The ITV4 cameras move on to Newbury on Saturday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns with his best bets at the Berkshire venue.
Inneston @ 3/1
Espoir De Guye @ 9/2
Blue Beach @ 10/1
The 2m3f novice handicap hurdle (1.30) looks like an open race at first glance, but a closer look suggests it might prove a straightforward task for the progressive 3/1 young hurdler INNESTON.
Inneston hasn’t looked back since being sent into handicap company. He won a hot 2m4f novice event at Sandown in February and nearly defied a 6lb rise in the weights over the same course and distance a couple of weeks ago in what looked like a stronger race than this.
He was beaten only half a length by winner Crambo, but the front two pulled eight lengths clear of the third and the selection raced freely throughout, so has more to offer if he can learn to settle.
The more racing he has, the better he will get and a quick return may help.
He already boasts the strongest form so, if he improves as expected, he should be too good.
It has been another stellar season for Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden and they can secure another big Saturday success with 9/2 ESPOIR DE GUYE, who lines up in the 2m4f handicap chase (2.05).
Espoir De Guye lost his form when trained by Venetia Williams last year, but he made a promising start for the Nicholls yard when fifth behind The Big Bite here three weeks ago.
That was his first run following a 106-day absence and wind surgery, and Espoir De Guye’s challenge petered out quickly from the second-last. He almost certainly needed the outing.
Nicholls might have had a return here for this race in mind and Espoir De Guye is well handicapped despite top weight. His last win came off a mark that is 5lb higher than this.
He is evidently back on a mark from which he can compete and a big run is on the cards.
The 2m41/2f 'National Hunt' Mares' Novices' Hurdle (2.40) is the big race at Newbury on Saturday and it’s worth taking a chance on 10/1 BLUE BEACH causing an upset for Mel Rowley.
Blue Beach sprang a 40-1 surprise on her debut at Uttoxeter last season and has steadily improved with racing over hurdles.
She produced her best effort over obstacles when breaking her maiden at the discipline in a 2m41/2f mares’ handicap at Huntingdon last time out.
She won that race in a respectable time and a Racing Post Rating of 108 leaves her with just 3lb to find with the best of these, but the prospect of further improvement is the big carrot.
Blue Beach was going on strongly at the finish and has loads of scope for better. She might just have too much improvement in the locker for her rivals and it's worth taking a chance.