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Sam Boswell gives us a weekend round-up of some of the outstanding runners and who you should be looking out for.

A Plus Tard Hacks Up At Haydock

On paper it looked like one of the deeper renewals of the Betfair Chase, but it was the Gold Cup second A Plus Tard under BetVictor ambassador Rachael Blackmore, who scored in great style at Haydock. A 22-length win at any level is impressive, let alone in a grade one race. The scenes as the horse returned into the winner’s enclosure highlighted the rock star status Blackmore has reached. It is not often you get chanting of a jockey or trainers name, but both her and Henry De Bromhead were subject to a level of adulation rarely seen on a British Racecourse. The Savills Chase looks to be next on the agenda for A Plus Tard and he is now the 4/1 favourite for the Gold Cup in at Cheltenham in March.

Rain Needed To Get Stars On Track At Newbury

The recent lack of rain continues to hurt field sizes with Kempton’s Monday card not having a single race with more than eight runners. The highlight in the UK this week is the two-day meeting at Newbury, with the Ladbrokes Trophy usually a race to really set the blood pumping amongst jumps fans. Rain is not forecast to arrive until Friday morning, but fingers crossed that arrives early enough to ensure we have a good turnout. Willie Mullins is set to run three in the race with his Ontheropes looking to take the same path as his 2017 winner Total Recall, having both claimed the Munster National. You can see the full market right here.

Eye Catchers To Note

As ever, I try to dig out horses that may just have been missed and could prove value to follow next time out or down the line in the future. I have two from the last few days that I felt were worth flagging.

Coqolino

I think it is safe to suggest that Bob Olinger’s first race over fences could well have been an above-average beginners’ chase. Coqolino who finished fourth is just one horse to suggest taking out of the race. I felt he had the look of a horse learning on the job and to finish where he did despite some occasionally scruffy jumps really got my attention. Gordon Elliott’s lightly raced six-year-old was a three-mile point-to-point winner but has been kept to shorter trips in bumpers and hurdles since then. I can see him being given the chance to gain a bit more experience in similar races before finding himself with the chance to run in a valuable handicap chase at some point later in the season.

Harmoya Maker

The only other eyecatcher was a good second in the listed bumper at Navan on Sunday. Harmonya Maker was only getting four pounds from the winner who arrived here with race experience. The third, fourth and fifth had all also won races and the debutant was impressive when put under pressure by Jamie Codd, providing a gritty response. Based on the evidence of pitching her in at such a deep level first time out, I have no doubt she will easily claim a bumper soon and potentially a listed bumper down the line.

Ante Post Movers

Buzz - Stayers' Hurdle

8/1

It was a very busy weekend for the ante-post movers and I will share with you the three most significant in our book. Other than A Plus Tard who we have already discussed.

Buzz 8/1 Stayers Hurdle

Anyone that followed my tipping piece for the weekend would have landed on a nice winner with Buzz to win by two or more lengths! This effort at Ascot certainly screamed he would be worth a go at three miles and I can’t wait to see him up in trip next time out which should come back at Ascot in the Long Walk Hurdle before Christmas.

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Ante Post Movers

Bravemansgame - Festival Novice Chase

4/1

Paul Nicholls has a superstar novice chaser on his hands based on what we have seen so far from Bravemansgame. A bold shout perhaps but his effort on Saturday really cemented his credentials as a horse to get excited about. Kempton and the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase is his next port of call and it will certainly take a good one to get close to the Nicholls horse.

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Ante Post Movers

Bob Olinger - Marsh Novice Chase

6/4

I was amazed to see some of our followers weren’t that impressed with Bob Olinger’s first rules start over fences. For me, he beat a decent field with ease and more importantly, will learn plenty from the experience. 6/4 for the Marsh Chase in March is short but ask yourself what price would you want to lay about a horse described by Rachael Blackmore as one of the best she has ever ridden?

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Odds are correct at the time of posting

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