Free racing tips for the Greatwood Veterans' Chase at Newbury, a handicap over 3m2f at 2.40pm.
Newbury hosts a competitive card this Saturday, and one of the feature races is the Greatwood Veterans' Chase, which has attracted 7 runners. This is a race where older horses get a chance to face each other and, in what are always exciting races, I'm going to try to pick out a worthy winner.
Carruthers (9/4 BetVictor) is one of the most popular veteran chasers in training, and would put a smile on a lot of people's faces if he were to come home victorious. He has C&D form after winning the Hennessy Gold Cup back in 2011, so that does bode well. He is a bold-jumping front runner who is full of courage and heart, and after his gallant second against Shotgun Paddy last time out at Warwick, he is the one to beat on form. He goes into this race well prepared after a light season, and he will have come on from his first start of the season. He is hard to judge however as he doesn't always perform well after a good run, but his relationship with Nico de Boinville has blossomed and as a pairing they are the ones to beat.
One that has been taking my eye this season is TULLAMORE DEW (6/1 Coral), who has run creditably for trainer Nick Gifford. Unlike Carruthers, he has had quite a few runs this season – placed three times out of four, and is a reliable type. A slight concern is that he hasn’t won a race for three years, but that victory did come on heavy ground so conditions should suit. He will be carrying a light weight in what will be a testing race over the distance in this ground. He has been the bridesmaid to a few classy horses over the years, but in what is a quiet weekend when it comes to the quality, this might just be Tullamore Dew's time to shine, and I think he could be the biggest danger.
Pete The Feat (7/1 BetVictor) is another who should be thereabouts providing he shows more interest than when pulled up on his most recent outing at Sandown. Last season he showed some promising form winning five times in a row, twice of which were on heavy ground. If he is able to rekindle this form he will be very dangerous. With three runs under his belt this season though, the old form is still to show, which is worrying when you consider how much of a successful season his trainer Charlie Longsdon is having. Until the horse starts showing us an upswing in his performance he's best watched.
Trainer Venetia Williams with be looking for yet another Saturday winner on this heavy ground, and in this race her stable representative is Summery Justice (6/1 Coral) with Liam Treadwell taking the ride. The 10 year-old is yet to show much this season, on his latest run he finished fourth at Kempton behind the Harry Fry trained Triangular. He does perform on testing ground, but even with Venetia's rich run of form this month, I just don't think he's quite good enough to come out on top in this race.
In the past Burton Port (11/2 William Hill) has been a classy type, who has shown plenty under pressure, but this season he has seemed a light of former days. Even the booking of Davy Russell didn't get the horse's mojo back last time out, and with the booking of AP McCoy for this race, connections will be hoping the champ can work his magic. He performs better on better ground, which he won't get here today, so conditions are unlikely to suit and he is best watched.
Both Master Overseer (12/1 Stan James) and Pigeon Island (13/2 William Hill) look to have past their best. They have both achieved good performances in the past but have been on the down grade over the last couple of seasons. The David Pipe trained Master Overseer is a real moody type who tends to sulk if he doesn't get his own way and his form reflects this – P1P1P1PP. He is not reliable enough for me to part money with yet he could however surprise us all if he takes to the race. The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Pigeon Island finished second at Aintree on his seasonal reappearance but hasn't showed too much since. He is of course a former Cheltenham Festival winner but hasn't shown that class in a long time.
Old timer Carruthers loves testing ground, and his partnership with jockey Nico De Boinville is a good one, but I do have my reservations – any horse of any age who likes to make all on this type of ground over this distance is going to find it difficult. On that basis, I think Carruthers might just find the final four furlongs too testing and leave himself vulnerable to the others, with preference for TULLAMORE DEW.
TULLAMORE DEW (WIN) (6/1 Coral)
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