It is Mares’ Final day at Newbury and in the hurdle contest (3.25pm) I’m surprised that Alpha Carinae is quite as big as she is.

A winner of her point and bumper last season, she resumed at Perth in September with a ready novice win and there was no disgrace in finishing second to the fairly useful Aggy With It, who was receiving 6lbs, next time.

She wasn’t at her best next time, but like many of Olly Murphy’s, she has returned this month in better form and there was lots to like about the way she went through the race in a weak Listed at Doncaster last time.  I don’t think the drop back from 3m to 2m4.5f will be too much of an issue and hopefully that run three weeks ago will have put her spot on for this.

Murphy couldn’t have his team in better form and with Alpha Carinae open to further improvement after just five starts under rules, she is worth supporting at a big price.

3.25pm Newbury – 1pt win, 0.5pt place Alpha Carinae @ 16-1 4 places William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Betfair, Boylesports) (5 places with Skybet)


The concluding apprentice handicap at Doncaster looks pretty weak and though he heads the market, I still think there is some value in the price of Hot Team.

A useful juvenile for Hugo Palmer, he didn’t go on at three and was winless last season for Richard Fahey, but he started out for that yard off 87 and is now down to a mark of 56.

His mark has tumbled by a stone since switching the the AW in the autumn, but there was more to like about his latest effort at Lingfield Park earlier this month and the return to turf is sure to help.  Apprentice Oisin McSweeney is able to claim more than most of his rivals here, but looks a talented find for the Fahey yard, which won a division of this in 2018.

5.25pm Doncaster – 1pt win Hot Team @ 7/2 (Bet365, 3-1 Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair, Skybet, Boylesports)