Paul Callaghan’s Horse Racing Preview – Sunday 21st February
Former jockey Paul Callaghan previews Sunday’s racing from Newbury.
2.25 Denman Chase (Grade 2) over 2m, 7f, 86y.
Clan Des Obeaux has the solid form in the book. He was second at Haydock in November behind Bristol De Mai, finishing 45 lengths clear of Lostintranslation.
Clan Des Obeaux then finished third in the King George which was his last run. He’s rated 169 with Lostintranslation and Clan Des Obeaux will be a warm order in the market.
BoyleSports’ horse racing ambassador Robbie Power returns to England on Sunday to partner Lostintranslation, who is having his first run since a wind operation. I’m a huge Lostintranslation fan, but I couldn’t back him on how he has ran this season.
He will need to return to form, in order I think to take his chance in the Gold Cup next month at Cheltenham and I really hope he does, but I’ll be watching him on Sunday.
I think The Conditional represents each way value at a double digit price. He’s rated 149 and on paper has 20lbs to find with the top two rated, but on recent form, I think he will finish ahead of Lostintranslation.
The Conditional is a Grade 3 winner at the Cheltenham Festival. He was third behind Cloth Cap at Newbury last November and generally runs his race. I don’t think The Conditional will be as far away as his price suggests.
3pm Game Spirit Chase (Grade 2) over 2m, 92y.
A notable declaration for this race was Champ, but I think 2 miles could be a little on the sharp side for him.
Graeaneteen will be difficult to beat, however, I am looking to take him on.
I think if a last time out fall at Kempton, hasn’t left a mark on the Alan King trained Sceau Royal, he could be the answer in this one. He’s been mixing it over hurdles and fences during the last number of seasons. He won the Shloer Chase (Grade 2) at Cheltenham back in 2018.
Arguably, Sceau Royal didn’t kick on from that success, but if there are any weaknesses to exploit in the other leading fancies, on his best form, Sceau Royal will exploit them.
3.35 Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3) over 2m, 69y.
I think Mister Coffey has the ability to win this, or certainly go close, but he can get himself very worked up beforehand and races quite keenly, using up a lot of energy.
For that reason, I’m going to overlook the Nicky Henderson trained runner. If he settles, he will take a bit of beating but this can be quite a rough race and I don’t think he will settle.
Shakem Up’arry will be a popular selection, carrying the colours of owner Harry Redknapp – who has already confessed that he will be sneaking away from his football pundit duties to see how his horse gets on in this ultra competitive handicap, but I think Shakem Up’arry may come up short.
BoyleSports are paying 5 places if you’re having an each way bet and I can’t see the Chris Gordon trained Annual Invictus finishing out of the first 5. Richard Johnson was booked for the ride midweek, so that’s worth mentioning.
Annual Invictus hasn’t finished out of the first two on his last four runs and he’s won his last three. His handicap mark of 135 seems fair.
It’s going to be a big ask to complete the four timer, but he’s in terrific form, he has a nice handy weight of 10st 9lbs and has the assistance for the second time in his short career of Richard Johnson. I think he has a solid each way chance.