Newbury Preview: Risk set to shine on hurdles debut
The highly-touted Value At Risk makes his eagerly awaited debut over hurdles in the 2.45 at Newbury today and looks a worthy favourite to make it a winning one.
The five-year-old has some very smart bumper form to his name when trained in Ireland by Philip Fenton and looks a very exciting recruit to the hurdling ranks.
The gelding shaped with bags of promise when runner-up on racecourse debut to subsequent Albert Bartlett winner Very Wood in a competitive 22-runner contest at Punchestown before going on to score scored in good style at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown.
Value At Risk was then far from disgraced when 13th of 22 to Silver Concorde in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, and rounded off last season with a fine third of 12 to Shaneshill in the Irish equivalent at Punchestown.
Judged on the level of those performances, Value At Risk has the potential to make up into a very smart hurdler indeed.
With Fenton banned from training, the son of Kayf Tara is now under the care of Dan Skelton and this looks a nice opening for him to make a winning debut over the obstacles before going on to much better things.
In the 2m maiden hurdle earlier on the card (1.10) all eyes will be on Beast Of Burden who created a huge impression when scoring on debut in a bumper at Ffos Las back in October.
The Rebecca Curtis trained gelding looked something out of the ordinary at the Welsh venue, travelling ominously well throughout before leading on the bit two from home and scooting clear to win by nine lengths despite being heavily eased.
The turn of foot shown by the well-bred son of Flemensfirth, who is closely related to former top class chaser Voy Por Ustedes, marked him out as something potentially very special.
The five-year-old looks to have a massive future judged by the manner of that success and although he faces a useful sort in Communicator, who found only Josses Hill too good in this contest 12 months ago, I will be suprised if Beast Of Burden is not up to making a winning debut over the obstacles.
Easter Day looked a chaser to keep onside when scoring on his final two starts last season and can make a winning reappearance in the 3m graduation chase (2.15).
The Paul Nicholls trained gelding won a novice handicap chase by six lengths back at this venue and then beat subsequent RSA winner O’faolains Boy when winning a similar race at Ascot when last seen in action.
That is top class form, and with the prospect of plenty more to come this looks a lovely opening of Easter Day to complete the hat-trick.
12.10: Winner Massagot
12.40: Gevrey Chambertin
1.10: Beast Of Burden (NB)
1.40: Major Milborne
2.15: Easter Day
2.45: Value At Risk (NAP)
3.20: Miss Minx