Newbury’s Jump season comes to a close with this weekend’s Be Wiser Jump Season Finale
The 2016/17 Jump season comes to a close at Newbury with the Be Wiser Jump Season Finale on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25.
Saturday’s programme features two £40,000 contests – the Grade Two EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap (3.00pm, 26 entries) and the OCSL Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (3.35pm, 17 entries) – plus the £50,00 Goffs UK Spring Sales Bumper (4.45pm, 26 confirmations).
Landin (Seamus Mullins) features among the 17 entries for the OCSL Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, which is staged over just short of two miles and three furlongs. The son of Sir Percy belied his 150/1 starting price in the G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday (March 17), staying on well in the closing stages to finish a close eighth behind Defi Du Seuil, beaten 14 lengths.
Wiltshire-based Mullins reported: “I haven’t decided whether or not Landin will run in the OCSL Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday, although all being well, we would like to run.
“Obviously, he only ran at Cheltenham last week and we will just have to see how he comes out of it.
“I was very happy with his run in the Triumph Hurdle – although we have to see what the handicapper thinks of it too! So that is another factor we have to consider.
“Our plan would be to give him some work this week and a school on Wednesday. We will have the weights by then and can make a decision.
“The extra distance at Newbury would not be a problem and any juice in the ground would also suit him.”
Formerly trained in Germany, Landin has had three starts over hurdles, finishing third and second on the other two.
Other possible starters in the OCSL Juvenile Handicap Hurdle include Don Bersy (Tom Symonds), who is chasing a four-timer following victories at Sandown, Warwick and Haydock and Night Of Sin (Nick Williams), a winner of his last two starts including when getting the better of Landin by a length and a quarter at Warwick in February.
The 26 entries for the G2 EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap, staged over an extended two and a half miles, include several performers who have won multiple times this season including Tara View (Alan King), who has been successful on all her four starts in the 2016/17 campaign. Graceful Legend (Ben Case) has landed her latest three starts, while Hitherjacques Lady (Oliver Sherwood) has won on her most recent outings at Wincanton and Lingfield by 12 and 10 lengths respectively.
Pearl Royale (Nigel Hawke) won by 50 lengths on her latest start at Southwell on March 6, while Happy Diva (Kerry Lee) and Theatre Territory (Nicky Henderson) were second and fourth respectively in a G2 contest at Sandown in February. Miss Tongabezi (Paul Webber) has been in tremendous form, scoring by 12 lengths in a handicap hurdle at Huntingdon on Boxing Day and following up with a 10-length victory in a mares’ handicap hurdle at Ludlow on March 2.
Several of the 26 confirmations in the Goffs UK Spring Sales Bumper, which is restricted to horses sold at specified Goffs/DBS sales during the last three years, are unraced. Of those that have run previously, Larry (Gary Moore) and Skewiff (Evan Williams) both made winning debuts while Chez Castel Mail (Ali Stronge) was a wide-margin winner last time out at Fontwell on February 19.
Saturday’s card gets underway at 1.50pm and runs through to 5.20pm.
The highlight of Friday’s card is the £15,000 Be Wiser Insurance Handicap Hurdle (4.10pm, 18 entries) over an extended two miles. The six-race card on Friday gets underway at 2.00pm and concludes at 4.45pm.