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21st October 2021

Free Horse Racing Tips & Trends: Sat 30th Jan 2021

The bad news is the Cheltenham Trials Day fixture, that was due to be staged this Saturday, has been called off due to a waterlogged track.

The ITV cameras are, however, heading to Doncaster racecourse to take in the best of their action, including the ultra-competitive SkyBet Chase – a race the Alan King yard have won in two of the last four seasons and a contest 12 of the last 15 winners were aged 9 or younger.

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!


Cheltenham Trials Day Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)


12.40 – JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (A Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m1f RacingTV

15/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
14/17 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
13/17 – Placed favourites
12/17 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
12/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
10/17 – Had previously won at least once over hurdles in the UK
10/17 – Won last time out
10/17 – Winning distance – 2 ¼ lengths or less
10/17 – French bred (including last 8 winners)
9/17 – Returned 2/1 or shorter in the market
8/17 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
7/17 – Went onto be placed in that season’s Triumph Hurdle (3 winners, Defi Du Seuil  2017, Peace & Co 2015, Katchit 2007)
5/17 – Had raced at Cheltenham previously
4/17 – Trained by Alan King
4/17 – Priced 25/1, 50/1 or 100/1
3/17 – Won by a German bred horse
3/17 – Won by an Irish bred horse
Nicky Henderson has trained 4 of the last 8 winners
3 of the last 4 winners have been owned by JP McManus

2020 Winner: GALAHAD QUEST (N Williams) 6/1

TQ VERDICT: Just the four runners here and really this should be a good chance for the Gary Moore-trained NASSALAM to get his season back on track. A slightly shock defeat at Chepstow last time out, but that run might actually turn out to not be as bad as first thought, with the winner – Adagio – potentially a useful sort. He’s only got three rivals to take on here and the stiffer Cheltenham finish should suit as he was finishing his race well the last day. A win here would get his bid for the Triumph Hurdle here in March going again. Cabot Cliffs, Sage Advice and Yggdrasil can fight it out for second, with the recent Kempton scorer – Sage Advice – the most likely to fill the runners-up berth.


13.15 – Timeform Novices´ Handicap Chase Cl2 2m5f RacingTV

17/17 – Aged 8 or younger
16/17 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (3 winners, La Landiere Cathcart 2003, Close Brothers Novices’ Chase, Mister Whitaker 2018, Simply The Betts 2020, Brown Advisory and Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase)
15/17 – Won between 0-2 races over fences in the UK previously
15/17 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
14/17 – Finished either 1st or 2nd last time out
14/17 – Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) in the UK previously
13/17 – Priced 13/2 or shorter
13/17 – Rated 128 or higher
11/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
11/17 – Irish bred
9/17 – Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
9/17 – Carried 11-2 or more
7/17 – Won last time out
7/17 – Ran at Kempton last time out
5/17 – French bred
3/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
3/17 – Trained by Venetia Williams
3/17 – Won with 11-12 in weight
2/17 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
2/17 – Trained by Colin Tizzard
1/17 – Winning favourites (none in the last 11 runnings)

2020 Winner: SIMPLY THE BETTS (H Whittington) 11/2

TQ VERDICT: Simply The Betts won this race 12 months ago and then went onto Festival glory in the Brown Advisory and Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase, so anything that runs well here should certainly be noted in a few months.  With 14 of the last 17 winners placed first or second last time out, then of the 9 runners, this is a plus for UMBRIGADO, MAYPOLE CLASS, NESTOR PARK, MAC TOTTIE and the improving HIGH UP IN THE AIR. All four are respected and clearly head here in good order, but this could be another for the Gary Moore yard with HIGH UP IN THE AIR. This 7 year-old has won his last three races over fences (Lingfield and Plumpton 2) and even though his is a big step up in grade and he clearly needs to improve again, he certainly looks a progressive chaser. He’s a good jumper too and gets into this better race with just 10st 6lbs on his back – that will be a huge help in conditions. He’s won on heavy ground in the past too and the Moore yard have been going great guns with their runners this month. Of the rest, jockey Bryony Frost has a cracking 35% record riding over fences here so her mount – Nester Park is respected, but the Mick Channon yard also have a fair record with their chasers here, so their HOLD THE NOTE is interesting too. This 7 year-old have run some nice races in defeat here at Cheltenham, including a third here at the Festival last March. He’s had a wind op since his last run and is also rated 7lbs lower than his Festival run last season.


1.50 – Paddy Power Millionaire Trophy Handicap Chase (A Handicap) (Grade 3) Cl1 2m 41/2f ITV

15/17 – Had won over at least 2m5f (fences) previously
15/17 – Priced 9/1 or shorter
15/17 – Had won between 1-4 times over fences previously
15/17 – Rated 130 or higher
14/17 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
14/17 – Ran within the last 7 weeks
12/17 – Aged 8 or older
12/17 – Had run over fences at Cheltenham before (7 won)
12/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
12/17 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner – Siruh Du Lac)
10/17 – Aged 8 or 9 years-old
10/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
9/17 – Carried 10-7 or less
6/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
6/17 – Won last time out
4/17 – Ran at Newbury last time out
3/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Won by a previous winner of the race
2/17 – Won by the Pipe stable
2/17 – Won by the Hobbs yard

2020 Winner: CEPAGE (V Williams) 8/1

TQ VERDICT: Some old faces on show here and you can probably make a case for all 11 runners! Caribbean Boy looks likely to be one of the main players from the Nicky Henderson yard, but he’s got a bit to prove after being a beaten favourite at Ascot last time out. Okay, the winner there – Dashel Drasher – franked the form to win again last weekend, so punters will latch onto that, but he’s only had four career runs over fences and that lack of experience against some seasoned chasers makes him vulnerable to me. Midnight Shadow is probably the one to beat after his second in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup here last month, but he’s up another pound here and was beaten 15 lengths by the winner that day. Al Dancer was back in nineth too, and even though you feel he’s better than that, he’s got a bit to prove too. Benatar was third in the last Cas Cav Gold Cup too and with that coming off a 693-day break you’d expect him to have improved for that and looks another Gary Moore runner on the card with a fair chance. Oldgrangewood is never far away in his races and likes it here at Cheltenham, but is still 4lbs higher than his last win and might have to settle for a place.  But a chance is taken on the Mick Channon runner – MISTER WHITAKER (e/w). This 9 year-old ran a solid race in the Charlie Hall Chase behind the useful Cyrname last time out, just getting tired on the last half mile. He won’t face anything of that calibre here, while the drop in trip and the fact that run came off a 233-day break should have him a lot fitter for this. He goes well at the track (CD winner) and looks to have had this race as a firm target since that Wetherby run. Of the others, Clan Legend is the only recent winner in the field so commands respect, but a chance is taken on the Venetia Williams runner – ASO (e/w). Yes, he’s 11 now, but the yard won this race last year and in 2013, so like to target it. Don’t forget, he was second in the 2019 Ryanair Chase here, while his overall record at the track is good. Wishful Thinking won this race as an 11 year-old in 2014, so it’s possible and his dropping handicap mark to 155 is certainly starting to look attractive considering in his prime he was rated 168 – and that was only at the end of 2019.


2.25 – Paddy Power ’45 Sleeps To Cheltenham’ Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m1f110y ITV

17/17 – Officially rated 151 or higher
16/17 – Ran at Cheltenham over fences before (8 had won)
15/17 – Won over at least 3m before (fences)
15/17 – Raced in the last 8 weeks
14/17 – Won between 2-6 times over fences
12/17 – Priced 7/1 or less
12/17 – Went onto race in that season’s Gold Cup (no winners, all placed 8th or better)
11/17 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
11/17 – Ran at either Wetherby (3), Cheltenham (4) or Kempton (4) last time
11/17 – Placed favourites
9/17 – Winning distance – 6 lengths or more
8/17 – Won last time out
7/17 – Unplaced last time out
7/17 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
6/17 – Winners from outside the top 3 in the market
6/17 – Won by a French-bred horse
3/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls yard (5 wins in total)
2/17 – Won by the Oliver Sherwood yard
1/17 – Went onto win the Grand National (Many Clouds, 2015)
1/17 – Went onto win the Ryanair Chase (Frodon, 2019)
1/17 – Favourites
10 of the last 13 winners were aged 9 or 10 years-old
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 15/2
Looks Like Trouble (2000) was the last winner to go onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup

2020 Winner: SANTINI (N Henderson) 13/8

TQ VERDICT: Some big names on show here, including former Gold Cup winner – Native Riverlast year’s Gold Cup second and winner of this race 12 months ago Santiniand the popular grey Bristol De Mai. A case can be made for all three. Starting with Bristol De Mai, I think the jury is still out about his form here at Cheltenham, despite running some big races – he’s now run here six times and is yet to win. Therefore, for me, he’s overlooked based on that. Native River isn’t getting any younger at 11, but will love the stamina test this race will provide in the ground and ran well on his return at Aintree last month (3rd) in the Many Clouds Chase. Lake View Lad was the shock winner of that race, withSantini in second, so the trio are closely matched, but I think SANTINI might just like conditions the best. He’ll be looking to become the first ever back-to-back winner of this race, although See More Business did win the prize twice (not in consecutive seasons). He had Bristol De Mai 3 ½ lengths back 12 months ago and followed that up with a neck second in the Gold Cup. This season he’s not fired as yet but has had excuses the last twice. He probably just needed the run at Aintree, while the Kempton track on quicker ground in the King George probably wasn’t idea – he was still only 10 lengths off the winner. With this more likely to be a slog and with those runs under his belt he’s taken to go well again in his bid to defend his Cotswold Chase crown. Saint Calvados is certainly no back number either after his fourth in the King George and is a past heavy ground winner – but you feel he’d got his stamina to prove over this longer trip. The Conditional is a consistent chaser too and should make a bold bid, but being rated 20lbs inferior to the likes of Bristol, Santini and Native River, then he’s got a bit of a task. Yorkhill (also entered at Doncaster, 3.15) turned back the clock to win last time out in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle and will bid to make all again, but this would be a bigger shock than that recent 66/1 success. So, the other pick is YALA ENKI (e/w) – mainly because we know he’s in good form and that he’ll stay! He overcame a bad error to win at Taunton last weekend and before that was third in the Welsh National. He’s been a busy horse of late, but is a very consistent staying chaser that – if the race falls apart – could easily do his own thing and plug on well for a place, seeing he also gets a handy 6lbs from the main trio.


3.00 – Ballymore Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 2) (CLASS 1) (4yo+) CH4 2m4f110y ITV4

15/15 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
14/15 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
13/15 – Won between 1-3 times over hurdles previously
13/15 – Winners that later raced at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (3 winners)
12/15 – Favourites placed
12/15 – Won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) previously
12/15 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
12/15 – Won their latest race
11/15 – Won by a horse aged 6 years-old
10/15 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or more
10/15 – Priced 4/1 or shorter
8/15 – Raced at Cheltenham previously
5/15 – Favourites that won
4/15 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
4/15 – Raced at Newbury last time out
4/15 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
3/15 – Won by the Alan King stable
3/15 – Winners that went onto win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival

2020 Winner: HARRY SENIOR (C Tizzard) 4/1

TQ VERDICT: Just the five runners here, but a nice little race all the same. Three of the five runners were recent winners – Optimise Prime, Annual Invictus and BEAR GHYLLS – it’s the last of those that makes the most appeal. This 6 year-old is now 4-from-4 in his races and 3-from-3 over hurdles. He was a smooth winner at Exeter last time out and looks the sort to have more to offer for the Nicky Martin yard. Took The Lot and Wilde About Oscar make up the five runners and both have shown a good level of form, but also need to bounce back from poor runs last time out.


3.35 – Paddy Power Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 3m ITV

15/16 – Won by a horse aged 9 or younger
15/16 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
15/16 – Won at least 3 times over hurdles previously
14/16 – Raced at Cheltenham (hurdles) previously
13/16 – Went to run in that season’s Stayers’ Hurdle (5 won)
13/16 – Officially rated 154 or higher
11/16 – Winners that went onto finish in the top 4 in that season’s Stayers’ Hurdle
11/16 – Finished either 1st or 2nd in their last race
10/16 – Favourites placed
10/16 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
10/16 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
9/16 – Won their latest race
8/16 – Favourites that won
6/16 – Won by a French-bred horse
3/16 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
Note: The 2006 running was staged at Sandown

2020 Winner: PAISLEY PARK (E Lavelle) 4/6 fav

TQ VERDICT: A shame this isn’t going to be a competitive renewal, but we do still have two past winners in the race. Unowhatimeanharry landed this in 2017 and it’s remarkable that he’s still going at the age of 13! It would certainly be some story if he’s capable of taking this, but you never know and he did return in November at Aintree to win, but has since run down the field in a handicap hurdle here last month. Itchy Feet is back over hurdles after running Dashel Drasher close over fences at Ascot last time, but he’s still rated 10lbs inferior to the two-time winner of this race – PAISLEY PARK. Yes, Itchy Feet gets a handy 6lbs and is a useful sort that should have more to come, but he’s also got to prove himself over this 3m trip – he’s yet to race this far in his career. Main Fact is the other possible danger to the current champ. This Pipe 8 year-old has won 8 times over hurdles, but his winning run came to an end in the Long Walk Hurdle last time out – beaten 53 lengths behind Paisley Park! Okay, that run was clearly too bad to be his true running, but he does need to prove that, and, for me, it’s more likely his bubble has burst after a cracking run. So, it’s hard to get away from last year’s winner – PAISLEY PARKwho a lot of people wrote off after getting turned over in the Stayers’ Hurdle last March. He ran well to be second in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November, and kicked in the afterburners at Ascot last time to win the Long Walk. Heavy ground and the lack of many serious challengers – like Thyme Hill – make his task a fairly easy looking one.


4.10 – SSS Super Alloys Handicap Hurdle (CLASS 2) (4yo+) Soft 2m1f RacingTV

16/16 – Rated 120 or higher
15/16 – Had raced within the last 9 weeks
14/16 – Priced 8/1 or shorter
13/16 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
12/16 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
11/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
10/16 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner La Fontana)
9/16 – Unplaced favourites
8/16 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
8/16 – Irish bred
7/16 – Winning distance – 1 ¼ or less
5/16 – French bred
4/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Ridden by Paddy Brennan
2/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/16 – Ridden by Tom Scudamore
2/16 – Trained by Chris Gordon
2/16 – Trained by Martin Keighley
9 of the last 10 winners aged 7 or younger
11 of the last 12 winners carried 10-12 or less in weight

2020 Winner: BACK ON THE LASH (M Keighley) 13/2

TQ VERDICT: With nine of the last 10 winners aged 7 or younger, then this is a plus for MONSIEUR LECOQ, HIGHWAY ONE O TWO, NORDIC COMBINED, TIME FLIES BY, MARTINHAL, STORMY FLIGHT and SONG OF THE HUNTER. Of that bunch, the only recent winner is Martinhal, who won at Exeter, but is up 7lbs for that. However, despite the age trend I think the 8 year-old WITNESS PROTECTION is worth an interest. From the Martin Keighley yard, that won this race 12 months ago and also in 2016, so the yard clearly like to target this prize. He was a nice winner at Chepstow last time in a Novice Hurdle and is now into a handicap for the first time. Yes, more on his plate, but stays further than this 2m1f trip and the ground should be fine. With only four runs over hurdles, he could have more to come. Of the rest, another yard that have done well in the race is Chris Gordon – winning it in 2013 and 2018. With that in mind, his HIGHWAY ONE O TWO is interesting after three failed runs over fences. He was a Grade 2 hurdles winner at Kempton last season and connections have managed to secure the services of the former champion jockey – Richard Johnson.


Doncaster Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV4)

2.05 - Yorkshire Rose Mares´ Hurdle (Registered as The Doncaster Mares´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m110y ITV

10/11 – Had won over this trip before
10/11 – Had run in the last 6 weeks
9/11 – Aged 8 or younger
9/11 – Won last time out
8/11 – Went onto run in the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/11 - Winning favourites
5/11 – Won between 1-3 times before (hurdles)
5/11 – Irish bred
2/11 – Trained by Philip Kirby

2020 Winner: LADY BUTTONS (P Kirby) 6/4 jfav

TQ VERDICT: No Lady Buttons this year, who has won the last two runnings, with that horse now retired. Her trainer – Philip Kirby does have a runner though in Rayna’s World, but does have a fair bit to find at the ratings. The 10 year-old Irish Roe is the only proven CD winner in the field, but this looks a race set to be dominated by Mr Nicholls and Mr Henderson. The later has two runners – Marie’s Rock and Floressa - and the ratings suggest it will be hard to pick between them. Both ran in the same race at Newbury last time, with Floressa coming out on top (4th to 7th). Marie’s Rock raced way too free that day so would need to settle better, but was sent off the 2/1 favourite and could easily bounce back with that race coming off a wind op and off a long break – it’s interesting though that jockey Nico de Boinville, who would have probably had the pick, has chosen to ride Floressa, with Tom Cannon on the other Henderson runner. But the pair, might have a big challenger in MIRANDA, from the Paul Nicholls yard. This 6 year-old gets a handy 4lbs from Floressa too and has been running well this season. She’s won 4 of her 8 starts over hurdles and jockey Harry Cobden has won on her three times.


2.40 – Albert Bartlett Novices´ Hurdle (Registered as The River Don Novices´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 3m110y ITV

11/11 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
9/11 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
9/11 – Winning distance – 1 ½ lengths or less
9/11 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/11 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
7/11 – Won last time out
7/11 – Placed favourites
5/11 – Irish bred
5/11 – Had raced at Doncaster before
3/11 – Winning favourite
2/11 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
8 of the last 9 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old

2020 Winner: RAMSES DE TEILLEE (D Pipe) 6/1

TQ VERDICT: Some promising sorts on show here, one of which is the Paul Nicholls-trained FLASH COLLONGES. This 6 year-old caught the eye when winning well at Wincanton last time out by just over 8 lengths and looks the sort to have more to come over this longer trip – the yard won this in 2012 with Rocky Creek. The other stable that’s done well in recent years in this contest is Nicky Henderson – winning it in 2015 and 2017 – he runs Emir Sacree. This 7 year-old returned from a 635-day break at Ascot to win well last time and is clearly a horse with ability. A top training performance again by the Seven Barrows camp, but you can’t help thinking of the dreaded ‘bounce factor, while he did have a 10lb claimer on last time to help out. Bobhopeornohope is the only course winner in the field and can go well too. This Kim Bailey runner is 2-from-2 over hurdles and is another that could have more to come over this longer trip. Fern Hill has done well recently too – winning his last two, but the other pick is PATS FANCY (e/w), who ran a blinder in a similar race at Cheltenham last time out (2nd) – he had Ask A Honey Bee and Ashtown Lad in behind that day too.


3.15 – Sky Bet Chase (A Handicap) (formerly The Great Yorkshire Chase) (Listed Race) (CLASS 1) (5yo+ 0-155) CH4 3m ITV

14/15 – Had won between 0-3 times over fences before
12/15 – Carried 11-2 or less
12/15 – Aged 9 or younger
12/15 – Officially rated 130 or higher
12/15 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/15 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Unplaced favourites
9/15 – Carried 10-12 or less
9/15 – Had raced within the last 4 weeks
9/15 – Irish bred
8/15 – Finished unplaced last time out
8/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
5/15 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/15 – Won last time out
2/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/15 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/15 – Winning favourites
2/15 – Trained by Alan King
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 9/1

Note: The 2007 running was staged at Southwell

Other Stats:
4 of the last 15 winners of this race went onto contest the William Hill Trophy (now JLT Chase) at the Cheltenham Festival that season (1 winner)
5 of the last 15 winners went onto run in that season’s Grand National (no winners, all unplaced)

2020 Winner: Ok CORRAL (N Henderson) 9/1

TQ VERDICT: Another decent renewal of the Sky Bet Chase, but it’s hard to ignore the chance of the Christian Williams runner – CAP DU NORD, having run the very useful Royale Pagaille to 3 ¼ at Kempton last time out. The winner franked the form with an easy win at Haydock last Saturday and is being billed as a possible Gold Cup horse after that. Prior to that second, Cap Du Nord, beat another leading player here Caneloby just over 4 lengths at Newbury and despite a 9lb pull in the weights, I think Cap Du Nord can still have his measure. Of the rest, One For The Team hails from the Nick Williams yard that have a 50% record with their chasers here, while the Kim Bailey yard boasts a 30% strike-rate here so their Rocky’s Treasure is another to note after bouncing back to form here last time out. However, it’s the horse that came a ½ length second to him last time – GIVE ME A COPPER (e/w) that also gets a good mention. This Paul Nicholls runner was having his first run back that day so can be expected to have improved for that, while it was also his first since a wind operation. Harry Cobden takes over in the saddle and despite his age (11), he’s a very lightly-raced chaser, with just 8 runs and looks the sort to have a prize like this in his locker.



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