The jumps season is now in full swing and, while plenty already seem to be focusing on the Cheltenham Festival, it is important to savour the action taking place at the minute and there has been some fantastic racing with some great prospects on show these last couple of weeks.
Newbury hosts the day’s feature race tomorrow but for the day’s first bet I’m looking to SOUL EMOTION (12/1 generally) in the 1.50 at the same meeting.
Soul Emotion shoulders top weight, running off a steep enough 150 mark, but he is almost entirely unexposed, having had only three starts for Henderson since joining the yard from France. On the first two of those he showed his class by beating the useful Westend Story with ease on his British debut and then franked the strong impression he’d made by winning a valuable handicap hurdle at Sandown off a 137 mark. He won that with plenty in hand and duly stepped up to Grade 1 company in the Long Walk hurdle at Ascot for his seasonal debut last year.
He was still right there two out that day but faded before the last and collapsed after the race, which was won by Paisley Park. He has been given plenty time to recover and this will be his first run since. If he is back to his best then he has a huge chance and I think the 12/1 looks worth taking. Whatever happens tomorrow he is worth keeping an eye on going forward.
The Ladbroke Trophy Handicap Chase (3.00) has all the makings of an open, exciting race. There are plenty who make some sort of appeal but I think BRAVE EAGLE (widely available 40/1) is worth chancing at a big price.
This son of Yeats ahs an impressive win record, taking 9 of his 14 starts with two runners up spots also on his CV. Decent over hurdles, winning 5 from 9, he’s improved over fences, winning 4 from 5.
He’s not been seen since June when he won by a nose from a mark of 152 (races off 158 here) over this trip at Uttoxeter. That followed on from a nice win the month before at Haydock where he defied a 210 day absence to win nicely in the end having been a bit outpaced at one stage.
He has questions to answer without doubt but he’s a horse who has done very well off a break, stays well, has a good win record and has age on his side. He won on his only start at this track, another plus. At 40/1 he has enough in his favour to warrant an interest.
Others I like are Yala Enki who is high enough in the weights but could go well having his first run for Paul Nicholls under Bryony Frost who could suit him ideally. Borice, who beat Black Corton in the Galway Plate in the summer, has a stiff handicap hike to contend with but may still be open to more improvement for Gordon Elliott is feared while all the Tizzard runners merit strong respect.