14:25 Newbury

OLDGRANGEWOOD (best price 9-2) probably found himself in front way sooner than he would have desired at Aintree last time out and he’s fancied to re-establish his name as one of the better handicappers around over this 2m4f trip.

Held up in his usual fashion at the Liverpool-based track, Dan Skelton’s gelding was going that w2ell coming out of the back straight, Harry Skelton didn’t want to disappoint his mount by straining on the reins, so he let the nine-year-old stride on at that juncture. Still looking as though he might hang on to the prize at the last, unfortunately the son of Central Park ended up getting right into the roots and, as a result, he came away with little or no momentum on the run-in. Clearly way better than his losing margin indicates, he now returns to the scene of two of his career best efforts over the same C&D and with ground to suit, he’s expected to go very close with a likely more conservative ride.

Oldgrangewood - 1pt e/w @ 9/2

15:00 Newbury

As subsequent results have indicated, the form of last year’s Stayers Hurdle – and division as a whole - is extremely suspect, so despite the prospect of Paisley Park bouncing back and Lisnagar Oscar showing his true colours again, there’s a strong possibility that something coming through the ranks might cause a shock.

As we’ve seen with the likes of Sire Du Berlais and The Storyteller so far this season, solid form in strongly-run handicaps can be just as good as some of the top Graded races and the one who fits that criteria having already landed such a contest this season is HONEST VIC (best price 11-1).

A cracking fifth in last season’s Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, Henry Daly’s gelding began this campaign where he left off by demolishing a competitive field on his return to Prestbury Park back in October and it’s good to see the form already work out nicely. The way he went through that strongly-run affair before sealing the deal with a tremendous turn of foot marked him down as a massive improver over the trip and on the evidence of that effort, we now know that he stays three miles really well. Although he’s won on soft, the good ground seemed to really help him stretch out in the latter stages 34 days ago and with fitness on his side also seen as a big plus, the son of Kalanisi is fancied to outrun his morning odds.

Honest Vic - 1pt e/w @ 11/1

19.30 Dundalk

Like most of these in the concluding two-mile handicap, BLUE SHADOW (NAP) (best price 5-2) is unproven at the trip, but given how strong he was in the latter stages of his victory over 1m4f here last time out, a chance is taken that Andrew Oliver’s gelding proves equally effective.

Lightly-raced, the three-year-old has just had the two starts at the Co Lough venue, first when third in a competitive handicap over 1m4f, keeping on well at the finish and he put that knowledge to good use by coming back a month later to good effect. Once again doing all his best work in the final half a mile, the son of Hallowed Crown went through the line hard to score in tidy fashion and with the prospect of further improvement to come, this unexposed and progressive type makes plenty of appeal in a race littered with either out of form or untrustworthy chararcters.

Blue Shadow - 2pts @ 5/2