Newbury – 2:25
2 points win Clan Des Obeaux 5/4 generally, use BOG bookies.
We trust champion trainer Paul Nicholls who is running his stable stars today even after some poor runs from his runner’s last weekend. Clan Des Obeaux ran a big race to finish second in the King George at Christmas. He jumps well and will love the nice ground and big fences at Newbury. Royale Pagaille looks the main danger, and he must overcome a very tough run to win the Peter Marsh for the second time in a row. I think the fluent jumping of Clan Des Obeaux will trump the sketchy jumping of Royal Pagaille. Clan Des Obeaux is 6lbs ahead on ratings and is the better racehorse in my opinion. This race looks a match and with the market overreacting to the form of the Paul Nicholls yard (he has 3 yards) Clan Des Obeaux is available at a value price.
Newbury – 3:35
0.5 point each way Knappers Hill 10/1 Betfred, Paddy Power & Betfair SB, all paying 5 places.
Paul Nicholls was stumped by the poor performances of most of his runners last weekend bar winner Dolos. Earlier this week Paul shared that all the blood tests & others on his string had come back normal. I’m prepared to back one of his runners as he would not run his top performers such as Bravemansgame and Clan Des Obeaux unless he thought they were working good. Knappers Hill is a horse I like who was tough as teak in his bumper days. He beat Challow hurdle winner Stage Star at Ascot last season on route to landing the Grade 2 bumper at the Aintree Festival. Aintree is a galloping course like Newbury which bodes well. Knappers Hill has raced three times this season over hurdles winning twice. He was beaten by Jonbon last time out with Colonel Mustard second at Ascot in a race run at a farcical slow pace. Both Jonbon and Colonel Mustard have come out and run big races subsequently marking that form as strong. Knappers Hill will love the quicker tempo and testing long finish at Newbury today. A rating of 135 looks “tidy” as Paul Nicholls would say himself!
Newbury – 3:35
0.5 point each way Royaume Uni 14/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB paying 5 places else 14/1 Bet365 paying 4 places.
Gary Moore loves to target this race and I fancy Royaume Uni ahead of the shorter priced Fifty Ball. This son of Galileo will love the drying ground and flat course. It was his run when third to Lively Citizen and Broomfield Burg at Cheltenham in December that put him firmly on my Betfair hurdle list. Jamie Moore rode him into contention rounding the bottom bend and wasn’t overly hard on the horse from the final hurdle to the line when his chance of winning was gone. The front two have won races subsequently while Royaume Uni laboured on soft ground at Kempton last month. Today, Royaume Uni is 4lbs better off against Broomfield Burg who is an improving horse but can race freely. Jamie Moore is carrying just 10-2 today on Royaume Uni and that is just 2lbs above his minimum weight of the past year. We take the hint and back Royaume Uni at a working mans price.
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**Next Selections due Date & Time
Sunday Morning 13th February ~11:00