Newbury 3.35 - Handicap Hurdle 3 miles 52 yards 18 run Class 2
A competitive race with lots to consider.
My initial list was half of the 18 runner field!!..so lets whittle them down, Vive Le Roi won this last year on a remarkable form run that took it from a mark below 100 up to the mid 130's. It is stuck at that handicap range and may be of interest back below 130. Telson Barley from the McPherson yard ran well over further at Kelso on season debut and winner of that has won since, may outrun Odds upped in Class as may Potters Hedger for Lucy Wadham. It would be no surprise to see one or other of those 3 running big races but just miss the final list today, good runs give confidence that the "analysis head" is working well.
ONE FOR THE TEAM and DOLPHIN SQUARE are highly fancied and understandably. However, neither has experienced yet the hurly burly of a big field Handicap like this and only for that reason and at what I think are restrictive Odds, I will pass them by. Captain Tommy and Debestyman have glimmers of form that intrested me but may not yet be ready for a race like this.
That brings me to my tip and Tracker. The TIP is CHAMPERS ON ICE who won well on seasonal debut, fit, in form, ideal trip and conditions and not overly punished by the Handicapper and still on a mark it has run perfectly well from in the past. Unless the horse has quickly lost form and edge I think it can go very close here. The Tracker is DR DES who comes from the progressive Yard of Henry Oliver, the horse has had, and probably needed both of its runs so far, quietly running to full fitness, can be no excuses on that count today and on balance of form arrives off nice mark, ideal conditions and could be a bit of overpriced each way value.
TIP - CHAMPERS ON ICE (see above) / TRACKER - DR DES @ 20/1