It's always great to be jump racing at Newbury and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway is here to mark your card at the Berkshire track for their Jumps Season Opener on Thursday.
The CSP Mares' Novices' Hurdle (1.50) features several exciting females and Break My Soul will probably be a warm order for Nicky Henderson. However, his former pupil Ben Pauling has a promising youngster in the line-up in the shape of SANDA RENA and she is the one to beat.
Sanda Rena was bought for £150,000 after landing an Irish point in December last year and she made a very solid start for Pauling when third in a mares' bumper at Southwell in March.
The Getaway mare went off 13/8 favourite on that occasion, but didn't have the speed to cope with winner She's A Fine Wine around the sharp Southwell turns. Sanda Rena still kept on well late and it was a promising effort behind a winner who has gone on to score again since.
This more galloping track looks certain to suit Sanda Rena and there should be plenty more to come now that she is sent hurdling for a stable that has been firing in novice hurdle winners.
The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (2.25) comes up next and Alan King appears to have a good chance with EMITOM, who was successful over course and distance in March.
Emitom was making his first appearance for King, following a switch from Warren Greatrex, and the formerly classy stayer bounced right back to form when running out an easy winner.
The nine-year-old is up 5lb in the weights to a mark of 127, but was rated 154 at his peak and is evidently capable of being competitive off this higher figure provided he shows his form.
His fitness has to be taken on trust after 251 days off the course, but King saddled another handicap hurdler, Forever William, to make a successful return from a similar break at Plumpton on Monday and that is enough to convince me that Emitom will be ready to go.
The 2m4f handicap chase (3.00) is a cracking race and GLOIRE D'ATHON appears to have a good chance of returning to winning ways now that he is back from a 110-day absence.
The seven-year-old was disappointing on the face of it when beaten 25 lengths into seventh in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen last time, but that was the strongest race he has ever contested and he recorded a career-best Topspeed figure. Maybe it wasn't as bad as it looked.
The time he posted clearly suggests that he ran as well as ever and Gloire D'Athon had previously been improving rapidly, having won five of his six starts over fences before that.
He has been dropped 1lb in the weights and represents the in-form Sarah Humphrey stable that saddled Nickle Back to score at Stratford last Thursday. Gloire D'Athon has a good record when fresh and can be expected to show his best now he is back after another break.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.