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DAVY RUSSELL: Newbury Saturday

Welcome to my Saturday blog and the pressure is on !!!

My last five rides have all been winning ones – two at Fairyhouse on Wednesday and a treble at Thurles on Thursday so hopefully the winning trend can continue this weekend.

I fly over to Newbury early on Saturday for their big card and then return home for Punchestown on Sunday.

As always, I’ll have a new blog on Saturday afternoon looking at Sunday’s racing.

Cheltenham’s getting closer and I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing some of you at the Star Sports Mayfair preview on March 9th. Details below on how you can get tickets.

We are at that stage of the season when no news is definitely good news. There have been no negative reports after last weekend’s Dublin Racing Festival so fingers crossed it stays that way and all the horses get to Cheltenham fighting fit.

Now for Newbury on Saturday:

NEWBURY

VERDANA BLUE 3.35pm

Amazingly this won’t be the first time I’ve sat on her as I rode her in work once for Edmond Kent. Since joining Nicky Henderson she has won three of her eight starts and has been remarkably consistent. Nicky has stated that she wouldn’t want too much rain so lets hope the forecast deluge tomorrow stays away. I’m hoping she can build on a good run at Ascot last time out when third in another Grade 3. She runs her race every time she goes out but this is obviously competitive and a big danger could be Lalor. I think his wind operation will make a big difference whilst Kayf Grace, stable companion of Verdana Blue, would be another for my shortlist.

LECHLADE MAGICIAN 4.40pm

10 of the 12 runners won last time out and eight of them are unbeaten !!!

Coincidentally, also by the same sire as Verdana Blue in Getaway. I don’t know much about this fella apart from what I’ve seen on the video and trainer Anthony Honeyball clearly holds him in high regard. It was heavy when he won the last day so he certainly won’t mind the rain if it does come. He certainly looked impressive on debut winning by an unextended 12 lengths. This must be one of the most competitive bumpers staged in England this season so far. 10 of the 12 runners won last time out and eight of them are unbeaten !!! It’s therefore a race likely to throw up one or more future stars and I’m hoping mine might be one of them.

Elsewhere on the Newbury card Native River (Denman Chase) and Altior (Betfair Chase) both have only two rivals in their respective races and should defy their absences to win this en route to Cheltenham.

Enjoy the action!

DAVY


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