Great Britain Preview: Spot Plays November 26 | TwinSpires Edge

Great Britain Preview: Spot Plays November 26 | TwinSpires Edge

Brits are jumping into the hot Saturday racing season in serious fashion. Two of Britain’s most exciting steeplechases – both from the same stable – face off in the Fighting Fifth in Newcastle, while one of Britain’s richest steeplechases takes place in Newbury.

Some high quality horses and some exciting races will be on display. Here are some positional play suggestions for the big races.

Newcastle, Race Five, 9:10am ET: Fighting Fifth Hurdle (G1), two miles, open hurdles

Lead coach Nicky Henderson wanted him to start #1 Constitution Hill, his junior star in the steeplechase from last season, was at Ascot last week but pulled the horse when the course got too firm. He decided that the best alternative to starting a campaign targeting the Champion Hurdle (G1) at Cheltenham was in this race at Newcastle – even though it meant taking on a quality stablemate #5 Ipatantwhich is racing under different ownership.

Epatante won the Champion Hurdle in 2020 but has since found herself in the shadow of a better mare in Honeysuckle, finishing second in the race last year. But Constitution Hill had emerged as a stronger potential contender for Honeysuckle when he won the Senior (G1) Novices’ Stakes at Cheltenham by 22 lengths, and would be firm favorite to win here.

Epatante dead hot in this past year with #2 Not sleepyWhile #3 Tommy Oscar It is another type of barrier. But Constitution Hill is hard to pass by, and Exotics is probably the best option.

Newbury, fifth race, 9:30 a.m. ET: Jerry Fielden (1st handicap), two miles, open hurdles

Only eight horses paid for this first hurdle, but it seems a very even affair. The best performing horse is #1 st, who finished second to Hurdle County’s highly regarded Statesman (G3) at Cheltenham. Jonbon has found very good in the Aintree Top Novices’ Hurdle (G1) but this is easier company, although he does concede weight all round.

Henderson, who coaches First Street, has another strong contender #2 Glory Theatre. She won three junior mares hurdles last season and has improved during her first campaign. Don’t be surprised if it gets better again during the summer.

Horse who can test henderson pair is #5 Picard. He performed respectably when beaten by Gunbon at Haydock in January, and returned in style with an easy win at Chepstow on 25 October. With 149 pounds on the back—19 pounds less than the First Street—he can present a serious challenge. But I’m willing to stick to First Street.

  • $10 to win / $30 to bid: #1 st

Newbury, Race 6, 10:05 a.m. ET: Newbury Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 3 1/4 miles, open chasers

With over £250,000 ($303,000) in purse money, this is one of Britain’s richest handicap jumping races and, as always, attracted a very good and deep field, with 16 runners going for centre. And field enough that even favorites in some UK markets were as high as 7-1 two days before the event.

The two horses that featured so prominently last year are back again: #2 Fiddlerontheroofclose seconds , and #9 Remastered, who was challenging for the lead when he fell four fences from home. Both have taken an unusual path using steeplechase racing as preparation for this event, but both have gone well and are looking to get big chances. Retreat, pulling 13 pounds in weights, might be the better prospect.

It will support a lot of people #7 Crash Rambler, winner of the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last season. He was fine when he resumed at Carlisle, finishing 5th, but the 2 1/2 mile ride was too short and he should do better here. #11 Gericault RocSecond only to Cheltenham’s Curach Rambler, he also has prospects.

#3 Three androtrophy He is in the Open class this year having done well as a junior, winning at Grade 2 level before finding L’Homme Presse too difficult in the Brown Advisory Chase (G1) at Cheltenham. He resumed with a gentle third in the West Yorkshire Hurdle (G2) and should enjoy getting back to the big fences.

Irish visitor #5 Busselton He remains in great shape and cannot be ignored, nor can the last winner of the tournament #8 Lou Milos. But I will give Remastered the chance to make up for its fall last year with a win in 2022.

  • $10 to win / $20 bid: #9 Remastered
  • $1 Trifecta: 7, 9 with 2, 7, 9 with 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11

Newcastle, Race 7, 10:25am ET: Practice Chase (1st handicap), 3 miles, open chasers

While big money is at stake in Newbury, there is a good handicap chase in Newcastle too in the form of the rehearsal chase. Like Fighting V, it looks like it could fall on another horse that missed last week due to heavy ground.

#1 Lum Bryce He was Britain’s most exciting junior last year, recording a decisive victory in the three-mile Brown Advisory Chase at Cheltenham. He was a little frustrated in the end-of-season chase at Aintree, but he’s already had a busy season and should rebound after his summer break.

He faces manual opposition, not least of which is rapid improvement #9 Overdrive. He has now won his last four races over big fences, the last being a premier race at Wetherby on 28 October. This is his toughest test yet, but with 26 pounds pulled in the weights, he should have a solid chance.

#3 Happygolucky is another interesting runner. He hasn’t raced since winning the Grade 3 Handicap Chase at Aintree in April 2021. It will give the market a good indication of his readiness, but I’m finding it hard to match him with the likes of L’Homme Presse and Into Overdrive.

  • $10 to win / $30 to bid: #9 Overdrive
  • $2 Trifecta: 1, 9 with 1, 9 with all

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