Racing Post tipster Robbie Wilders is back in the chair with his three best bets from Newbury's card on Friday.
Manothepeople @ 10/11
Knowsley Road @ 3/1
Yes Indeed @ 8/1
The ground is easing all the time at Newbury and that is great news for MANOTHEPEOPLE, who heads the early betting for the 2m7½f handicap chase (2.05).
Manothepeople was by some way the worst of this quartet over hurdles, but has made an outstanding transition to chasing, scoring with loads up his sleeve on his debut over fences at Chepstow in October off a mark of 114 before following up from subsequent winner Coeur Serein over a slightly shorter trip from an 8lb higher rating.
He returns following a 111-day break, but remains a chaser to keep on the right side of and I’m struggling to see much pace in this, opening up the possibility of an easy lead for this front-runner.
Manothepeople has yet to encounter soft ground over fences, but landed a hurdle race on that surface last February and his jumping looks a real asset.
Providing Paddy Brennan turns this into a test of stamina, this progressive novice overwhelmingly rates the likeliest winner, with trip doubts surrounding form pick Our Jet, Bridge North yet to tackle a fence and Wynn House rating a negative on the ground.
The eye is always drawn to Zanza whenever he runs at Newbury and attempting to exploit a mark of 140 over hurdles is a shrewd move by his connections in the 3m handicap hurdle (3.10).
Zanza is rated 18lb lower in this sphere and looked to be crying out for this trip when outpaced and a never-nearer fourth in the Greatwood Gold Cup over 2m4f last time.
He would rate a massive player if the ground dries out, but all his best form is on a sound surface and I’m taking him on with KNOWSLEY ROAD.
Paul Nicholls took out a couple of major handicaps at Kempton last Saturday with two progressive novices and Knowsley Road brings the right profile to the table, having improved his performances on Racing Post Ratings with each start in bumpers and hurdles.
Knowsley Road returns from 69 days off having finished a good third in the Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick.
I’m marking him up for that slightly as he was close to a strong pace throughout and the three others to race prominently finished tailed-off.
This six-year-old is proven on a testing surface and looks nailed-on to be better than a mark of 134. This looks an ideal stepping stone to the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at .
Newbury is a track with its fair share of course specialists and although labelling YES INDEED as one of those is somewhat tenuous at this stage, he is a massive player in the 2m6½f handicap chase (3.40) on the strength of his second to Nestor Park here over course and distance six starts back.
Nestor Park loves it at Newbury and Yes Indeed made a real race of it with him there off a stone higher, and crucially the ground is coming right for my selection.
Yes Indeed landed a Listed chase on very soft ground at Auteuil back in April 2021 before joining Jonjo O’Neill and, although he flopped on that terrain at Hereford in December, a subsequent 72-day break and wind surgery suggests he wasn’t right.
Draw a line through his run here over 2m three weeks ago on good ground as that kind of test isn’t his bag, and a 5lb drop for that run looks pretty generous.
It is still early days for this six-year-old and the initial odds seriously underestimate his chances.