15:35 Newbury

Some slightly disappointing fields tomorrow but the Betfair Hurdle is as juicy a punting race as they come. Blazer is fascinating. Seemingly not considered for this until bolting up last week, he gets in under a 5lb penalty and is the choice of Barry Geraghty, dropping to 10-4 for the ride. Horses sometimes don’t like coming out again so quickly and the form of his win is a niggling concern but he’s clearly chucked in after what was essentially a racecourse gallop last time and it’d be no surprise where he to win well. He doesn’t quite have the profile of the McManus previous winners of this though. Get Me Out Of Here (rated 135) went on to finish 2nd in a supreme, so too My Tent Or Yours (149) and I’m not sure Blazer would keep that sort of company. Thereagain we really don't know how good he is. We do, however, know how good Modus is. 2nd in the champion bumper last term, he beat Wait For Me and the 158 rated Yanworth that day. A clever ride here by Geraghty meant a rating of 139 and he was held over further on atrocious ground at Taunton last time. It's worth pointing out that Lifeboat Mona, another Nicholls horse, was well beaten that day at Taunton and has won subsequently. Yes he would probably want the ground a little better but 9’s about a horse that could easily be a stone well in is crazy big.

I’m also happy to nibble at another runner sporting the green and gold in the form of Matorico. He was given a speculative run in the Triumph last year having shaped with plenty of promise behind the 135 rated Arabian Revolution on debut. He’s been good this season, albeit lucky at Huntingdon before bumping into a horse (giving weight) that's currently 25/1 and not a lost cause for the Albert Bartlett. Last time he shaped well when short of room over further and headgear (blinkers today) looks well worth a go as he’s not always seemed straightforward. The form of last time is strong and a return to the minimum trip with plenty of pace on could be just what he needs for a yard going far better than when we last saw him.
Modus - 1pt @ 9/1
Matorico - 1pt @ 40/1