Saturday Horse Racing Prediction
13:30 Newbury Tips
Novices’ Handicap Hurdle – 2m3f
Inneston 1pt Win @ 3/1
With the ground going Soft at Newbury I think Inneston has an unbelievably good chance – and he looks a winner staring me in the face despite being the favourite.
This 5yo has progressed extremely well in England since coming over from France where he beat none other than Irish Point. 3rd on debut for Gary Moore, Inneston then went to Fontwell and ran a cracker for 3rd behind Churchills Boy (118) and I’d Like To Know (118) – and had he not made a mistake at the last he probably would’ve won.
Running at Sandown on his next start last month, Inneston improved again to stay on gamely to win on Handicap debut – where this time he beat Twin Power (118) by a head, in a race which is working out quite well considering the 4th Amrons Sage has won since.
By far his best piece of form came at Sandown 14 days ago however, where Inneston ran an absolute belter in the Premier EBF Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final. Despite racing freely, Inneston stayed on strongly through the field and looked the likely winner – but perhaps he just hit the front a bit too soon when caught on the line by Crambo (131). Despite being beaten however, the front pair pulled an impressive 8 lengths clear of a competitive field, which showcases how good a performance it was.
Being put up 7lbs to a mark of 124 looks more than fair for this Gary Moore charge then, and as I mentioned previously the Soft ground at Newbury will massively increase his chances as he looks like a Horse who wants Softer ground. Although there’s a quick enough turnaround of 14 days for Inneston to overcome, this is a weaker race, so he must have a very strong favourites chance.
Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) – 3m2f
Inis Oirr 1pt Win @ 9/2
It’s a very tricky Saturday this weekend, but I think Inis Oirr has a great chance of landing the spoils in this 3m2f Handicap Hurdle.
This 6yo has developed into a very useful Novice Hurdler this season, with his debut run over 2m4f behind Paddy The Horse (115) followed by a neck 2nd to Mr Vango (125) at Haydock in November when stepping up in trip to 3m½f.
Following those two opening efforts, Inis Oirr then made his Handicap debut off a mark of 113 at Kelso in December – but the drop back in trip to 2m6½f didn’t really suit him that day, and his lack of experience for such a race was certainly found wanting on only his third start over obstacles – as he could only manage 6th place having led and been joined three from home.
Held up on his next start however, Inis Oirr went to Musselburgh on Scottish Trials weekend for their 3m Stayers’ Novices’ Hurdle – and it looked to be quite a decent race. The change of tactics certainly helped this Lucinda Russell charge however, as he battled on extremely strongly to the line to beat Paul Nicholls’ Outlaw Peter (135) by a nose – and that rival has since gone on to win twice since, including at Kempton last weekend.
Connections decided to throw Inis Oirr in the relative deep end on his next start however, as they eyed how weak the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock last month shaped up, and decided to take their chance. Now although that race was extremely weak and only Grade 2 standard by name, Inis Oirr was still rated upwards of 26lbs lower than the rest of the field – so he was clearly up against it off level weights. Despite being out of his depth for a long way however, I thought Inis Oirr stayed on well up the straight when finishing last – and in the end he was only beaten 2.25 lengths by Green Book (139) who went on to finish 4th in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham.
Left alone on a mark of 122 following that run, Inis Oirr now drastically drops back in Grade for this Class 2 Handicap Hurdle – which is ultimately a far weaker race. The likes of Jet Legs, Spike Jones and Theme Tune all come into this race off higher marks having won in much lower class races than this so will clearly need to improve again to get to Inis Oirr’s level – so this looks a good opportunity for him to get back into the winners enclosure, especially considering the form of his penultimate start. Lucinda Russell is in great form too, with 6 winners from her last 19 runners (32% strike rate). She’s had a further 5 seconds in that time period too!
Handicap Chase (Class 2) – 3m2f
Doyen Breed 1pt Win @ 7/1
Hill Sixteen 1pt Win @ 6/1
Although Sandy Thomson is yet to win this Handicap Chase, he does have a very good placed record in the race – with his form reading 22P5U32. Last season Sandy came agonisingly close to landing the prize with Empire Steel who was beaten 0.75 lengths into 2nd, but this year he’s firing two bullets at the race – and I think both have an equally good chance.
The first of his runners is Hill Sixteen, who has a fantastic record at Kelso in good races. Making his debut here last season in the 2m7½f Listed Premier Chase, Hill Sixteen was only beaten a length into 2nd by Nuts Well (149) when beating the hot favourite Epoir De Romay (150) by 3 lengths. He looked the winner for a long way that day too, but a mistake at the last probably cost him victory.
Returning to Kelso in October, Hill Sixteen ran a cracker in the course and distance Edinburgh Gin Chase – where running off a Handicap rating of 145 he was only beaten 6 lengths by the highly progressive Sounds Russian (161), in a race that also contained Aye Right (153), Castle Robin (136) and Eva’s Oskar (141). It was notable that Hill Sixteen stayed on strongly towards the finish that day too, so a return to this 3m2f trip should be right up his street.
Hill Sixteen has run once since when finishing a decent 7th in the 3m2f Becher Handicap Chase over the Aintree Grand National fences – but a return to conventional fences over a course and distance he should relish at Kelso should give him every chance. Two further positives are the fact that he has undergone wind surgery since that Aintree run, and the fact that he was dropped 2lbs to a mark of 143 despite that perfectly respectable run. With Craig Nichol booked to ride for the first time since the Premier Chase, Hill Sixteen ought to run a big race. The one concern is that he could yet get into the Grand National so it could just be a prep run – but this is a bit late in the day now for such a run.
The second Sandy Thomson Horse with a big chance is Doyen Breed, who has promised to be a good Chaser at this level without yet landing a sizable pot. Last season Doyen Breed was highly progressive – beating Emitom (140) and J’Ai Froid (137) in a Novice Chase at Hexham, before finishing 2nd in the Paris Pike here at Kelso. A 2nd in the Grade 2 Hampton Novices’ Chase behind Threeunderthrufive (147) also reads well, and again he ran well for 2nd in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot last year when behind Does He Know (157).
This year hasn’t really gone to plan for Doyen Breed however, as following a prep run over Hurdles at Doncaster he was primed for an effort in the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh. He clearly didn’t stay the trip that day when pulled up before the second last however, so I’m happy to put a line through the run.
13 days later however Doyen Breed dropped back in trip to 2m5½f here at Kelso for a Class 2 Handicap Chase, and running off a mark of 131 he bounced straight back to form – staying on well at the finish for a 4 length second to the talented Minella Drama (154). Despite running well however, the Handicapper decided to drop him 1lb to a mark of 131 – and I think that looks very exploitable now he is stepped back up in trip to a realistic 3m2f. With last season’s regular rider Ryan Mania booked to ride, I think Doyen Breed is set to run a massive race.