the Grade Two Warfield Hurdle.

Things didn’t quite go to plan in subsequent runs over fences, but she found only Tiger Roll too good in the Aintree Grand National on her final outing, and she posted an encouraging return to action when looking in need of the run over a shorter trip behind Bacardys when sent back over hurdles at Navan last month in the Lismullen Hurdle.

That run will have brought her on, and back over fences as she bids to defend her crown she ought to take plenty of beating back up in distance so no surprise to see her get back to winning ways.

Magic Of Light can register back-to-back wins in Wednesday’s feature race at Newbury.

2:25 – Conundrum EBF Stallions “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) Cl4 (4-6yo) 2m4½f

THE BIG BREAKAWAY (8/15, Ladbrokes) bolted up on his hurdles debut at Chepstow last month, and Colin Tizzard’s charge can double up here given he has plenty of potential to improve.

The Getaway gelding was a winner between the flags for Donnchadh Doyle prior to joining this yard, and he ran out a comfortable eight lengths’ winner over Blackjack Kentucky where he overcame some trouble in running; but he was still on the bit on the run to the last, and he quickened up well to readily score with the field well strung out.

That race has thrown up a subsequent winner, while the runner-up and third both filled the same spot in subsequent outings, so the form of that win has a solid look to it. Entitled to improve on the back of that first hurdles experience then he could prove tough to beat here despite his winners’ penalty, and he rates an exciting prospect who can and should strike again.

3:00 – Powersolve Electronics Greatwood Charity Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase Cl4 (4yo+ 0-120) 2m½f

LE COEUR NET (6/1, William Hill) is a largely consistent sort who rarely runs a poor race, and Anthony Honeyball’s charge can get back to winning ways here.

The Network gelding struck his latest win at Ffos Las back in November last year, beating Alf ‘n’ Dor by a wide margin, and he has made the frame in three of his four subsequent starts either side of a break which include both outings this term.

Third on his reappearance back at Ffos Las in November, he bumped into a well-handicapped rival at Plumpton eight days later, beaten three lengths’ behind Duhallow Lad, and the third from that race beat one of today’s rivals next time out.

The handicapper has left him alone at the weights, while the application of cheekpieces could well sharpen him up, and he should give another good account of himself here.

3:30 – Prodec Networks Fillies’ “Junior” Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl5 (3yo) 1m4½f

In-form Fergal O’Brien does well with his runners in bumpers, and DREAMING OF GLORY (4/1, Unibet) can round off the Wednesday card at Newbury with a debut win.

The Fame And Glory filly is related to winners in this sphere and also some very smart performers, including Grade One winner Captain Chris, and given her yard’s very good record in bumpers she looks worth chancing in the finale to come out on top in what could prove to be a decent bumper contest.

NEWBURY TIPS – WEDNESDAY 18 December 17, 2019

12:20 – FRASER ISLAND (11/8, William Hill)
12:50 – SHISHKIN (4/7, Coral)
1:20 – NOTACHANCE (10/3, William Hill)
1:55 – MAGIC OF LIGHT (2/7, Bet365)
2:25 – THE BIG BREAKAWAY (8/15, Ladbrokes)
3:00 – LE COEUR NET (6/1, William Hill)
3:30 – DREAMING OF GLORY (4/1, Unibet)

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