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Old Newton Cup Preview and Newbury Selection

Morning all,

Whilst all eyes will rightly be Sandown on Saturday. Let’s not forget that Haydock stages one of its most valuable days of its flat season. The bookies have now priced up the three Haydock races being broadcast live by ITV on Saturday including the bet365 Old Newton Cup (3:15) and the bet365 Lancashire Oaks (2:40).

Inside today’s main piece I preview Haydock’s Old Newton Cup. Plus, there’s Thursday selection from Newbury.

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Old Newton Cup – Haydock

The Old Newton Cup is a Class 2 handicap run over a few yards short of 1m 4f. Normally attracting a decent quality sized field of middle-distance handicappers. Indeed, the past ten renewals of the race have seen an average field size of 15.

The going at Haydock is officially being described as good to soft, good in places and it’s been watered. Keeping a close on the eye weather forecast plenty of rain was being forecast for the track on Wednesday and there could be as much as 20mm of rain before racing on Saturday. Unless the forecast is badly wrong its hard to see firm appearing in the going description.

Twenty-three were left in the Old Newton Cup at Monday’s final confirmation stage and there’s a good chance we’ll see close to a maximum field of 17 on the day.  

Trends & Stats

Mark Johnson is the top performing trainer. Having saddled the winner of the race three times since 2013. Mind you he does tend to throw a few darts at the race and in the past ten years he had 24 of the 155 runners. He left two in the race on Monday recent Pontefract winner Enfranchise and Love Is Golden. The former seemed to be improved for her first attempt at 1m 4f last time and is only 3lb higher here.

Favourite/joint favourites haven’t fared well being 0 winners from 13 bets since 2012. Will that change this year? The ante post favourite is the William Haggas trained Gaassee. The 4-year-old is improving with racing and will be bidding for the five timer, after making a winning seasonal reappearance at York in May. One for favourite backers to note favs going off 4/1 & under are 0 winners from 10 bets, 3 placed.

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Looking at some of the key trends.  All the last ten winners shared the following:

Age: 4yo to 6yo.

Maximum Distance Ran: 1m 4f to 2m.

Last Time Out Track: Not Epsom.

Last Time Out either won or were within 15 lengths of the winner.

None were ridden by a claiming jockey.

Using above trends removed 54% of the total runners.


A fair few pass the above trends including the favourite Gaassee. They include recent Royal Ascot 1m 6f winner Get Shirty who is 3-4 this season. The 6-year-old is ground versatile and although he’s 6lb higher than last time his improvement may not have ended.

Trawlerman who lost his race in the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap with a slow start and Brilliant Light who finished 4th of 18 in that race but did run poorly in this race last year on soft ground are also contenders.

The mare Topanticipation comes into the race in top-form, but the mare’s recent improvement has come on top of the ground. Liverpool Knight improved for soft ground when winning at Windsor last time and he’s only had one start since joining trainer Kevin Philippart de Foy. The consistent Ravenscraig Castle would prefer further than 1m 4f but a strongly run race is what he does need.

Secret Shadow might not get into the race but Andrew Balding has booked Hayley Turner and the filly who ended last season with two wins on soft/heavy ground and made a promising return to action when close-up 3rd of 8 at Goodwood (1m 6f). She might want further than 1m 4f as he improved autumn form came over 1m 5f/1m 6f. However, the more rain the better for the 4-year-old and Andrew Balding also saddled last year’s winner. A best priced 14/1 with Coral & Sky Bet (both paying four places). There will be much worse each way bets this Saturday than her.

Thursday Racing:

The afternoon action takes place at Haydock, Yarmouth & Perth and there are four evening fixtures at Epsom, Newbury, Tipperary and Bellewstown.  

The race of the day is at Tipperary with the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle (6:10) the highlight of a seven-race card.

Willie Mullins has two declared for the Grimes Hurdle. Saint Roi who has finished 4th to Honeysuckle on his last two starts and Shewearsitwell who won at Killarney last time. Both have winning form over C&D.

Last year’s winner Sole Pretender bids for back-to-back wins. He comes into the race having won his last two starts over fences. He looks set for another bold run in the race and could be the one to beat again.

I’m off to Newbury for today’s selection.


7:03 – Crazy Look has hit form on her last two starts finishing a neck 2nd of 8 at Windsor two starts back and then 1-length 2nd of 10 to Gale Force Maya in a better race at York last time. Drops to notches in class here and won this corresponding race 12 months ago from 7lb lower. Looks sure to go well again if in the same form as her last two runs.

Crazy Look – 9/2 @ Coral & Ladbrokes.

Good luck with your Thursday bets.


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