We have a bundle of racing to enjoy this weekend as they race at Warwick, Newbury, Uttoxeter, Lingfield and Wolverhampton plus Naas in Ireland. Newbury is the main card but the two big races are best watched rather than punted in with a couple of short ones running. Altior is the big attraction dropping back to two-mile in the Grade Two Win Bigger On The Betfair Exchange Chase – The Game Spirit to you and me. I of course backed the Champ for the Queen Mother Champion Chase the other day at 3-1 so my fingers are crossed he shows his old brilliance back at his best trip before taking glory at the Festival; he will be an unbackable price in this. “We said we would have a go at a longer distance, but what we did was leave all the other races like the Clarence House and Tingle Creek going begging,” said trainer Nicky Henderson. “It was the wrong thing to do, but there was a lot of pressure put on us, saying ‘Come on, do something different. If you say he is a champion, prove he can stay. Otherwise he is just a boring two-mile chaser’. So, he’s a boring two-mile chaser.” I have been lucky enough to see him go full tilt over fences at two-mile and boring he aint!. Another that will be odds-on is Native River in the G.2 Denman Chase due off at 3.00.
The third that was on my radar for Newbury was Chantry House in the opener the Set Your Own Odds On Betfair Exchange Novices' Hurdle, especially with Shishkin an eye-catching winner at Huntingdon on Thursday and not coming here. The Henderson trained six-year-old is another likely to go off at very short odds if not odds-on but if you're quick you might nick a price. He looked decent wining a Bumper last March (now 142 rated Edwardstone in second) and came out in December to win what looks a fair Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham nicely; second and fourth have won since. If i see Evens I will grab it!
Charlie Appleby sends Expressionist to Lingfield for the 6f Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Handicap at 3.30. The chestnut impressed when landing debut success over 5f at Ascot in May but was then held in Royal Ascot's Group 2 Norfolk Stakes the following month missing the break. He then finished fifth in Listed company at Sandown in July. The snips were reached for and he makes is three-year-old debut as a gelding. By Guineas winner Night Of Thunder out of Permission Slip you would expect him to improve and I hope he has as I am backing him! Hills went 2-1 at lunchtime Friday. Will To Win has been going well but might struggle here off a mark of 90.
Appleby also sends two up to Dunstall Park Wolverhampton for the twilight meeting. Kingswear and Regal Legacy both entered in the 7.00 the 1m4f Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Novice Stakes. Regal Legacy makes his debut. By Dubawi out of Marie De Medici he is a half-brother to four winners. The fact cheekpieces are on for his debut is a bit of a concern. Kingswear was held on debut at Kempton, I him tipped on here. He is a good looker and you would expect the colt learnt for the experience; he got caught flat footed when they turned the taps on. It was a fair heat and the winner is now rated 80. As I mentioned at the time the Dubawi colt is a full-brother to dual G.2 winner Dartmouth and half-brother to three other winners including another dual G.2 winner Manatee. With Kirby in the saddle I fancy him to get off the mark at the second time of asking and advise you get the best price you can.