Greatwood Handicap Chase

Dustin Des Mottes making a winning chase debut at Clairfontaine last June

Alan Marron previews Greatwood Handicap Chase at Newbury on Saturday afternoon, post time at 2:40pm

Due to the Beast from the East, this race wasn’t held last year so we will be looking at the nine year trends and stats that are available and putting up two value selections.

As with Cheltenham, course form can prove vital around Newbury. This year’s renewal is very competitive but hopefully we will be back in the winners enclosure with one of the selections.

  • 14/15 Carried 11-5 or less
  • 13/15 Horse aged 8 or younger
  • 12/15 had raced at Newbury previously
  • 12/15 won over the trip previously
  • 10/15 Rated 139 or higher

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Gala Ball

This horse has been off for a year but it could be the perfect time to catch him when fresh. Trainer Phillip Hobbs also has the potential favourite for the race but we see on numerous occasions that the apparent second string can run well.

This horse has some very consistent form around Newbury. Particularly so when winning on this card back in 2016. He is very lightly raced over fences but has some form lines that really stand out.

A well-beaten third in a novice chase to the reigning champion hurdler Buveur D’Air is a standout. In four attempts around Newbury he has never been out of the first two. He has a liking for stiff enough tracks as the form shows when winning hurdle races around Wincanton.

Tom O Brien, who will ride him this weekend, has won on him before so that’s another positive.

Good to Soft ground will be perfect tomorrow and he has a nice racing weight. All positives for a big run hopefully.

Gala Ball at 18/1

Dustin Des Mottes

This selection is very similar to that of Gala Ball in that he was very lightly raced over fences. French-bred horses are normally higher up the pecking list for me as they come to England being very well schooled.

On his first run for Dr Richard Newland this horse ran a cracker when he finished third at Newbury behind Knocknanuss and Kupatana. Knocknanuss absolutely blitzed from the front that day and the race didnt suit a closer.

Kupatana could have franked the form on a couple of occasions since but subsequently fell or unseated.  Dustin Des Mottes then went to Ascot where he was beaten half a length but in that race he jumped markedly left all the day.

Newbury for me will suit him a lot better.

His last run was at Cheltenham and I would excuse that totally. I watched him closely and he made numerous mistakes and never travelled. It may just have come too soon after Ascot.

He has now had nearly two months off and if he has grown into his frame we might see a different performance this weekend. For me the price available at the minute is far too big and could see it shortening.

Dustin Des Mottes at 14/1

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article