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Talking Horses: West Balboa slick-jump value bet at Challow Hurdle | Horses race

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The Challow Hurdle at Newbury has a good track record in identifying future stars of the hunt, with past winners including Denman, Champ, Taquin Du Seuil and Sunday’s winner at Kempton, Bravesmansgame, all of whom have achieved ranks through over the fences later in their careers, and Wednesday’s race looks like one of the strongest renewals of recent seasons.

Stage Star was not wrong in two hurdles starts and he stopped the clock in a decent time by winning the course and the distance in November. Lossiemouth is also undefeated on the timber this quarter after advancing rapidly from a handicap at Ascot in October, while Gringo D’Aubrelle of Gordon Elliott, the only Irish rider on the pitch, will also draw plenty of support.

At the top prices, however, Dan Skelton’s mare, Balboa west (3.05), should be the bet at around 7-1. Her jump was impressive on the way to a 17-length victory in a highlight at Warwick in November and she secures a 7-pound practical allowance from her six opponents.

Newbury 1.25 Lionheart was disappointed with his jump when he was only third at Huntingdon the last time around. However, he has a good chance of succeeding in his hunting debut in early November and it is likely that he has had some serious schooling in recent weeks.

Leopardstown 1.45 Run Wild Fred’s winning in the very competitive Troytown Handicap Chase in November is the strongest form offered here and it seems too expensive at around 100-30 for the in-form Gordon Elliott team.

Newbury 2.00 Legacy of the Masters well finished by far going down just a length on the trail and the trip last time. An increase of 3 pounds gives him every chance of getting better.

Leopardstown 2.20 The admirable Sharjah is very difficult to oppose in his attempt to win this Grade One for the fourth year in a row.

Quick guide

Greg Wood’s Wednesday Tips

To show

Doncaster 11.55 Balleticon 12.28 Arizona Cardinal 1.03 Galah 1.38 Across the Line 2.13 Starsky 2.50 Oscar Robertson 3.20 Zambella

Kelso 12.07 Famous Bridge 12.42 Grand Voyage 1.17 Slanelough 1.52 Sounds Russian 2.27 Gamesters Icon 3.00 Soft Risk 3.30 Cudgel

Newbury 12.15 Haseefah 12.50 Peking Rose 1.25 Heart Of A Lion 2.00 Masters Legacy (nb) 2.35 Crypto 3.05 West Balboa (siesta) 3.35 Fern Hill

Southwell 3.55 Tinkerstar 4.30 Bridgetown 5.00 Mobarhin 5.30 Le Reveur 6.00 Eklil 6.30 Beagnach Sasta 7.00 Aramis Gray 7.30 Lincoln Gamble

Thank you for your opinion.

Newbury 2.35 Crypto was not beaten far in his first start since March in November and a normal progression would give him every chance here.

Doncaster 3.20 Zambella was a ready winner at Aintree earlier this month and will stop under a 4-pound penalty if she’s in the same sort of form.

Newbury 3.35 A very competitive novice handicap but Fern Hill didn’t do anything wrong when he started out on the hunt last time around and should come a long way from a 1 pound lower mark.

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