Saturday Horse racing Betting Tips
13:40 Newbury - Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) - 2m4f
North Lodge 1pt EW @ 9/1
North Lodge will make his long-awaited return to the track after 602 days off on Saturday, and I think connections have found a very winnable Handicap for him if he's ready to go first time up.
This 6yo was an extremely talented Novice Hurdler in 21/22, winning on debut at Aintree before landing the Grade 2 Classic Novices' Hurdle on Cheltenham Trials Day, where he beat Balco Coastal (149) & A Different Kind (145). Under a Grade 2 penalty he then went extremely close in the slightly shorter 2m2f Premier Novices' Hurdle up at Kelso when touched off a short-head by Nells Son (135) despite giving him 5lbs, and 8.5L behind was Bold Endeavour (145). North Lodge ended his season when 3rd in the 2m4f Grade 1 Mersey Novice Hurdle at Aintree behind Three Stripe Life (148) and Might I (145), but obviously missed the whole of last season through injury.
Connections have clearly been patient with him, and they have decided they're going to stick over Hurdles with him this season. Alan King reported a week ago in a stable tour that he's back 'in very strong work', and whilst I'm sure he will come on for this run, he might be good enough to win it anyway as it looks pretty ordinary. North Lodge has been left on the same mark of 142 as when last seen too, which suggests that the Handicapper thinks he is well treated, as they usually drop Horses a few lbs when off this long.
Alan King, Tom Cannon and the McNeill Family team up with Masaccio earlier on the card and I think he will take a fair bit of beating, and if coming here straight off the back of his Novice campaign I’d say North Lodge would be favourite for this. Fingers crossed he will be ready to go first time up.
14:50 Newbury – Coral Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier) - 3m2f
Stolen Silver 0.5pts EW (6 Places) @ 14/1
I think this is a very good renewal of the Coral Gold Cup, but the presence of Ahoy Senor running in here off a mark of 169 makes the race even more unique as all are off nice racing weights. One of the Horses I think that benefits most is the second Horse Stolen Silver, who whilst probably would have been vulnerable off top weight, only has to carry 11st2lbs from his rating of 157.
Stolen Silver was awesome on his first try over 3m at Chepstow in October, where he ran in the Class 2 Native River Handicap Chase. Running off a mark of 150 on soft ground, he relished the increase in distance to cruise into a lead, and he was even able to quicken up down to the final flight before coasting home eased down. What I liked about the performance was that they didn’t give him an exaggerated hold-up ride to ensure he got the trip either; as he raced prominently throughout.
He’s obviously got to prove stamina again here over this 2f longer trip, but if he does he must have a great chance despite being raised 7lbs. As his trainer Sam Thomas said during the week, if there’s a track where he’s going to get this sort of trip then it’s going to be Newbury, and he’s still only an 8yo who is showing plenty of improvement as he has relaxed plenty over the past year or so.
It’s also worth noting that Stolen Silver will be 4lbs better off with Midnight River for a 2.25L defeat at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day, where both Horses ran extremely well in that Premier Handicap Chase. Sam Thomas has enjoyed a very successful Autumn, and the fact that Sam Twiston-Davies retains the ride has to be a big positive.
15:25 Newbury – Handicap Chase (Class 2) – 2m½f
Master Chewy 1.5pts Win @ 15/8
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Master Chewy was electric on his Chase debut at Aintree in October, where off a mark of 121 he absolutely bolted up by 12 lengths back to General Officer (120) in a decent field which also contained 5/4f Pembroke (135). The real highlight of his performance however was his slick jumping, as he really does get from one side of a fence to the other extremely quickly.
Heading back to Aintree off a 10lbs higher mark for an open company 2m Handicap Chase 2 weeks later, frustratingly all of the fences down the home straight were omitted on what is now quite an infamous Grand Sefton day. Clearly the lack of obstacles didn’t suit him that day, but he still ran a cracker to cruise into contention and only just be beaten 0.75 lengths by Djelo (135), who runs in the Fulke Walwyn Trophy at Newbury on Friday and could yet boost the form again.
There should be no chance of any fences being omitted at Newbury on Saturday however, and the 4 fences down the home straight really should suit his jumping style. When you look at the race as a whole however, I don’t think it’s really that great – with plenty of exposed types running here. The main danger according to the market is Real Stone, but Master Chewy beat him by 15 lengths the second time at Aintree, and they will be off the same terms weight wise here. I think Master Chewy will take all the beating.