Newbury & Newcastle Tips for 2nd December 2023

Result: £-4.00 Results for Newbury & Newcastle Tips for 2nd December 2023

This Saturday sees the racing entertainment split between Newbury and Newcastle. Handicapping action is the order of the day at the Berkshire venue, with the Coral Gold Cup the biggest betting heat of the day. Formerly known as the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, this 3m2f chase remains one of the most prestigious handicaps of the winter months and has attracted a high-class field. Up at Newcastle, racegoers are in for a treat, with the Nicky Henderson-trained superstars Constitution Hill and Shiskin both set to feature on a cracking card.

As ever, the ITV crew are on hand to beam six excellent events into your homes, and here we pick out our best bets from the televised races in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.

1:40 Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 2m4½f

Jet Powered

Big guns Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have landed four of the past six editions of the opening event from Newbury, and the powerful duo are strongly represented again in 2023. Irish Hill (9/1) makes plenty of each-way appeal for Nicholls, having won three of six starts last season before finding the step up in class at the spring festivals a bridge too far. However, he showed enough on his recent return following a wind-op to suggest that a mark of 129 may not be beyond him.

Former Grade 2 winner North Lodge (10/1) is another to catch the eye and would rate the one to beat if anywhere near his best. However, an absence from the track of 602 days is enough to make us look elsewhere. We return to the yard of Nicky Henderson for our selection, with the six-year-old Jet Powered (3/1) looking potentially well handicapped off a mark of 131.

An impressive point-to-point winner in December 2021, he looked all set to deliver on that potential when hacking up by 11 lengths at this track on rules debut at around this time last year. Returning to Newbury for his next start, he ran no sort of race, but the fact he hasn’t been seen since suggests something was amiss. Given plenty of time to recover from whatever was ailing him, and with the Henderson yard going great guns, he can resume his progress by landing this.

1:55 BetMGM Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Grade 1, 2m

Constitution Hill

Five go to post in the opening event from Newcastle, but the eyes of the racing world will be focused on just one horse. Grade 2 winning mares You Wear It Well (14/1) and Love Envoi (7/1) are a talented duo, whilst Not So Sleepy (14/1) claimed a share of the spoils when deadheating with Epatante in the 2021 edition of this. That trio would ordinarily have a solid chance in an event of this type but seem likely to be chasing shadows, as the horse who sits atop the market is one of the most sensational 2m hurdlers of the 21st Century.

Unbeaten in seven career starts, Nicky Henderson’s Constitution Hill (2/11) has cut a swathe through the division for the past couple of seasons now – counting a 22l romp in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and a 9l demolition job in the Champion Hurdle amongst his successes. Twelve lengths too good for Epatante in the 2022 edition of this, he’s 22lb and more ahead of his rivals but only concedes 7lbs to the two mares in the field. He is priced accordingly, but it would be a shock were he not to extend his winning record to eight.

2:15 Coral Bet Bundles Intermediate Handicap Hurdle

Premier Handicap, 2m½f

Under Control

The cameras head back to Newbury for race three, which sees a field of highly promising hurdlers tackle the 2m½f trip. Ben Pauling’s Bad (7/1) has yet to deliver on the potential of his French form but is still only four and ran a fair race when third on his comeback at Ascot. Gary Moore’s Hansard (7/1) has long been held in high regard and ran a cracker when fourth to Inthepocket in a Grade 1 at Aintree at the back end of last season. He has top weight here but is a classy sort, and shouldn’t be far away. However, the biggest threat to our selection may be Harry Derham’s Brentford Hope (10/3), who arrives on the back of a career-best success at this track.

Hopefully, Nicky Henderson enjoys a good day on Saturday, as it is another of his runners who will carry our cash here. Barring a complete no-show in the Mare’s Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Under Control (11/8) has been faultless to date – winning each of her other three starts since joining the Henderson yard in February. The last of those efforts came when seeing off stablemate Iberico Lord at Sandown. With that horse going on to win the hugely competitive Greatwood Hurdle in grand style, the form has a rock-solid look, and we suspect this daughter of Doctor Dino may be up to defying a mark of 137.

2:50 Coral Gold Cup Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 3m2f

Monbeg Genius

We look to have a fiercely competitive field for a cracking edition of the feature handicap. Having already bagged the Paddy Power Gold Cup with Stage Star, Paul Nicholls is seeking a big handicap double with Complete Unknown (7/1). Rounding off last season with a second to the exceptional Gerri Colombe in a Grade 1 at Aintree, he returned to the track with a cosy success in a three-runner event at Newton Abbott, which should have teed him up nicely for this. He possibly wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much, but shouldn’t be far away.

Dan Skelton’s Midnight River (10/1) scored on his first crack over this sort of trip at the Grand National meeting and appears to have been laid out for this. Having blown away the cobwebs when third in the Charlie Hall Chase, he goes on a range of ground and rates a major threat to all. Further down the list, Datsalrightgino (28/1) and the tough Twig (22/1) make some each-way appeal, but it is Monbeg Genius (15/2) who gets our vote.

This one’s close-up third behind Corach Rambler and Fastorslow in the Ultima Handicap Chase looks better by the day, suggesting he remains well in off a mark of 147. Nothing went to plan on his return in the Sodexo Gold Cup – when his chance evaporated with a juddering error five from home. However, that was an unusual mistake from this reliable jumper, and he can make his class tell close home.

3:05 BetMGM Rehearsal Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 2m7½f


The presence of Shiskin (11/8) has caused a shake-up to the shape of this race – to the extent that many of his rivals will now race from out of the handicap. A rating of 173 equates to a 12st burden, but we don’t have to look too far back to find a similarly classy sort carrying 12st to victory here – only 12 months, in fact, when Cheltenham Festival scorer L’Homme Presse ground it out on the run to the line.

At his peak, Shiskin is a marginally better horse than L’Homme Presse, and this year’s edition doesn’t look any stronger. Given his antics last weekend when refusing to race at Ascot, it’s tempting to take something each way against him – with Bill Baxter (10/1) and Ga Law (8/1) topping our list. However, that was the first time Shishkin has downed tools at the start in 18 career outings, and we suspect he will have too much class for this, even under that big weight.

3:25 Coral Get Closer To The Action Handicap Chase

Class 2, 2m½f

Mister Chewy

Joe Tizzard’s Elixir De Nutz (5/1) heads the weights in the finale, having bounced right back to his best in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. He is up 6lb for that, and with Freddie Gingell’s claim having been reduced by 2lb, he will effectively be racing off 8lb higher. If able to produce a similar power-packed finish, he may still go close, but there may be a better-handicapped rival lower down the list.

Four-timer seeking Bollingerandkrug (10/1) is the obvious each-way option, but with only two places to play for, we prefer a straight win bet on the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner, Master Chewy (6/4). Returning to the track with a 12l romp at Aintree, he went down by just ¾l to Djelo back at that same track last time. That was a fine effort under 12st1lb and reads particularly well here, as Djelo had previously beaten main market rival Real Stone (3/1) by 15½l in November. With son Sam in the saddle, Mister Chewy can strike a blow for the Twiston-Davies team.