Newbury Racing Preview - Sat 8th Feb


Native River Race Horse


Newbury host one of their biggest meetings of the year this Saturday, featuring two races that act as trials for key Cheltenham Festival races. The Denman Chase is the feature on the card, and being named after a former Gold Cup winner it is no surprise to know this is a trial for the Gold Cup. The main supporting race is the Game Spirit Chase, a trial for the Champion Chase and a race where the dual Champion Chase winner Altior will make his return to two miles.

Native River to Land Denman Chase

The Denman Chase we have lined up this year looks to be lacking in quality, and that leaves the door wide open for Native River to land the spoils. Of the seven runners that are scheduled to go to post, he is the only one with any credible claim to being a Gold Cup contender this year.

The depth of the race is highlighted further by that fact that Might Bite, who has pulled up twice and unseated rider on his last three outings, is the second favourite for the race.

The odds on offer for Native River are short, he is 1/3 to take the race with Betfred, but he should have enough to take this.

Altior Returns to Two Miles in Game Spirit

On his day, Altior is the best two miler we have seen for the past couple of seasons and everything pointed towards him being better over further. He was beaten on his only try stepping up in trip this season, and has had troubles since. This has not been a good campaign, with plans changing and things up in the air.

He should take this, but considering how things have gone for him this season, he is certainly not a horse to be rowing in with at short odds.

For those looking to find an alternative, the Paul Nicholls trained Dynamite Dollars is one to look at. This horse is coming back from a break which isn’t ideal, but Nicholls is known for getting his horses fit after time away from the track.

The other contenders haven’t shown anything special this season, so Dynamite Dollars may be worth chancing, either to beat Altior or to be the one finishing second behind him. He is currently priced up at 8/1 for the race with Betfred.

Irish Raider Worth Noting in Grade Three Betfair Hurdle

The 24 runner Grade Three Betfair Hurdle is the toughest race on the card to solve on Saturday, but an Irish raider appears to be worth nothing. The horse in question is Ciel De Neige, trained by Willie Mullins.

The horse arrived with Mullins last season, and ran once for him in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. To throw him into that race, Mullins obviously saw something in him. Since then he’s ran twice this season but hasn’t won yet. He was rated 132 at Cheltenham and is now up to 135, so not a big difference.

He relished the big field and fast pace of Cheltenham, he gets that again here and looks to be of interest. He is priced up at 10/1 with Betfred who are paying out on the first five places on the race, which makes him an each way punt.

Newbury Saturday Selections

  • Native River to win the Denman Chase
  • Dynamite Dollars to win the Game Spirit
  • Ciel De Neige Each Way in the Betfair Handicap Hurdle


Horse Racing Betting Offer


Fail to finish - money back as free bet

If you're having a bet on the racing at Newbury or anywhere else this weekend you should consider this offer from Coral before choosing your bookie. Simply place a bet on selected races (this weekend it applies to all ITV races), and if your horse fails to reach the finish line you get your stake back as a free bet, up to £10. It doesn't matter if your horse is pulled up, falls, unseats it's jockey or refuses to race, regardless of the reason you'll get your money back as a free bet.


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