NEWBURY’S Ladbrokes Winter Festival continues to go from strength
to strength as a two rather than three day meeting.
The quality is now higher across the board and many will be
turning up at the Berkshire track just to catch a glimpse of Paisley Park in
today’s Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle (3.00pm).
Emma Lavelle’s superstar is taking on some old favourites
like Thistlecrack and Unowhatimeanharry, but he should have too much for them.
It’s a watching race for me, though, and my first selection
is Harry Fry’s KING ROLAND in the opening Ladbrokes ‘Where The Nation
Plays’ Maiden Hurdle (12.15pm).
This son of Stowaway won both his bumpers last season before
having a break and getting his wind done.
Looking good on both of those starts, he could be a top
class novice hurdler this season who may well end up in something like the
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
This race has been won by some top class horses like
Lostintranslation and Buveur D’Air in recent years, so it won’t be easy but I’m
hoping this horse could be quite special.
Amy Murphy’s decision to target KALASHNIKOV at the
Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Chase (1.50pm) rather than the
BetVictor Gold Cup can be rewarded.
Her stable star won a Grade One at Aintree in April and then
was an excellent second to Forest Bihan in the Old Roan Chase on his
He is better than a handicapper and worth backing at 10/3
with the sponsors.
King Roland 12.15pm Newbury
Kalashnikov 1.50pm Newbury