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2020 Betfair Hurdle Newbury Saturday February 8th. An early analysis.

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Phillip Hobbs trains Oakley. He ran a good third behind Not So Sleepy at Ascot when rated ten pound higher up in the weights. A five pound claimer rode him, so he still carried five pound more than Not So Sleepy in weight. Leoncavello was back in fourth so this gives the form a robust look. They pulled clear of the rest.

Not So Sleepy is favourite for this. He probably improved next time when hacking up again at Ascot, but Oakley didn't go up too significantly in the handicap himself. If they reoppose Oakley will be about 12lb better off for that two length defeat.

Oakley ran at Cheltenham next time. He was beaten just a neck by a younger horse that he was giving nearly two stone. He notably had Never Adapt back in third.

On that occasion Oakley was carrying six pound more than Never Adapt who recently won at Kempton. JP's horse will be due a rise in the handicap, which will mean that Oakley will probably be several pound better off with him.

Oakley has as good a chance as anything at 20/1. His latest two runs look extremely strong on paper. A long way to go before this race, but Oakley is a big contender nevertheless.

Updated 13th January 2020 at 9:43 PM by Marb

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