A mouth-watering Long Distance Hurdle headlines four great races in front of the ITV cameras at Newbury on Friday. 

Here are Nick Luck’s thoughts where he fancies a bit of an upset in the big race.


CARIBEAN BOY has a bit to find on ratings with Fiddlerontheroof in the Grade 2 novices’ chase (1.50pm), but a tactical affair on reasonable ground may place more emphasis on speed, which should help him given his pedigree and time performances last year. He still looked a bit of a work in progress in two UK runs last year, but should be better for those at 2/1, while Fiddlerontheroof has looked a bit one paced in his two spins thus far this season and might prefer softer ground. Getaway Trump is very able but is looking an increasingly reluctant hero.

CLONDAW CASTLE has been found a nice opportunity in the handicap chase (2.25pm) at 11/2. He hasn’t taken much racing in the last couple of seasons, but his two most recent efforts have been his best, and this trip, ground and track should suit just perfectly. There’s a nice bit of pace in this race for a hold-up horse to run at, and not too many progressive rivals to worry about.

I think HONEST VIC offers big value each-way value at 11/1 to thrust himself onto the big stage in a ridiculously good running of the Long Distance Hurdle (3.00pm). There are two main reasons: first, he is completely unexposed at this trip, but looked a complete revelation over it at Cheltenham last time. Secondly, he has plenty of pace for a stayer, and this sound surface should really help him. I love the way the Henry Daly horses have run this season and feel this horse can make it near the top of this division.

DELL’ ARCA has three wins and two seconds from six visits to this track and is priced up more on his age than his recent achievements in the handicap hurdle (3.35pm). This is no better a race than the one that he picked up here last time, however, and the handicapper has been perfectly fair. The horse has clearly struck up an excellent rapport with Fergus Gillard and is value to continue to roll back the years. David Pipe’s charge is a 7/1 chance.

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