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2nd March 2024

Saturday Racing Tips and Trends: 8th January 2022

Another big day for the ITV4 horse racing cameras as they move to Wincanton and Sandown for more LIVE coverage, with the day’s feature race the Unibet Tolworth Hurdle.

Did you know? 14 of the last 17 Tolworth Hurdle winners came from the top three in the market.

Like every Saturday, here at TQ we take you through all the key trends and stats to help you whittle down the runners and hopefully find a few winners.


Sandown Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV4)


1.50 – Unibet Horserace Betting Operator Of The Year Handicap Chase Cl2 2m ITV4

15/15 – Won over at least 2m (chase) previously
14/15 – Ran within the last 2 months
14/15 – Priced 17/2 or shorter
12/15 – From the top 3 in the betting
12/15 – Won between 1-4 times over fences in the UK previously
11/15 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
11/15 – Officially rated 134 or higher
11/15 – Favourites placed
10/15 – Never raced at Sandown
10/15 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
9/15 – Aged either 8 or 9 years-old
8/15 – Irish bred
8/15 – Winning Favourites
7/15 – Unplaced last time out
4/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
4/15 – Went onto win a race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (Champion Chase, Grand Annual)
4/15 – Won their last race
4/15 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
Trainer Philip Hobbs has won 2 of the last 6 runnings
Ibleo won the race in 2021
Locker Room Talk won the race in 2020
Darebin won the race in 2019 and was 4th in 2020

TQ VERDICT: The Nick Williams-trained MOONLIGHTER was only fifth in this race 12 months ago, but he followed that up with a CD win at this same track on his next run and returns here on a 3lbs lower mark than that win and 6lbs lower than when running in this race last year. The soft/heavy ground will be fine and can be expected to be much fitter for his two runs this season. Harry Cobden catches the eye in the saddle too. Of the others, the Tom George runner Bun Doran continues to look well-handicapped off a mark of 134 (was as high as 160 at his peak) but is now an 11 year-old and has won just one of his last 14 races. The consistent GUNSIGHT RIDGE should run his race again and the form of his recent second to L’Homme Presse has since been franked with that horse winning well again since so it’s hard to crab his chance - he rates the main danger to Moonlighter for me. Numitor is another consistent performer but continues to creep up the handicap and is another 2lbs higher this time after a second at Newbury at the end of November. Monsieur Lecoq needs to bounce back from two average runs, while Paddy’s Poem is back from a break so will need to be spot on against more race fit rivals. Up The Straight, who won well at Plumpton back in October, is interesting back in trip after seemingly getting tired in decent races at Cheltenham and Ascot last time.


2.25 – Unibet Tolworth Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 2m110y ITV4

16/17 – Won over at least 2m (hurdles) before
16/17 – Placed 1st or 2nd in their last race
16/17 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
15/17 – Priced  5/1 or shorter
15/17 – Won by a horse aged either 5 or 6 years-old
14/17 – Won between 1-2 times over hurdles previously
14/17 – Came from the top three in the market
13/17 – Won last time out
12/17 – Placed favourites
11/17 – Winners that went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
11/17 – Won by an Irish bred horse
9/17 – Won by a horse aged 5 years-old
9/17 – Winning Favourites
5/17 – Ran at either Sandown (3) or Newbury (2) last time out
4/17 – Won by the Paul Nicholls stable
3/17 – Won by the Nicky Henderson stable
3/17 – Ran at Sandown before
2/17 – Won by the Jonjo O’Neill stable
2/17 – Won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle later that season (Summerville Boy, 2018 & Noland, 2006)
1/17 - Won the Neptune Investment Hurdle later that season (Yorkhill 2016)
5 or 6 years-old have won 23 of the last 29 runnings
Since 1988 ALL winners have been aged 7 or younger
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 3/1

TQ VERDICT: Some exciting Novice Hurdlers on show here, but it’s the Nicky Henderson-trained CONSTITUTION HILL that’s gone into many a notebook after his 14-length romp on hurdles debut over this course and distance last month. He showed a cracking turn of foot that day to win with any amount in-hand and currently sits as second favourite in the ante-post market for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle - another win here and he could be challenging stablemate - Jonbon - for the market leaders berth in that Festival curtain raiser. He’s taken to add to the recent Henderson winners in this race in 2012, 2014 and 2015. His main rivals look to be Datsalrightgino, who battled on well to win a nice race at Cheltenham last time out and is sure to be well-suited by the hill here at Sandown - the concern would be that his recent wins have been on much quicker ground. Jetoile has won his last two in decent fashion and could make a bold bid from the front, but those wins have come over 2m4f so you just fear that something with a tiny bit more toe will improve past him. The Moore yard look to have another fair novice hurdler on their hands in Shallwehaveonemore, while it’s interesting that the Newland camp introduce the unraced over hurdles Whizz Kid in at the deep end - he’s a former useful flat winner over in France and won’t mind the ground, it just depends if his jumping holds up. The danger to the Henderson horse though can come from the Paul Nicholls-trained Mr Glass. This 6 year-old has won both starts over hurdles (Chepstow and Newcastle) and we know he stays further than this 2m trip. But, like a few others, I just worry that Constitution Hill might be too pacey for him over this distance.


3.00 - Unibet Veterans´ Handicap Chase Final (The Final of The 2021 Veterans´ Chase Series) Cl2 3m37y ITV4

Just 6 previous runnings
Trainers Anthony Honeyball, Venetia Williams, Evan Williams, Charlie Longsdon, David Pipe and Sandy Thomson are past winners
6/6 – Ran in last 4 weeks
5/6 – 4+ wins over fences
5/6 – Unplaced last time out
5/6 – Carried 11-3 or less in weight
4/6 – Winners aged 11 or 12 years-old
4/6 – Unplaced favourites
4/6 – Officially rated between 135-145
2/6 – Winning favourite (joint)
Seeyouatmidnight won the race in 2021
Jepeck won the race in 2020

TQ VERDICT: Some old faces on show here for this Vets race, with the minimum age being 9+, but all the runners here are 11+. CD winner, Wandrin Star beat another runner here - Dancing Shadow - by 1 ½ lengths here last time and is only up 3lbs for that. Gwencily Berbas, Indy Five and Final Nudge are the three other recent winners in the field so have to be respected coming here in form, but I think there’s another race in the Venetia Williams-trained ASO. The yard took this prize in 2019 and this 12 year-old showed he’s still loving his racing with a cracking second at Haydock last time out in a similar race. He was beaten only 3 ¾ lengths behind the back-to-form Blaklion that day but is down slightly in trip here, which should help. He’s up 2lbs for that run, but is still very well-treated off a mark of 149, having been as high as 158 only last March. Sir Ivan and Valadom can go well too, but the other pick is the Philip Hobbs runner - ROLLING DYLAN (e/w) - who ran a solid second here last time and gets in here with just 10-5 to carry - last time he had 11-2! The softer ground is okay too (has won in similar conditions) and Michael Nolan, who knows the horse well, is back in the saddle.


3.35 – Unibet Casino Deposit £10 Get £40 Handicap Hurdle Cl2 2m110y ITV4

14/16 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles in the UK before
13/16 – Ran within the last 8 weeks
13/16 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
11/16 – Unplaced last time out
10/16 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
9/16 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
8/16 – Went onto finish unplaced in a Cheltenham Festival race that season
7/16 – Priced a double-figure price in the betting
7/16 – Raced at either Ascot (3) or Cheltenham (4) last time out
7/16 – From the top 3 in the betting
7/16 – Officially rated between 127 and 132
5/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
5/16 – Won last time out
4/16 – Irish bred
2/16 – Trained by Oliver Sherwood
2/16 – Trained by the Pipe stable
2/16 – Trained by Venetia Williams
2/16 – Winning favourites
4 of the last 8 winners were ridden by a claiming jockey
Guard Your Dreams won this race in 2021

TQ VERDICT: The Gary Moore-trained NATURAL HISTORY (e/w) missed a race in the week but might be worth giving another chance too after running too free in his races recently. He’s clearly got ability and was sent off favourite for the Imperial Cup here last March, but flopped that day. He’s back here with just 10-0 to carry and is rated 13lbs lower than that day too. Mack The Knife is only up 3lbs for a recent neck win at Exeter and can also be expected to have improved for that run as it came off a 242-day break too. Hermes Boy is the other recent winner in the field - also successful at Exeter - but is 5lbs higher here and this looks a better race. The consistent Volkovka is another that should go well, but a chance is taken on the Ian Williams runner - HYDOPLANE (e/w) - who possibly just needed the run back last time at Doncaster when pulled up. He rounded off last season on a high and has won on softer ground in the past as well. He’s down a pound here and in this better race has only 10-2 to carry and jockey Charlie Todd takes off a further 3lbs.



Wincanton Horse Racing Betting Trends (RacingTV/ITV4)


1.30 - Stalbridge Handicap Hurdle Cl5 (4yo+ 0-105) 1m7f ITV4

Only 3 previous runnings
3/3 - Aged 7 or 8 years-old
2/3 - Returned a double-figure price
2/3 - Carried 11-8 or more in weight
0/3 - Winning favourites
Trainers Ben Pauling, Chris Gordon and Ron Harris have won this race before

TQ VERDICT: Not the best of races, so the safe call looks to be side with the horses in-form. With that in-mind, the Anthony Honeyball-trained MIDNIGHT CALLISTO gets the nod. This 7 year-old was a close second at Taunton last month and even though she’s up 5lbs for that is clearly in-form and it’s interesting the cheekpieces are on for the first time too. Regular jockey - Ben Godfrey - who can claim a handy 5lbs remains in the saddle. Kendelu’s winning run came to an end last time at Huntingdon and despite being a few pounds lower looks to be in the handicapper’s grip now. Pittsburg and Mi Laddo can go well too, but after an easy 6 length win last time at Newcastle, the Neil Mulholland runner - PLANNED PARADISE - can also go well. He’s up 11lbs for that success, which looks a bit harsh, but that was only his fourth run over hurdles so should have more to come.

2.05 - Hatherleigh Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-130) 1m 7 1/2f ITV4

Only 2 previous runnings
2/2 - Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
2/2 - Carried 10-10 or more in weight
2/2 - Aged 9 or younger
Trainers Milton Harris and Colin Tizzard have won this race before
Trainer Sam Thomas has a 75% record at the track with his chasers
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a 26% record at the track with his chasers
Trainer Tom George is just 1 from 44 (2%) with his chasers at the track

TQ VERDICT: The Tom George yard are just 1 from 44 (2%) with their chasers at the course so their Casa Tall has this stat to overcome, but he’s been running well this season with a win and two top three finishes to suggest he’s one for the shortlist. In contrast, the Paul Nicholls (26%) and Sam Thomas (75%) yards have better records with their chasers at the track so their entries Grey Diamond and Glajou will be popular too. Desque De L’Isle and CD winner Le Coeur Net are others to note, but the two to play here are BELLE DE MANECH, who was an easy 14 length winner last time, and OUT OF THE TEAR. The former is up 10lbs for that last win but won with a lot in-hand, plus with that win coming here at Wincanton then we know the track is fine. Out On A Tear also won last time out (Catterick) and will need to improve on that in this better race and up 6lbs here too. But has now hit the top two (2 wins) from his 6 runs over fences so could have more to offer - also acts on all ground.


2.40 - Montague Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m 5 1/2f ITV4

5/5 - Ran in the last 6 weeks
4/5 - Returned 8/1 or shorter
4/5 - Aged between 5-7 years-old
4/5 - Won just once over hurdles before
3/5 - Finished in the top 3 last time out
3/5 - Unplaced favourites
3/5 - Had won over 2m4f (or further) over hurdles
2/5 - Winning favourites
2/5 - Had won a NH Flat race before

TQ VERDICT: The Tom George yard are just 1 from 44 (2%) with their chasers at the course so their Golden Emblem and Getalead are the two proven CD winners in the field so have to be considered, while the unexposed Crossing The Bar seems to be going the right way after an improved third at Ffos Las last time out - that was only his second run over hurdles and should be winning before too long. Mister Sweets, Earth Business and Straight Swap have cases but the two here to play are NICKELSONTHEDIME and BLAIRGOWRIE. The last-named comes from the Nicky Henderson yard and has only had two previous runs over hurdles. The last was a fair third at Uttoxeter and the longer trip looks a good move - James Bowen, who Henderson often turns to, gets the ride. Nicklesonthedime is the other pick, and this Kayley Woollocott runner ran really well to be a close fourth last time at Exeter and the form of that run has been franked since with the winner - Tip Top Cat - winning again. He's only a pound higher and the useful Fergus Gillard takes over in the saddle to claim 3lbs.

3.15 - Kingwell Lodge Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 2m4f ITV4

10/10 – Raced in the last 6 weeks
8/10 – Finished in the top 6 last time out
8/10 – Aged between 7-9 years-old
8/10 – Won between 1-2 times over fences before
8/10 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
7/10 – Carried 11-5 or less in weight
7/10 – Favourites that finished in the top 3
5/10 – French bred
2/10 – Ran at Exeter last time out
2/10 – Trained by Tom George
2/10 - Trained by Philip Hobbs
1/10 – Winning favourite
1/10 – Won last time out

TQ VERDICT: Several of the six runners here have a bit to prove. The Paul Nicholls yard won this race last year so their Mont Des Avaloirs will be trying to follow that up. But is back from a 455-day break so even though coming from this powerful yard is sure to be well-tuned up I’m still happy to look elsewhere. Stolen Silver looks a safe option and is arguably the one to beat based on his runs this season and this will be easier than the Grade One Henry VIII Chase at Sandown last time. The slight worry though is that he’s won just one of his 6 runs over fences and I’m not sure this step up to 2m4f will suit. On his best form, Slate House would be a huge player and has dropped to a mark of 134 - that’s 14lbs lower than just 2 years ago. But he’s now not won since 2019 and 8 races. However, a chance is taken on the Emma Lavelle runner - KILLER CLOWN, who was running well last time over 2m6f before getting tired. He’s now had two runs this season and two since a wind op over the summer. He's also 5lbs lower than when returning this season and has run well with give underfoot in the past too. With the tongue-tie also on to assist he looks ready to kick on again and it would be no shock to see a return to form from this 8 year-old. Of the rest, Notre Pari can do best of the others.