Born Survivor and In The Rough among Saturday tips for Newbury
Born Survivor weighted to strike
Born Survivor shaped really well when runner-up on seasonal reappearance and can cash-in on what looks a lenient mark to go one better and land the spoils in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle on Hennessy Gold Cup day at Newbury (14.05).
The gelding joined trainer Dan Skelton following an impressive success on his sole start in an Irish point and got off the mark at the first time of asking for his new handler when scoring comfortably by two lengths at Warwick.
Born Survivor was then far from disgraced when stepped up into Grade 2 company and finishing fourth at the same venue before going on to round off the campaign with a facile all the way eight length success at Wetherby.
It was a most pleasing end to a first season over the obstacles as Skelton alway maintained that Born Survivor was far from the finished article needed time to strengthen-up.
Cracking reappearance run at Aintree
That view was confirmed when the five-year-old posted a cracking effort to finish a five length second of 15 to Massini’s Trap at Aintree on return to action in October.
After being held-up travelling well in mid-division, Born Survivor made good headway to hold every chance before the omitted last flight until being unable to find an extra as lack of race fitness took it’s toll.
It was an effort which suggested Born Survivor should be well up to winning races of his current mark of 141 and the son of King’s Theatre remains unexposed and open to stacks more improvement for a yard that has already plundered some big prizes this season.
In The Rough each-way value
In The Rough looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and decent each-way value in the 2m 6f Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase (13.30).
The gelding would be an appropriate winner of the race named in honour the former commentator known as “The Voice of Racing”, as his racing silks of black with yellow crossbelts and cap will be worn by Barry Geraghty instead of the usual green and gold hoops of owner J P McManus.
It is a tremendous gesture to one of the best loved and missed names in the sport and the Jonjo O’Neill trained seven-year-old was a useful hurdler rated 140 at his peak who is able to race off a chase mark of just 135.
In The Rough is also unexposed over the larger obstacles after five starts, winning on his final start last season before shaping with plenty of promise on return to action when third of 12 to Carrigdhoun at Carlisle.
He held every chance at the last in the latter before being unable to find any extra to be beaten just over five lengths, and with that run under his belt should now be spot on to do himself justice.
Vyta ready to Roc in Hennessy Gold Cup
The feature race of the day is the prestigious Hennessy Gold Cup (15.10) and Vyta Du Roc looks to hold leading claims of providing trainer Nicky Henderson with a fourth winner in the 3m 2f contest.
Henderson saddled Trabolgan to land the spoils in 2005 and has won two of the last four runnings courtesy of Bobs Worth (2012) and Triolo D’Alene (2013).
In Vyta Du Roc, the Seven Barrows handler has an up-and-coming chaser who looks to have the perfect profile for the race.
To find out the full reasons why, check out our individual preview on the historic contest.
Newbury tips for Saturday
12.20: La Bague Au Roi
13.30: In The Rough (E/W)
14.05: Born Survivor (NAP)
14.40: Ozzie The Oscar
15.10: Vyta Du Roc (NB)
15.45: Ultra Gold