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Saturday Horse Racing Betting Tips

12:55 Doncaster Tips

December Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) – 3m

Mahler Mission 1pt Win @ 7/2

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This is honestly the weakest Grade 2 Novices’ Chase I think I’ve ever seen, so I’d be extremely disappointed if the highest rated Mahler Mission can’t get the job done here – especially as other than Gentleman At Arms, he’s rated upwards of 9lbs better than the remainder.

This John McConnell Irish raider was a lovely Novice Hurdler last season, winning at Sedgefield in January before just 15 days later coming to Doncaster and winning the Grade 2 River Don Novices’ Hurdle – beating recent Chase winner The Real Whacker (139) by 2 lengths.

Connections decided to run Mahler Mission in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival where he was a decent 7th place, but upon his return to lesser company at Perth in April he then got straight back into the winners enclosure – winning a 3m Listed Novice Hurdle by 2.25 lengths from Complete Unknown (135) and Galia Des Liteaux (141).

Mahler Mission made his Chase debut at Cheltenham’s October meeting in a very strange 3 runner race, and although he made a few Novicey errors as you would expect, he largely jumped well in the main. The race-fit Chemical Energy absolutely ran away with the all-Irish field that day however, and Mahler Mission was left to come home in his own time in a very distant second place.

Although that’s not exactly a piece of Chase form you’d want to bring to the table to win a Grade 2 event, Mahler Mission was also beaten into 2nd last season before coming on bundles for his second start, and I’m hoping similar can happen here – especially as he’s back at the scene of his biggest win to date. With the race looking so weak on paper, I really think Mahler Mission should win this.

14:05 Doncaster Tips

Handicap Chase (Class 2) – 3m

Castle Robin 1pt Win @ 11/2

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Castle Robin was pulled up very quickly at Cheltenham 28 days ago when I put him up on this column, but assuming he’s gotten over that issue now, then he must have a great chance back at Doncaster.

Castle Robin was a three-times winner over fences last season, firstly winning on debut at Exeter in November off a mark of 128 – where he beat the highly progressive Lord Accord (138) by 1.25 lengths, and Bobhopeornohope (139) finished in 3rd. Following a defeat to Saint Palais (153) at Wetherby in March, Castle Robin then won a 3m Novice Handicap Chase here at Doncaster, where he this time beat Lord Accord by 9.75 lengths, and he rounded off his season at Wetherby in March when beating another progressive type in Fern Hill (140).

This year Castle Robin started his season at Kelso in their 3m2f Edinburgh Gin Chase, and although he looked to have a good chance off 135, he shaped as if he needed the run – getting outpaced rounding the bend for home, but staying on in the closing stages to cement 4th place. That race won by Sounds Russian (157) looks quite a strong one, with Aye Right (156) in 2nd and Hill Sixteen (143) in 3rd – and he even had De Rasher Counter (146) plus Eva’s Oskar (140) behind.

Dropped 1lb for that effort down to a mark of 134, Castle Robin is now only rated 2lbs higher than his latest win, and although Cheltenham didn’t go to plan, he was very quickly pulled up after the 4th fence, so he barely had a race. Connections have given him plenty of time to recover from that now, and interestingly Charlie Longsdon had decided to chuck first-time cheek-pieces on him in a bid to find further improvement that, which is an angle I like with him, but thus far has not been truly tested.

15:35 Cheltenham Tips

Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) – 2m4½f  

Lady Adare 1pt Win @ 5/1

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We end a very cold and tricky weekend with a Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, and the one I really like here is Harry Fry’s Lady Adare.

This unbeaten Mare won 3 times over Hurdles last term, starting off in a very warm race at Uttoxeter – where under Lorcan Murtagh she won by a very impressive 7 lengths to Get A Tonic (137), Credo (120), Tweed Skirt (128) and Holly (122). Backing up under a penalty at Newcastle in January, she again won effortlessly, and she was even eased down in the final strides on that occasion.

Lady Adare stepped up in trip to 2m4f for the first time at Taunton in February when this time running in another Novice event under a double-penalty, and again she recorded a very easy success – this time absolutely bolting up by 16 lengths to a subsequent winner, albeit at a low grade.

Lady Adare then is the definition of ‘could be anything’, and off an opening Handicap mark of 130 I still believe she’s well treated – especially when you consider how easily she dispatched a good field at Uttoxeter on her debut over Hurdles. Clearly this will be her biggest test to date, but she is in receipt of 7lbs from Theatre Glory and 10lbs from Martello Sky at the weights – and as an added bonus Lorcan Murtagh jumps back aboard to take off a further 3lbs.