Steve Hughes has two selections for the first of two days at Newbury on Friday
With Cheltenham looming today’s card at Newbury is not of the greatest quality. However it is competitive and I have selections for two open looking handicaps.
Newbury 2.10: Iconic Muddle
Placed in all four of his starts so far this season, this could be a fine opportunity for Iconic Muddle to break his duck for trainer Gary Moore.
A good third here in a maiden in December, he was only beaten 7l in a race where he had been beaten 38l the previous season. Since then he has chased home a graded winner in Cat Tiger at Plumpton and proven his current handicap mark of 115 to be fair when third on handicap debut at Sandown.
I felt the slow pace at Sandown was against him and a more solid gallop would be to his benefit today. This galloping track will play to his strengths too whilst he has already proven he can handle testing going.
Newbury 4.55: Dorking Cock
A highly progressive 6yo, Dorking Cock should be ideally suited to the way this race is likely to go.
A strongly run 2m is perfect for him and on his last two starts he has posted 5l wins at Chepstow and Carlisle respectively. That has taken his record in 2m handicaps to 11211. Whilst he shapes like he would be better over 2m4f, he has been well beaten on all three tries at that distance this season.
However a full pelt 2m is perfect and he should get that with Billingsley and Rose Sea Has both bold front-runners. However the former tends to jump right which won’t help him at this track and the latter pulls too hard for his own good which could prove troublesome on this stiff track. Instead they could soften each other up and set this up for the selection.
1pt each-way – Iconic Muddle 2.10 Newbury – 13/2 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt win – Dorking Cock – 4.55 Newbury – 7/2 general