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Newbury Super Saturday Preview


We're still at the early declaration stage for the upcoming Super Saturday fixture at Newbury with several graded contests set to unfold in what is a relatively important time during the National Hunt season with many contenders looking to get their final preps in prior to festival time. The weather is expected to cooperate and Newbury is fully expected to beat the freeze.


The current rating is good to soft and soft in places under the covers. It has also been reported that the rails have been moved in so that there is roughly 6 meters of fresh ground on the inside. All hurdles are said to be set up fresh ground as well.

The opening contest is a 2m110y novice hurdle which has attracted a pre-entry field of 42 with several interesting contenders in the mix for this one. Should Red Inca be able to get it right this time (he blundered a bit two out in his maiden debut but finished a respectable third) you might expect him to be able to kick on nicely against what looks to be a beatable field. Paul Nicholls saddles Edgardo Sol for this one and he was a beaten favourite last time out.

A 3m110y handicap hurdle is next up with David Pipe's Buena Vista being the top-rated contender in this one. There are a few interesting names in this one with Junior, Kayf Aramis and Sivola De Sivola all expected to feature. The outside shot is Star Neuville who has run 212 in his last three with a best-of-the-rest finish last time out at Thurles.

The Grade 2 Denman Chase is a quality race with defending Gold Cup winner Long Run looking to finally get a win under his belt in this one. He'll have to tackle with some respectable competition as Carruthers, Medermit, Little Josh, Burton Port and Aiteen Thirtythree are all set. Sir Alex Ferguson's What A Friend is using this as just his second race of the year and has been laid up since late October after a third in the John Smith's Hurdle. He's not won since the Totesport Bowl back in 2010 but may be able to find a place here and should be able to progress after the freshening.

The Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle has been a tough puzzle to solve for some time with no genuine stand out favourite emerging up until now. Raya Star will certainly be around and could progress nicely with the likes of Orzare also appearing dangerous – a fact made even more verifiable by a very forgiving weight allowance in this one as he'll be going bottom with 9-8. A course and distance winner he has just returned to the track recently and acquitted himself well with a third place from ten when sent off at 20/1. A son of Montjeu, he had a respectable career on the flat before winning in his first attempt over hurdles.

We've then got a 3m novice hurdle to tackle with the interesting Paul Nicholls runner Silviniaco Conti set for a ride in this one. You'll likely remember him from Cheltenham and he's likely got his eyes on the same destination if he can put in a respectable run here. Grands Crus is a justifiable contender for this one and will likely take the bulk of the money. Clash Duff has progressed nicely with Our Mick also certain to feature.

There's a bumper at the end of the card with a number of recent winners moving into this one. Take a look at I Shot The Sheriff as well as Jonjo O'Neill's Shutthefrontdoor. Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles The New one who has taken two on the bounce since beginning his bumper career.