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Horse Racing

Coral John Francome Novices’ Chase – Newbury – Friday 1st December

Friday 1st December 13:50

Horse Racing analyst Will Smith has had a good look at all this weekend's ante-post markets, and provides a 7/1 EW selection in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Newbury on Friday.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Marble Sands 7/17/1 Ante Post
1.50 Newbury - Friday
EW 2 places 1/4
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 28/11/2023

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (12:37 28/11/2023) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

A smallish window of opportunity for this week’s ante-post recommendation presents itself, as at the time of writing, declarations for the race in question are at 10am tomorrow morning.

But there are a number of reasons to go up with it now, as it’s likely the price/selection/reasoning will all remain relevant after declarations. There is a Paul Nicholls chasing debutant who will inevitably go off favourite, and that will make the market for anything else in the race you would imagine.

Hermes Allen in the Coral John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury at 1.50 on Friday is the Ditcheat inmate in question, and for all that he’s a class horse, won the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at the track last season, and will make up into a better novice chaser – making his chase debut in a strong race, off the back of a reportedly slightly delayed preparation, and at current best odds of 11/8 (a more general odds on), means the race is ripe for a bet.

Next in Nickle Back will shape the race, as he’s a head-banging, fire-starting trailblazer of a horse over fences, but his winning has been done against inferior rivals who haven’t been able to lay up with him.

Hermes Allen has gone forward in his races, and will have the class to go with Nickle Back, and Tightenourbelts is also a natural front-runner, so taking on both Hermes Allen and Nickle Back as the front two in the market looks a wise ploy to me.

At 7/1 each-way right now for 2 places, Marble Sands looks a decent wager, as there could be less than 5 runners, and even if there are 5 or more runners from the initial 8 entries, Marble Sands should be clear second favourite behind Hermes Allen in my opinion, at something more like the 7/2 mark.

Colonel Mustard and Golden Son have other options and so along with No Ordinary Joe, look unlikely runners, and so enhance the case for Marble Sands. His chase debut came in a competitive 2m handicap at Ayr, where he jumped and travelled all over a competitive field in a very well-run affair.

Given that Marble Sands had some excellent form over hurdles in no fewer than 3 Grade 1 novice hurdles, where he wasn’t best placed from a track and/or pace perspective in all three, and yet still ran with real credit, (including turning the Challow Hurdle tables on Hermes Allen in the Ballymore at the Cheltenham Festival,) and you could quickly make the assumption that Marble Sands has flown way under the radar.

Hopefully after Friday, he will be well on the radar, and with the booking of Brendan Powell a notable positive too, at 7/1 each-way generally, surely Marble Sands is worth a good look.

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