1pt each-way Knappers Hill @10/1, 15:35 Newbury, Saturday

2m½f  (2m69y) Betfair Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3) (GBB Race)  (Class 1) (4yo+)

This race usually goes to the best handicapped novice and I love the chances of the speedy Broomfield Burg and have backed him earlier in the week, but unfortunately the price has gone and there are equally strong cases for others. If it wasn’t for the concerning slump in form for the Paul Nicholls yard, KNAPPERS HILL would be a lot shorter than 10/1 as his Ascot form with Jonbon, Colonel Mustard, I Like To Move It and Elle Est Belle strongly suggests he’s ahead of the handicapper. He received 5lb from an in-form I Like To Move It and beat him 8l, yet is still rated 3lb his inferior. Elle Est Belle won a key Cheltenham trial at Huntington midweek, Jonbon is a single digit price for the Supreme and Colonel Mustard split some of Ireland’s best novice hurdlers when beaten 12l by Sir Gerhard at the Dublin Racing Festival. That form is excellent and the race wasn’t even run to suit, given the slow gallop. Prior to that Knappers Hill was unbeaten in three bumpers, soundly beating several horses that have gone on to be decent novice hurdlers rated in the mid 130s right up to the 143-rated Stage Star. He’s by no means reached the ceiling of his ability yet and the lack of any Cheltenham entries – not to mention the huge prize money – suggests this is his big day.

1pt each-way Knappers Hill @10/1, 15:35 Newbury, Saturday (1-5, 1/5)

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