Top Gamble could bid for a three-timer at Newbury on Wednesday

Top Gamble is likely to be one of the headlines acts when Newbury stages its first fixture of 2015 on Wednesday, January 14.

The Richard Lee-trained seven-year-old has created a big impression in two starts over fences this season and is set to go in the £10,000 Betfred Goals Galore Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (1.45pm, 16 entries) over two miles and a furlong.

Top Gamble joined Lee over the summer from David Pipe’s yard and made a winning debut for the Herefordshire stable when beating subsequent winner Yorkist by six lengths in a two-mile novices’ chase at Wetherby on November 15.

He doubled up with a bold round of jumping under top-weight in a two-mile novices’ limited handicap chase at Warwick on December 11. Jamie Moore was on board for both victories.

Kerry Lewis, assistant to her father Richard, said: “Top Gamble is in at Newbury and we will definitely consider it, but the ground would need to be soft.
“Jamie (Moore) has been in to school him and everything has gone smoothly since Warwick. He had two crashing falls before he came to us and we have been trying to rebuild his confidence.

“We have done an awful lot of schooling with him and his jumping has been good, but Newbury is a Grade One track with Grade One fences and that is something we have to consider.

“We are taking it one step at a time and I am trying to stay low key with him at the moment.”

Far West

Entries for the Betfred Goals Galore Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase also include Far West (Paul Nicholls), who captured a similar contest over the course and distance on December 29 (pictured on the right).

Nicky Henderson has entered lightly-raced seven-year-old Cocktails At Dawn, while the highly-regarded pair of Clondaw Draft and Diamond King could make their chasing debuts for Donald McCain.

Newbury’s six-race programme, all sponsored by Betfred, commences at 1.10pm and concludes at 4.00pm.

The going this morning is Soft and the rail has been moved in since the last raceday. The forecast is as follows – Friday: Dry start, patchy light rain during the afternoon, Saturday: Showers during the morning, dry later, Sunday: Mainly dry, Monday: Rain am, dry later & Tuesday: Dry start, rain later.