The Daily Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Kalashnikov, (1350 Newbury), 1pt win, 11/4:
A close 2nd in a Supreme, he was unlucky to unseat in the Arkle before running out a good winner in a Grade 1 at Aintree. His comeback there in the Old Roan was pretty decent for a big horse who should improve for the run. Strictly has a little to find with Glen Forsa should that one return from a break at his best, but the suspicion is that Kalashnikov is the one with potential to operate in the top races, which gives him the 7lb in hand he needs to pick up this.
Fanion D’Estruval, (1245 Newbury), 5/1: an interesting import from France making his UK debut for the in form Venetia Williams. As a precocious 4yo, his mark of 137 is reduced by a 7lb weight for age allowance which is pretty tasty at this stage given it will be gone in the new year. Venetia’s are running well, and this one has won 4 of 5 races in France including a win at Auteil which is the hallmark of a fair animal.
Champ, (1425 Newbury), 10/11: his only defeat in the last seven was a great runner up effort in the Ballymore at Cheltenham. Won smoothly here last time despite hitting a momentary flat spot. This is a high quality race, but it would be a surprise if there was one good enough to lower this one’s colours until he meets the Irish again in March.
One For The Team, (1535 Newbury), 5/1: plenty in here with room to progress, but this Nick Williams trained gelding looks to have been given a great opening mark of 126. He has run well in three novice hurdles since winning his sole bumper run, and arguable could have won on his seasonal debut last time at Worcester but for running to freely early on. The better field here, and the debut out of his system will hopefully settle him better, in which case his rating and the 5lb claim of trainer’s son Chester, should be enough for the win.
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