With so much fantastic racing going on over the next couple of days, I’ve decided to split my thoughts into two articles – one covering Thursday and Friday, and one covering Saturday as usual. This week sees the beginning of Newmarket’s July Festival, culminating in ‘Super Saturday’ with other big meetings at York and Ascot. I have some strong selections across the three days, with Day 1 and 2 the focus here. Be sure to check back on Friday for all my Saturday selections, and follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for any further fancies. Good luck!
Ante-Post Preview #6 – 27/02/2019
2m4f Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) – Tuesday 12th March 2019
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is run over two-and-a-half-miles and is limited to Novice Chasers rated 145 or below. This rating band changed from 0-140 last season, and in result we now have an extremely competitive handicap. Last season the bottom weight ran from a mark of 137, and this year we look set for another tightly matched field. Mister Whitaker won from that bottom weight in 2018, but the nature of the race means that the top weights won’t have as difficult a task as they may have in a traditional handicap – we could see as little as 5lbs between the field this year.
It’s that time of year again – the National Hunt season is about to kick-off proper at Chepstow this weekend, meaning we sadly have to say good-bye to one of my favourite racecourses in Newton Abbot – until the spring at least! Their finale fixture is always a belter, last year producing the likes of Black Corton and Maria’s Benefit, who both went on to record Graded success thereafter. This year we are treated to another brilliant card, with over £100,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. Headlined by the Class 2 Intermediate Chase, Cheltenham Festival third Benatar is the stand-out entry and it will be fascinating to see how he does on his seasonal return. I will be at Newton Abbot tomorrow live tweeting the event, so be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceTips if you don’t already. If you want to read more from me, you can check out my National Hunt Horses to Follow 2018/19 here.
Market Rasen plays host to the highlight of Summer National Hunt Racing on Saturday, where the ITV cameras will be showing the Listed Summer Handicap Hurdle, and the Listed Summer Plate Handicap Chase. Last year the Hurdle was won by John Constable (150), whilst the Plate went to Paul Nicholls’ beautiful grey Alcala (147). I actually tipped up both of these winners 12 months ago, so the pressure is on to repeat the feat this time around!