1pt win Abolitionist @4/1, 14:05 Newbury, Saturday

Nobody should feel ashamed for wanting Cheltenham to arrive now and on the penultimate weekend before the festival there are plenty of horses being kept away from the action.

There’s a nice looking Veterans’ Handicap Chase over at Newbury though with plenty of old favourites on show again like The Last Samurai and Theatre Guide, who both ran well last time out and have chances.

Carole’s Destrier is a course-specialist at Newbury and he can do well again here having gone in earlier in the season off just a 2lb lower mark. He has been running well and was arguably very unlucky last-time out when getting badly hampered. He was possibly the bet at little earlier this week at bigger odds, but he has been well-backed with a few tipsters taking the value play on him.

So that swings the verdict back towards ABOLITIONIST, who is an extremely interesting recruit for Dr. Richard Newland. He runs off the same mark of 145 when he raced in the Irish Grand National finishing third and this mark is being preserved for Aintree in April.

Abolitionist has not jumped a fence for nearly two years, but he was a very sound jumper when racing in Ireland for E. Holden and his trainer will want him to be competitive despite the long absence. He did put in an impressive performance on his first start for this yard in a Pertemps Hurdle qualifier back at Aintree in November, where he rated off a very lenient mark of 122.

That showed Abolitionist still retained plenty of ability and he should go close here if he is to be a serious contender for the Grand National.

1pt win Abolitionist @4/1, 14:05 Newbury, Saturday

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