Total Domination For Mullins At Newbury
There’s a Gold Cup winner on show in Newbury but can the Irish finally end the drought in one of the most prestigious handicap chases in the sport.
Bright Highway is the most recent Irish winner of the race but that was back in 1980 and Willie Mullins has some unfinished business. In 2002 Be My Royal was first past the post but later lost it so Mullins still looks for his first and Total Recall could be the one.
The Munster National winner joined Closutton when Sandra Hughes retired and although he looked to be just a grand horse last season, in the Munster National he really improved to hack up against top weight Alpha Des Obeaux and it was a good bit back to the third horse.
Alpha Des Obeaux did his bit by coming out to frank the form in the Clonmel Oil and while Total Recall is fairly short in the betting, he really did bolt up last time and still runs here off a nice racing weight with 10st8lbs.
His weight is mainly thanks to Coneygree staying in at top weight and you’d get the impression if Sizing John or Djakadam were here today that they’d be shorter than 16/1. His last run has seemed to turn punters off but that was just a mistake that ruled him out of all contention and he could easily run a big race here if getting into a rhythm early.
Coneygree is the each-way play but
Total Recall could still be a couple of pounds ahead of the handicapper.
Nicholls on Guard
Paul Nicholls looks to have plenty of chances on the Newbury card and Old Guard is a horse that makes appeal. The six-year-old has plenty of weight in the handicap hurdle but he’s a horse that has shown a fair level of ability in the past and he ran well in the Greatwood last time.
The manner in which he stayed on up the hill at Cheltenham that day suggests that the further trip today will be a big plus and Bryony Frost takes a very valuable 5lbs off which should hopefully give him every chance.
THere’s plenty of these that you could put a line through but Old Guard ticks plenty of boxes and providing the ground doesn’t get too heavy, he should give a very good account of himself.
Someday For Fairyhouse
It’s a difficult day at Fairyhouse but a couple of favourites that might provide a nice double are Someday in the maiden hurdle and Minella Encore in the finale.
Someday looked to be in contention going to the last at Naas on his hurdling debut before Next Destination sprinted clear and he won the race with the best of the rest. It was a run that suggested a drop in trip will do him no harm and the classy bumper horse can open his account over hurdles here.
The concluding bumper features a few point-to-point winners but
Minella Encore is picked to come out on top for Willie and Patrick Mullins.
Old Guard (6/1) – 1.50 Newbury
Total Recall (9/2) – 3.00 Newbury
Someday 9/4 – 1.55 Fairyhouse
Minella Encore 4/6 – 3.40 Fairyhouse
*Prices correct at time of publication.