Saturday Horse Racing Tips
11:45 Aintree Tips
2m1f (2m209y) Boylesports Best Odds Guaranteed Novices' Hurdle (Novices' Championship Hurdle Series Qual') (GBB) (Class 3) (4yo+)
Pleasant Man – 0.5pt Each Way – 6/1 (General)
This horse was chucked in the Grade 2 Adonis on debut, which suggests to me that Nicholl’s thinks a lot of him.
He bled that day, so the run can be forgiven.
He has been given time, a wind-op and has also been put into calmer waters here.
This 95 rated flat horse could be smart over hurdles.
Nicholls has also said that he enjoyed himself recently winning a charity flat race, so you would like to think he wouldn’t be lacking for fitness.
Only 0.5pt Each Way as we are slightly guessing at his wellbeing and I’m always slightly concerned when backing horses that have bled previously. I’m hoping his issue may have been connected to his inability to breathe and the subsequent wind-op could have relieved this.
12:07 Fairyhouse Tips
2m5f (2m5f40y) Fairyhouse Ladies Handicap Chase (5yo+)
Whiskey Lullaby – 0.5pt Each Way – 5/1 (General)
I think this horse is capable of winning a race of this nature off a mark of 106.
She had decent enough placed form for Nicholls’ and won a Beginners Chase for Mullins.
She is a half-sister to Nicky Henderson's very useful hurdler/chaser Petit Robin.
Having Jody ride in this Ladies handicap is a big bonus too.
12:35 Sandown Tips
2m4f (2m3f173y) Goffs Tingle Creek Sale Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Challenger Mares' Hurdle Series Qualifier) (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-130)
West Balboa – 3pt Win – 13/8 (General)
I quite simply think that a mark of 127 is an early Christmas present from the handicapper to Dan Skelton.
2nd in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle, beaten by 140 rated Stage Star and beating 130 rated Gringo D’aubrelle. The 4th horse Go Dante is even rated 128 after an opening mark of 130. The 5th horse, Lossiemouth (not to be confused with Willie Mullins’ horse) is rated 141 (was 144).
This horse looks very well in and could make a mockery of this opening mark of 127.
1:10 Sandown Tips
2m7½f (2m7f98y) Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier) (GBB Race) (Class 2) (4yo+)
Sidi Ismael – 1pt Each Way – 8/1 (BetVictor & Boylesport)
I tipped this horse up last time out at Cheltenham and he ran a very creditable race to finish 3rd. A 1lb rise as a result seems perfectly fair.
That run was on Good ground and I think the return to Softer here could well bring about further improvement.
Connections also put the horse in first time blinkers and according to Tom Scu, the horse has been working well in them at home.
A repeat of the Cheltenham run, should see him go close again. Any improvement on top, could see him go even better.
1:17 Fairyhouse Tips
2m Fingal Ravens Raceday Maiden Hurdle (Div I) (4yo+)
Joyeux Machin – 0.5pt Each Way – 6/1 (Paddy Power)
I have always liked this horse.
He chased home Facile Vega on debut and drew clear of the rest of the field.
I followed him next time out and despite getting into trouble, he burst through a gap as it opened and won going away like a smart horse.
He never went at all on the Hevay ground at Cheltenham in the Champion Bumper and I was happy to forgive that.
He then disappointed at Punchestown but that was an odd race and he may have also had enough by that point, especially after Cheltenham.
He made a nice return on hurdling debut giving away plenty of weight to the two that beat him. He jumped well but just couldn’t pick up at the finish under top weight and on heavy ground. He was also keen and may have needed the run.
Into a Maiden Hurdle here, they all carry level weights. He has the run under his belt and he is returned to better ground.
I think he could run a massive race here but we are guessing slightly at what ability the opposition have, so just the 0.5pt Each Way staked.
1:58 Wetherby Tips
2m Vickers.Bet Proudly Supporting British Racing Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-140)
Lebowski – 1pt Win - 7/2 (General)
Lebowski is an intriguing horse for Michael Scudamore.
He won two novice hurdles comfortably.
He was then chucked into a Grade 2 against Jonbon and couldn’t go with them. He ran better than the Pulled Up result suggests though, he was just pulled up on the running as the jockey reported that he lost his action.
He was then thrown into the Imperial Cup and ran far better than the result suggests. He made rapid headway coming to 2 out and just after that flight but then stopped quickly. He bled that day which could easily explain the sudden stop. Finishing 18th beaten 91½ lengths doesn’t reflect the run at all.
He has been dropped 2lb to a mark of 122 and I think he has the potential to be well handicapped.
However, I’m only staking the 1pt as the reported loss of action two runs back and the bleeding last time, suggests that he could well be a horse with issues that fails to show his true ability as a result. If he is free of any issues today, I think he could win this and win this well.
2:27 Fairyhouse Tips
2m4f (2m4f40y) Close Brothers Rated Novice Hurdle (4yo+)
Vera Verto – 0.5pt Each Way – 14/1 (General)
My next selection is Vera Verto who I have tipped up a couple of times, including last time out at Punchestown.
This horse has very smart juvenile form.
She has excuses for the last two runs. Two runs back she was hampered 3 out and then made a mess of 2 out. So I was happy to forgive that run, hence tipping her up next time.
Her next run at Punchestown was a mess for her. They had issues starting the race and when they did, she facing the wrong way and lost many lengths. It was never going to be her day from there on.
I’m not giving up on this horse yet and after a recent spin on the flat which should have her fit, I’m hopeful we will see a different horse today and 14/1 is a very nice price.
2:55 Sandown Tips
1m7½f (1m7f119y) Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)
Shishkin – 5/4 (Bet365 & Boylesport)
I have gone back and forth on this race so many times.
However, I just cannot let Shishkin go off odds against and unbacked here, especially with the give in the ground being in his favour.
If we knew he was fit and well and none the worse for his issues, he would be more like a 1/2 shot here.
All of the comments from the yard are full of confidence and feel that they have him back 100% which is quite unusual for a yard that can come across pessimistic most of the time.
This is one of those races where it looks obvious in hindsight either way. However, at 5/4, I think you just have to gamble on his wellbeing as he is simply the best horse in the race.
This is now walkover though and if he is any less than 90-95% then Greaneteen will beat him.
3:30 Sandown Tips
3m5f (3m4f166y) Winners Wear Cavani Menswear London National Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 2) (5yo+ 0-150)
Revels Hill – 3pt Win – 15/8 (General)
Last but certainly not least, we have Revels Hill.
I flagged this horse on his reappearance as one to keep an eye on but not a bet over an inadequate distance as this would just be a stepping stone.
He showed us exactly that staying on extremely well behind a very well handicapped winner.
After the race I tweeted that providing he goes back up in trip next time out, get stuck in!
He now runs here in the 3m5f London National Handicap Chase.
This looks right up his street albeit I would have preferred the ground to be proper soft rather than just good to soft.
Off just 1lb higher from last time, this horse should take a lot of beating and will be a serious playing in these staying races this season.
Total Outlay – 15 points.