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24th July 2024

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 23rd October 2021

Loads to look forward to this Saturday with something for everyone as the ITV cameras are at Doncaster & Newbury for some decent flat action, plus they are also over the jumps for the first time this season (on a Saturday) at Cheltenham.

Yes, jump racing is back at the home of National Hunt - Cheltenham - with a cracking card or which five races at LIVE on ITV4. Then at Newbury, we’ve two decent Group Three contests to look forward too, while the LIVE ITV action concludes with three races from Doncaster that are spearheaded by the Group One Vertum Futurity Trophy Stakes - a prize that top Irish handler - Aidan O’Brien - has won a massive nine times!

As always here at TQ we got all the LIVE races covered from a trends and stats angle, plus once the entries are out our free tips...…...let's get cracking!


Doncaster Horse Racing Trends (ITV/ATR)


3.15 – Vertem Futurity Trophy (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (CLASS 1) (2yo) ITV 1m

17/19 – Had won either 1 or 2 races before
16/19 – Winning distance – 1 ¼ lengths or more
16/19 – Placed favourites
16/19 - Foaled in February or later
15/19 – Finished in the top two last time out
15/19 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
14/19 – Had raced at least twice previously
12/19 – Winning favourites
12/19 – Foaled in either Feb or March
12/19 – Ran at either the Curragh or Newmarket last time out
11/19 – Won their last race
10/19 – Had won over a mile in the past
8/19 – Won by an Irish-based yard
6/19 – Trained by Aidan O’Brien
4/19 – Won by a Montjeu-bred colt
4/19 – Ridden by Andrea Atzeni (won 4 of the last 8)
4/19 – Went onto win the 2,000 Guineas (inc the last 3 winners)
3/19 – Went onto win the Epsom Derby
1/19 – Went onto win the St Leger
Five winners have gone onto win the following season’s Epsom Derby
Aidan O’Brien has won the race 9 times – 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017 & 2018
The average SP in the last 19 runnings is 13/2

TQ VERDICT: A race the Aidan O’Brien yard have farmed in recent years - winning the prize a staggering nine times. With that in mind, their LUXEMBOURG is the call here to make it win number 10 in this end-of-season Group One. The vibes coming out of the Ballydoyle camp are strong for this juvenile, who heads here 2-from-2 after easy wins at Killarney and the Curragh. The last of those was a smooth 4 ¾ length success in a G2 over a mile so it might take a good performance from one of the others to stop him remaining unbeaten. Of the rest, the Johnston runner - Royal Patronage - continues to improve and heads here having won the G3 and G2 Acomb and Royal Lodge Stakes. He’s a bold front runner, but you feel that he might just be setting the race up for something with a bit more stamina. Bayside Boy and Imperial Fighter are others to respect, but it’s interesting the Donnacha O’Brien yard, from Ireland, also send over SISSOKO (e/w). This 2 year-old was a nice 6l winner at the Curragh last time out over a bit further and that proven stamina will be a plus in what could turn out to be testing conditions.


3.50 – Virgin Bet Doncaster Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 6f ITV

13/13 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
12/13 – Raced in the last 4 weeks
12/13 – Drawn in stall 9 or lower
12/13 – Foaled in February or later
12/13 – Won between 1-2 times before
11/13 – Had won over 6f before
10/13 – Won last time out
10/13 – Carried 9-1 in weight
10/13 – Favourites placed in the top 3
9/13 – Drawn in stall 6 or lower
9/13 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
8/13 – Raced at York, Nottingham or Kempton last time out
7/13 – March-born foals
6/13 – Irish bred
5/13 – Winning favourites
2/13 – Trained by the Richard Hannon yard
2/13 – Trained by Brian Meehan
Trainer Marco Botti has won 2 of the last 5 runnings
2020 winner: Lipizzaner (10/3)

TQ VERDICT: Certainly some promising sorts in here, including the Ralph Beckett-trained Deodar, who did well to win on debut at Newbury last month. That experience would have brought him on a lot for this step into Listed company and Ryan Moore catches the eye being booked to ride. Mohi and Gold Medal are other recent winners that can stake a claim, but I’m happy to stick with the most experienced runner in the field here - FLAMING RIB. This Tom Dascombe runner has won his last three, including an easy 3 ¼ length success at Chester last time, and deserves to take this step up from handicap company into Listed grade. Trip and track are fine, while having won on good-to-soft, the ground should be okay too.


4.20 – Vertum Very Different Stockbrokers Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 5f ITV4

16/16 – Ran 5 or more times that season
15/16 – Had won over 5f before
14/16 – Aged 5 or younger
12/16 – Winning distance – 1 length or less
10/16 – Returned 9/1 or bigger in the betting
10/16 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
10/16 - Carried 8-10 or less
10/16 – Unplaced favourites
10/16 – Had run at Doncaster before (5 won)
5/16 – Ran at Pontefract (3) or Ayr (2) last time out
5/16 – Won last time out
4/16 – Winning favourites
2/16 – Winners from stall 1
2/16 – Ridden by Oisin Murphy
2/16 – Trained by Andrew Balding (2 of last 7)
1/16 – Winning mare/filly
Venturous (6/1) won the race in 2020
Tarboosh (8/1 jfav) won the race in 2018
9 of the last 13 winners came from a double-figure stall

TQ VERDICT: A competitive sprint handicap here, with many chances. We’ve no fewer than five last time out winners in the field - Raasel, Boundless Power, Illusionist, Zargun and Gabrial The Devil, plus four others that finished in the top three in their most recent race. We can expect a bold bid from the front from El Astronaute, who is a proven CD winner here too and is dropping back down the handicap at the moment. Dakota Gold is another decent handicap sprinter at the top level that has won here in the past too. He’s been running in better races than this of late so the drop in grade will help and certainly won’t mind the softer ground. Zargun beat another of today’s runners - Sunday Sovereign - at Catterick last week and is only up 4lbs for that, while the time before he was only a neck behind Illusionist at York. The Mick Appleby yard are mob-handed with Zim Baby, Danzeno, Boundless Power and RAASEL and it’s the last of that trio that stands out. This improving sprinter has won his last three and risen up the handicap as a result. He’s up another 7lbs here from his last win at Nottingham but looked to have a bit more up his sleeve that day. He’s also up two grades here, but the plus on that is that he gets in here with just 8st 2lbs to carry - that’s 14lbs less than last time, plus the useful Adam Farragher helps by taking off 5lbs from the saddle, which offsets most of that 7lb rise from last time. Of the rest, Copper Knight and Makanah are respected, but INDIAN SOUNDS (e/w) is the other to have onside. This 5 year-old comes from the Paul Midgley yard that won this race in 2018. He was also a neck second at Musselburgh last time out and gets in here off the same mark. The softer ground is fine too and his regular jockey - Ben Robinson - continues in the saddle.


Newbury Horse Racing Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

2.00 – Virgin Bet Horris Hill Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 7f ITV4

16/17 – Foaled in Feb or later
14/17 – Priced 15/2 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Won just 1 or 2 races before
12/17 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
12/17 – Had at least 3 previous career runs
11/17 – Never raced at Newbury
10/17 – Drawn in stall 5 or higher
10/17 – Favourites unplaced
9/17 – Won over 7f before
8/17 – Won their last race
7/17 – Foaled in February
7/17 – Winning distance – ¾ lengths or less
5/17 – Raced at Newmarket last time out
4/17 – Trained by the Richard Hannon yard
1/17 – Winning favourites

TQ VERDICT: American Star and Dubai Poet are both proven CD winners here at the track to have on your radar, while debut winners - Tacarib Bay, Red Vineyard and Light Infantry - all did well to win their opening races. But the two that set the standard here are NOBLE TRUTH and Hoo Ya Mal. The pair were separated by just a nose at Doncaster last month - with Godolphin’s Noble Truth coming out on top that day. This 2 year-old has since come out to run a close second in a G1 at Longchamp and that’s the best form on offer here. This well-bred juvenile also handled the softer ground well last time (heavy) and is the clear top-rated in the field. Of the rest, the Simcock runner - LIGHT INFANTRY (e/w) - could not have been more impressive on debut at Yarmouth - winning by just over 6 lengths. Yes, this is a step up in grade and trip, but clearly has ability and is taken to hold his own here.


2.35 – Virgin Bet St Simon Stakes (Registered As The St Simon) (Group 3) Cl1 1m4f5y ITV4

17/18 – Aged 5 or younger
16/18 – Had won over at least 1m2f before
16/18 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
16/18 – Had won at least twice before
15/18 – Had at least 4 runs that season
13/18 – Aged 3 or 4 years-old
12/18 – Placed favourites
12/18 – Rated 107 or higher
10/18 – Had run at Newbury before (4 won)
11/18 – Drawn in stall 6 or higher
10/18 – Placed horses from stall 6
7/18 – Winners from stalls 6 or 8
6/18 – Won by a filly or mare
6/18 – Ran at Newmarket last time out
5/18 – Winning favourites
4/18 – Won last time out
3/18 – Trained by Andrew Balding
1/18 – Winners from stall 1
Euchen Glen (9/2) won the race in 2020
Morando (8/1) won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: Course winners, Extra Elusive, Ilaraab and Morando certainly have chances here, while the Beckett runner - Max Vega - clearly didn’t get home over the 2m at HQ last time out and will be much better dropped back in trip here (1m4f). However, this could be another for the Godolphin boys with their 111-rated SISKANY. This 3 year-old is the top-rated in the field, but being a 3 year-old gets a handy 6lbs from the bulk of the older horses in the field. He was last seen winning a decent handicap at Newmarket too so comes here in good order. That was his first run back from being gelded too and with just seven career runs looks the sort to have more to come. James Doyle rides.


Cheltenham Horse Racing Trends ITV/RacingTV)


1.45 - NHS Vaccinating Heroes Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Challenger 2m Hdl Series Qualifier) Cl3 (3 yo+ 0-140) 2m 1/2f ITV4

7 previous runnings
6/7 - Aged 6 or younger
5/7 - Returned 8/1 or shorter
5/7 - Ran in the last 8 weeks
5/7 - Won no more than twice over hurdles
5/7 - Carried 10-11 or more in weight
4/7 - Irish bred
3/7 - Had run at the track before
2/7 - Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/7 - Ridden by Harry Cobden
2/7 - Won last time out

TQ VERDICT: The market will be a good guide here, but with the Paul Nicholls yard in good order at the moment and also having won this race twice before, then their SAMARRIVE is the call. He heads here unbeaten after wins in France and then on UK debut at Kempton last April. We can expect the horse to have come on over the summer again and the useful Loran Williams, who rode the horse last time, is in the plate for this Conditional Jockeys’ race.  Of those that have been out recently, Small Bad Bob has done well in winning his last two, while the Fergal O’Brien trio - Byzantine Empire, Timberman and Samba Dancer - both were also nice winners last time out. The former was a good winner at Southwell in July and has had a wind op since, but the other O’Brien runner - SAMBA DANCER (e/w) - gets the call, having won his last two. The last was a smooth win at Stratford earlier this month and with hat coming over further we know he’ll stay this trip well. Of the rest, it would be foolish to ignore the Gordon Elliott runner - Uncle Henry - who makes the trip over from Ireland.


2.20 – 888Sport What’s Your Thinking Handicap Chase Cl2 3m1f ITV4

13/14 – Priced 10/1 or shorter in the betting market
13/14 – Won over at least 3m previously
11/14 – First run of the season
11/14 – Winning distance – 3 lengths or less
10/14 – Rated 134 or higher
9/14 – Irish bred winners
9/14 – Carried 10-11 or more in weight
9/14 – Favourites unplaced
8/14 – Had won at Cheltenham previously
7/14 – Won by a horse aged 8 years-old
7/14 – Unplaced in their last race
5/14 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
5/14 – Ridden by jockey Richard Johnson
1/14 – Winning Favourites
Frodon (9/2) won the race in 2020
Cogry (13/2) won the race in 2017
Cogry was 2nd in the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Last season, the classy Frodon, showed it was possible to win this race with a big weight, so that will give confidence to backers of the top-weight - Cloth Cap - here. However, this 9 year-old was actually third 12 months ago here and is now rated a massive 18lbs higher. Yes, he’s an improved horse and has also had a wind op over the Spring, but that’s a big burden to carry. Redford Road, Storm Control, Jersey Bean and Domaine De L’Isle are the proven course winners in the field to respect - 8 of the last 14 winners had won at the track before. With that in mind, a chance is taken on the Oliver Sherwood-trained JERSEY BEAN (e/w). This 8 year-old was a nice winner here last April and returns to the track from a break just 4lbs higher. He’d probably want the ground to remain in the quicker side, but in this better race also gets in here with just 10-7 in weight to carry - that’s 15lbs less than last time. The others of interest at the Irish pair - DEFINITE PLAN and GO ANOTHER ONE. The former is from the Gordon Elliott yard that do well here and despite a string of seconds gets into the race with a featherweight of just 10-1, with the useful Jordan Gainford taking off another 3lbs. Go Another One will be fitter than most after winning two of his last three races and a 2lbs rise for a recent narrow Perth win with a big weight looks fair. Sean Bowen, who rode last time, remains in the saddle. Of the rest, Truckers Lodge and Minella Bobo are others to consider.


2.55 - Masterson Holdings Hurdle Cl2 2m110y ITV4

9/12 – Having their first run of the new jumps season
8/12 - Had won 2 or less times over hurdles
6/12 – Returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
6/12 – Carried 10-12 in weight
7/12 – Placed in their last race
5/12 – Irish bred winners
4/12 – Favourites placed
3/12 – Winning favourites
3/12 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
Botox Has (11/2) won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Just the four runners here and really the Rebecca Menzies runner - Twoshotsoftequila - has a bit to find. The Alan King runner - Tritonic - was a Grade 2 winner of the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton back in February - however, failed to build on that in the Triumph Hurdle here at the Festival in March (5th). He’s been ticking over on the flat since and the King yard are in great form at the moment - he returns to hurdles here today. He goes well fresh and is a classy hurdler on his day. But my only niggle would be the track - having flopped here before, plus he’s also got to give 8lbs away to the rest. I Like To Move It was 9th in the Champion Bumper here in March and built on that win a nice hurdles debut win at Worcester recently. He looks a nice sort and will be winning races this season. But the call is the Dan Skelton runner - STEPNEY CAUSEWAY - who heads here having won his last four. The last of those was an easy 19l success at Ayr back in April and having had a wind op over the summer returns for more this season. He was a useful flat performer when trained by Michael Bell and is clearly going the right way over the sticks too. The only slight concern is that the Skelton yard are not in the best of form - at the time of writing they are just 1 from 32 with their runners - but I’ll take a chance on that form improving sooner rather than later.


3.30 - 888Sport Handicap Chase (Gbb Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m ITV4

Only 6 previous runnings
6/6 - Aged between 6 or 8 years-old (three each)
6/6 - Last race 6 months or more ago
6/6 - Returned 15/2 or shorter in the betting
6/6 - Had run at the track before
5/6 - Carried 11-1 or more
5/6 - Favourites placed (top three)
5/6 - Won between 2-4 times over fences
4/6 - Ran at Cheltenham last time out
4/6 - Rated between 140-147
4/6 - Placed in the top 3 last time out
3/6 - French bred
2/6 - Winning favourites
2/6 - Won last time out
2/6 - Trained by Harry Whittington

TQ VERDICT: The 2016 Grand Annual winner - Solar Impulse - is still going strong at the age of 11 and won three times over the summer. He gets in with just 10-2 to carry, but this will be harder than the races he’s been contesting of late. We’ve also got last season’s Grand Annual winner - SKY PIRATE - in the race and he’s likely to be very popular after that win. This Jonjo O’Neill runner has won three of his last for races and will be freshened up with 220-days off. He’s still only 8 and could still have more improvement to come - he’s taken to go well despite having a lot of weight and being up 7lbs more in the ratings here. Before Midnight is another horse that did well last term - winning his last two. Up 7lbs for the last of those and only has 10-3 to carry. The concern would be his lack of experience over fences with just one win from seven. Bathiva, Belargus, Ashutor and Hatcher are others with live chances, but with the Philip Hobbs team in good form at the moment their LEAPAWAY (e/w) is the other of interest. This 9 year-old was a winner last time out at Worcester and is only 3lbs higher this time. With Sky Pirate in the race, he also gets in here with a featherweight of just 10-2.


4.05 - Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) Cl2 2m7f208y ITV4

9/12 – Priced 17/2 or bigger in the betting
9/12 – Had run at Cheltenham before (4 winners)
8/12 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
8/12 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
8/12 – Aged between 6-8 years-old
8/12 – Last ran 6 month+ ago
7/12 – Unplaced favourites
5/12 – Won last time out
5/12 – Irish Bred
2/12 – Mare winners
2/12 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
2/12 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
2/12 – Winning favourites
Honest Vic (12/1) won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Another race with plenty of chances. The 11 year-old Tobefair is the only CD winner in the field but hasn’t won since 2019 and his older legs might just succumb to something younger. With 8 of the last 12 winners aged between 6 and 8, then the 5 year-olds in the race - Born Patriot, Jersey Wonder and Panic Attack are overlooked, despite having claims on form. Henderson’s Haul Away will catch the eye of punters after winning his last two (hurdles and fences), but is rated 5lbs higher than his last win over hurdles. Push The Tempo can get involved too and did well to win at Worcester last time. Is up just 2lbs for that too. Butler’s Brief is a fast-improving hurdler too - winning his last three. Up 9lbs for the last of those, but that was an easy 9l success at Bangor and he deserves to take his chance, plus has been freshened up with 5 months off. I think the safer option though is to stick with the Gordon Elliott runner - TULLYBEG - who will be fitter than most after recent wins at Navan and Gowen Park. This 6 year-old is up 10lbs for the last of those and does have a fair amount of weight (11-12), but you feel the Elliott yard think he’s up to the task bringing him over and they’ve got their horses in good form at the moment too. Of the rest, the Rebecca Curtis runner - GEORDIE DES CHAMPS (e/w) -, who ran in the 2016 Champion Bumper, is the other pick. This 10 year-old isn’t getting any younger but did well to win twice in the summer at Ffos Las. He’ll have probably needed his recent outing at Chepstow a few weeks ago so can be expected to be a lot sharper this time.