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Newbury preview (12.30): Modus set to enhance Festival claims

David Metcalf | November 26, 2015

Modus looked a top notch prospect when making a winning debut over hurdles and can follow-up in the 2m contest that opens proceedings on a cracking card at Newbury (12.30) to further enhance his 2016 Cheltenham Festival credentials.

The gelding has some very smart bumper form to his name when trained by Robert Stephens, finishing second to Moonracer at the Cheltenham Festival and a cracking third to Bellshill in a Grade 1 contest at Punchestown.

Modus was purchased by leading Irish owner JP McManus after those efforts and sent to champion trainer Paul Nicholls.

The five-year-old then opened his account for the Ditcheat handler at the first time of asking when easily landing a 2m 1f novice hurdle at Taunton earlier in the month.

After racing keenly in midfield, Modus made smooth headway at the sixth to challenge two from home.

Jockey Barry Geraghty then shook him up approaching the last, and Modus quickened effortlessly clear on the run-in to score with tons more in hand than the 3 3/4 length winning margin suggests.

It was a most taking performance, and one which saw Modus given a quote of 16/1 for the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by Coral.

The son of Motivator looks the perfect type for that contest, and although Modus now faces much stiffer opposition I expect him to come through this test with flying colours.

Charmix can keep up Harry Fry form

Charmix scored in good style on his hurdles debut at Wetherby last time out and looks sure to make his presence felt for in-form trainer Harry Fry.

The five-year-old stayed on strongly to beat the useful Ennistown by 1 3/4 lengths, and is sure to come on a bundle with that experience under his belt.

Another well worth a mention is the Emma Lavelle trained See The World who put in a remarkable performance when winning his sole start in a Wincanton bumper last season.

The five-year-old disputed the lead until hanging badly left and veering off the course two from home.

See The World found himself in fifth and 15 lengths behind as a result of those antics, but came with a storming run to win easing down by 4 1/2 lengths.

It was an effort which showed he had a huge engine, and the son of Kay Tara looks an exciting prospect.

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Coral’s top tip: Modus is a really classy sort and rates a solid bet to make it 2-2 over hurdles and further enhance his Cheltenham Festival credentials.