Newbury to prove credentials of two big Cheltenham favourites
The fences rather than the opposition are expected to cause the biggest problems for Long Run and Sprinter Sacre at Newbury, but the pair should have little trouble showing why they both head markets within the Cheltenham Festival odds.
Long Run is just favourite in the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting from Kauto Star with Ladbrokes offering the best price of 2/1 and he will complete his preparation in the Denman Chase.
Even though Long Run is conceding at least 4lb to all of his opposition at Newbury, he should comfortably defeat what looks like a field short of Grade One class.
The only real opposition may come from Burton Port, if rediscovering the form that he showed before picking up an injury that has caused his racecourse absence for the past 16 months.
Sprinter Sacre is one of the Cheltenham favourites that punters seem most interested in taking on, as he heads the market for the Arkle Chase at 9/4.
The horse has done little wrong in winning on both of his novice chase starts and has triumphed comfortably on each occasion.
However, both of these victories have been on flat tracks and there is the belief that the undulations of Cheltenham and in particular the hill up the home straight may catch him out.
Newbury is fairly similar to Cheltenham in terms of its flatness and so should prove a decent test of Sprinter Sacre’s Cheltenham credentials, especially as he will run against defending champion and stablemate French Opera in the Game Spirit Chase.