Saturday’s racing tips – 11/2 NAP can fight through the Storm at Newbury

Graphite Storm (second right) finishing second in a hot handicap here at Newbury last season.

Graphite Storm (second right) finishing second in a hot handicap here at Newbury last season.

Our expert takes a look through all of Saturday’s races and picks out a strong challenger in a handicap at Newbury as his NAP of the day with Coral on Saturday 17th August.

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3.00pm Newbury Unibet Handicap (Class 3) 7f

You can see why Breath Of Air is popular at the head of the market. Charlie Hills’ three-year-old has that attractive profile, Ryan Moore’s in the saddle and his only victory to date came on good-to-soft ground. I, however, am happy to go against the favourite. I’m yet to see anything to suggest he’s particularly well handicapped and being drawn in stall one won’t do him any favours on this straight, seven-furlong track.

The one I want to take the market leader on with is GRAPHITE STORM. Clive Cox’s charge finished a decent third off a mark three pounds higher than this 12 months ago and, after a couple of strong performances, looks well placed to go two better on Saturday.

It took Graphite Storm a couple of starts to warm into this new season, losing comfortably on his opening three appearance. Since Cox’s horses have started to hit a bit of form, his five-year-old’s performances have picked up notably. First, running the classy Blackheath close at Leicester, before striking late to claim a deserved win at Newmarket last time out.

A three-pound rise for that good, weight-carrying victory looks lenient and Graphite Storm remains some eight pounds short of the career-high mark he reached in the spring of 2018. His career-best performance to date came on soft ground at Leicester in 2017 and he boasts some smart form here at Newbury, winning over course-and-distance on his handicap debut the previous season.

Cox and his reliable deputy, Adam Kirby have been in really good form for a good 6 weeks now and Graphite Storm looks treated well enough to land another winning blow this weekend.