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Horse racing tips and previews: Friday treble from Newbury


Ahead of a busy horse racing weekend, our writer/pundit Jake Russell kicks things off with his three best picks from Friday's jump meeting at Newbury

By @ Jake Russell

2.25pm - Get Best Odds Guaranteed At BetVictor Juvenile Hurdle

Although most of these might not be Triumph Hurdle material, there are still a few nice types, including Paul Nicholls' Swift Hawk who made the perfect impression on his hurdle debut at Taunton last time when beating Orchestra by 5 lengths. 

A decent enough Flat horse, who was rated 72 at his peak, but did not win in five attempts on the level, he made it the perfect start over hurdles, and although he was edging left in the closing stages, he ran on perfectly and was a very comfortable winner in the end. 

The form of that hurdle debut has been let down quite a bit, and he takes on a Skelton horse who was pitched into Grade 2 company last time, but was well beaten by 25 lengths and is yet to win in three career runs. 

Although Swift Hawk has only run once over hurdles, he had a few runs on the Flat so is relatively street-hardened already. He has to carry a 6lb penalty here, he should improve nicely under the guidance of the multiple champion trainer Nicholls, with champion jockey-chasing Harry Cobden set to ride. Swift Hawk does look to be a nice type, so it will be interesting to see if he can defy the penalty to win this contest on Friday.    

3.35pm - Download The BetVictor App "National Hunt" Novices Hurdle

I would have thought Toss Of A Coin would have taken a step up in trip, not a slight step down after his debut hurdle win at Exeter last time, as he needed all of the 2m5f trip to win by just under 2 lengths. 

He arguably doesn't fit the usual mould for a Paul Nicholls point-to-point recruit, as he did fall on his first two points, but he made amends by coming 3rd next time out and then won on his last run in a point to point over in Ireland, winning by an easy 9 lengths. 

He may not be the next superstar to come out of Ditcheat, but I think although carrying a penalty for winning last time out, he will get the better of the David Maxwell horse who does have slightly more experience over hurdles, albeit more exposed. 

Although Toss Of A Coin did jump left on quite a few jumps last time, he would have learned a tremendous amount for the experience, and going left-handed here will hopefully suit him if he were to do it again on Friday. Although he did put in a few sketchy leaps last time, he still battled on nicely and got the job done in soft conditions, getting his head in front at the first time of asking for new connections. 

Again like the Nicholls-Cobden horse mentioned above, the form of that win last time has taken a slight beating, with a few in behind coming out and running poor races since, but I just feel this horse will be on an upward trend, as he beat the experienced rivals last time out, so the chances are he will improve nicely for the run. 

Paul Nicholls won this race with Sonny Crockett in 2021 and Gelino Bello in 2022, so it is a race they clearly target to win, and they could well make it three wins out of four in the race with Toss Of A Coin here on Friday. 

4.10pm - Howden Supporting West Berkshire Mencap Handicap Chase

What Venetia Williams achieved with Denmat last time out was pretty remarkable, as the horse was having his first run since June 2021 (a 961-day break), and still won as he liked as if he had never stepped foot away from the track for two weeks, let alone almost three years. 

Your typical Venetia Williams horse, a French import who had mixed it up over hurdles and fences over in France, winning once in each code. Venetia could easily mould this horse into a very nice type, and given the fact the lengthy layoff clearly hasn't affected this horse, I would expect him to follow up that 15-length win from last time again here.

There could be question marks on the "bounce factor" , but I don't think Venetia is the type to chuck a horse back racing just 23 days after its last run, off the back of a huge break, if he wasn't bouncing at home. 

He jumped pretty well in the main last time, and despite jumping left at the last, it did not matter as he had the race comfortably in the bag. He has a 10lb raise in the weights to deal with come Friday, but from what he showed in France and on stable debut last time out, that should not stop him here.

It could be argued that the step down to two miles might catch him out, but that should not be too much of an issue as hopefully he can get it all his own way from the front, in typical Charlie Deutsch fashion.   

Treble Selections Summary:

  • 2.25 - Swift Hawk
  • 3.35 - Toss Of A Coin
  • 4.10 - Denmat  


Previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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