2.25 Newbury – Defoe
In the words of the famous Irish racecaller Des Scahill, Newbury hosts a ‘Tremenjous’ day of racing on Saturday, with a smattering of high grade handicaps to compliment the Group racing. The benefits of backing in the more prestigious races where the prize fund is larger, is that everyone is trying, and the results typically follow a more logical manner than with the low grade action.
Jermain Defoe might be in the tail end of his footballing career, but his equine namesake is in the infancy of his career. The two have one thing in common – they are prolific. Defoe is out of the Roger Varian yard and this impressive 3-year-old is chasing a fourth victory on the spin. This race is over 13.5 furlongs and Defoe has only won over 11 furlongs. However, the way he scored last time out suggests the horse will benefit from the step up in trip and could even be more of a force now tackling the extra yardage.
Defoe won on debut at Ffos Las on soft ground, suggesting the horse had bundled of stamina in his pedigree, as Ffos Las is one of the most testing tracks in the country, and racing over 8 furlongs is a long trip for 2-year olds. The horse stepped up in trip next time out at Epsom but the faster ground and sharper track meant he could only do best work at the end of the race. A disappointing effort in Listed company followed and Varian put his youngster away for the winter. Upon returning, Defoe has gone to another level. He won with some authority at Newbury over 10 furlongs on soft ground, then won on York under fast conditions, and the 3 year old completed the hattrick at, doing his best work late in the day. Every time Defoe has run, he has finished with some gusto, and the horse could turn out to be a top-class runner over staying distances this year and next. Take the +175 on offer with William Hill.
3.35 Newbury – Librisa Breeze
In the horse racing community there is a term ‘one for the notebook’. Librisa Breeze could not fit into that description any better and while Dean Ivory’s 5 year old has not been missed by anyone in the market, the horse could still represent some good betting value.
Librisa Breeze didn’t make his debut until February of 2015, but the horse quickly made an impact and rose through the ranks. He has only had two runs this season and finished fourth and ninth. On paper, those finishing positions do not look particularly promising, but delving into those performances a little further, there is plenty of positivity that can be gleaned. The fourth placed finish on seasonal reappearance at Ascot in Group One company was a sensational run, as the horse was competing on fast ground over a trip just shy of his optimum. He followed that effort up last time out at Goodwood, finishing ninth in a 7-furlong Group Two. For anyone that watched that race, Librisa Breeze was criminally unlucky, and he encountered trouble in running on several occasions. Goodwood’s round 7-furlong course which is notoriously sharp would not have been ideal, and the reversion to a straighter, flatter and more conventional course should generate further improvement.
The soft ground is really likely to suit Librisa Breeze and he is joint top rated on RPR’s. A clear run should see a very strong performance from this horse, and he is a good bet at odds of +225 with Bet365.
14:25 Newbury – Defoe to win
Saturday 19th August
15:35 Newbury – Librisa Breeze to win
Saturday 19th August