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24th January 2021

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 28th November 2020

Another huge Saturday ahead with the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase - plus the Fighting Fifth Hurdle as the main contests at Newbury and Newcastle – As always, we’ve got all the ITV TV trends to help you find the best winning profile of past winners of the main races.

 

Newbury Horse Racing Betting Trends (ITV/RacingTV)


1.50 – Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle Cl2 2m4f ITV

4 previous runnings
All four winners returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
2 of the last 4 winners trained by Nicky Henderson
3 of the last 4 winners were aged 6 years-old
Paul Nicholls and Philip Hobbs have won this race in the past
2 winning favourites (joint) in the last 4 years
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 31% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Tom Lacey has a 27% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Dan Skelton has a 3% record with his hurdlers at the track

TQ VERDICT: Paul Nicholls won this 12 months ago and Nicky Henderson has taken the last two renewals – therefore, the Nicholls runners Amour De Nuit and Christopher Wood, plus the Henderson entries Champagne Platinum and Rathhill are sure to be popular – the last three-named are also all previous course winners. Of that bunch, CHAMPAGNE PLATINUM (e/w) looks interesting back over hurdles after not quite taking to fences. The fact Henderson, who has a 31% record with his hurdlers at the track, is persisting with him catches the eye and with only seven career runs could still have more to come – Nico de Boinville rides. On The Wild Side is going the right way after two nice wins at Hexham, but this is harder so will need to step forward again – he’s still one for the shortlist. Flash The Steel has the form to go well too, but the Dan Skelton yard have just a 3% record with their hurdlers here so that would be a worry. The other main pick though is the rapidly improving TEA CLIPPER. This Tom Lacey 5 year-old beat Flash The Steel by just over 2 lengths on his return at Chepstow last month, but kept on well that day to suggest this slightly longer trip could eke out more improvement. That also came off a 247-day break so can be expected to have come on for it and is a horse that’s been taken out of a few races recently so you feel connections are trying to look after him a bit, with this good ground seemingly his favoured conditions.

2.25 Ladbrokes Gerry Fielden Intermediate Handicap (Listed Race) (A Limited Handicap) Cl1 2m69y ITV

13/14 – Had at least 4 runs over hurdles before
13/14 – Aged 6 or younger
13/14 – Won over 2m (hurdles) before
12/14 – Won just 1-2 times in the past (hurdles)
11/14 – Irish, French or German bred
11/14 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
9/14 – Finished in the top three last time out
8/14 – Carried 11-1 or less in weight
7/14 – Had raced at Newbury before
7/14 – Unplaced favourites
6/14 – Officially rated between 126-134
6/14 – Aged 5 years-old
5/14 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
5/14 – Winning favourites
3/14 – Raced at Aintree last time out
2/14 – Won last time out
8 of the last 13 winners were aged 4 or 5 years-old
Epatante (3/1) won the race in 2019
Global Citizen (5/1) won the race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: Nicky Henderson, won this race with Epatante 12 months ago and with that horse going onto land the Champion Hurdle then all eyes will be on his Marie’s Rock to see if she can follow a similar path – Henderson has also won this race 5 times in the last 14 years. She’s 2-from-2 over hurdles and is clearly held in high regard. She’s also had a wind op since we last saw her winning well at Taunton and actually has a quote of around 40/1 for the Champion Hurdle. She’s certainly a very interesting runner and could have a big season ahead. However, she doesn’t look great value and I think the Gary Moore runner – BOTOX HAS (e/w) – might be able to give her a race. This 4 year-old returned with a top win at Cheltenham last time out, which was his third win over hurdles from just 5 runs. He had the useful Allmankind back in third that day and that Skelton horse has since franked the form by winning over fences. Of the rest, the Nicholls runner – Thyme White is closely linked with Botox Has as he also beat a horse called The Pink’n, who also runs here, last time out, so he’s another big player, while Milkwood and Sebastopol are others to note. But it might also be worth having a small saver on the other Henderson runner in the race – FLORESSA (e/w). This 5 year-old mare is a proven CD winner at the track and if you can ignore her last run at the Cheltenham Festival when she sweated up a lot before the race, then her form is fairly solid – including a Listed Mares’ Hurdle win at this meeting 12 months ago.

3.00 – Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Handicap) Grade 3 (CLASS 1) (4yo+) ITV 3m2f110y

16/18 – Aged 8 or younger
16/18 – Had won between 2-5 previous races over fences
16/18 – Had won a chase race over at least 3m before
15/18 - Returned 12/1 or shorter in the betting
13/18 – Finished in the first 3 last time out
13/18 – Carried 10-13 or more
13/18 – Had run at Newbury before (9 had won over fences there)
12/18 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or more
12/18 – Aged either 6 or 7 years-old
12/18 – Had won a Grade 3 or better class chase race before
12/18 – Rated between 140 and 151
12/18 – Had a previous run that season
10/18 – Won last time out
10/18 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
10/18 – Unplaced favourites
8/18 – Ran at either Aintree (2) or Cheltenham (6) last time out
6/18 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (2 of last 8)
2/18 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/18 – Trained by Colin Tizzard (2 of the last 4)
The average winning SP in the last 18 years is 9/1
Since 1968 there has only been one winner aged in double-figures (1981 Diamond Edge, 10)
Since 1990 (29 runnings) there have been 14 winners (48%) aged 7 years-old

TQ VERDICT: Maybe not the best renewal of this race – which might still be referred to as ‘The Hennessy’ by many hardened racing fans – but we’ve still got a very competitive contest to get stuck into and some nice trends should help. With 16 of the last 18 winners aged 8 or younger then of the 18 runners this might be a negative for Black Op, Beware The Bear, Le Bague Au Roi, Regal Encore and Ballyoptic – with 6 and 7 year-old having the best recent record, winning 12 of the last 18. With 13 of the last 18 winners carrying 10-13 or more in weight then this is a plus for the top 10 numbered in the race and with the same amount having finished in the first three in their last race then of the 18 runners this is a positive for nine – Cloth Cap, Potterman, The Conditional, Two For Gold, Aye Right, Regal Encore, Kildisart, Secret Investor and Vinndication. It’s no shock the powerful Henderson, Tizzard and Nicholls yards have dominated this race in recent years too, so their runners must be respected too. Henderson has Beware The Bear, Tizzard runs Copperhead, while Nicholls has Danny Whizzbang and Secret Investor. Having run Cyrname to 7 lengths at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase last time out, then Aye Right is a player too and you feel that if this Harriet Graham runner was trained by one of the ‘big three’ he’d probably be the clear favourite. He can go well, but the longer trip is a bit of an unknown and with just 5 career runs over fences just lacks a bit of experience for me. Ballyoptic and Vinndication are the two top-rated in the field and of the pair the Kim Bailey runner – Vinndication – is sure to be popular. This improving staying chaser was a fantastic runner-up to Cyrname in the Charlie Hall Chase last time – beaten only 2 lengths – and that form makes him the one to beat and the Bailey yard are in great shape still. He was beaten into fourth in the Ultima Chase at the Festival by another runner here – The Conditional – but was giving that horse a massive 20lbs that day so on better terms here (6lbs) there shouldn’t be a lot between them again. I think Cloth Cap can run well off a very light weight (10st), while Potterman was chinned on the line in the Badger Beers Chase last time and off just 10-6 here should be dangerous too – they both look good e/w value. But a horse that beat him prior to that run was SECRET INVESTOR (e/w) and I think this Paul Nicholls runner can run a big race. That return win came off the back of a wind op too and let’s not forget he was an excellent runner-up in the Denman Chase here at Newbury back in February. From nine Chase starts he’s been in the top two seven times (3 wins) and the way he won last time out suggests the 6lb rise in the handicap looks fair enough. Of the rest, the Tizzard runner – COPPERHEAD – can go well too. Yes, he was pulled up last time at Wetherby but that came over hurdles and looked more of a prep outing for this. He’s also a horse that tended to need a run or two in the past and that has also been applying to a lot of the Tizzard runners in general this season too. He’s a proven CD winner at the track, plus the ground will be fine having won on good and soft in the past, while jockey Robbie Power, who has won on him before, is back in the saddle.

3.35- Ladbrokes Handicap Chase (for the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy) Cl2 2m1f ITV

16/18 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
13/18 – Had run within the last 5 weeks
11/18 – Officially rated between 126-136
11/18 – French bred
10/18 – Had won a UK chase race over 2m1f
10/18 – Had won between 2-5 chase races in the UK
10/18 – Winning distance – 2 1/4 lengths or more
9/18 – Placed in their last race
9/18 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
7/18 – Unplaced favourites
7/18 – Winning favourites
5/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
5/18 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
3/18 – Won a chase race at Newbury before
2/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
2/18 – Trained by Venetia Williams
10 of the last 14 winners carried between 10-8 and 11-3
Magic Saint (3/1 fav) won the race in 2019

TQ VERDICT: A good race for the Paul Nicholls yard over the years, but he’s giving the others a chance this year – he doesn’t have a runner! CD winner, Moonlighter, ran a cracker in the Haldon Gold Cup last time out and we can expect another bold show from the front, but a 5lb hike for not winning makes things harder and he’s still only got the one win from 7 runs over fences. The Russian Doyen is another CD winner, but the two I like here are IBELEO and ZANZA (e/w). The former comes from the Venetia Williams yard that won this race in 2011 and in recent weeks have certainly shown better overall stable form. He should be better for his run at Ascot last month and the form of that looks solid with the winner – Amoola Gold – running well again next time out. Then Zanza, I think, can go well too. From the Philip Hobbs team that are another yard that seem to have their horses going well at the moment and a return run when second to the useful Allmankind was a good effort. That was only his second run over fences and also just his second outing back after a break. He’s also 2-from-2 here at the Berkshire track (hurdles), so clearly likes it here and Richard Johnson rides.

Newcastle Horse Racing Betting Trends (ITV/ATR)


2.05 –
BetFair Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m ITV

18/18 – Won a hurdles race over at least 2m before
16/18 – Won at least a Grade 2 hurdle before
16/18 – Finished in the first two in their latest race
15/18 – Raced in the Champion Hurdle later that same season
15/18 – Won at least 4 times over hurdles before
14/18 – Placed favourites
13/18 – Officially rated 151 or higher
12/18 – Won their last race
11/18 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
10/18 – Placed in the top 6 in the Champion Hurdle later that season
8/18 – Favourites that won (1 joint)
6/18 – Won by an Irish bred horse
5/18 – Raced over hurdles at Newcastle before
4/18 – Won by an Irish based yard
4/18 - Trained by Nicky Henderson (4 of last 12)
3/18 – Won by a previous winner of the race
2/18 - Trained by Paul Nicholls (2 of last 6)
2/18 – Won the Champion Hurdle later that same season (2008 Punjabi, 2018 Buveur d’Air)
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 6/1

Note: The 2008 renewal was staged at Wetherby, and the 2010 race at Newbury

TQ VERDICT: Cornerstone Lad caused a shock in this race 12 months ago when beating Buveur d’Air but the runner-up had excuses that day and this Micky Hammond runner hasn’t really been able to back up that success since. He’s fit from the flat though and expect another bold bid from the front but really he’s likely to set this up for one of the others and might have company front running with Not So Sleepy in the race too. Ribble Valley is a nice horse in the making and has won 3 of his 4 hurdles starts, but this will be his toughest ask yet. Silver Streak was third in this race last year and is a stalwart in these top-class 2m hurdles races but is placed more often than winning them – more of the same is expected here. Sceau Royal has been transformed since returning to hurdles too – winning his last two and this strong travelling sort should be going close too. But his negative is that he’s got to give a massive 7lbs away to the current Champion Hurdler – EPATANTE – and that might be a tall order. This Nicky Henderson mare has won 5 of her 6 starts over hurdles and looks primed for another big season. He’s still only 6 years-old so providing he stays injury-free then could be mopping up these big 2m hurdle races for a while. Overall though it’s a decent renewal and one that Nicky Henderson likes to support so we ca expect Epatante to be ready and even though a race-fit Sceau Royal looks a big danger, the 7lbs difference just sways it towards the Champion Hurdler.

3.15 – BetFair Rehearsal Chase (Handicap) (Listed Race) Cl1 3m ITV

15/16 – Didn’t win their last race
14/16 – Irish bred
14/16 – Carried 10-12 or more in weight
13/16 – Had raced within the last 6 weeks
12/16 – Had won a UK chase race over at least 3m
11/16 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
11/16 – Unplaced last time out
10/16 – Had won at least 3 times over fences in the UK
7/16 – Returned 10/3 or shorter in the betting
7/16 – Unplaced favourites
5/16 – Aged 8 years-old
4/16 – Ran at either Cheltenham (2) or Newbury (2) last time out
4/16 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/16 – Trained by Colin Tizzard
3/16 – Trained by Nicky Richards
2/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
7 of the last 10 winners were aged 8 or older
Takinrisks (20/1) won the race in 2019
Lake View Lad (5/1) won the race in 2018
Beware The Bear (11/4 fav) won the race in 2017
Otago Trial won the race in 2016
Note: The 2002, 2003, & 2004 runnings were at Chepstow

TQ VERDICT: The Henderson runner – Pym – will have his supporters here after a nice win at Sandown on his return, while The Butcher Said clearly got bogged down in the soft ground last time at Cheltenham and on this better surface a much improved run is expected. Whatmore is often in the mix, but with only one chase win from 7 tends to find a few too good in his races and that was the case again last time at Ascot when beaten into second by Regal Encore. The old boy Definitely Red continues to drop down the ratings and it might be dangerous to rule him out, but he was soundly beaten on this return run at Wetherby last time out and I still feel with his advancing years he needs to come down a bit more – he’s still got 11-12 to carry here too. We’ve also got last year’s winner in the race – TAKINGRISKS (e/w) and despite being another old-timer (11) might be worth an interest again. He’s only 4lbs higher than last year and after a recent run at Ayr will be much sharper for this. He acts on any ground and is the only CD winner in the field – that must count for something. But in a race that plenty have questions to answer the main pick will be on THE BUTCHER SAID, back on his favoured ground. He gets in here with just 10-7 in racing weight too and despite only having four runs over fences (2 wins) he’s had plenty of overall experience (16 runs) and a solid strike-rate too – 13 top three runs from those 16 outings. Aidan Coleman rides.

 

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