Newbury Preview: Serge can score on debut for Henderson
Newbury stage a decent card for the opening day of their Hennessey meeting, and L’Ami Serge can take advantage of a potentially lenient mark to land the feature 2m handicap hurdle (3.15).
The gelding has some smart for to his name when trained in France by Guillalme Macaire, including when a three length runner-up to Le Rocher in a conditions hurdle at Auteuil in very testing conditions.
The winner is a well above average sort who won his first two starts for trainer Nick Williams and was one of the leading contenders for last season’s Triumph Hurdle before getting injured.
That is strong form, and given that Le Rocher is now officially rated 149 makes L’Ami Serge look well weighted in this off an opening mark of just 132 on his first start for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Henderson has a good record in this contest having saddled five winners in the last 15 runnings, and L’Ami Serge looks an exciting prospect who can make the most of the lumps of weights he receives from fellow French import Le Mercurey to further enhance it.
In the 2m 5f handicap hurdle (1.35), bottom weight Vazaro Delafayette looks the one to beat if the fitting of the blinkers for the first time have the desired effect.
The David Pipe trained gelding shaped with promise on his first two starts in bumpers last season, most notably when third of 18 to Carningli at Cheltenam where he split a couple of useful sorts in the shape of Chase The Wind and My Wigham Or Yours who are now rated 130 and 135 respectively over hurdles.
That is solid form and makes Vazaro Delafayette’s current mark of 102 look on the lenient side.
Although the five-year-old could finish just third off it last time out at Wincanton when strongly fancied, the winner Letemgo has since come out a bolted up off a mark of 116 to give the form a boost.
Vazaro Delafayette also raced lazily and made a couple of costly errors in that contest before staying on late to be beaten just over six lengths, and the son of Robin Des Champs looks the type who will benefit from the fitting of the headgear.
If that does prove to be the case, then Vazaro Delafayette is going to be tough to beat in receipt of weight from all his rivals in the hands of in-form jockey Tom Scudamore.
1.35: Vazaro Delafayette (NB)
2.10: Southfield Theatre
2.45: Liberty One
3.15: L’ami Serge