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2nd March 2021

Free Horse Racing Tips & Trends: Sat 13th Feb 2021

Plenty more Cheltenham Festival clues on offer this Saturday as the ITV cameras head to both Newbury and Warwick to take in seven races across the two venues.

At Newbury the Denman Chase, Betfair Hurdle and Betfair Exchange Chase are the standout contests - In the last 17 runnings of the Denman Chase we've seen 8 winning favourites, while ALL of the last 18 Betfair Hurdle winners carried 11st 8lbs or less in weight.

Then up at Warwick, we've three more LIVE ITV races, including the Grade Two Kingmaker Novices' Chase one of the features - a race that gives us a chance to see some of the potential stars of the future.

So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here at TQ with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races - we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get going!

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NEWBURY Horse Racing Trends (ITV/RacingTV)


1.50 -
Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Handicap Hurdle Cl2 3m52y ITV4

14/15 – Had won no more than 3 times over hurdles before
13/15 – Had run within the last 10 weeks
11/15 – Aged 7 or younger
11/15 – Carried 10-13 or more
10/15 – Had won over at least 2 ½ miles (hurdles) before
10/15 – Winning distance – 3 ½ lengths or less
9/15 – Unplaced last time out
9/15 – Carried 11-0 or more
8/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
6/15 – Aged 7 years-old
6/15 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/15 – Had run over hurdles at Newbury before (no winners)
3/15 – French bred
3/15 – Won last time out
3/15 – Winning favourites
2/15 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/15 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
2/15 – Raced at Haydock last time out

Sizable Sam will be popular here after a couple of nice wins at Wincanton, but up another 7lbs here and even though I feel there is more to come from this 6 year-old, he looked a bit green an inexperienced last time – wandering around and wasn’t the most fluent at some of the hurdles. This is a better race too so more is needed, but, in his defence, this step up to 3m is probably what he’s been crying out for and could improve him again. The Philip Hobbs yard have a decent 24% record with their hurdlers here though and with that in mind their EVERGLOW (e/w) might be worth chancing. This 6 year-old was highly-tried in a Listed Hurdle at Kempton last time, but didn’t run too badly to be 7th of 20, and the time before looked to be going the right way with a smooth win at Ascot. He gets in here off the same mark as last time, but should have more to come over this longer trip and with this only being his fifth career run over hurdles. Richard Johnson riding is the icing on the cake. Of the rest, the consistent Mint Condition should go well, while it’s hard to ignore the Paul Nicholls runner – Southfield Harvest, who is yet to finish out of the first two from four hurdles runs. Alan King won this in 2019 and his Es Perfecto is another that should be involved, but of those at bigger prices the only CD winner in the field – VIVE LE ROI (e/w) – might be worth a small interest too. Yes, he was down the field in this race last year (5th), but is 7lbs lower this time and hinted at a return to form last time at Cheltenham when a fair 5th of 12 in a similar race.

2.25 - Betfair Denman Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m ITV4

15/17 – Had won at least 4 times over fences (UK) before
15/17 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
14/17 – Rated 150+
13/17 – Placed favourites
13/17 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
13/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/17 – Aged 8 or younger
11/17 – Winners that went onto race in that season’s Gold Cup (4 winners)
11/17 – Had won over fences at Newbury before
10/17 – Raced at either Cheltenham (4) or Kempton (4) last time out
8/17 – Won last time out
8/17 – Winning favourites
7/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
7/17 – Irish bred
6/17 – French bred
5/17 – Winning distance – ¾ length or less
4/17 – Winners that went onto win the Gold Cup (Coneygree, Denman, Kauto Star & Native River)
3/17 – Returned a double-figure price
3/17 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
3/17 – Trained by Colin Tizzard
2/17 – Won by the Pipe stable
7 of the last 14 winners were aged 7 years-old
The average SP in the last 14 runnings is 3/1

Paul Nicholl has a good record in this race and he’s going to have another big chance with his multiple King George winner, Clan Des Obeaux. This 9 year-old is the joint top-rated in the field (169) and is a former course winner – he’s clearly got a big chance. However, he’s also not won now since landing the 2019 King George and despite being lightly-raced since (3 runs), he was put in his place by Frodon at Kempton over Christmas and I’m not sure he’s great value – especially having to give 3lbs away to last season’s RSA Chase winner – CHAMP. This Nicky Henderson 9 year-old was las seen coming from the clouds to win at the Cheltenham Festival last March and looks set for another big campaign. He’s had a wind op since that last run, plus he’s also got a cracking record fresh and, more to the point, here at Newbury. He’s 4-from-4 at the Berkshire track (2 hurdles, 2 chase) so clearly loves it here – Nico de Boinville rides. The other joint top-rated is the Tizzard runner – Lostintranslation – and on his best form he’d, of course, be a player – let’s not forget, he was a close third in the Gold Cup last March. However, he’s rather lost his way since with poor runs in the King George and Betfair Chase – a recent wind op might do the trick, but I’d rather see it on the track first. Cepage, The Conditional and Secret Investor are all good horses in their own right too, but in this graded race have a bit to find at the weights. So, the other of interest is KALASHNIKOV (e/w). Yes, he’s rated 10lbs off the likes of Clan and Lost, but gets a handy 6lbs from that pair. He ran well over 2m4f at Cheltenham (2nd) last time out but looks the sort that is worth a try over 3 (fences), plus is also a proven course winner here at Newbury. If all 8 run, then he could be the e/w value in the race.

3.00 – Betfair Cheltenham Free Bet Pot Builder Chase (Registered as The Game Spirit Chase) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m92y ITV4

15/15 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the betting
14/15 – Placed favourites
13/15 – Aged 8 or younger
12/15 – Winners went onto run in that season’s Champion Chase (3 winners)
12/15 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
12/15 – Had won at least 4 times over fences before
11/15 – Raced within the last 8 weeks
10/15 – Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
9/15 – Winning favourites
8/15 – Won last time out
8/15 – Had raced at Newbury (fences) before (5 winners)
6/15 – French bred
6/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
5/15 – Ran at Sandown last time out
5/15 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/15 – Winners that went onto win that season’s Champion Chase
2/15 – Winners that went onto win that season’s Arkle Chase
Altior has won the last three renewals (2017, 2018 & 2020)

Note:
The 2019 running was staged at Ascot

A lot will rest on how the three-time winner of this race – ALTIOR – returns. The reports coming out of the Seven Barrows yard is that he’s been flying at home and we all know he loves it here at Newbury – he’s 3-from-3 here over fences. He beat another runner Sceau Royal – in this race 12 months go by 3 ¼ lengths and I’ll stick with him. Okay, he’s now 11 years-old, so certainly not getting any younger, but in his defence has been very lightly-raced in the last few seasons and that might give him one more season at the very top level – let’s hope so. He’ll need to win this really to have a chance in the Champion Chase at the Festival next month. It won’t be easy though having to give 6lbs away to Sceau Royal this time (level weights last year) and the King horse has been in good form this season. But he does return from a fall last time, so I think a bigger danger might come from the Paul Nicholls runner – Greaneteen. He’s still only 7 years-old so should have more to come and it’s no secret connections feel he’s got more to offer. He’s had a break since running Politologue to 7 lengths in the Tingle Creek last time out, but has won 4 of his 6 chase starts and looks a typical Nicholls sort that with a tiny bit more improvement could start to make a name for himself in this division. Nicholls also has Magic Saint in the race, while Ventia Williams runs CD winner Fanion D’Estruval – both are certainly no back numbers, but would probably need the main three in the market to have an off day.

 

3.35 – Betfair Hurdle (Handicap) (Grade 3) Cl1 2m110y ITV4

18/18 – Carried 11-8 or less in weight
17/18 – Aged 7 or younger
16/18 – Rated 130 or higher
15/18 – Won between 2-4 times over hurdles in the UK/IRE before
15/18 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
15/18 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
15/18 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
14/18 – Came from the first 7 in the betting
14/18 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
13/18 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or less
13/18 – Placed favourites
10/18 – Carried 10-9 or less in weight
9/18 – Came from the top 5 in the betting
9/18 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
8/18 – Irish bred
8/18 – Won last time out
8/18 – Aged 5 years-old (including 8 of last 14)
7/18 – Winning favourites
4/18 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 5 times in all)
3/18 – Trained by Gary Moore
3/18 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (3 of the last 7)
2/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (2 of the last 9)
2/18  - Raced at Leopardstown last time out
2/18 – Owned by JP McManus
1/18 – Went onto win the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival that season (Spirit Leader 2003)
23 of the last 24 winners have been aged 7 or younger
Pic D’Orhy (33/1) won the race in 2020
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 14/1

As always, a super-competitive renewal of this Betfair Hurdle. Sky Pirate, who has made giant strides over fences this season, is back over hurdles and off a mark 5lbs lower than when winning over the bigger obstacles last time. He could be thrown-in, but it doesn’t always pan out as the weights suggest and it’s interesting that jockey Jonjo O’Neill Jnr prefers Soaring Glory, who was a fine third in the Supreme Novices’ Trial at Ascot last time out – he gets in here with only 10st 7lbs, which looks dangerous, so it’s no shock he’s been well supported in the build-up to this. Henderson has a good record in the race too and in Buzz and Mister Coffey he’s got two fair chances too. The former is ridden by 5lb claimer Kevin Brogan to offset some of his big 11st 12lbs weight, while you feel Mister Coffey, with Nico de Boinville riding, is better than his showing (3rd) last time at Sandown after getting bogged down in heavy ground. The unbeaten Metier could be anything and comfortably beat the Harry Redknapp-owned Shakem Up’Arry last time out, so certainly can't be ruled out, but the three I like are CADZAND, GUARD YOUR DREAMS and FIFTY BALL. The first-named has won his last two in decisive fashion and the form of his last win over Christopher Wood has since been franked with that horse winning last weekend. He’s up 9lbs for that last win, but did it well to suggest he’s up to the rise in the ratings and gets in here with a nice racing weight of 10st 12lbs. The other main pick – FIFTY BALL (e/w) – comes from the Gary Moore yard that like to target this race – winning it last in 2015. He’s caught the eye in winning his last two and looks a versatile sort that has won on different ground and over trips from 2m up to 2m3 ½f. He’s up 11lbs from this last run, so more on his plate, but still gets into this better race with just 10st 5lbs to carry and that’s a full stone less in racing weight than last time. The final pick – GUARD YOUR DREAMS (e/w) – comes from the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard that have won 3 of the last 7 runnings of this race. This 5 year-old seems to be going the right way after winning three of his four hurdles starts and is up 7lbs from last time when beating Friend or Foe with a bit to spare at Sandown. Trip and ground are fine and son Sam takes the ride for his dad, something he’s done with success in this race twice since 2017!

 

WARWICK Horse Racing Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

 

2.05 – Close Brothers Warwick Mares´ Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 2m5f ITV4

Just 6 previous running
6/6 – Aged 6 or 7 years old
6/6 – Had won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) before
5/6 – Didn’t win last time out
5/6 – Favourites placed 1st or 2nd
4/6 – Won at least 4 times over hurdles before
4/6 – Had run in the last 6 weeks
3/6 – Rated between 141 and 149
3/6 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
3/6 – Winning favourites
3/6 – Irish bred
2/6 – Had run at Warwick before
Trainer Willie Mullins has won 2 of the last 6 runnings
Indefatigable (7/2 cfav) won the race in 2020

Molly Ollys Wishes and Sensulano are both proven CD winners here that command respect, while the Nicholls runner – Eglantine Du Seuill – has run well in defeat the last twice and can go well too in what looks slightly calmer waters for this former Willie Mullins inmate. Whitehotchillifilli stayed on well to win at Sandown last time out over 2m4f so the extra furlong looks a plus  - she shouldn’t be far away either, while Dolcita is another former Mullins runner that has hopped to Paul Nicholls and now Fergal O’Brien – she was second in the mares’ novices race at the Festival last season so certainly has ability. But the interesting runner here is the French raider – PAUL’S SAGA. This 7 year-old’s form is hard to translate to the UK scene, but she’s a proven Grade One winner in France. Connections have also booked Brian Hughes to ride and the fact they are making the trip over in these testing times would give you more confidence. Trip and ground are fine, while even though it’s always a bit of a risk siding with these foreign raiders, her trainer David Cottin, who also handles the useful Easysland, knows the time of day when it comes to racing over here.

 

2.40 – Agetur UK Kingmaker Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 2m ITV

9/9 – Aged 7 or younger
8/9 – Raced in the last 8 weeks
8/9 – Won over 2m fences before
7/9 – Had won no more than twice (fences) in the UK
7/9 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
6/9 – Rated between 137-147
5/9 – Aged 5 or 7 years-old
5/9 – Won last time out
4/9 – Winning favourites
3/9 – Unplaced favs
4 of the last 5 winners have been 6 year-olds
Rouge Vif (7/2) won the race in 2020

Note: 2009 renewal was at Sandown

Some promising chasers for the future here, including Cheddleton, who has impressed in winning his last two at Carlisle and Haydock. Sky Pirate, is another that’s improved this season – he could head here but is also entered in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury. Tamaroc Du Mathan, who was fifth in last season’s Betfair Hurdle, lost nothing in defeat by running the classy Shiskin to 13 lengths at Kempton in the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase over Christmas and looks a young chaser with a future too. But it's hard to get away from the Dan Skelton runner here – ALLMANKIND. This 148-rated hurdler, who was third in the Triumph Hurdle at the Festival last season, has made a smooth transition to fences – winning both starts in impressive fashion. He likes to get on with things from the front and that was the case again last time when beating the useful Hitman by 2 ½ lengths. That runner-up is also trained by Nicholls, so he should have an idea where he sits with Allmankind with his entry here - Tamaroc Du Mathan – but I’m happy to still stick with Allmankind keeping his unbeaten record over the bigger obstacles.
 

3.15 – Paddy Power Warwick Castle Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+) 2m4f ITV4

10/10 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
10/10 – Irish (4) or French (6) bred
9/10 – Aged 9 or younger
9/10 – Won between 1-3 times over fences before
8/10 – Favourites that finished in the top three
8/10 – Didn’t win last time out
8/10 – Had raced in the last 7 weeks
8/10 – Unplaced in their last race
7/10 – Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) before
5/10 – Carried 11-0 or more
3/10 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
Clondaw Castle (11/2) won the race in 2020

A lot with chances here, but I’ll take a chance on two trainers that have good record with their chasers here – Dan Skelton (29%) and Philip Hobbs (26%). Both have two runners each, Skelton has Oldgrangewood and SPIRITOFTHEGAMES, while Hobbs runs Gala Ball and SMARTY WILD. In fact, a case can be made for them all, but Spirtofthegames and Smarty Wild are the two I’ll be sticking by neck out on. Smarty Wild was a nice winner at Kempton last time out and despite being up 8lbs for that still gets into this better race with only 10st 8lbs to carry. That was also only his fourth run over fences so should have more in the locker over the bigger obstacles. Spiritofthegames is a bit more experienced with 12 chase runs and even though he’s only got the one win to his name over fences, he’s been placed in the top three 50% of the time. Last time connections tried him over 3m and he clearly didn’t stay, but before that ran well to be second in the Paddy Power Gold Cup off a pound higher mark than today. Add in that connections are also putting on jockey Lorcan Williams to claim 3lbs, then he’s now running off a rating 5lbs lower than when running 6th in the Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Festival last season. Of the rest, course winners Aso and Two For Gold are others to respect on their best form, while along with the already mentioned Smarty Wild, Admiral’s Secret is the only other recent winner in the field.

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