There's not much left over the next month in National Hunt racing as trainers wrap most of their charges up in cotton wool for the Festival. But there is a decent card tomorrow at Newbury, and concluding the card is an intriguing bumper which might unearth quite a bit of talent. And to preview this race, it's recent addition and NHF specialist, Tony Amato, @mato66.
Betfair Ready? Bumper
Listed, 2m 69y, £20,000
1645 local, 0345 AEDT
A decent card ends with a decent bumper, with top trainers and all have seen the racecourse, these races can sometimes be cut down to trainers that take the races seriously and we have a lot of them in attendance with an Irish raider thrown in the mix. Lots of winners will come out of this race I'm sure and I expect all that I mention will go on to be good horses this season and beyond.
I'll start with the Irish raider.. COSMOS MOON (Robbie McNamara) ran in a Naas bumper where he was disappointing (fifth) his shrewd trainer made no secret of his disappointment that the horse had not shown what they thought he would as the whispers were that the stable thought a fair bit of him. I don't think they would be bringing him over to run here if they thought that was as good as he had in him.
WESTERN RYDER has run in three races and won two of them including a decent Listed contest at Ascot, that's fine form and no matter what, he looks like he'll play a big role in this race. His trainer knows how to win these races and that's always a big plus. However he has to carry a lot of weight and for that reason I'm happy to pass him over here. Giving good horses over a stone will not be easy.
INFINITE SON beat Western Ryder by a nose last November on debut at Market Rasen. The race was a touch messy and Western Ryder pulled hard, the reason I think Fergal O'Brien's 6yr old held off the late challenge from the 8/11 favourite. Fergal's horse was 12/1 for that race so it was a surprise to the yard he ran as he did. They do however know what it takes to win these races so I'm sure a lot of punters may take a chance on this one e/w @14/1.
KAYF MARINER beat a fancied horse at Bangor on debut, I was there and Kildisart (10/11) was well fancied by his yard but this Alan King 5yr old had the excellent W. Featherstone in the saddle with his 5lb claim which made a big difference towards the end of the race. I don't think that form will be good enough here.
MARTEN (Ben Pauling) was a bitter disappointment on debut at Doncaster. His trainer had stated that he had high hopes for his father-in-law's horse but he faded tamely to finish fifth. However he left that run behind him at Warwick on New Year's Eve when staying on well to go away from the field to win a touch cosy.
DAPHNE DU CLOS (Nicky Henderson) was thought good enough to debut at Cheltenham in a Listed mares' bumper, she had been purchased from France and her reputation was the talk of the track. She ran a cracker to go down a neck to the highly regarded mare Cap Soleil (who is Aintree bound). She is obviously a filly of some potential and with the weight concession she receives from this field, it'll take a top performance to lower her colours.
DYNAMITE DOLLARS was third in the listed bumper Cap Soleil won at Cheltenham. That was a big improvement from the Paul Nicholls inmate who was beaten on debut at Taunton in a five-runner affair where the winner has since come out and been beaten. I think a place is the best this 4yr old can expect.
DAPHNE DU CLOS @5/2