Renowned mudlark Bakbenscher is a solid shout to rattle off a swift double in the Betfred Goals Galore Handicap Hurdle at Newbury.
Alan King’s nine-year-old simply revels in the mud, but he has not been far away from winning in Graded class when conditions are loaded in his favour. Although the tough grey has done well enough over fences, King kept him over hurdles this winter after he finished third in the Silver Trophy on his seasonal debut at Chepstow.
Bakbenscher justified his trainer’s instincts at Haydock last week when he turned in a typically stout display to scoop a competitive handicap by three and a half lengths. The handicapper has unsurprisingly taken action by raising him 8lb, but he is officially 2lb better off under a penalty for this assignment. With that in mind, he should take some stopping given the unsettled forecast for the Berkshire region.
Newbury’s feature, the Betfred Mobile Sports Challow Novices’ Hurdle, does not look vintage, but those who choose to side with Taquin Du Seuil could be in clover. The Jonjo O’Neill-trained five-year-old impressed at Sandown last time when he coasted six lengths clear in a Grade Two on heavy ground. Taquin Du Seuil has pace and stamina in equal measure but is, perhaps crucially, open to limitless potential given he has only had three runs over hurdles. The old adage of following sprinters in form could never be more appropriate than at Wolverhampton, where Another Citizen contests the 32Red Casino Handicap.
Tim Easterby’s four-year-old gained deserved kudos following three second-placed finishes at Dunstall Park by winning a tight five-furlong handicap last month and is equipped to triumph again.