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Horse racing tips: Jake Russell previews Saturday's racing action at Newbury


On another Saturday of depleted horse racing action, our writer Jake Russell takes a look at some of the races at Saturday's high-quality meeting at Newbury

By @ Jake Russell


1.30pm - Betfair Serial Winner Fund Handicap Hurdle 

I am all over Kyntara here, and although he has a 4lb raise in the weights after only coming 2nd last time at Warwick, he looked the winner all the way around before unfortunately stumbling just after the last hurdle, but he still ran on well and was only beaten by three quarters of a length. 

Before that he had won his first two starts for Mel Rowley by a combined 20 lengths, so was a fair way clear of his lenient looking mark, and she has worked absolute wonders with this horse, previously with Kim Bailey, his form was slightly in and out after some promise in his bumper days, Mel has taken him on here and worked wonders by getting him in great form currently. 

A 113 rated horse before he came into Mel's hands, he has shot up the ratings and is now rated a 128 horse and was unlucky to not make it three for three last time. 

A very strong traveller throughout his races, he doesn't particularly jump with too much fluency, however he clearly has a real engine on him and showed that when running on well after his momentum was taken away from him after the stumble after the last. 

As mentioned he is unlucky to not have landed the hat-trick last time, and although you could argue he is up against better horses here, and he is operating at a career-high mark, I still firmly think there is plenty more to come from this horse. 

The way he runs will suit this track and looking at the horses lining up, he will no doubt be up there with the pace once again, or might even make all of his own running, something he tried to and almost did in a winning manner at Warwick last time. 

2.05pm - Betfair Denman Chase (Grade 2)   

This race will revolve all around Shishkin, who has been far from productive this season, with various different issues coming into play for the Nicky Henderson horse. 

For for his first run of the season in the 1965 Chase at Ascot, he planted his feet and outright refused to race, something he has never done and might not ever do again. After that he was scheduled to run in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle carrying plenty of weight around, but due to weather conditions that meeting was called off, before going to then run in the rescheduled Fighting Fifth at Sandown and was pulled out because of the very soft ground. 

All of the above meant he had to head to the King George with no seasonal run under his belt, and although that was the case, he still ran an absolute blinder and looked the winner travelling around, but lady luck struck once again as he unfortunately struck himself after the 2nd last, giving Nico De Boinville no chance and unfortunately unseating, when looking like the potential winner. 

We will never know whether he would have won, but for what it is worth I feel he would have held on from the fast-finishing Hewick, but at the end of the day he didn't and Hewick did. Even so, given his troubled preparations for the King George, he still was running an absolute blinder, and was very unfortunate to not claim either 1st or 2nd place prize money. 

The Gold Cup is now on Hendo's mind for Shishkin, and ideally he would have to win trouble-free here to really be in with a chance of winning the Gold Cup. I think he will win this nicely, before heading into the Cheltenham Festival with a real chance. 

2.40pm - Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase (Grade 2)

This is a real minefield of a race, with pretty much most of these on the redemption run who need to bounce back to form, as the first two in the market Edwardstone and Boothill both arrive into this race off the back of poor runs. 

Edwardstone was stepped up in trip last time, and judging on his previous runs that season, was something he very much needed, however he did disappoint and ran far too keen that day, something you can not do over that sort of trip. 

Back down in trip here to two miles, where he probably has the best form in the race with various Grade 1 wins to his name, his form at the moment does make you question if he is still running at his mark of 162, and he is clearly not the force of old, but I just feel if he is on a going day he will be to good for these. 

This isn't the best race in truth, however it would be great to see Edwardstone bounce back to form here, and one thing I would like is for Tom Cannon to just let him go, don't try and hold him up like last time, let him go and do his own thing here. If he is good enough then he wins, if not it could be back to the drawing board for connections. 

But he is the best horse in the race, was running well before disappointing last time, so should be landing this really. If he gets beaten once again here, then it might be time to call it a day for the 2022 Arkle winner. 

3.50pm - Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Novices Limited Handicap Chase

I really thought Inch House would hose up at Cheltenham last time, but he did come a decent second, which isn't too bad of a run in the end, only beaten 5 lengths by Stumptown who probably had the experience edge on him. 

A very lightly raced horse of Jonjo O'Neill's, it is clear to see he has been purchased with chasing in mind, as he was very lightly raced over Hurdles. He is currently 2 wins and 2 places from just 4 runs over the larger obstacles, still very lightly raced with plenty more improvement surely to come. 

He still remains a 137 rated horse, the same rating as last time, and although he was firmly beaten last time, it looks like this is an easier contest, with probably the highest rated maiden chaser in training Mister Coffey his only real danger. 

Inch House looks the least exposed chaser in the field, and he should be getting the better of Mister Coffey here, who looks like a really tricky horse to train and ride.    

4.25pm - Betfair Exchange Beacons Bumper (Listed)

Bumpers get a fair bit of stick, but I like them as a contest to watch, with some nice types who could become anything in the near future, and at the end of the day, they might end up being slow 3-mile chasers, but like us humans, horses need to learn their trade somehow, and bumpers are the perfect thing for that.

I really like Royal Infantry, who was a point to point winner over 3 miles and took to bumpers very nicely last time at Doncaster, where he travelled nicely throughout the race, switched left and right a few times before surging clear to win pretty comfortably in the closing stages. 

He ran on very well down the Doncaster straight, and I feel he is more than worthy to try his hand at this Listed level. This is a fascinating contest and will take some doing to win, and whoever wins this race might be a very nice type for the future.

Previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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