Native River 2.25 Newbury at 10/11
Course and distance winner
Native River has won three hurdle races and six chases from 2m 1f to 3m 5f on ground varying from good to soft. Third of 13 behind Sizing John beaten 3l at 7/2 on his latest outing in a Grade 1 chase in the Group 1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase at Cheltenham over 3m 2f (good) in March last year. Had an excellent campaign last season, winning 3 on the spin, namely Hennessy here, Welsh National at Chepstow and this event. Good third in Gold Cup on final start and purposely kept fresh. He is the only course and distance winner in the field and that counts for plenty here.
Can be ridden from the front or for pace
He can be ridden from the front or for pace and that has value in a three horse race. We are reminded of the comments of his trainer last February: "Richard (Johnson) and Aidan (Coleman) were talking how best to ride him. In the Hennessy and Welsh National he went clear but then only just held on. This time we decided to hold on to him for longer and he has gone and sprinted to the line. It was a brilliant performance. He isn't just an out and out stayer. He has pace as well."
Looks fit and well as ever - Colin Tizzard
Tizzard was understandably cautious and said of this race: "He had a ligament problem after the Gold Cup but has been back in since August," said Tizzard. "He's been to Larkhill three times to catch up on everyone else. He looks fit and works as well as ever, his schooling has been as good as ever, he's a gorgeous horse and I'm looking forward to having him back in the fold. If he gets beaten it wouldn't be a surprise as Cloudy Dream is a very good horse rated 158 and he's race-fit. I just want him to run his race."
Of his rivals - Cloudy Dream
Cloudy Dream enjoyed an excellent novice chase campaign, including runner-up in the Arkle. Further progress when runner-up all 3 starts this season and has race fitness on his side. Probably best at 2m4f and our guess is Richard Johnson will take him out of his comfort zone with a mile to go. Ruth Jefferson said: "He's very well in himself. We gave him a break after his last run to freshen him up, as we like to do at this time of year. It's about seeing how he handles the trip on slightly better ground than he got at Aintree, so hopefully they won't get too much rain. He's up against two horses who ran very well in the Gold Cup last year, so this will tell us more as they should go a good gallop and we'll find out if he does stay, or could stay further. It's a good opportunity to have another go and find out."
Saphir Du Rheu
Saphir du Rheu looked as good as ever last season (fifth in Cheltenham Gold Cup but now receives 6lbs) but reportedly picked up an injury when falling in the Grand National in April. Obvious claims on these terms if none the worse but there must be real doubts. Tongue tied. We thought the comments of Paul Nicholls were significant, he said: "He is a high-class horse who thankfully has fully recovered from injuring a fetlock joint when he fell in last year's Grand National. I've drilled plenty of work into him, he's had a racecourse gallop and he has also done plenty of schooling. Yet I suspect racegoers at Newbury will probably think Saphir Du Rheu looks a bit big in the paddock and they will be right because he is still a fraction on the burly side. He has to run somewhere if he is to make it to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in which he was beaten only six lengths a year ago. I'm trying him in a tongue tie for the first time and would say he is bound to improve for the run which should hopefully put him spot on for another crack at the Gold Cup."
NATIVE RIVER and Saphir du Rheu are the form picks, with preference for the former. Both have missed the first part of the season but, whereas Saphir du Rheu has an injury to bounce back from, Native River has intentionally been kept fresh with the Cheltenham Gold Cup in mind. Cloudy Dream may prove better over shorter but does have the advantage of race fitness.
The Racing Horse will update the results of our 2018 Pacafi's as soon as possible especially for those who use percentage of the bank staking which is our preferred option. Our results will show advised odds/best price guaranteed, result, stake, win or lose, balance and strike-rate. The results will be shown at 1pt win stakes.
7 Native River 1.91 WIN 1.00 +0.91 +0.40 S/R 57% 6 Nice Shot 1.62 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 -0.51 S/R 50% 5 Star Ascending 1.91 WIN 1.00 +0.91 +0.49 S/R 60% 4 Colreevy 2.00 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 -0.42 S/R 50% 3 Morning Has Broken 1.91 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +0.58 S/R 67% 2 Watersmeet 1.67 WIN 1.00 +0.67 +1.58 S/R 100% 1 Sacred Act 1.91 WIN 1.00 +0.91 +0.91 S/R 100%
February SELECTIONS: 7 WIN: 4 LOSE: 3 S/R: 57% PROFIT: +0.40pts
16 Vale Of Kent 1.56 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +1.13 S/R 56% 15 Solo Saxophone 2.25 WIN 1.00 +1.25 +2.13 S/R 60% 14 Un De Sceaux 1.50 WIN 1.00 +0.50 +0.88 S/R 57% 13 Court House 1.80 WIN 1.00 +0.80 +0.38 S/R 54% 12 Native Appeal 1.62 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 -0.42 S/R 50% 11 Haulani 3.25 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +0.58 S/R 55% 10 Reiffa 1.83 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +1.58 S/R 60% 9 Ode To Autumn 1.50 WIN 1.00 +0.50 +2.58 S/R 67% 8 Carole's Vigilante 1.50 WIN 1.00 +0.50 +2.08 S/R 63% 7 Frontiersman 2.00 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +1.58 S/R 57% 6 Mr Whipped 2.87 WIN 1.00 +1.87 +2.58 S/R 67% 5 Redicean 1.67 WIN 1.00 +0.67 +0.71 S/R 60% 4 Mosseyb 1.72 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +0.04 S/R 50% 3 Jack Of Truth 2.50 LOSE 1.00 -1.00 +1.04 S/R 67% 2 Arcanada 2.37 WIN 1.00 +1.37 +2.04 S/R 100% 1 Night Of Glory 1.67 WIN 1.00 +0.67 +0.67 S/R 100%
January SELECTIONS: 16 WIN: 9 LOSE: 7 S/R: 56% PROFIT: +1.13pts
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