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Newbury preview: Barters Hill can outclass Challow rivals

| 29.12.2015

David Metcalf | December 29, 2015

Barters Hill looked an exciting prospect when making a winning debut over the obstacles, so can take the step up into Grade 1 company in his stride to land the Challow Hurdle at Newbury today (14.00).

The Ben Pauling trained gelding proved a revelation last season when winning all four of his starts in bumpers, and was particularly impressive in the last of those when making all and staying on gamely to beat the very highly regarded Bellshill by 1 3/4 lengths in a Grade 2 affair at Aintree.

It was a performance which suggested Barters Hill had the potential to make up into a very smart hurdler, and that view was confirmed when the five-year-old ran out a wide margin winner at Huntingdon last month.


Barters Hill made all and jumped well to slam North Hill Harvey by 14 lengths, and the pair pulled 21 lengths clear of the third home.

North Hill Harvey has since come out and scored in good style at Cheltenham to give the form a boost, and the manner of the success suggested that Barters Hill needed keeping firmly onside.

The son of Kay Tara, Barters Hill is currently 14/1 with Coral for the 2016 Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle, and can take this en route to better things, perhaps at the Cheltenham Festival.

Imagine The Chat if punters win

In the 2m 6f novices’ handicap chase (12.50), Imagine The Chat looks weighted to take all the beating now stepped back up in trip.

Rebecca Curtis

The Rebecca Curtis trained six-year-old is a lightly-raced sort who showed progressive form in three spins over hurdles last season.

In the last of those over 3m at Bangor, Imagine The Chat only had to be driven out to beat Echo Springs by 2 1/4 lengths.

The runner-up is now rated 115, and the pair pulled 45 lengths clear of the third home.

That suggests Imagine The Chat is well-treated off a mark of just 115, especially given his unexposed profile.

Although Imagine The Chat failed to sparkle on chasing debut when well beaten at Chepstow, that race was over an inadequate 2m and the step back up to 2m 6f is likely to see him in a far better light.


12.15: Fixe Le Kap
12.40: Imagine The Chat (NB)
13.25: Cloudy Copper
14.00: Barters Hill (NAP)
14.35: Balgarry
15.10: One Track Mind
15.45: Premier Bond


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.