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Newbury Preview: Top Gamble can complete hat-trick

Top Gamble has created a huge impression in winning his first two starts over fences and can complete the hat-trick in the 2m 1f novices’ handicap chase at Newbury today (1.45).

The seven-year-old joined trainer Richard Lee over the summer from David Pipe’s yard, and made a winning debut for the Herefordshire stable when beating Yorkist by six lengths in a 2m contest at Wetherby back in November.

Top Gamble jumped well throughout and after quickening clear stylishly two from home won easing down with any amount in hand, and the runner-up has gone on to score since to give the form a solid look.

The son of Presenting was then even more impressive on handicap debut at Warwick when making all and jumping for fun to beat Jumps Road by seven lengths to make a mockery of his opening mark of 135.

An 8lb rise for that success could well be on the lenient side given Top Gamble’s progressive profile, especially as he remains open to stakes more improvement after just eight runs under rules.

There is also every chance that Top Gamble could get an easy lead in this four-runner affair, and with underfoot conditions ideal that is going to make him very hard to peg back in the hands of Jamie Moore.

Elsewhere on the card, local trainer Nicky Henderson holds leading claims of landing a double with Sugar Baron and Might Bite.

Sugar Baron looked a smart prospect when winning a bumper on debut at the track and makes his eagerly awaited debut over hurdles in the 2m 3f contest (2.15).

The five-year-old only had to be shaken up to readily beat Gold Present with far more than the 1 1/2 length winning margin suggests, and the manner of that success suggests he has a big engine and a bright future over the obstacles.

Today’s opposition doesn’t look anything special, and it will be hugely disappointing if Sugar Baron doesn’t land the spoils before gloing on to much better things.

Might Bite makes his debut in the bumper that closes the card (4.00) and is bred to do the job.

The son of Scorpion is a half-brother to the stable’s very smart 160-rated hurdler Beat That and has reportedly been working very well at home.

His handler also has a great record in these contests and boasts a tremendous strike rate of just under 45% with his runners at the track in the past 12 months.

Selections:
1.10: Brook
1.45: Top Gamble (NAP)
2.15: Sugar Baron
2.50: Bob Tucker
3.25: Rons Dream
4.00: Might Bite (NB)