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25th October 2021

Free Horse Racing Tips & Trends: Sat 20th Feb 2021

Another jam-packed Saturday of racing for the ITV horse racing team as they head to Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton to take in seven races across the three venues.

At Ascot, the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase is the feature - a prize the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ryders Onthe Storm took in 2020.

Up at Haydock, we've the Grand National Trial and Rendlesham Hurdle, while at Wincanton the Kingwell Hurdle takes centre stage - a race trainer Alan King has won twice in the last three years.

So, to help narrow down the fields, and point you in the direction of a few winners, then we’ve got all the LIVE races covered from a trends and stats angle – we hope they help!



1.50 - Bateaux Reynoldstown Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 2m7f180y ITV

18/18 – Priced 17/2 or shorter in the betting
16/18 – Aged either 6 or 7 years-old
16/18 – Had run within the last 7 weeks
15/18 – Had won between 1-3 times over fences previously
14/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
13/18 – Won last time out
11/18 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/18 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s RSA Chase (2 winners)
10/18 – Irish bred
9/18 – Winners that went onto finish 5th or better in the RSA Chase
8/18 – Placed favourites
7/18 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/18 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
2/18 – Trained by Rebecca Curtis (2 of last 7)
2/18 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (last two winners)
Copperhead 6/1 won the race in 2020

Note: The 2005 & 2006 - Run at Lingfield Park

TQ VERDICT: Some promising sorts on show here, with the likes of Remastered, Full Back and Hurricane Harvey all Novice Chasers with a lot of potential. That trio also all head here off the back of nice wins and with a bit more improvement are certainly ones for the shortlist. Demachine is the only CD winner in the field, so commands respect on that alone and wasn’t disgraced last time when third at Newbury – he’s had wind surgery since too. Kalooki will find this easier than the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase he ran in last time (pulled up) and could easily bounce back off a small break, while the Oliver Sherwood-trained Servarano, who is the top-rated in the field, has ability but is probably best-watched after getting hampered and making a few mistakes last time – seemed to lose his confidence. Plus, with 16 of the last 18 winners aged 6 or 7, this would be a negative for Sevarano, and also the already-mentioned Remastered, who are both 8. The call, therefore, is the already mentioned FULL BACK. This Gary Moore-trained 6 year-old has won two of his three starts over fences and has been very impressive the last twice – winning by 31 lengths and 6 ½ lengths. More on his plate here upped in grade, but at least he’s proven over this 3m trip and on the ground. The only small niggle is that he did jump a tad left last time and that’s not ideal here at Ascot (right-handed), but he’s only had three runs over fences and the Moore camp are sure to have worked on that since.

2.25 – ‘My Oddsboost’ On Betfair Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Listed Race) Cl1 2m7f180y ITV

Only 10 previous runnings
10/10 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
9/10 – Aged 8 or older
8/10 – Finished 5th or better last time out
7/10 – Won 1 or 2 chase races previously
7/10 – Raced at either Ascot (3) or Cheltenham (4) last time out
7/10 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
6/10 – Had raced at Ascot (fences) before
6/10 – Aged in double-figures
4/10 – Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
5/10 – Irish bred
4/10 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
3/10 – Winning distance head or shorter
2/10 – Won last time out
2/10 – Winning Favourites
2/10 – Trained by Venetia Williams
6 of the last 8 winners carried 11-0 or more
Ballyoptic (8/1) won the race in 2020
Regal Encore won the race in 2018 and was third in 2019

TQ VERDICT: With 9 of the last 10 winners aged 8 or older, then this might be a negative for the well-fancied Notachance (7), who heads here on a three-timer – note his also entered at Haydock (2.40). That said, he’s a fast-improving chaser that landed the Classic Chase at Warwick last time out, but a 7ln hike in the ratings makes life harder. The old-timer – REGAL ENCORE (e/w) – is still going strong at 13 and landed this race in 2018 and was third in 2019. He loves Ascot and despite having top-weight here it’s hard to ignore his recent form at the Berkshire track 3-2-1-3-1-3, so based on that looks a cracking each-way option. 6 of the last 8 winners also won with 11st or more, so that would be against the likes of Cobolobo, Musical Slave, Hill Sixteen, Yalltari, Kapcorse and Captain Chaos. Jerrysback returned to form to run third behind the improving Dashel Drasher here last time and gets in off the same mark. He’s lightly-raced for his age as he’s a horse that’s had his issues over the years. Clearly has ability, but you’d have to be a little bit worried about the ‘bounce factor’ with that last run coming off a 399 day break. NEWTIDE is an interesting runner for the Kim Bailey yard that are having a fine season. He’s only had four chase starts and returns here off a wind op too. Conditions look fine and he’s run well fresh in the past too so the 3-month break is fine – he ticks a lot of the last trends. Cloudy Glen represents the Venetia Williams yard, that have won two of the last four runnings, but he’s a bit of a quirky character that can’t be ruled out on his best form, but certainly not a reliable sort. The Williams camp also run YALLTARI, who has to be considered too. He just got a bit tired last time out here at Ascot, but should strip a lot fitter for that third run of the season and it’s also interesting connections are taking 5lbs off his back now with Hugh Nugent booked to ride.


3.00 – Betfair Cheltenham Free Bet Pot Builder Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m3 1/2f ITV

14/15 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles before
13/15 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
10/15 – Winning distance – 1 1/2 or less
9/15 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
9/15 – Had won over 2m4f or further before
9/15 – Carried 10-12 or less
9/15 - Finished in the top 4 last time out
8/15 – Winners that went onto race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
8/15 – Placed favourites
7/15 – Priced 8/1 or bigger
7/15 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
5/15 – Irish bred
5/15 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
5/15 – Had run at Ascot over hurdles before
3/15 – Winning favourite (1 joint)
3/15 – Raced at Sandown last time out
2/15 – Trained by Dr Richard Newland
2/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
Nordano (8/1) won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Another tricky race to unravel here with 16 runners entered. The old-boy, L’Ami Serge will find this easier that recent runs now into a handicap and is starting to look on an attractive mark (150), but at the age of 11 it remains to be seen if he retains any of his ability – the fact Henderson and connections are keeping him in training suggests there is still something there. Gladiateur Allen, Shannon Bridge and Thibault are the only three recent winners in the field so are sure to catch the eye of punters. Arrivederci has been popular all week in the betting too and comes here off the back of a fine second at Ascot, but has also been raised 2lbs for that. Good Man Pat, the consistent Stolen Silver, Kepage and Pileon are all others to respect, but with 9 of the last 15 winners carrying 10st-12lbs or less in weight the two that get the nod are GLADIATEUR ALLEN and MALAYA (e/w). The former hails from the Jane Williams yard that are 2-from-4 (50%) with their hurdlers at the track. Yes, this 5 year-old has only had three career runs and that lack of experience here is a slight negative, but he’s also having his handicap debut and doesn’t look too badly treated with just 10st 7lbs on his back. He was also a smooth winner over this course here last time and has handled soft/heavy ground in the past. Chester Williams is also able to claim another 5lbs, so that brings his light weight down even more. The other of interest – Malaya – hails from the Paul Nicholls camp, that won this race in 2019. This horse was also runner-up in this race 12 months ago and gets in here on a 2lb lower mark. Add in that he’s also a proven course winner and won’t mind the ground, then you feel this race has been a target for this 7 year-old for a while.


3.35 - Betfair Ascot Chase Grade 1 Cl1 2m5f110y ITV

18/18 – Won over at least 2m4f (fences) previously
17/18– Priced at 15/2 or shorter in the market
16/18 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
15/18 – Winners that didn’t win their next start
15/18 – Ran within the last 7 weeks
14/18 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or more
14/18 – Officially rated 157 or higher
13/18 – Favourites placed
12/18 – Winning favourites
11/18 – Priced 2/1 or shorter in the market
9/18 – Won between 1-4 times over fences previously
7/18 – Unplaced in their latest race
7/18 – Raced at Kempton (King George) last time out
7/18 – Won over fences at Ascot previously
7/18 – Won their last race
5/18 – Winners that ran in that season’s Ryanair Chase (1 winner, Cue Card) later that year
3/18 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/18 – Trained by Alan King
2/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
10 of the last 14 winners returned 2/1 or shorter in the betting
Note: The 2005 & 2006 - Run at Lingfield Park
Waiting Patiently won this race in 2018
Cyrname won the race in 2019
Riders On the Storm won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Just the five runners but another interesting renewal. Last year we had an eventful race that eventually saw the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner – Riders Onthe Storm – take the prize. This 8 year-old lines up again and on that running from last year can’t be ruled out, but has rather lost his way since and was well beaten behind another of the runners – Master Tommytucker – at Kempton last time. That Paul Nicholls runner was impressive that day and this season seems to have ironed out the jumping errors that were plaguing his form last season – he’s now won three of his last four and can go well again. Expect to also see the improving Dashel Drasher run a big race. He is expected to take them along from the front and is certainly starting to make a name for himself this season. He held on gamely over this course and distance that day to beat another runner – Bennys King – by 1 ¼ lengths, so there shouldn’t be much between them again here. However, the four mentioned are all still rated someway off the other Paul Nicholls runner in the field – CYRNAME. This 172-rated chaser is 14lbs ahead of his nearest rival – Dashel Drasher – so if running to that level would be hard to beat. Yes, he’s had his knockers of late after falling in this race (when beaten) last year and being pulled up in the King George last time out on Boxing Day. Prior to that he landed the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby though and having won three times over fences here at Ascot the track is fine. He needs to string a few wins together to give his backers more confidence, but at level weights here, he should really be taking this if he wants to continue to be talked about as one of the best chasers in training!



2.05 – William Hill Rendlesham Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 2m6f177y ITV

17/18 – Priced 10/1 or shorter in the betting
15/18 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
13/18 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) previously
12/18 – Rated 145 or higher
12/18 – Placed favourites
12/18 – Winning distance – 3 ½ lengths or more
11/18 – Had won at least 4 times over hurdles before
11/18 – Aged 8 or younger
11/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
10/18 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
9/18 – Aged either 6 or 7 years-old
9/18 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s World Hurdle (no winners)
8/18 – Had run at Haydock before
6/18 – French-bred
5/18 – Placed favourites
3/18 – Ran at Ascot last time out
3/18 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
2/18 – Winning favourites
1/18 – Winners that went onto win the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival
Emitom (7/4 fav) won the race in 2020
Donna’s Diamond (7/1) won the race in 2018

Note: The 2003, 2004, 2005 - Run at Kempton Park

TQ VERDICT: We’ve two past winners of this race in the field again – Donna’s Diamond (2018) and Emitom (2020). DONNA’S DIAMOND (e/w) is now a 12 year-old, who was actually runner-up 12 months ago too, but recent form suggests it would be a huge shock if he’s good enough – however, if the race falls apart a bit then in a race we know he likes could sneak a place at a big price. On the other hand, Emitom, is likely to have a better chance of following up his win from last year. He’s back over hurdles after not really impressing over fences (2 runs) and has had a recent wind op too, but still has a bit to prove for me. On The Blind Side has had a resurgence of form this season and thrown his hat into the Stayers’ Hurdle ring for Cheltenham as a result. He’s a tough and consistent sort that is sure to be in the mix again here, but I just feel it won’t be easy having to give 4lbs to ITCHY FEET, who is also rated 2lbs higher than him. This Olly Murphy runner has been running well over fences this season – recently ran a fine second to Dashel Drasher at Ascot. Yes, there is a slight concern that he burst a blood vessel last time in that race, but stayed on well over that 2m5f trip to suggest this 3m distance is worth a crack. He’s also had a few months off to get over that last run and the soft ground will be fine. CD winners Main Fact and the current Stayers’ Hurdle Champion – Lisnagar Oscar – would have chances on their best form, but both also need to bounce back from below-par runs last time out. Third Wind and Ballyoptic make up the field. Overall, On The Blind Side is probably the safest option, but I’ll take a chance on Itchy Feet improving for the step up in trip, while don’t rule out Donna’s Diamond running a big race at a nice price in a race he loves.


2.40 – William Hill Grand National Trial (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) Cl1 3m5f ITV

18/18 – UK-based trained winners
18/18 – Had won between 2-4 times over fences (rules) before
16/18 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
14/18 – Finished in the top three last time out
14/18 – Had won just 2 or 3 times over fences (rules) before
14/18 – Aged 10 or younger
14/18 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
14/18 – Rated 135 or higher
12/18 – Aged 9 or younger
12/18 – Finished in the top two last time out
12/18 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
11/18 – Carried 11-0 or less
10/18 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
8/18 – Won last time out
8/18 – Unplaced favourites
7/18 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Grand National (all unplaced)
7/18 – Irish-bred winners
4/18 – Winners that won by exactly 15 lengths
4/18 – Ran in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/18 – Won with 11-12 in weight
3/18 – Finished 1st or 2nd in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/18 – Trained by Lucinda Russell
2/18 – Winning favourites
2/18 – Trained by Venetia Williams
4 of the last 6 winners returned 8/1 in the betting
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 10/1

TQ VERDICT: The first thing to note here is that even though this race has the title of being a Grand National trial – I’m pretty sure the race is yet to produce a winner of the main race at Aintree, well certainly in more recent times anyway! With 14 of the last 18 winners aged 10 or younger then this would be against Potters Legend (11), Achille (11) and Perfect Candidate (14). The Alan King runner – Notachance, who is also entered at Ascot, will be popular after his Classic Chase win last time out – Achille was ½ a length second. But he’s up another 7lbs in the ratings and even though he’s clearly got a lot of stamina, you feel this might just take a bit more getting. Engarde is an improving staying chaser, but is up again in trip and the handicapper has also raised him 8lbs for winning at Ascot last time out. Lord Du Mesnil, who was runner-up in this race last season, shot to fame last season with some solid runs and rounded them off with a fine second at Cheltenham in the National Hunt Chase there. But he’s regressed a bit this season – running badly the last twice and was well back in the Welsh National last time. A 3lb drop in the ratings is making him look interesting but you’d like to see some old sparkle back on the track first – you just wonder if all those hard races last season have taken their toll – we’ll see! Sojoum is a player too after running second in the Tommy Whittle Chase here last time out. This will only be his fifth run over fences so should have more to come, but another 2lb rise and 3 furlongs suggest more is needed. So, the call is the proven stayer – THE TWO AMIGOS (e/w) – to grind this out. This consistent 9 year-old was a cracking 3 length second in the Welsh National at Chepstow last time out and a 2lb hike for that in the ratings looks fair. James Bowen is an interesting jockey booking too and we know the trip and ground will be fine. Yes, he was a well beaten fourth in this race last season, but he rarely runs a bad one and has attracted some interest in the betting during the week.




3.18 - Betway Kingwell Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 1m7f65y ITV

17/17 – Raced within the last 8 weeks
16/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
15/17 – Priced 4/1 or shorter in the betting
15/17 – Favourites to finish in the top 3
15/17 – Had won at least 3 times over hurdles before
13/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
12/17 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Champion Hurdle (1 winner Katchit)
11/17 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
9/17 – Rated 155 or higher
8/17 – Winning favourites
8/17 – Won last time out
7/17 – Raced at Sandown last time out
4/17 – Trained by Alan King
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
1/17 – Winners that went onto win the World Hurdle (Inglis Drever)

TQ VERDICT: A decent renewal and all eyes will be on last season’s unlucky Triumph Hurdle lower – Goshen – who has a bit to prove after flopping at Cheltenham last time out in the International Hurdle. Okay, that run was clearly too bad to be his true running and eventually finished last of 10. He’s had a few months off since and the reports coming out of the Moore yard are encouraging. He’s won on heavy ground in the past and the Wincanton track is likely to suit him. But, for me, it wasn’t just that last poor runs as after his unseat at the Festival he’s run two poor races on the flat – beaten at 2/5 and Evs. It would be great to see him bounce back, but others look more reliable. Navajo Pass took a big scalp in the former Champion Hurdle winner, Buveur D’Air last time at Haydock and will need to prove that wasn’t a fluke. He did it well from the front that day and another bold bid looks on the cards. However, with two likely front runners in the field there is a chance they might take each other on more than they’d like and that could also set things up for the Tom Symonds-trained SONG FOR SOMEONE. This 6 year-old landed the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in gutsy fashion last time out and has now won seven of his 13 starts over hurdles – he certainly looks the more reliable option than Goshen at the moment. Friend Of Foe, Espirit Du Large and Calgary Tiger make up the numbers, but seem to have a fair bit to find on the ratings.

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