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2nd December 2022

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 5th February 2022

More LIVE ITV Racing to take in this Saturday as the cameras are at Sandown, Wetherby and Musselburgh to show nine races across the three meetings. At Sandown the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase is their feature - a contest the classy that jockey Daryl Jacob has won 4 times in the last 7 runnings, plus a contest that we've seen 10 of the last 18 favourites win.

Up at Wetherby we've the Towton Novices' Chase to enjoy - a race that 10 of the last 15 winners were aged 7 years-old, while up in Scotland it's Scottish County Hurdle day at Musselburgh - 6 year-olds have won 11 of the last 14 renewals.

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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Sandown Horse Racing Betting Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

 

1.15 – Virgin Bet Handicap Chase Cl2 1m7f119y ITV4

15/15 – Priced 10/1 or shorter
15/15 – Raced within the last 8 weeks
12/15 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
12/15 – Had won between 1-4 times over fences before
12/15 – Aged 9 or younger
11/15 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
10/15 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
9/15 – Had run over fences at Sandown before (4 won)
8/15 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
7/15 – Winners that went to race in that season’s Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase
7/15 – Raced at Sandown last time out
6/15 – French bred
5/15 – Carried 10-10 or less
5/15 – Came from outside the top 4 in the betting
5/15 – Aged 7 years-old
4/15 – Had an official rating of exactly 125
4/15 – Winning favourites
3/15 – Won last time out
3/15 – Trained by Venetia Williams
3/15 – Ridden by Aidan Coleman
2/15 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
Moonlighter (13/2) won the race in 2021
Dolos (7/2) won the race in 2020 and second in 2021
Dolos won this race in 2019

TQ VERDICT: He's won this race in 2019 and 2020, plus was second twelve months ago, so t’s hard to ignore the chances of DOLOS here. This Paul Nicholls-trained 9 year-old seems to have developed a liking for this race and despite some indifferent runs this season has dropped to a handy-looking mark. He was runner up last year off 158 but is now rated 143 and is 6lbs lower than with winning in 2019 and 14lbs lower than in 2020. Yes, he’s got a bit to prove based on his three runs (all well beaten) this season, but would have had this race as a target again and jockey Harry Cobden also picks him over the other Nicholls runner - Tamaroc Du Mathan. We’ve also got the 2021 winner in the race - Moonlighter - back for more and seeing as he’s rated 7lbs lower this time too, is hard to ignore as well. He normally likes to race up with the pace so another bold show from the front could be on the cards. Of the rest, Gunsight Ridge (1st) and Bun Doran (2nd) were separated by just 1 ¾ lengths here last time out and with the runner-up 4lbs better off then we can expect another close battle between the two. Frero Banbou was a nice winner at Lingfield a few weeks ago, but is up 6lbs for that and that also came on heavy ground - he’s likely to get much faster conditions here, plus that race looked a bit of a slog so it remains to be seen how much it’s taken out of him. RIKOBOY will be better for his return run at Wincanton, but still ran well there to be a close second - a better race here but get in with just 10-6 in weight and looks dangerous, so he rates the danger.

 

1.50 - Virgin Bet Contenders Hurdle (Listed Race) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m ITV4

7/7 - Aged between 4-8 (inc) years-old
7/7 - French bred winners
7/7 - Ran in the last 6 weeks
7/7 - Won over 2m (hurdles) before
6/7 - Won 5+ times (hurdles) in the past
5/7 - Ran at Kempton (3) or Ascot (2) last time out
5/7 - Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
5/7 - Returned 11/4 or shorter in the betting
4/7 - Trained by Nicky Henderson
4/7 - Owned by JP McManus
4/7 - Winning favourites
3/7 - Had run at Sandown before
2/7 - Won last time out
2/7 - Trained by Paul Nicholls

Note: No race in 2021

TQ VERDICT: An intriguing little race. The quirky Goshen is the second top-rated in the field at 152 and having been upped in trip last time ran a much better race at Lingfield when a close third - having every chance. He did, however, jump again out to his right so this return to a right-handed track is a plus and he’s a CD winner too. The query would be if the ground will be soft enough though as he’s at his best with plenty of give - overall, he’s still got a bit to answer to his supporters. SONG FOR SOMEONE is the top-rated (by just a pound) but this Tom Symonds runner does look the more reliable. He’s returned this season with fine seconds in the Coral and International Hurdles and with another small break (2 months) should be spot on for this. Guard Your Dreams actually beat the selection by ½ a length at Cheltenham last time but was getting 6lbs that day so off level weights here I’m favouring Song For Someone. The old boy, Hunters Call, and the Ben Pauling-trained Global Citizen are fair performers on their day and get 7lbs off the three principles, but still have a bit to find at the weights.

 

2.20 – Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices´ Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 2m4f110y ITV4


18/18 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
17/18 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
17/18 – Won no more than 3 times over fences before
16/18 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
16/18 – Priced 9/2 or shorter in the betting
16/18 – Finished in the top 2 last time out
16/18 – Aged 7 or younger
15/18 – Won between 1-3 times over fences before
14/18 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (1 winner, Defi Du Seuil JLT Novices’ Chase)
13/18 – Placed favourites
12/18 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
11/18 – French bred
10/18 – Winning favourites
6/18 – Aged 7 years-old
6/18 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
6/18 – Irish bred
5/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
4/18 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
4/18 – Had run over fences at Sandown before
4/18 – Winners that went onto finish in the top 5 in the RSA Chase
4/18 – Ridden by Daryl Jacob (4 of last 7 winners)
Sporting John (14/1) won the race in 2021

TQ VERDICT: Just the five runners here, but for this Grade One and on these terms (weights), the trio - Mister Coffey, Fugitif and Gladiateur Allen are likely to be fighting it out for places. Therefore, the two to focus on here are the Paul Nicholls-trained - Pic D’ Orhy - and the in-form Venetia Williams runner - L’HOMME PRESSE. The former has done little wrong this season - winning two of his last three and probably would have won at Newbury two runs back (going well) when falling. His recent 9 length win at Ascot was a decent effort and really barring that tumble it’s hard to crab his chance. But the call goes to L’Homme Presse, who has caught the eye of many after three wins at Exeter, Ascot and Cheltenham this season. He’s 3-from-3 now over fences and beat a useful sort in The Glancing Queen by an easy 10 lengths last time out. Of course, more is needed again here, but on the whole, he’s jumped well and looks a very exciting Novice Chaser for the yard. Of the rest, with the Nicky Henderson yard having won four of the last 9 runnings, then their Mister Coffey would be the one to pick up the pieces should the main two have off days.

 

2.55 Virgin Bet Heroes Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7 1/2f ITV4

6/6 - Irish bred
6/6 - Ran in the last 6 weeks
5/6 - Didn’t win last time out
5/6 - Won between 2-4 times
5/6 - Returned between 5/1 and 10/1 in the betting
5/6 - Aged 8 or younger
5/6 - Carried 10-10 or less in weight
4/6 - Unplaced favourites
4/6 - Rated between 129-134
3/6 - Ran at Kempton last time out
1/6 - Winning favourites

TQ VERDICT: A very open and competitive race. Five of the last 6 winners failed to win last time out so this might be seen as a negative for Ree Okka, Orbys Legend, Jesuitique, Emmpressive Lady and Dolphin Square. GREEN BOOK was sent off the joint favourite for the Lanzarote Hurdle last time out but was hampered by a faller and unseated. He had won twice before that well and still gets in here with only 10st 6lbs to carry - with a bit more luck he can go well. The consistent Beauport looks sure to be in the mix too - having not finished out of the first three in his 6 runs over hurdles to date. His latest second to Dashel Drasher is solid form and before that was beaten only 1 ½ length by another of today’s runners - Jesuitique. The Cross-Country horse - Easysland - who is now with the Jonjo O’Neill yard adds another sub plot to the race, but you feel this is a prep for another tile over the unique Cross-Country fences at the Festival next month. Call Me Lord is another that you feel will pop up in one of these competitive handicaps soon as he’s starting to look well treated, but the Irish raider - BORN PATRIOT (e/w) is the other of interest after a fine second at Cheltenham last time out. He’s up 3lbs for that run but connections have booked the useful Kevin Brogan to offset that. He’s had 3 ½ months to get over that last run and can go well.


3.30 – Virgin Bet Masters Handicap Chase Cl2 3m110y ITV4

16/18 – Carried 11-5 or less
16/18 – Had raced within the last 8 weeks
15/18 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
15/18 – Aged 9 or younger
13/18 – Had won between 1-3 times over fences (UK) before
13/18 – Rated 137 or lower
11/18 – Irish-bred
10/18 – Placed last time out
9/18 – Favourites placed in the top 4
9/18 – Had raced at Sandown before (4 won)
9/18 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
6/18 – Raced at either Sandown (3) or Haydock (3) last time out
6/18 – Winning favourites
7/18 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
5/18 – French-bred
3/18 – Winners that went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
2/18 – Trained by Lucy Wadham (2 of last 8)
2/18 – Trained by Venetia Williams (2 of last 8)
Trained by Philip Hobbs (2 of the last 2)
Deise Alba (7/1) won this race in 2020 and 2021

TQ VERDICT: You can make a case for several of these, especially recent winners - Kapcorse, Le Milos, Five Star Getaway and Farinet. Of that bunch, you just feel that the Tim Vaughan runner - Le Milos might have preferred softer ground and is also up 8lbs for that last win. FARINET will need to prove he’s as good over this longer trip but has been winning well over 2m4f of late and cold easily be the sort to improve again over this extra half a mile. Add in that he’s a proven course winner, then he’ll have no issues with the track - any rain would help, but he looks an improving staying chaser. Kapcorse beat Court Master well at Newbury last time out and the runner-up has seen given that form a boost by winning last midweek. He’s another to note, but with that last win coming off almost a year off, then you fear about the ‘bounce factor. So, the other pick is to side with the horse that’s win this race for the last two years - DEISE ABA. This Philip Hobbs runner was last seen pulling up in the Welsh National over Christmas but before that ran a close second here at Sandown in their London National. He’s up 2lbs for that and is 5lbs higher than when taking this 12 months ago but does seem to like it here at Sandown with form figures that read 1-1-2.

Wetherby Horse Racing Betting Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

 

2.30 – William Hill Towton Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m1f ITV4

14/15 – Aged 8 or younger
13/15 – Had never raced over fences at Wetherby before
12/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/15 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/15 – Priced 3/1 or shorter in the betting
11/15 – Raced within the last 7 weeks
11/15 – Won between 1-2 times over fences before
10/15 – Aged 7 years-old
10/15 – Irish bred
9/15 – Raced at either Cheltenham (6) or Warwick (3) last time out
9/15 – Placed favourites
8/15 – Won last time out
7/15 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
6/15 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s RSA Chase (1 winner, Blaklion 2016, plus all finished 6th or better)
2/15 – Trained by Ian Williams
Newtide (9/2) won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: On these terms this really should be a good chance for the Lucinda Russell-trained AHOY SENOR to get back to winning ways. This 7 year-old was a nice winner at Newbury two runs back and wasn’t disgraced last time out at Kempton when second to the useful Bravemansgame. He should find this company a lot easier and despite having to give weight away to the others is an exciting staying Novice Chaser so it would be disappointing if he can’t see off this lot. That said, Saint Palais has won his last three and is a proven CD winner here. He’s shot up the handicap ranks as a result this season and is now into Graded company so more on his plate. But with 10-8 and getting 11lbs off the selection then he can hopefully make a race of it. Ashtown Lad and Noble Yeats make up the four runners.

 

Musselburgh Horse Racing Betting Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

 

2.05 - bet365 Auld Yin Conditional Jockeys’ Veterans’ Handicap Chase (CJ Veterans’ Chase Series Qualifier) Cl3 (10yo+ 0-130) 2m6f ITV4

Just 2 previous runnings
2/2 - Aged 10 years-old
2/2 - Unplaced last time out
2/2 - Ran in the last 6 weeks
2/2 - Favourites placed in the top two
2/2 - Irish bred
2/2-  Returned 4/1 in the betting
2/2 - Carried 11st or more in weight
Trainers Dr Richard Newland and Neil Alexander have won the race in the past

TQ VERDICT: Veterans race here today and many with a bit to prove. The Olly Murphy runner - Calipso Collonges - and Cool Mix are both likely to be popular picks for punters as they come here off the back of fair runs. Valadom and Broken Quest are others to respect, but the two I’m going to take a chance on are BROTHERLY COMPANY and GLEN FORSA. The former is the only CD winner in the field that did well last summer jumping. He’s had a break since but the good ground is in his favour and has run well off a break in the past. Glen Forsa used to be a 150+ rated chaser but probably didn’t fulfil his true potential when trained by Mick Channon. Now a 10 year-old, but he’s actually fairly lightly-raced (18 runs) for his age and has dropped to a mark of just 129. The return to 2m6f will also help having got tired over 3m last time.

 

2.05 - bet365 Scottish County Hurdle (A Handicap) (Listed Race) Cl1 1m7f124y ITV4

13/14 – Returned 15/2 or shorter in the betting
13/14 – Had won over this trip before (hurdles)
11/14 – Won between 1-2 times over hurdles before
11/14 – Aged 6 years-old
9/14 – Former flat horses
9/14 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
8/14 – Favourites placed in the top 4
7/14 – Carried 11-0 or less
7/14 – Rated between 120-130
2/14 – Winning favourites
2/14 – Won last time out
2/14 - Trained by Paul Nicholls
Christopher Wood (11/4) won the race in 2021
Sebastopol (9/2) won the race in 2020
Dear Sire (15/2) won this race in 2018

TQ VERDICT: Trainer Paul Nicholls has won this race a few times since 2017 and so his Wild Max is sure to be popular. However, he’s the topweight here with 11-10 and even though jockey Angus Cheleda claims 5lbs you’d be taking a leap of faith if backing this horse at shortish odds after flopping in his last four races. He’d have a big chance on his form of 2020, but he’s not for me. Social Agenda won well at Catterick last time and only has 10-5 to carry, but this is a big step up in grade here so would need to find some more improvement. Glory And Honour and Diocletian are others to note, but I’m going to play HIGHLY PRIZED and FIVEANDTWENTY here. The last-named is the only CD winner in the field and wasn’t disgraced when running fourth behind the promising Tommy’s Oscar here on New Year’s Day. That came off a 2 month break and after a wind op so can only improve for it. Highly Prized is back from a 280-day break but has gone well fresh in the past. This Emma Lavelle runner also doesn’t look too badly-treated off a mark of 139 and will be right at home on the good ground.

3.45 – bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase Cl2 4m176y ITV4

Only four previous runnings
2/4 – Carried 10-9 or less in weight
2/4 – Priced between 6/1 and 10/1 in the betting
1/4 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
Mighty Thunder (14/1) won the race in 2021
Bob Mahler (9/2 jfav) won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Mighty Thunder won this race last year by 20 lengths so can’t be ruled out. However, this Lucinda Russell runner is up 19lbs this time and will need to also bounce back from being pulled up in the Welsh National last time out. The Wolf stayed on well over 3m2f last time at Cheltenham to suggest this step up in trip is certainly worth a crack, but it’s still another 5 furlongs, so I’d rather side with a horse with actual proven stamina. With that in mind, HIGHLAND HUNTER is the one that looks the most solid having run a fine second in the Welsh National last time out too. Prior to that we landed the London National at Sandown over 3m5f and has been 5th in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter over 4m2f so we know he stays. He’s also a winner here at Musselburgh over hurdles and seems to act well in most ground. Of the rest, the former Paul Nicholls-trained CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK (e/w) is dropping down the handicap again off a mark of just 124 and has only 10st 1lb to carry here so could be very dangerous indeed of those at bigger prices.

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