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9th December 2022

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 5th March 2022

With the Cheltenham Festival looming it's no surprise the quality of the weekend racing takes a slight dip over the next few weekends. That said, we've still plenty of action to enjoy as the ITV cameras head to Newbury to take in two races, with the Greatwood Gold Cup their feature race - a contest the powerful Paul Nicholls yard have won in 7 of the last 11 runnings.

We've also got three races at Doncaster with the Grimthorpe Chase the main event - 13 of the last 17 winners were aged 9 or older and carried 10-13 or less in weight, so these two trends are certainly worth having on your side.

The cameras are also at Kelso for four races - the Grade Two bet365 Premier Kelso Hurdle - with 11 of the last 13 winners placed in the top four last time out, this is a key trend to have on side.

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 – Play Pick 6 And Win £1000 Veterans´ Handicap Chase (Qualifier) (Leg 3 of Veterans´ Chase Series) Cl2 3m2f110y ITV

10/11 – Returned 9/1 or shorter
8/11 – Aged 10 years-old
9/11 – Won over at least 3m (chase)
7/11 – Favourites unplaced
5/11 – Carried 11-4 or more in weight
5/11 – Finished in the top 3 in their last race
2/11 – Won their last race
1/11 – Winning favourites
Trainer David Pipe won the race in 2015 and 2016
Trainer Paul Nicholls won the race in 2013 and 2017
The average winning SP in the last 8 renewals is 7/1

TQ VERDICT: Some old timers on show for this veteran’s race, but the two of interest are course winner ASO and KAUTO RICKO. The former was 8th in the Gold Cup last season and despite now a 12 year-old is still holding his form well. He’s down to a mark of 142 now and considering he was as high as 158 this time last year, then the handicapper is giving him a chance to grab another win before he calls it a day. Kauto Ricko ran fourth behind the useful Chantry House at Cheltenham last time in the Cotswold Chase - beaten 11 ½ lengths. He’ll find this company and racing against horses more his age a lot easier. Kieren Buckley rides to claim a handy 5lbs too. Indy Five, Prime Venture and Saint Xavier can do best of the rest.

 

1.50 – BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 2m4f ITV

16/17 – Carried 11-5 or less in weight
15/17 – Won by a horse aged 8 or younger
15/17 – Had run within the last 6 weeks
14/17 – Had won between 1-4 times over fences previously
14/17 – Won over this trip previously
13/17 – Raced at Newbury (hurdles or fences) previously
12/17 – Officially rated 139 or higher
12/17 – Placed in the top 5 last time out
11/17 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or less
10/17 – Favourites placed
9/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
9/17 – Winners that came from the top 3 in the market
8/17 – Won by a French-bred horse
7/17 – Won by a horse aged 8 years-old
6/17 – Went onto run at the Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
6/17 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
5/17 – Favourites  to win (1 joint)
3/17 – Ridden by Nick Scholfield
3/17 – Won by the Pipe yard
2/17 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
2/17 – Won their last race
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 8/1
Note: The 2006 renewal was a dead-heat

TQ VERDICT: A race the Paul Nicholls yard love to target - winning the pot a staggering 9 times in the last 17 runnings. They have Amour De Nuit and Tamaroc Du Mathan entered. Plenty of key betting trends to note though, including 15 of the last 17 winners aged 8 or younger, while 16 of the last 17 winners carried 11st 5lbs or less in weight. Taking these two key stats into account the Fergal O’Brien runner - DUBLIN FOUR (e/w) - stands out. This 8 year-old has only 10st 6lbs to carry and despite falling last time out at Ludlow was a nice winner over this course and distance prior to that. In fact, he’s won his last two races at Newbury, so we know the track suits. He’s only 4lbs higher than that last win and connections have given him plenty of time to get over that recent tumble with a 2 ½ month break. That absence is also not a big concern as he came back from 200 days off in November to win here at Newbury. Paddy Brennan rides. Glen Forsa bounced back to winning form at Musselburgh last time and will have his backers, but at 10 falls down on the age trend (15 of the last 17 aged 8 or younger), Senior Citizen (4th last year) and Amoola Gold have all had their supporters in the build-up to the race, while the Venetia Williams yard, who won this in 2014, have a fair hand with the 7 year-old Farinet. But it’s hard to ignore the good record of the Paul Nicholls yard. As mentioned, they run two - Amour De Nuit and TAMAROC DU MATHAN (e/w) - with the last-named of interest with Harry Cobden riding. This 7 year-old ticks a fair few of the main trends and with 11st 6lbs is only just over the key weight stat. He’ll be much fitter for a recent fifth at Sandown, which came off a 3 ½ month break and after a wind operation too. With only six runs over fences (2 wins) you feel there is more to come from this Nicholls chaser, who still has plenty of time on his side.

 

DONCASTER HORSE RACING TRENDS (ITV/RacingTV)

2.20 – Virgin Bet Mares´ Novices´ Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 3m96y ITV

8 previous runnings
7/8- Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
7/8 – Ran in the last 7 weeks
7/8 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
6/8 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
6/8 – Favourites placed in the top 2
4/8 - Won by the favourite (1 co-fav)
4/8 – Irish bred
The average winning SP in the last 8 runnings is 7/1

TQ VERDICT: Some promising mares on show here for this Novices’ Hurdle. But the clear top-rated in the field is the Dan Skelton-trained GET A TONIC. She was last seen running second in a Listed Mares race at Warwick and prior to that wasn’t disgraced when third to the promising Hillcrest at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. She should take all the beating here. Of the rest, Eureka Creek, Gazette Bourgeoise, Miss Fairfax, Holly Hartingo and So Said I have all shown a lot of promise in their opening runs and are certainly going the right way. They should be scrapping it out for the places. Of that lot, the Hughie Morrison-trained MISS FAIRFAX can give the selection most to think about. She beat Eureka Creek easily two runs back at Exeter and has since bolted up at Catterick, albeit at heavy odds-on.

2.55 – Virgin Bet Handicap Chase Cl2 2m90y ITV

10/10 – Priced 15/2 or shorter
7/10 – Aged between 6-8 years-old
6/10 – Placed 1st or 2nd last time out
4/10 – Raced at Musselburgh last time out
3/10 - Ridding by a claiming jockey
3/10 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/10 – Trained by Brian Ellison
8 of the last 9 winners carried 10st 11lbs or more

TQ VERDICT: With 8 of the last 9 winners carrying 10st 11lbs or more, then this would be a negative for the old boy - Bun Doran - and recent Musselburgh scorer Cedar Hill. Seven of the last 10 winners were aged between 6-8 too, so this might be seen as a negative for The Big Bite, Return Ticket and Bun Doran, who are all 9+. With all that in mind, the two of interest here are MALYSTIC and CHEDDLETON. The former is back from a 321-day break and a wind operation but is a horse that’s gone well fresh before. He’s also yet to finish out of the first two from four runs over fences and ran Gold Cup hope - Protektorat - to 7 lengths back in October 20. Cheddleton is a consistent chaser that has only been out of the first three over fences twice from 8 runs. The handicapper has helped a tad by dropping him another pound after running off the same mark in his last five races, which further backs up his consistency.

 

3.30 – Virgin Bet Grimthorpe Chase (A Handicap Chase) Cl2 3m2f ITV

17/17 – Aged 8 or older
16/17 – Won over at least 3m (fences) before
15/17 – Won no more than 4 times over fences
14/17 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
13/17 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
13/17 – Aged 9 or older
11/17 – From the top 3 in the betting
11/17 – Priced 11/2 or shorter in the betting
11/17 – Rated 131 or less
10/17 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
9/17 – Irish bred
8/17 – Raced over fences at Doncaster before (3 winners)
7/17 – Won their last race
4/17 – Went onto run in that season’s Grand National (no winners)
2/17 – Winning Favourites
8 year-olds have won 3 of the last 7 runnings

TQ VERDICT: ALL of the last 17 winners of this race have been aged 8 or older, which is a big negative for one of the leading fancies - Le Milos (7 years-old), who was a gutsy winner at Sandown last time out. The others that fall down on this age trend are Soyouthinksoagain (7) and Undersupervision (6). Storm Control can be expected to make another bold bid from the front - just as he did here last time in the Sky Bet Chase. But was collared late on that day and is also up 4lbs for that, plus has another two furlongs to travel. Former Ladbrokes Trophy Chase winner - Cloth Cap - would be a big player on that form but has a bit to prove after refusing at Ascot last time out. Powerstown Park won well last time but this looks harder. So, the call is to side with LEGENDS GOLD and SOYOUTHINKSOGAIN, despite his age. The former was pulled up at Wincanton last time out, but her trainer (Rebecca Curtis) started after the race she felt that run came too soon (10 days) after her previous second at Ludlow. She’s since had 44 days off to recover and also gets in here with just 10st 8lbs to carry, which is a 2lbs lower handicap mark. Soyouthinksoagain does have the age trend to defy, but he caught the eye winning easily at Catterick last time out and a 4lbs hike in the handicap for that looks fair. The Skelton yard also won this race a few years ago, while you feel with just four runs over fences, he should have more to come.

 

KELSO HORSE RACING TRENDS (ITV/RacingTV)

1.32 – bet365 Premier Kelso Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (4 yo+) 2m2f ITV

12/13 – Aged 7 or younger
12/13 – Favourites placed in the top three
11/13 – Raced in the last 7 weeks
11/13 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
9/13 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
9/13 – Had won at least twice over hurdles before
8/13 – Won last time out
8/13 – Ran in the last 4 weeks
6/13 – Had raced at Kelso before
6/13 – Irish bred
4/13 – Winning favourite
3/13– Ran at Musselburgh last time out
2/13 – Trained by Lucinda Russell

TQ VERDICT: Some nice novice hurdlers on show here, with 50% of the 10 runners having won last time out. NORTH LODGE is the most interesting though after a smooth win at Cheltenham at the end of January. That came in the Grade Two Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle and as a result of already winning at this level does have to give the others 5lbs here. That won’t be easy, but this Alan King runner stays further than this 2m2f trip (won over 2m4f last time). He had some promising sorts in behind that day, so you feel there is more in the locker from this 5 year-old, who is 2-from-2 so far over hurdles. Of the rest, the unbeaten Bold Endeavour looks a nice horse and has to be feared, along with Honneur D’Ajonc and It’s Good To Laugh, but the main threat to the selection can come from the Dan Skelton runner - SHOLOKJACK. A winner at Wetherby at the end of January, which followed on from his hurdles debut win at Leicester, plus the yard have a 33% record with their hurdlers at the track and also targeted this race 12 months ago with their classy My Drogo.

 

2.05 – bet365 Handicap Hurdle (Gbb Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m5f ITV

Just one previous run
Paul Nicholls trained the winner in 2021 (Flash Collonges)
Trainer Dan Skelton has a 33% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Keith Dalgleish has a 19% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Jane Williams is 2-from-2 with her hurdles at the track

TQ VERDICT: Famous Bridge was in the process of winning until unseating Brian Hughes at Kelso last time out - with a bit more luck would be one for the shortlist. Hart Of Steel will draw the eye of punters are two wins next to his name but is up another 4lbs here. Elvis Mail has been runner-up the last twice here and can go well, while course winner Kaizer, Get Out The Gate and Aurora Thunder are others to respect. But this could be another for the Dan Skelton yard as their 33% record with their hurdlers here is hard to ignore. They run - WILDE ABOUT OSCAR and FLASH THE STEEL. The former can be expected to be better for a recent fourth at Huntingdon as it came after 2 months off and a wind op. Dropped 4lbs too and having won off a 5lbs higher mark this time last year looks well-treated. Flash The Steel also would have needed the run last time at Wetherby (pulled up) as it came off a 445-day break. Prior to that lay-off he’d been very progressive so the fact he’s been dropped 5lbs since that last run and connections are also putting up Tristan Durrell to claim 7lbs is interesting.

2.40 – bet365 Premier Chase (Listed Race) (Gbb Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m 7 1/2f) ITV

7/8 – Ran in the last 6 weeks
7/8 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
7/8 – Didn’t win last time out
7/8 – Favourites placed 1st or 2nd
6/8 – Had run at the course before
6/8 – Placed 4th or better last time out
6/8 – Won over 3m plus in the past
6/8 – Won between 1-3 times over fences
6/8 – Aged 9 or older
5/8 – Irish bred
4/8 – Rated between 132-140 (inc)
3/8 – Ran at Haydock last time out
3/8 – Won by jockey Brian Hughes
3/8 – Winning favourite
Cloth Cap (10/3) won the race in 2021
The average winning SP in the last 8 runnings is 7/2

TQ VERDICT: Big River is a proven CD winner that’s won his last two races at this track but is up in grade here and will have more on his plate this time. It was hard to fault the Sky Bet Chase win of Windsor Avenue last time too - running down Storm Control to win by 3 ¼ lengths. He’s up 7lbs for that though and with 7 of the last 8 winners failing to win last time out we are happy to look away from these two recent winners. ESPOIR DE ROMAY looks to have a big chance after this recent third at Carlisle to Fiddlerontheroof. That came after a 205-day break so can be expected to be more ‘match fit’ this time. He’s the clear top-rated in the field and the step up in trip should be fine. Itchy Feet looks a big threat though after a close second to Two For Gold at Lingfield last time and the form of that has since been fracked with that horse running second in the Ascot Chase since. The worry would be the longer trip here and despite running well this season has now not won in his last 9 races. Of the others, NUTS WELL (e/w) can go well too. Pulled up in the race Windsor Avenue won last time but had a lot of weight that day. Out of handicap company will help for this course winner, who has actually won his last two races here at the Scottish venue.

 

3.15 – bet365 Morebattle Hurdle (Handicap Hurdle) (Gbb Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m ITV

10/10 – Returned 9/2 or shorter in the betting
10/10 – Had run in the last 3 months
9/10 – Carried 11-2 or more in weight
8/10 – Won at least twice over hurdles before
6/10 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
6/10 – Rated between 138-146
5/10 – Winning favourites
5/10 – Irish bred
3/10 – Won last time out
3/10 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/10 – Ridden by Brian Hughes
2/10 – Had won at the track before
2/10 – Ridden by Daryl Jacob
2/10 – Trained by Nicky Richards
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 7/4

TQ VERDICT: The Harry Fry-trained Metier was a good winner at Lingfield last time out, but the worry here would be that he’s up 7lbs for that and will the ground be soft enough for him? He’s at his best on soft/heavy ground really. The race has a nice subplot to it with the former 2-time Champion Hurdle winner - Buveur D’Air - in the line-up. He’s now 11 years-old though and it’s no secret he’s had his issues in recent seasons. He’s also back from a 331-day break and hasn’t won a race since 2019, albeit he’s only raced three times. The plus is that top jockey Nico de Boinville makes the trip up to ride, which looks a good sign he’s well at home, and Henderson has also won this race three times since 2012. Severance and Faivior have claims at fair prices, but the two of interest here are AUTUMN EVENING and CORMIER (e/w). The last-named just got the better of Severance last time at Cheltenham and can uphold that form on similar terms with just 10st 7lbs to carry. Autumn Evening heads over from the Jessie Harrignton yard in Ireland and was last seen running a decent third at Leopardstown during the Dublin Racing Festival. After Buveur D’Air, he’s the second top-rated in the field and at just 5 years-old and only 9 previous runs over hurdles should have more scope than most in the race.

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