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3rd December 2022

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 12th February 2022

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 18 runnings of the Denman Chase we've seen 8 winning favourites, while ALL of the last 19 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)

1.15 - Betfair Cheltenham Roarcast Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Gbb Race) (Class 3) (5yo+) 2m7 1/2f ITV

Just four past runnings
Paul Nicholls trained the winner in 2021
4/4 - Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
4/4 - Ran in the last 2 months
3/4 - Aged 7 or 8 years-old
3/4 - Won between 0-1 times before (fences)
3/4 - Favourites placed in the top 3
3/4 - Had run at the track before
3/4 - Had won over 3m before
1/4 - Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 4 runnings is 6/1

Barring accidents this should provide another nice win for the exciting Paul Nicholls-trained BRAVEMANSGAME as he continues his preparation towards the Cheltenham Festival. Nicholls also won the race 12 months ago and this 7 year-old has done nothing wrong this season in winning all three starts over fences. Yes, he’s got to give weight away all round to some fair sorts, so it might not be totally straightforward, but it’s still hard to find a reason why he won’t take this. The form of his most recent win over Ahoy Senor received a further boost last weekend with that horse winning again too, while Bravemansgame is also a winner here over hurdles. Of the rest, it should be a good battle for second with Grumpy Charlie, I K Brunel and Pats Fancy all coming here in form and off wins. Of that trio, Pats Fancy gets the call - having beaten Imperial Alcazar recent and that horse has since boosted the form with a win.

1.50 - Daily Rewards With Betfair Handicap Hurdle Cl2 3m52y ITV

15/16 – Had won no more than 3 times over hurdles before
14/16 – Had run within the last 10 weeks
12/16 – Aged 7 or younger
12/16 – Carried 10-13 or more
11/16 – Had won over at least 2 ½ miles (hurdles) before
11/16 – Winning distance – 3 ½ lengths or less
10/16 – Unplaced last time out
10/16 – Carried 11-0 or more
8/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
6/16 – Aged 7 years-old
6/16 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/16 – Had run over hurdles at Newbury before (no winners)
3/16 – French bred
3/16 – Won last time out
3/16 – Winning favourites
2/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/16 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
2/16 – Raced at Haydock last time out
Polish (14/1) won the race in 2021
The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 8/1

The Fergal O’Brien-trained POLISH won this race 12 months ago and looks primed to go well again off the same mark. This 7 year-old blew away the cobwebs at Ludlow last time out (Jan) after a small break and looks to have had this race as a target since. Softer ground would have been slightly better but he took this on good-to-soft last year too. Course winner Sussex Ranger, who won today’s 1:15 back in 2020, could be dangerous off just 10-3 but does need to leave two poor recent runs behind him. Skandiburg would win on older form, but he’s rather lost his way of late and has plenty to prove with his last win coming in Jan 20. The Big Breakaway is the class act in the race and returns from a wind op but is another with something to answer - his last win was in Nov 20. So, the other pick is the James Evans-trained RISK AND ROLL, who bolted up at Huntingdon last time out. This former Paul Nicholls horse seems to have found a new lease of life but is still only an 8 year-old too. Yes, he’s up 10lbs for that last run, but could not have done it any easier. The Brimming Water can do best of the rest.

 

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

16/18 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
15/18 – Had won at least 4 times over fences (UK) before
15/18 – Rated 150+
14/18 – Placed favourites
13/18 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
13/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/18 – Aged 8 or younger
11/18 – Winners that went onto race in that season’s Gold Cup (4 winners)
11/18 – Had won over fences at Newbury before
10/18 – Raced at either Cheltenham or Kempton last time out
8/18 – Won last time out
8/18 – Winning favourites
8/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (10 wins in total)
7/18 – Irish bred
6/18 – French bred
6/18 – Winning distance – ¾ length or less
4/18 – Winners that went onto win the Gold Cup (Coneygree, Denman, Kauto Star & Native River)
4/18 – Returned a double-figure price
3/18 – Trained by Colin Tizzard
2/18 – Won by the Pipe stable
7 of the last 15 winners were aged 7 years-old
The average SP in the last 15 runnings is 7/2

Former Cheltenham Festival winner Imperial Aura would certainly have the ability to go well here but hasn’t really progressed as well as his connections would have liked. He’s now unseated, Pulled Up (twice) and fallen in his last four runs - a fair bit to prove. Royale Pagaille got back to winning ways at his beloved Haydock last month in the Peter Marsh Chase, but you just worry if the ground is soft enough for this mud lover. If the rain comes, then his chance will increase bundles, but regardless still has 6lbs to find with the Paul Nicholls-trained and 2019 winner of this race - CLAN DES OBEAUX. This 10 year-old is still holing his form well at the top table staying chase races and was most recently runner-up on Boxing Day in the King George. He can also be expected to have improved for that run as it came off a break, while trip, track and ground are all ideal. He’s taken to give Nicholls his eleventh success in this race. Eldorado Allen and De Rasher Counter make up the five runners.

 

3.00 – Betfair Exchange Game Spirit Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 2m92y ITV

16/16 – Priced 5/1 or shorter in the betting
15/16 – Placed favourites
13/16 – Aged 8 or younger
13/16 – Winners went onto run in that season’s Champion Chase (3 winners)
12/16 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
12/16 – Had won at least 4 times over fences before
11/16 – Raced within the last 8 weeks
10/16 – Winning distance – 5 lengths or more
10/16 – Winning favourites
9/16 – Had raced at Newbury (fences) before (5 winners)
8/16 – Won last time out
7/16 – French bred
6/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
5/16 – Ran at Sandown last time out
5/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/16 – Winners that went onto win that season’s Champion Chase
2/16 – Winners that went onto win that season’s Arkle Chase
Sceau Royal (3/1 fav) won the race in 2021

Note: The 2019 running was staged at Ascot

Okay, this year’s renewal does lack the normal 2m chasing superstar that this race often attracts before Cheltenham, but it’s still a nice little affair, with all five having a chance. The versatile Sceau Royal won this prize 12 months ago and being the clear top-rated in the field is a big player again. He’s won twice over hurdles this season and has also been freshened up with a few months off. But at 10 years-old you just wonder if some younger legs might pip him this time - especially as 13 of the last 16 winners have been aged 8 or younger. This age stat is also a negative, therefore, for the 9 year-old Sky Pirate, but, that said, he’s another that’s been running well this term and has a case. Hitman will be popular from the Paul Nicholls yard and is also a proven course winner here. A recent break would have helped and wasn’t disgraced when runner-up in the Tingle Creek last time out at the start of December. But he’s a horse that just doesn’t win enough for me - just 1 win from his last seven races. But I’m going to take a chance on EDITEUR DU GITE and FUMAMBULE SIVOLA here. The former has won now won four of his last five and was last seen getting home by 4 lengths at Cheltenham in December. Gary Moore has since given him a 2-month break and despite having a bit to find on these terms at the weights, still looks a horse with more to come. He can go well from the front at a track he’s a CD winner at too. Fumambule Sivola was a game winner at Doncaster last time and represents the in-form Venetia Williams team. More on his plate here, for sure, than last time, but is another you feel has more to come at just 7 years-old.

 

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

19/19 – Carried 11-8 or less in weight
18/19 – Aged 7 or younger
17/19 – Rated 130 or higher
16/19 – Had raced within the last 9 weeks
16/19 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
16/19 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
15/19 – Won between 2-4 times over hurdles in the UK/IRE before
15/19 – Came from the first 7 in the betting
15/19 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
14/19 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or less
13/19 – Placed favourites
11/19 – Carried 10-9 or less in weight
10/19 – Came from the top 5 in the betting
9/19 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
9/19 – Irish bred
8/19 – Won last time out
8/19 – Aged 5 years-old (including 8 of last 15)
7/19 – Winning favourites
4/19 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/19 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 5 times in all)
3/19 – Trained by Gary Moore
2/19 - Trained by Jonjo O’Neill (2 of the last 12)
3/19 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (3 of the last 8)
2/19 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (2 of the last 10)
2/19  - Raced at Leopardstown last time out
2/19 – Owned by JP McManus
1/19 – Went onto win the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival that season (Spirit Leader 2003)
24 of the last 25 winners have been aged 7 or younger
The average winning SP in the last 19 runnings is 14/1

Plenty of big yards in attendance as always here with 14 runners - most with a chance of some sort. 12 months ago we saw the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Soaring Glory win the race - beating Fifty Ball by 3 lengths - and both are back for more. Soaring Glory is, however, now rated 14lbs higher and has to lump 11-12 round, but with ALL of the last 19 winners having 11-8 or less, this is a big negative for last year’s winner. But FIFTY BALL (e/w) - is still off the same mark. Yes, Fifty Ball, for Gary Moore, needs to put a poor recent run at Ascot behind him, but he jumped left that day, which won’t be as big an issue here at Newbury. He’s had another 2 months off to prep for this and so in a race we know he’s gone well in before is worth an interest. The Gary Moore yard, who have a good record in this race (3 wins), also run ROYAUME UNI (e/w) and at a bigger price this 5 year-old could outrun his odds. He’s got 11 lengths to find with First Street, when third to that runner last time out, but get in here with just 10-2 to carry and it’s interesting Jamie Moore rides this one too. Other stables to have done well in this race recently are Nigel Twiston-Davies (I Like To Move It) and Paul Nicholls (Knappers Hill). Jetoile, Bootholl and Tritonic are others to respect, but the two main players here look to be Jpr One and BROOMFIELD BURG. The first named was very impressive at Taunton last time out and clearly has a lot of ability. However, you just wonder what he beat that day and this is a big step up for the Colin Tizzard runner. So, I’m happy to stick with Broomfield Burg, who won by 1 lengths at Kempton on Boxing Day in a Novice Hurdle. Back into a Handicap here but looks on a fair mark and despite only having four runs over hurdles and being a tad inexperienced, is a horse that’s yet to finish out of the first two (two wins).

 

 

WARWICK Horse Racing Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

 

1.35 – Virgin Bet Warwick Mares´ Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 2m5f ITV

Just 7 previous running
7/7 – Aged 6 or 7 years old
7/7 – Had won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) before
6/7 – Favourites placed 1st or 2nd
5/7 – Didn’t win last time out
5/7 – Had run in the last 6 weeks
4/7 – Won at least 4 times over hurdles before
3/7 – Rated between 141 and 149
3/7 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
3/7 – Winning favourites
3/7 – Irish bred
3/7 – Had run at Warwick before
Trainer Willie Mullins has won 2 of the last 7 runnings
Molly Ollys Wishes (7/2) won the race in 2021
Indefatigable (7/2 cfav) won the race in 2020

Just the four runners here. Whitehotchillifilli, Get A Tonic and Marie’s Rock are all fair performers on their day, but you feel the safer call here is to side with the 2020 winner of the race - INDEFATIGABLE. This Paul Webber runner has been running well this term, with her only flop coming in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in November. She’s bounced back since to be second at Cheltenham and is the only CD winner of the quartet. If putting her last run behind her, then the Nicky Henderson runner, Marie’s Rock, can follow her home.

 

2.05 – Virgin Bet Kingmaker Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 2m ITV

10/10 – Aged 7 or younger
9/10 – Won over 2m fences before
8/10 – Raced in the last 8 weeks
8/10 – Had won no more than twice (fences) in the UK
8/10 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
6/10 – Rated between 137-147
6/10 – Aged 5 or 7 years-old
6/10 – Won last time out
5/10 – Winning favourites
3/10 – Unplaced favs
4 of the last 6 winners have been 6 year-olds
Allmankind (4/7 fav) won the race in 2021

Note: 2009 renewal was at Sandown

Another interesting renewal, despite just four runners. Expect the front-running For Pleasure to take them along from the front again, but he looked booked for a place when falling last time out in the race Third Time Lucki won. This Dan Skelton runner travelled strongly that day to win by 30 lengths and looks to have a big chance again. But his only defeat over fences (4 runs) came at the hands of EDWARDSTONE, when they met at Sandown in early December. This Alan King runner got the job done by 16 lengths that day and even though you could argue that the Sandown track, and the quick Railway Fences, might not have suited Third Time Lucki, I’m happy to remain in the camp of Edwardstone. There could be a fly in the ointment with the fast-improving Brave Seasca, who was winning for the third time in a row here last time out. Another bold front running display looks on the cards and he certainly looks an exciting prospect. But this will require another step up here and despite getting 5lbs off the selection is still rated 14lbs inferior.

 

3.15 – Virgin Bet Warwick Castle Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+) 2m4f ITV

11/11 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
11/11 – Irish (5) or French (6) bred
10/11 – Aged 9 or younger
9/11 – Won between 1-3 times over fences before
9/11 – Favourites that finished in the top three
9/11 – Didn’t win last time out
9/11 – Had raced in the last 7 weeks
8/11 – Unplaced in their last race
8/11 – Had won over at least 2m4f (fences) before
6/11 – Carried 11-0 or more
4/11 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
Two For Gold (7/2 jfav) won the race in 2021

With 10 of the last 11 winners aged 9 or younger, then Wishing And Hoping and Celebre D’Allen are overlooked. We’ve also seen 9 of the last 11 winners failing to win last time out, if this is to be repeated then this would be a negative for The King Of May, Celebre D’Allen, Our Power and Falco Blitz. Jacamar has done well this season, but after a recent fifth at Cheltenham you feel the handicapper might just have caught up with him now. Riders On the Storm threated to go to the top a few seasons ago but hasn’t progressed in the way connections hoped, while Lieutenant Rocco is the only course winner in the field, so is worth a mention too. But the two I’m going to chance here are the Irish raider - DINNY LACEY (e/w) and the consistent CHEDDLETON (e/w). The former is an interesting runner that is making the trip over and with Robbie Power also booked to ride this is a further plus. He was last seen running a close third at Limerick and should be better for that too as it came off a 2 ½ month break. Any rain is fine, but has also won on quicker during his younger day. Then the consistent Cheddleton looks sure to run a good race again - running second to Editeur Du Gite and Éclair D’Ainay in his last two runs. Repeats of those efforts would see him go close.

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