The opening apprentice handicap at Newbury looks quite trappy, with few coming into the race with much in the way of recent form, but at a big price I think Tralee Hills is worth backing.
Simon Hodgson has done a really good job since taking over from Peter Hedger last year and this one finished a good fourth of 15 on his first start for Hodgson over 1m5f here last July (on second run back from a break), hitting the front with two furlongs to go but not quite getting home.
That came off a 7lbs higher mark than today’s and he is back over 1m3f, which is a trip that should suit ideally. He didn’t really build on that effort last term, but there was promise in his reappearance run at Lingfield Park last month, when forced very wide on the home bend but sticking on well late to finish fifth.
A dual winner on good to soft, hopefully he will find conditions to his liking (he did finish fourth in a heavy-ground bumper as a youngster, so I’m confident he’ll handle it) and he is handicapped to be very competitive. His small yard remain in good form (5-19 this year) and it is interesting to see they have also declared for Bath tomorrow – though he would surely be an unlikely runner there as the ground is firm, he would escape a penalty if he won this today.
5.00pm Newbury – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Tralee Hill @ 18-1 4 places (William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair, Boylesports, 5 places with Skybet)
There has already been a bit of money for this today, but Baby Bay is still widely available at 25-1 and is worth supporting in the restricted novice (5.30pm).
She was slowest away on debut at Goodwood 11 days ago, but recovered to travel nicely enough on the heels of the leaders and wasn’t given too hard a time of it. This has likely been the plan for her for some time, as her trainer sponsors this race and had one go very well in each of the two divisions of this in 2019 (second and fourth, ending up with ratings of 96 and 82 respectively).
Newbury has traditionally been Jonathan Portman’s preferred place to run two year olds – he has had more juvenile winners here than anywhere else in his career to date – and with that run under her belt, she could well run a very big race here.
5.30pm Newbury – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Baby Bay @ 25-1 (Skybet, Paddy Power, Betfair, Bet Victor, Betfred, Betway, Boylesports, 40-1 available with Bet365)