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Kilbricken Storm and Rocklander set for Newbury success

| 29.12.2017

Big day of racing on ITV

The Challow Novices’ Hurdle is the highlight of a seven-race card on ITV4 this Saturday.

With action from Haydock, Taunton and Newbury to enjoy, there’s plenty of equine excitement to be had on the final weekend of racing this year.

Kilbricken Storm assumes favouritism for the feature race but will be pushed all the way by Dame Rose, Poetic Rhythm and Way Back Then.

Looking at that race and the rest, the Coral News Team have cast their expert eyes over the afternoon’s affairs.

Bet of the Day

It’s hard to see past Kilbricken Storm in the Challow Novices’ Hurdle. Dan Skelton’s raider has progressed well in recent months and showed his class to land the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle earlier this month.

The stamina he showed over 3m at Cheltenham could be crucial this afternoon. Although the trip is shorter – 2m4f – the ground is forecast to be heavy. That’ll make the race all about stamina, which the six-year-old has in abundance.

A small field should also suit for this progressive type who is taken to land a maiden Grade 1 contest.

Rocklander to return to his best

Rocklander’s second start over fences didn’t quite go to plan at Doncaster a fortnight ago. In a four-runner contest, the eight-year-old unseated his rider at the first obstacle to end his chances prematurely.

That was in stark contrast to his chasing debut when Tom George’s raider romped home by 53l at Ludlow. He was the beneficiary of three fallers that day.

The Coral News Team are backing the son of Oscar to find his stride once again over 2m6½f at Newbury. This is the ideal contest for him to get back on track and sort out the kinks in his game.

Opponents Solighoster and A Vos Gardes both finished plum last on their most recent appearances. Meanwhile, Duke Des Champs goes fresh after 20 months out. The cards are in Rocklander’s favour and it should finally be time for the Irish-bred fancy to justify his reputation ahead of the run-up to Cheltenham.

Gold Opera can glow in the mud

Only mudlarks are welcome in the 2:10 at Haydock. With the going set to be heavy, again it’s the stamina of runners that will prove the difference over 3m3½f. That makes Gold Opera well worth a go at a more than generous price.

Nick Alexander’s charge has won in the mud before and went close when fourth at Ayr last month. He’s an experienced operator and will look to make the most of a field that is lacking in class.

ITV Racing Tips:

1:50 Newbury – Diable De Sivola

2:10 Haydock – Gold Opera

2:25 Newbury – Knackanrawley

2:45 Haydock – Wolf Sword

3:00 Newbury – Kilbricken Storm

3:15 Taunton – Maria’s Benefit

3:35 Newbury – Rocklander

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Nick Murphy