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Saturday 9 March horse racing tips - Williams' 7/4 chance can land Hereford success

Brian Healy 9 Mar 2019
Hereford is one of six UK and Irish horse racing meetings going to post on Saturday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets across all of Saturday's scheduled UK and Irish horse racing meetings.

Saturday takes in six UK and Irish horse racing meetings, and it is Imperial Cup Day at Sandown where the classy handicap boasts a bonus for any horse winning that race and going on to win at the Cheltenham Festival.

Further jumps racing action on Saturday comes from the meetings at Hereford and Ayr, as well as from Gowran Park in Ireland.

Saturday’s all-weather action meanwhile comes from Wolverhampton in the afternoon, and from Kempton in the evening.

Sandown (jumps) - 1.20 - 4.45pm (7 races)
Gowran Park (jumps) - 1.25 - 5.25pm (8 races)
Wolverhampton (flat, aw) - 1.30 - 5.00pm (7 races)
Hereford (jumps) - 1.40 - 5.10pm (7 races)
Ayr (jumps) - 2.10 - 5.35pm (7 races)
Kempton (flat, aw) - 5.45 - 8.15pm (6 races)



(2.25) A typically competitive renewal of this famous handicap contest, and a bounty awaits the winner should they go on to score in any race at the Cheltenham Festival; SOLOMON GREY (8/1, Bet365) could prove the answer to a tricky puzzle, with Dan Skelton’s charge also holding a Coral Cup entry.

The Sulamani gelding showed progressive form last term as a novice, winning twice and making the frame on two other occasions behind the high class If The Cap Fits from his four hurdles starts last campaign.

He probably needed the run when disappointing at Doncaster in December, failing to beat a rival home behind Equus Amadeus; but he proved that run to be all wrong when finding only one too good in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton latest where he was beaten just over one length behind Big Time Dancer.

A first-time tongue-tie helped, and while the handicapper has been a bit harsh with a 6lbs rise in the weights, he could still have further improvement to come and the lightly-raced seven-year old remains relatively unexposed. As a soft ground winner previously, and proven over further than this two miles trip, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big effort from the Skelton runner.

Dan Skelton can get amongst the winners at Sandown, and his Solomon Grey can win the Imperial Cup.

(3.35) COMMODORE (9/2, Boylesport) got off the mark at the first time of asking over fences when scoring for Venetia Williams at Warwick on New Years’ Eve, and the Fragrant Mix gelding is worth chancing to follow up that success here.

A fair performer in France prior to joining the Williams team, he showed some useful form over timber last campaign, making the frame in starts at Towcester and Uttoxeter in testing ground; he possibly found the ground too lively when disappointing at Warwick on his final start.

But he returned from wind surgery and eight months off the track to run out a six lengths’ winner over Goodnight Charlie, making all the running to score readily. The handicapper has taken a dim view of that success, reacting with a 13lbs rise in the weights, although Hugh Nugent’s 7lbs claim offsets a chunk of that increase.

He jumped really well at Warwick, which will be an asset around this track if he turns in a similar round and he remains open to plenty of improvement in this sphere; he can follow up here with the potential for better still to come.

1.20 - The Knot Is Tied
1.50 - Russian Hawk
2.25 - Solomon Grey
3.00 - Silver Forever
3.35 - Commdore
4.10 - Enola Gay
4.45 - Duke Des Champs


(1.55) VOIX DES TIEP (9/4, Bet365) showed some solid form in a handful of starts in bumpers last term, winning at Thurles, and Willie Mullins’ charge has shaped well in both hurdles starts to date.

The Voix Du Nord gelding has finished runner-up each time, beaten a neck at Limerick behind Small Farm and then finding The Big Dog too strong at this venue latest when beaten six lengths.

The winner of that latter contest went on to run respectably in Grade One company at Leopardstown in February, while two other subsequent winners have come out of the race so the form looks good. He could well find some further improvement on the back of his runner-up efforts to go one better and open his account here.

(3.40) EX PATRIOT (2/1, Ladbrokes) was a very useful performer over hurdles, and Ellemarie Holden’s charge looks set to develop into a decent chaser judging on his three starts to date over the larger obstacles.

Fifth to the smart A Plus Tard at Naas on his debut over fences, he finished a goodo fourth behind Cilaos Emery subsequently at this venue; but he got off the mark at the third attempt with defeat of Benrubin at Thurles last month, scoring by one length.

His closest rival fell at the last, while the Elusive Pimpernel gelding wasn’t foot perfect himself, and his mistake robbed him of some valuable momentum. But he found enough to see out the race, and he looks fairly treated switching to a handicap here. 

While he does need to brush up somewhat on his jumping, he ought to be good enough to go close from this mark and he can follow up that last win.

1.25 - Edene D’arc
1.55 - Voix Des Tiep
2.30 - Father Jed
3.05 - From Eden
3.40 - Ex Patriot
4.15 - Minella Fair
4.50 - Sizing Coal
5.25 - Minella Melody


(2.05) It could be worth chancing on WAHASH (10/1, Paddy Power) to bounce back to winning form, and Richard Hannon’s Dark Angel gelding can post a big run.

Both wins for the five-year old have come at Lingfield, and he is yet to try this tapeta surface so it remains to be seen how he copes; but he has shown some fair form on turf since his last win on his seasonal reappearance last March, with his best effort since coming at Salisbury where he was beaten a nose behind Power Of Darkness.

Racing too keenly on soft ground at York was probably a factor in a disappointing run at York when last seen out, finishing sixth of seven runners behind Get Knotted; but this quicker surface could coincide with a better effort, and he has shown he can go well fresh.

Assuming the extended mile trip doesn’t catch him out on his reappearance then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going close, and he can get back to winning ways here as he did on his seasonal debut twelve months ago.

(3.15) OH THIS IS US (2/1, Ladbrokes) knows how to win races, and Richard Hannon’s charge has proven himself to be a very smart performer. 

The Acclamation gelding has won several valuable handicaps in his career already, as well as winning in Listed grade at Haydock and Chester, and he has also made the frame in Group company which includes finishing third to Mushtashry in a Group Two contest at Doncaster back in September.

The six-year old entire followed up that near miss with another when finding only Ostilio too strong in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Longchamp; and having bagged another silver medal on his reappearance at Wolverhampton following four months off, hie went one better at Lingfield latest with a defeat of Apex King.

He won cosily there despite carrying a big weight and not being ideally suited by the steady pace; but he should get a stronger gallop this time around, and he can confirm superiority over the runner-up with another win.

1.30 - Captain Lars
2.05 - Wahash
2.40 - Harbour Breeze
3.15 - Oh This Is Us 
3.50 - Nubough
4.25 - Merhoob
5.00 - This Girl

Oh This Is Us (4L) can strike again with success at Wolverhampton.


(2.15) ESPRIT DU LARGE (7/4, Ladbrokes) can quickly get back on the winning trail, with Evan Williams’ charge not judged too harshly on his latest fourth behind Mister Fisher at Haydock in January.

The No Risk At All gelding had won at Uttoxeter the time before on his hurdles debut, running out a wide margin winner over Eur Gone West despite still showing his inexperience; he was subsequently thrust into a decent contest last time out behind the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle hope.

Finishing fourth and beaten nine lengths, he ran much better than the bare result in the Rossington Main Hurdle, and he ought to appreciate this drop in class; he looks a nice prospect, and he can bounce back to winning form.  

(3.25) GOOD AND HARDY (3/1, Paddy Power) finished behind the reopposing Chase End Charlie at Exeter recently, with Fergal O’Brien’s charge beaten around 10 lengths behind that rival. However, the Westerner gelding could overturn that form here.

A point-to-point winner prior to joining this yard, he posted two good efforts in the mud when upped to three miles at Chepstow and Uttoxeter, latterly finding only Ardlethen too strong; this longer trip could help him to get more competitive, and with a good 7lbs claimer up he appears weighted now to go close.

It is still early days, and he could have further progress to come; he is chanced to reverse the finishing order with Henry Oliver’s charge here, and he can come out on top. 

1.40 - Top Decision
2.15 - Esprit Du Large
2.50 - Kings Monarch
3.25 - Good And Hardy
4.00 - Top And Drop
4.35 - Go Long
5.10 - Lygon Rock


(2.45) EMMA BEAG (7/4, Ladbrokes) emerged from a spell in the doldrums to get back to winning ways following 300 days off with a ready success at this venue back in January; Julia Brooke’s charge could be hard to beat with a repeat of that effort.

The Westerner gelding hadn’t tasted success for more than two years, with his last win coming when under the care of Liz Doyle in Ireland where he won at Sligo. He has been a slow burner for this yard, and a 9lbs rise asks more of him; but he ought to remain competitive, and it would be no surprise to see him going well again if turning out here in similar mood.

(3.20) TONTO’S SPIRIT (4/1, Boylesport) could be the one to side with in a trappy affair, and the Authorized gelding can open his account over fences at the second attempt.

Dianne Sayer’s charge returned from wind surgery to strike a win at Cartmel last May over hurdles, after which he chased home Le Patriote at this venue, finishing third.

Subsequently sent chasing, he was beaten four lengths behind a useful sort of Dan Skelton’s back at this track behind Destrier, jumping well but possibly doing too much too early.

He could have more to offer in this sphere, and likely to improve for that first experience of chasing then he can go one better here.

2.10 - Stoney Rover
2.45 - Emma Beag
3.20 - Tonto’s Spirit
3.55 - Derriana Spirt
4.30 - Better Getalong
5.05 - Glittering Love
5.35 - Milvale

Ayr are racing on Saturday.


(6.00) DERRY BOY (5/2, Paddy Power) has been far from disgraced in his runs to date, finding the frame on all three all-weather starts since joining David Evans from Clive Cox’s yard, and the Havana Gold gelding can open his account here.

He has twice finished runner-up, bagging silver medals at Lingfield and Kempton, and he possibly just found one mile stretching him at Lingfield latest when finishing six lengths’ fourth behind Reggae Runner.

The runner-up from that race has won since, and back down in trip here, he could bounce back with a better effort to get off the mark.

(7.30) LETHAL LUNCH (7/2, Boylesport) hasn’t been seen for six months, but Clive Cox’s charge can make a winning return to action.

The Lethal Force gelding struck on turf last term amid several solid efforts, beating File De Reve at Haydock in June; he subsequently got back to winning ways following a trio of in-the-frame finishes at Lingfield back in September.

He had almost three lengths to spare over Margub on that occasion, quickening clear to win readily, and he had a subsequent winner behind him. 

He did well to overcome the slow pace of that race, and while he has a 7lbs rise in the weights to overcome in this reappearance, he should remain competitive and he can win again.

5.30 - Legal Mind
6.00 - Derry Boy
6.30 - Hackbridge
7.00 - Nylon Speed
7.30 - Lethal Lunch
8.00 - Treacherous
8.30 - Merchant Of Venice

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Saturday 9 March horse racing tips - Williams' 7/4 chance can land Hereford success

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets across all of Saturday's scheduled UK and Irish horse racing meetings.

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