Coeur de Lion and Nayati are The Messenger best bets from Newmarket and Chepstow on Saturday.
Newmarket 3.40: Coeur de Lion
Coeur de Lion is a horse I just keeping backing in these sort of races. An out and out galloper, this long finishing straight will allow him to get into a strong rhythm. True he was comfortably beaten in the trial race here three weeks ago, but that was a strange contest in which he effectively made the running way behind the tearaway winner. Far better and coming through beaten horses late, he was a slightly unlucky third in that Newbury race won by Stratum and he ought to get luck in running on this wide and seriously long finishing stretch.
I am hopeful of an Alan King win in the Cesarewitch and the trainer as strong claims with Nayati in this valuable 4yo hurdle.
His first season in hurdling ended underwhelmingly but there is reason to believe he will improve for some better ground. He was a strong traveller on the flat in France and raced only in the mid-winter deep going last season.
He did win on his first two starts, winning despite running green at Newbury and then taking advantage of his rivals jumping errors to win fortunately at Ascot. He was then well beaten against more experienced rivals at Market Rasen, but there is ability there and in a race lacking an obviously unexposed rival, I think Nayati might enjoy the faster ground today.
0.75pts each-way – Coeur de Lion – 3.40 Newmarket at 66/1 with Betfair
1pt win – Nayati – 4.10 Chepstow – 11/2 William Hill