Trainer quotes are an invaluable source of information and this one from Richard Lee after Top Gamble’s win at Ayr last April gives us a huge clue as to what conditions the eight-year-old needs: “Top Gamble has always jumped very well... In the mud he would want 2m and on better ground 2m4f. This is a class act and always has been.”
Top Gamble, now trained by Lee’s daughter Kerry has not quite lasted home over 2m4f/2m5f in the mud on his last two starts but lost little in defeat, finished a six-length third of 12 at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting before going down by less than four lengths to the prolific Village Vic at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.
The drop to 2m1f will suit in the Betfair Exchange Chase at Newbury today (3.00), a race in which odds-on favourite Dodging Bullets might prove vulnerable on his seasonal debut. When given a trip of about 2m on good to soft or softer going, Top Gamble has a record of: 21111125 (5-8), improving to: 2111112 (5-7) on left-handed tracks. The first defeat came on his racecourse debut when finding only subsequent Grade 1 winner O’Faolins Boy half a length too good in a Chepstow bumper and the other by Vibrato Valtat at Warwick where he raced with the choke out and put in some sloppy leaps.
Selection: Top Gamble – Newbury 3.00 (1pt win, 4-1 generally)