Saturday has power packed schedule of action for us to enjoy, Newbury takes centre stage with the big handicap hurdle and Altior returns to action. We also have a good card of jumps at Warwick, plus jumping at Uttoxeter and Naas. All weather fans can enjoy Lingfield and Wolverhampton later on.
Rouge Vif to win
The Kingmaker is a race that has featured some top novice chasers over the years, this seasons renewal looks perhaps a bit lacking in stardust with Brewingupastorm now going straight to the Festival. Nube Negra is your market leader for the Skelton duo and this course and distance winner is to be respected but to my eye could be vulnerable to some in this field. Gavin Sheehan will have to be quick to weigh out after this race to reach Newbury in time for his ride on Thebannerkingrebel in the Betfair Hurdle. Before he heads south he will have a great chance of claiming this grade two race on Rouge Vif. The second favourite was last seen coming second to the highly regarded Global Citizen at Kempton over Christmas, wind surgery seemed to be a big help to the six year old. He will need to jump better than when he has previously run over fences so far in his career, another plus is Sheehan riding at a strike rate of 23eight=”329″ />
At the prices I think you can afford to play two in the race and the second at a huge 40/1 is another trainer with a good reputation in the race is Gary Moore. He has won it three times since 2007 and throws Neff in at the deep end. The five year old has plenty of experience on the flat and whilst he didn’t show much there since going jumping he has run nice races when second at Ascot and Plumpton before recently winning at Fontwell when his rival departed late in the day. Both are big prices in a tough puzzle to solve but both will be seeing an each way bet from me.