A fascinating card from Newbury on Saturday with Nicky Henderson’s All The Aces (1.30) looking to go one better than he did over C&D when no match for Prospect Wells last month. That was a good effort first time out despite the winner failing to land a gamble in the Ladbroke earlier in the month.
The selection was a decent sort on soft ground on the level, and he can have too many gears for Destoyer Deployed runner up in the Festival Bumper back in March but not seen on the track since. It is possible he may need further in time.
Quotica De Poyans must go well despite top-weight in the Mandarin but with slight reservations about his jumping the nod goes to Rey Nacarado (2.35) who travelled very well throughout the Southern National on his reappearance at Fontwell but was unable to pick up the admirable Giles Cross. The winner franked the form when finishing runner up in the Welsh National earlier in the week for the second successive year.
Only 2lbs higher in the weights than for his reappearance Rey Nacarado was a C&D winner back in March and remains open to considerable improvement as he will only turn seven tomorrow. Jaunty Journey looked all over the winner at Bangor last time but is another whose jumping can be a bit hit and miss.
Fingal Bay (3.05) is impossible to oppose in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle having been one of the stars of the first half of the jumps season (not withstanding the peerless Kauto Star). The selection has already landed a hat-trick of Grade 2 contests and looks Festival banker material. Trainer Philip Hobbs suggests both the Neptune (2m 4f) and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (3m) are under scrutiny for Cheltenham but I would be surprised if he took the latter option as he is certainly not devoid of pace.
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