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23rd June 2024

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 22nd January 2022

We've seven more LIVE races this Saturday as the ITV cameras are at Taunton, Ascot &  Haydock . The Grade One Clarence House Chase is the main event at Ascot - Did you know - 15 of the last 18 Clarence House Chase winners came from the top three in the market?

While this year (2022) the Clarence House Chase looks set up to be one of the races of the NH season so far  when the Nicky Henderson-trained Shishkin and the Willie Mullins-trained Energumene put their unbeaten chase records on the line in a ‘must-see’ contest.

At Haydock, we've three more LIVE races to take in that include the Peter Marsh Chase - a race that 16 of the last 18 winners have won carrying 11-3 or less in weight. We've also got the The New One Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial, as race named in honour of The New One, who won this prize many times in the past.

Finally, we’ve also one race at Taunton - the Portman Cup - a prize the popular Paul Nicholls-trained Yala Enki has won for the last two seasons and is back for more!

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!


Ascot Horse Racing Trends (ATR/ITV)

1.45 – SBK Holloway´s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 2m3f58y ITV4

12/14 – Aged 7 or younger
11/14 – Priced 5/1 or bigger in the betting
10/14 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
10/14 – Officially rated 139 or higher
10/14 – Carried 10-11 or more in weight
10/14 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
8/14 – Ran within in the last 4 weeks
8/14 – Winners from outside the top 3 in the betting
7/14 – Went onto race in that season’s Coral Cup (best finish 2nd and 3rd )
7/14 – Won their last race
6/14 – French bred
6/14 – Won at least 4 times over hurdles in the UK previously
6/14 – Aged 6 years-old
6/14 – Had raced at Ascot previously
3/14 – Trained by David Pipe
3/14 – Raced at Cheltenham in their last race
2/14 - Trained by Nicky Henderson (2 of the last 4)
2/14 – Later raced in that season’s World Hurdle (best finish 3rd)
2/14 – Ridden by Tom Scudamore
2/14 – Favourites (1 co)
Craigneiche (14/1) won the race in 2021
Thomas Darby (8/1) won the race in 2020
Ballymoy (4/1) won the race in 2019
2006 – Renewal at Lingfield
2005 – Renewal at Haydock

TQ VERDICT: The Henderson yard won this race 12 months ago so even though he’s got a bit to answer, their runner - Fils D’Oudairies - has to be noted. It will be the horses first run for the yard after coming over from the Joseph O’Brien camp in Ireland but will love the ground and is back over hurdles today - the worry would be that he’s fallen 3 times in his last 6 under rules (fences). Unexpected Party has been a beaten favourite the last twice, which is a concern, but with 12 of the last 14 winners aged 7 or younger so this is a stat that rules out Skandiburg, Esprit Du Large and Kateson. Garry Clermont and past course winner - Stoner’s Choice - should go well too but the two here are STELLAR MAGIC and SONIGINO. The former was a solid second on his return at Haydock last month and the winner of that race - Up For Parol - ran okay (6th) in last week’s Lanzarote Hurdle. With that run sure to have brought this 7 year-old on then he looks interesting with the Hobbs yard winning this in 2016 too. Sonigino represents the power Paul Nicholls yard and gets in with a just 10-8. Yes, he raced too free last time at Donny and didn’t get home, but is still learning (5 year-old) and should be much more at home on this softer ground.


2.20 – SBK Mares´ Hurdle (Registered As The Warfield Mares´ Hurdle Race) (Grade 2) Cl1 3m ITV4

12/12 – Priced 5/2 or shorter
11/12 – Officially Rated 133 or higher
11/12 – From the top 4 in the betting
11/12 – Won over at least 2m5f (hurdles) previously
9/12 – Later ran in that season’s Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
9/12 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
8/12 – Ran at either Haydock (4) or Newbury (4) in their last race
8/12 – Won at least twice over hurdles in the UK before
8/12 – Favourites placed
7/12 – Won their last race
7/12 – Winning Favourites
5/12 – Raced at Ascot previously
4/12 – French bred
3/12 – Aged 6 years-old
2/12 – Trained by Harry Fry
2/12 - Later finished second in the Mares’ Hurdle (Cheltenham Festival)
1/12 – Won the Mares’ Hurdle (Cheltenham Festival) – Vroum Vroum Mag (2016)
Trainer Harry Fry won 2 of the last 7 runnings
Roksana (1st 8/15 fav) won the race in 2021
Magic Light won the race in 2019 and 2020

TQ VERDICT: Probably not the best renewal of this race- You’d feel on these terms that Whitehotchillifili, Anythingforlove and Emmpressive Lady have a bit to find, so the three to focus on are Molly Ollys Wishes, My Sister Sarah and Western Victory. My Sister Sarah represents the Willie Mullins hard that won this race in 2016 with Vroum Vroum Mag. She won well over 3m at Kempton in November and a repeat of that run would make her a big player here. Western Victory won well at Clonmel last time out and is having her debut for the Emma Lavelle yard. Trip and ground are fine, and she brings a consistent profile into the race. But the call is for the Dan Skelton yard, who took this race 12 months ago, to do so again. They run MOLLY OLLYS WISHES and she should find this a lot easier than last time in the Coral Hurdle against the boys. Prior to that won well at Wetherby over 2m but is versatile in terms of trip - having won over 2m5f and 2m7f in the past too. Softer ground here is also a plus and Harry Skelton, who is currently 4 from 5 on her in recent runs, is back in the saddle.

2.55 – bet365 Handicap Chase Cl2 2m5f110y ITV4

14/15 – Won between 1-3 times over fences in the UK previously
13/15 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
13/15 – Ran within the last 4 weeks
12/15 – Either French (5) or Irish (7) bred
12/15 – Priced 8/1 or shorter
12/15 – Won over at least 2m4f (fences) previously
12/15 – Officially Rated 130 or higher
11/15 – Aged 8 or younger
10/15 – Favourites that finished in the top 4
9/15 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
8/15 – From the top 3 in the betting
8/15 – Placed in the top 3 in their last race
6/15 – Winning distance  - 6 lengths or further
5/15 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
4/15 – Raced at either Cheltenham (2) or Chepstow (2) last time out
4/15 – Won their last race
3/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls (3 of last 7 runnings)
2/15 – Trained by Richard Rowe
2/15 – Winning Favourites
Dashel Drasher (6/1) won the race in 2021
Domaine De L’Isle (5/1) won the race in 2020

2006 – Renewal at Lingfield
2005 – Renewal at Uttoxeter

TQ VERDICT: With five of the 8 runners last time out winners then you can make a case for many here. PALMERS HILL, however, caught the eye in winning here over 2m3f last time and the step up to 2m5f looks a good move. He’s up 8lbs for that win but will gets in with a nice racing weight of just 10-9 here with the 159-rated Fanion D’Estruval keeping the weights down for the others. Fanion certainly has a chance too though - he won well last time and the 8lb rise for that success at Newbury has pretty much been offset with Lucy Turner’s 7lb claim. He’s the class act in the race, but with 11-12 (less 7lbs) will need another big weight carrying performance. KILLER CLOWN travelled well the last day to win by just under 10 lengths at Wincanton. He’s up 7lbs for that win but seemed to have a fair bit in-hand and rates the main danger to the pick. Of the rest, Phoenix Way and Amour De Nuit are others to consider - especially the last-named who comes from the Paul Nicholls yard that have won 3 of the last 7 runnings. Of those at slightly bigger prices, Golden Whisky and Knight In Dubai get in with very low weights, which will give them small place claims.


3.35 – SBK Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 2m1f ITV4

18/18 – Raced within the last 7 weeks
18/18 – Won at least 3 times (fences) previously
17/18 – Won by a horse aged 9 or younger
17/18 – Won a race over fences at 2m1f or further
16/18 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
16/18 – Favourites placed
15/18 – Winners from the top 3 in the betting market
13/18 – Won by a French-bred horse
13/18 – Won their last race
12/18 – Went onto run in that season’s Champion Chase (4 winners)
12/18 – Raced at Sandown or Wetherby last time out
10/18 – Favourites that won
10/18 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
9/18 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or less
7/18 – Won by a horse aged 8 years-old
5/18 – Had won the Tingle Creek Chase (Sandown) last time out
4/18 – Went onto win the Champion Chase that season (2009 - Master Minded, 2013 -Sprinter Sacre, 2014 - Sire de Grugy, 2015 - Dodging Bullets)
4/18 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable (won the race 5 times in all)
3/18 – Trained by Willie Mullins (3 of last 6)
3/18 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable (won the race 5 times in all)
2/18 – Won by the Pipe stable
Since 1989 there have only been 3 winners aged in double-figures
Since 1989 (29 runnings) there have been 12 winners aged 8 years-old

The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 7/2

TQ VERDICT: Well, the ‘clash of the season’ is ON! Yes, just four runners here and even though you can’t totally rule out last year’s winner - First Flow - all eyes will be on the match-up here between the unbeaten pair - Shishkin and Energumene. Irish trainer - Willie Mullins - is no stranger to winning this race - winning 3 of the last 6 - so it’s great that he’s sending over Energumene, who has won all five of his starts over fences. He returned last month with another easy win at Cork and it’s hard to fault his chance. We can expect him to make a bold bid from the front again and being rated just a pound off Shishkin, then you really can make a case for them both. However, I just feel that the way SHISHKIN has been running recently, the track here at Ascot will suit as he’s been doing his best work at the finish. The extra furlong here also looks a plus for the Henderson horse, who brings a 6-race unbeaten chase record to the party. He looked to hit a bit of a flat spot in his last race at Kempton over Christmas, but once he got into the home straight powered home to beat the useful Greaneteen by 10 lengths. That was also his first run back from a wind op and - a bit like his former stablemate - Altior - he has a very similar running style to him. With the Mullins horse - Energumene - likely to run from the front too, this should enable a strong pace, which will further play into the hands of Shishkin, who always finishes his races off very well. Amoola Gold makes up the four runners but is rated 21lbs inferior to the selection and it will be a shock if he’s placed anything better than fourth!


Haydock Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)


1.25 – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices´ Hurdle (Registered As The Rossington Main Novices´ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m ITV4

15/15 – Aged 7 or younger
14/15 – Won between 1-2 times over hurdles previously
14/15 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
13/15 – Priced 9/2 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Won their last race
8/15 – Aged 5 years-old
7/15 – Winning Favourites
6/15 – Had raced at Haydock previously
5/15 – French bred
4/15 -  Ran at Haydock last time out
3/15 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/15 – Went onto win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
2/15 – Ran at Ascot last time out
2/15– Trained by Venetia Williams
2/15 – Trained by Donald McCain Jnr
Faivoir (7/1) won the race in 2021

Note: 2004 Renewal was staged at Wetherby

TQ VERDICT: Some promising sorts here - including recent winners Richmond Lake, Lebowski and Donny Boy, but all eyes will be on the Nicky Henderson-trained JONBON here. This brother to Douvan has so far lived up to his top billing with smooth wins Newbury and Ascot - successes that have seen him catapult to the fore of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting for the Cheltenham Festival. I’ve been impressed with his slick jumping and really, despite having to give 5lbs away to the others, there is nothing to suggest his winning spree won’t continue here. Of the rest, the Harry Fry-trained Might I was second to Jonbon’s stablemate - Constitution Hill - at Sandown in December and that looks the best form outside the hot favourite.


2.00 – New One Unibet (Registered as the Champion Hurdle Trial) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m ITV4

16/16 – Won at least twice over hurdles in the UK before
16/16 – Favourites placed in the top 3
14/16 -  From the top 3 in the betting
13/16 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
13/16 – Finished in the top three in their last race
12/16 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Champion Hurdle
12/16 – Priced 5/2 or shorter
12/16 – Officially Rated 150 or higher
12/16 – Won at least 3 times over hurdles previously
11/16 – Either French (3) or Irish (8) bred
11/16 – Ran at either Cheltenham (4) or Kempton (7) last time out
9/16 – Aged 7 or younger
8/16 – Winning Favourites
4/16 – Placed in the top 4 in that season’s Champion Hurdle (no winners)
4/16 – Won their last race
1/16 – Went onto win that season’s World Hurdle
Navajo Pass (4/1) won this race in 2021
Ballyandy (5/2) won this race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Navajo Pass won this race 12 months ago - causing a slight shock to beat the former Champion Hurdler -Buveur D’Air - but he’s not been able to back that up and has run poorly in three races since. Connections are reaching for the first-time blinkers here today in a bid to revive some old form. Global Citizen is the other CD winner in the field but is back from a wind op and at 10 is not getting any younger. Hunters Call is another of the older statesmen in the race at 12 but would have a small chance. However, with a rating of 156, the clear pick here is TOMMY’S OSCAR, who has also won his last three in decent fashion. The last of those wins came on New Year’s Day at Musselburgh and has now won 7 of his 12 runs over hurdles. At just 7 years-old he’s improving quickly still and the fact he also gets 6lbs from last year’s winner - Navajo Pass - is an added bonus. He’ll be hard to beat.


2.35 - Peter Marsh Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) Cl1 3m1f ITV4

18/18 – Won on ground described as soft or worse previously
17/18 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
16/18 – Carried 11-3 or less in weight
16/18 – Had run within the last 36 days
16/18 – Aged 8 or older
13/18 – Officially Rated 139 or higher
13/18 – Won at Haydock previously
12/18 – Won at least 3 times over fences previously
12/18 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
12/18 – Favourites unplaced
11/18 – Won before (fences) over at least 3m
10/18 – Irish bred
10/18 – Finished in the top 3 in their last race
10/18 – Won over fences at Haydock before
9/18 – Won between 3-5 times over fences before
9/18 – Aged either 8 or 9 years-old
9/18 – From outside the top 3 in the betting
7/18 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
7/18 – Ran at Wetherby last time out
7/18 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/18 – Raced in the Rowland Meyrick (Wetherby) last time out
5/18 – Trained by Sue Smith (3 of the last 6)
4/18 – Ridden by Danny Cook
3/18 – Won their last race
3/18 – Winning favourites
2/18 - Trained By Venetia Williams (3 wins in total)
2/18 – Trained by the McCain stable
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 9/1

TQ VERDICT: Last year we saw a romp in this race when the Venetia Williams-trained ROYAL PAGAILLE bolted up by 16 lengths. He’s rated 7lbs higher this time but has since run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and was a fair runner-up, albeit beaten 22 lengths, here in the Betfair Chase. He won this race carrying 11-10 last season and has that same weight again, while his record here at Haydock reads 1-1-2. He’ll get his preferred softer ground here too and will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of this race since General Wolfe (1998-99). With Royal Pagaille the class act in the race then this will, however, help the others in terms of the low weights they carry. Empire Steel, Lord Du Mesnil and recent winner Kalooki could all be dangerous off low burdens. Course winner - Sam Brown - is another to note, but he’s got a bit to prove over these longer trips for me. Fortescue was 7th in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase in November and has since run well to be second at Kempton, but it’s the horse that fell when going well in that Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury - REMASTERED - that can give last year’s winner most to think about. This Pipe-trained runner has just 10-7 to carry, which is a lot less than the 11-13 he had to carry to be 2nd in the Tommy Whittle Chase here last time - with that in mind, you feel a repeat of that last run would give him a big chance. The Pipe team won this in 2010 with Our Vic.


Taunton Horse Racing Trends (ATR/ITV)

3.15 – BioWaveGo Portman Cup Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m4 1/2f ITV4

3 previous runnings
Yala Enki won the race in 2020 and 2021
2/3 - Winning favourites
Trainers Paul Nicholls (2)2 and Colin Tizzard have won the race before
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a 23% record with his chasers at the track
Jockey Fergus Gillard is 2-from-4 (50%) riding over fences at the track
Jockey Bryony Frost has a 31% record riding over fences at the track

TQ VERDICT: He’s no spring chicken at the age of 12 now, but it’s hard to get away from the Paul Nicholls-trained YALA ENKI here, who has won the last two runnings of this race. Regular jockey, Bryony Frost will be doing the steering again, like the last two years, and having returned this season in the middle of November with a top win at Cheltenham, then age isn’t catching up with him just yet! Conditions look ideal again and being the clear to-rated in the field then he’s taken to land the three-timer in this race. Of the rest, former Welsh National winner - Elegant Escape - would be a player on his best form but he’s actually not won a race since taking that contest in 2018 and was last seen pulling up in the 2021 renewal over Xmas - he’s got a lot to prove. CD winner Coup De Pinceau has bundles to find at the weights, so it could be left for the Pipe-trained Ramses De Teillee and recent winner - Full Back (if running) to give the two-time champ of this race a fright.