This is a really nice looking novices' chase with a few potentially nice looking chasers running.
Activial for Harry Fry ran in some top quality hurdles races last year with the highlight being a very close third in the Coral Cup. There is hope that he will make into a top chaser and this is a good place to start as it was a race that was won by Coneygree last year.
Sametegal beat Three Musketeers by over four lengths at Huntingdon last time out to win a novices' chase but he is penalised for that win and is now seven pounds worse off. The Paul Nicholls trained gelding will need to come on again to land this carrying the extra weight in my opinion.
Maximiser finished second in a novice chase at Carlisle in heavy going but that race didn't look particularly strong and although there is plenty of scope for improvement, a lot will be need to win this.
Three Musketeers for Dan Skelton is the horse I really like in this race. He was a decent hurdler in his three starts last season culminating in a good third place behind Nicholls Canyon and Parlour Games at Aintree. He finished third behind third behind Sametegal at Huntingdon where he was a well backed evens favourite, however as already mentioned he is seven pounds better off today and that can make all the difference. He will have learnt a lot from his first chase and I think he has the potential to go onto much better things.
Copain De Classe for Paul Nicholls comes with a big reputation in France and won over one and a half miles in May. He ran a little green that day but it is safe to assume that he will have been well schooled at Ditcheat and I think he will take all the beating here today. He is carrying ten pounds less than the Alan King trained Ardamir who has already won a hurdles race in France and that could make a big difference.
Newbury 14:05 Three Musketeers - 1 point @ 9/2 (Most firms)
Newbury 12:25 Copain De Classe - 1 point @ 9/4 (Boylesport)