31 Dec 2016

Betfred Wishing You A Happy New Year Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)

Thin pickings this Saturday with New Years' Day falling as it does on Sunday, but a decent card nonetheless at Newbury for Challow Hurdle day.

However the race that interests me is the handicap hurdle later on the card which in its short history as a class 2 has been completely dominated by upwardly mobile, progressive 5yo's - really no more than you would expect at this time of year, and there is a taking 5yo candidate in this field.

After his recent romp at Chepstow under a double penalty, the Challow Hurdle itself was mooted for Geordie Des Champs who instead stands aside for Baltazar D'Allier and takes his first step into handicap company with Barry Geraghty doing 10-06. That's 2lbs above his minimum to take the ride for Rebecca Curtis and J P McManus, a weight he's only done one other time this current winter season in GB or IRE.

Being first time out of novice company is certainly no barrier, a manoeuvre successfully completed by 2014 winner Polamco for Harry Fry. And the bonus here is that GEORDIE DES CHAMPS, who already looks well treated on OR 129, certainly appeals as one who will be better in a better race with a suitable pace to aim at.

The ground looks fine, as does the grade, the trip, track and opposition. He's bang on the right profile for the race, there's been good money for him overnight and yet the price is currently OK - certainly liveable compared to several recent winners.

3pm Newbury, Geordie Des Champs. 1.5pt win 7/2 generally

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM

** Feedback: The subject of a huge on course gamble by connections, ran a fine race to finish 2nd, pipped by another very progressive 5yo, the leaders miles clear **

Geordie Des Champs trained by Rebecca Curtis
Geordie Des Champs, progressive for Rebecca Curtis and J P McManus

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