Newbury Carnival and Newcastle Tips – Who to Back in Ladbrokes Trophy and Fighting Fifth Hurdle

  1. This Saturday is another massive day in the National Hunt horse racing calendar with feature races at the Newbury Winter Carnival in the south and Newcastle up north. Who do our experts like on the Ladbrokes Trophy card and for the Fighting Fifth Hurdle?

Newbury Winter Carnival betting tips – Mrs Hyde can complete hat-trick

In the opening Listed novice hurdle for mares at Newbury (12:10), Mrs Hyde can give weight all-round and go in again. Trained by Brian Ellison, this seven-year-old lowered the colours of the mighty Verdana Blue at Wetherby last time out.

Mrs Hyde is proven in the grade after her game success there and in an open Listed contest at Kempton before that. She is four from five over the obstacles, earning an official rating of 140. That puts Mrs Hyde well clear on official figures.

Although facing some unexposed rivals like Estelle Ma Belle, she can continue to farm races at this level. The price with bookmakers about Mrs Hyde may reflect that, but she still has plenty more to offer and won’t need the run like Nicky Henderson’s Ahorsewithnoname.

Thyme White the Gerry Feilden value

In the other Listed contest on the card, the Gerry Feilden Intermediate Limited Handicap Hurdle (14:25), the race evolves around a clutch of horses with an official rating of 141. Among those, Thyme White created a big impression when winning at Chepstow and appeals most.

Trained by Paul Nicholls, this four-year-old runs in the Big Buck’s colours of The Stewart Family. A winner in this grade as a novice at Musselburgh, Thyme White bombed out in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham. He left that blip behind him when running out a comfortable victory of an age-restricted handicap on reappearance.

While he is up 11lb for that effort, and Henderson has a strong hand in the race, Thyme White has a fitness edge over the unbeaten Marie’s Rock and course and distance winner Floressa. At 6/1 with William Hill, he thus looks a solid each-way alternative to the former who is a warm favourite.

Kildisart and Potterman the Ladbrokes Trophy punts

With 18 declared for the Newbury Winter Carnival feature, the Grade 3 Ladbrokes Trophy Handicap Chase over 3m 2f (15:00), a couple appeal. Kildisart ran really well on his return over hurdles and that may have put him spot on for this.

Trained by Ben Pauling for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, he meets last year’s runner-up The Conditional on 3lb better terms from their Cheltenham Festival meeting. With just a neck between them, Kildisart should reverse form and is 15/2 with Unibet for the spoils.

Of those at bigger odds, Potterman ran a mighty race in defeat at Wincanton last time out. Trainer Alan King likes runners in the Ladbrokes Trophy and this horse has a nice racing weight. With a sound surface underfoot, Potterman can hit the frame at odds of 16/1 with the same firm.

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Moonlighter can go one better in finale

Nick Williams’ Moonlighter gave Greaneteen a race in the Haldon Gold Cup last time out, so could defy top-weight in the final race of the Newbury Winter Carnival (13:35). This seven-year-old drops down in class and slightly in trip here, but knows what it takes to win over course and distance.

Moonlighter wasn’t fancied at Exeter when last in action, but only went down fighting in the final strides. Greaneteen is now second-favourite for the Grade 1 Tingle Creek at Sandown next Saturday, so he could do plenty to advertise that form.

Tom Scudamore again takes the ride. He has a win and two seconds aboard Moonlighter from four starts together. There is every chance that the pair have a race of this nature, a 2m handicap chase, in them. Odds of 11/4 with BetVictor say Moonlighter can go one better here.

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Fighting Fifth Hurdle betting tips – Sceau Royal could spring shock

Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante is all the rage for more Grade 1 glory in the feature Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, meanwhile (14:05). She is plenty short enough, however, and concedes race fitness to Sceau Royal.

Trained by Alan King, this eight-year-old finished fourth in this race in 2016 but has really thrived this season. Sceau Royal took both the Welsh Champion Hurdle and Grade 2 Elite Hurdle in easy style. He also gets rare good ground on Tyneside at this time of year which is key.

While the sound surface also brings Silver Streak from the Evan Williams stable into contention, that rival isn’t proven at this elite level. Sceau Royal has won a Grade 1 over fences and may finally get a hurdles success at the highest level to match. He is a standout 5/1 with William Hill to do just that.

Ask A Honey Bee the French Furze fancy

Earlier on Fighting Fifth Hurdle day is the 2m 6f French Furze Novices’ Hurdle (12:55), and Ask A Honey Bee should appreciate the step up in trip. Trained by Fergal O’Brien, this six-year-old shares a sire with Ask Ben who won this race two years ago.

An Irish point winner and useful bumper performer, Ask A Honey Bee won his hurdles bow at Wetherby well enough. He then stepped up in trip under a penalty at Exeter, where he was just bested by Bobhopeornohope.

Ask A Honey Bee is one of many novice hurdlers advertising the Champion Bumper form from Cheltenham in March this season. His breeding suggests this test should suit.

Pym preferred in Rehearsal Handicap Chase

In a cracking renewal of the Listed 3m Rehearsal Handicap Chase which closes the Fighting Fifth Hurdle card (15:15), Pym also gets the good going he needs. Trained by Henderson in Altior’s colours, the seven-year-old bounced back to form on reappearance when lowering the colours of If The Cap Fits.

That came in a Listed 3m Intermediate Chase at Sandown. The runner-up is a Grade 1 winning novice hurdler . This definitely looks like the time of year to catch Pym, who makes his handicap chase debut off 154. While that is high, Definitly Red’s presence ensures he doesn’t carry top-weight.

With Daryl Jacob taking the ride, Pym is 7/2 with Bet365 for the Rehearsal spoils. Off those lower in the weights, The Butcher Said makes obvious appeal at 9/2 with the same firm and it may be worth your while backing both.

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