Wednesday’s race of the day – Will a star be born in Newbury’s Handicap feature?

Jon Vine takes a look through the runners in Wednesday’s feature race at Newbury and provides readers with his best bet in Wednesday’s race of the day on Wednesday 15th January.

As part of our Daily Tips service, I’ve taken a look through the runners set to contest Wednesday’s race of the day and put my faith in the short-priced favourite.

Wednesday’s Race Of The Day at Newbury

Champagne City

Reached a peak rating of 139 over hurdles, running consistently well in some big handicaps. Didn’t jump with any fluency on chasing debut here in November, crossing the line seventh of eight behind Fanion D’Estruval. Has plenty to prove over the larger obstacles.

Champagne Platinum

Winning pointer. Comfortably won on first couple of starts over hurdles before a lengthy defeat behind Klassical Dream in Grade One company at Punchestown. Never travelling on chase debut at Cheltenham. Beaten almost 60-lengths behind Mister Fisher. Another with questions to answer.

Moonlighter

Going well enough to challenge when unseating rider at Exeter on Chase debut. Then beaten into second by Baddesley Knight at Wincanton. Clashed with Precious Cargo at Haydock last month, but unseated at just the third obstacle. Clearly has some ability, but jumping needs to tighten up.

Precious Cargo

Task was made easier on debut when Moonlighter unseated, but the favourite still ran out a convincing 19-length winner. Always looked a chaser last season, despite winning twice over hurdles. Opening handicap mark of 140 doesn’t look harsh in the slightest.

Vado Forte

Has been much better since dropped back to two miles. Finished a close fourth at Chepstow in November and lost out by just a neck in thriller here at Newbury on Challow Hurdle day. Should be competitive, but there are much better options here.

Verdict

I really can’t see past PRECIOUS CARGO (11/8 bet365) – not that I’d want to, as I think Nicky Henderson’s youngster has all the credentials to be a very high-quality chaser. The favourite only made one slight error on his first look at fences, beating 125-rated Coole Well by almost 20-lengths when giving his rival three pounds at the weights.

I think Precious Cargo will leave this opening handicap mark far behind him as the season wears on. Take the 11/8 while you can, as he won’t be odds against for long!

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