Newbury races: tips, racecards and previews for Friday's Long Distance Hurdle card

PAISLEY PARK makes his eagerly-awaited return at Newbury and is the star act on a sensational Friday card.

We've previewed each of the seven races and have some top tips for you to get stuck into.

Race 1 – 12.15 Ladbrokes 'Where The Nation Plays' "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle

Unsurprisingly for a Newbury maiden at this time of year, the quality is very strong indeed.

Ask For Glory was an impressive bumper winner at Chepstow last season before finding things happening a little too fast in the big one at the Cheltenham Festival.

He still retains masses of potential now starting out over hurdles and it will be interesting to see if a wind op has worked its magic.

Coconut Splash finished second on his first outing under rules behind a decent one but this drop in trip might not suit, and the one to catch is KING ROLAND.

Harry Fry's five-year-old is unbeaten in three starts, two under rules, and the form of his Ffos Las win last season has been franked.

He too has had a wind op and remains one of Fry's most exciting prospects, so it will be disappointing if he can't go close at least.

Son Of Camas is the other boasting strong claims after winning a bumper at this track last time out.

That form is probably decent and he surely has plenty more in the tank for his top team.

SELECTION: King Roland

EACH-WAY: Ask For Glory

Race 2 – 12.45  Ladbrokes Chase (A Novices' Limited Handicap) 

It remains to be seen how well-handicapped Southfield Stone is off an opening chase mark of 142.

Paul Nicholls' six-year-old is highly regarded but has been firmly put in his place in two novice chase starts and connections will be hoping first-time cheekpieces can eke out a little improvement.

He could struggle to contain WEST TO THE BRIDGE, who looks well-handicapped for the on-fire Dan Skelton.

The six-year-old came looked very threatening at Wetherby last time before just running out of puff over a longer trip than this.

Back in distance now, this strong-travelling improver should take plenty of stopping off a very nice weight.

Sully D'Oc AA is an interesting runner on his form over in France but needs to show more than he did at Ascot last time, while Khage was also disappointing on his handicap chase debut at Carlisle.

Venetia Williams has been in good form recently so her Fanion D'Estruval needs a second look after three wins in France.

SELECTION: West To The Bridge

EACH-WAY: Fanion D'Estruval



Race 3 – 1.20 Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boosts Novices' Hurdle

This looks a really hot race.

Of the penalised duo Do Wanna Know and Severano, the latter looks arguably the more exciting, having won his maiden hurdle very impressively at Chepstow last time.

He beat a decent field that day and has clearly improved over the summer.

Do Wanna Know has claims too after the horse he beat in second last time won at Ludlow, but he got the run of the race that day and could struggle in this deeper contest.

Brewers Project is an intriguing runner for Paul Nicholls now that his point-to-point defeat of Umbrigado has worked out so well but this is a tough race in which to make his rules debut.

Faustinovick has been a talking horse for some time now and although his first hurdles outing was encouraging, it was disappointing he couldn't win.

He retains plenty of potential but could struggle to see off the exciting GRAND MOGUL.

The five-year-old moved to Nicky Henderson after thrashing his opposition in an Irish bumper under Gordon Elliott and has been the subject of encouraging reports at home.

If he's ready to go he'll take some beating.

SELECTION: Grand Mogul

EACH-WAY: Severano

Race 4 – 1.50 Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase

A very exciting race featuring last year's Arkle favourite and second-favourite.

Kalashnikov will face a tough task carrying 11-12 here and it does seem rather a strange move to plunge him into handicap company.

He's good enough to hold his own in Graded fields and he may find it tough from the top of the weights against some very unexposed opposition.

Top of the list is fabulous jumper Glen Forsa, who made a massive impression at the beginning of last year before coming unstuck at the top level.

He still has plenty of potential but so does GALA BALL, who may just be that little bit too progressive off a lower weight.

Philip Hobbs' nine-year-old produced some excellent performances in defeat at this track last year before getting his head in front in March.

He beat Valdez that day, who has gone on to frank the form, and looks nicely handicapped off just a 4lb higher mark.

Azzerti can be given a chance for Alan King but probably needs a bit more improvement, while San Benedeto shouldn't be discounted after a promising comeback.

SELECTION: Grand Mogul

EACH-WAY: Severano

Race 5 – 2.25 Ladbrokes 'Where The Nation Plays' Novices' Chase (Grade 2)

The obvious starting point here is CHAMP, who made the perfect start over fences when beating the re-opposing Dashel Drasher here earlier this month.

He did all that was asked of him then and looks a horse of significant potential given the heights he reached as a hurdler.

Seven Barrows like him a lot and he'll be very difficult to beat.

Interestingly, Vision Des Flos is highest rated in the contest after running a blinder behind Top Notch at Aintree last time out.

He has plenty of potential as a chaser and shouldn't be discounted in ideal conditions.

Black Op got his career back on track at Stratford last time out, winning impressively in weaker company.

He has a little bit to find on form with the other two but a wind op has clearly improved him and he's not discounted.


EACH-WAY: Vision Des Flos

Race 6 – 3.00  Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (Grade 2)

All eyes here on PAISLEY PARK, last season's top staying hurdler who faces his return to action.

Emma Lavelle has reportedly got her star in top shape ahead of this and it would be a massive shame if he doesn't win.

Winner of all five starts last term, he bolted up in the Sun Racing Stayers' Hurdle in March and is the one to beat off an official rating of 169.

The Worlds End could be the one most likely to give him a race after thumping Unowhatimeanharry at Wetherby last time.

That was a welcome return to form for Tom George's stayer, who's had problems for much of his career but appears finally to be getting back on track.

He should be the one to pick up second, though Unowhatimeanharry has won this race before and will strip fitter after his pipe-opener.

Thistlecrack will probably need this as it's a prep run for the King George, though such is his ability over the smaller obstacles you'd be fool to leave him out of equations.

They'll all have to go some to beat the favourite, who should take this on the way to bigger and better things.

SELECTION: Paisley Park

EACH-WAY: The Worlds End

Race 7 – 3.35  Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle 

A very tricky finale which could go the way of ONE FOR THE TEAM.

Nick Williams' contender finished second behind a smart horse in maiden company last time and could be well treated off 126, particularly with the trainer's son taking off 5lb.

The step up to 3m looks a good move and he should go close from the bottom of the weights.

Dolphin Square is also unexposed for his progressive pilot David Maxwell, and like the selection his mark might be on the generous side.

This trip may not suit him quite as well, though, and the same goes for Anytime Will Do, who could find his stamina stretched.

Potters Hedger, As I See It and Captain Tommy are others to keep an eye on.

SELECTION: One For The Team

EACH-WAY: Dolphin Square

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