Saturday best bets and tips – Selections for Taunton, Ascot, Haydock and Newcastle
Horse racing best bets on Saturday 23 January
With four more UK horse racing fixture potentially heading to post on Saturday we’ve picked out our best bets and tips for the day’s racing action.
It is fingers crossed for Saturday’s UK horse racing action that the weather doesn’t affect the day’s line-up of meetings although both Haydock and Taunton will have to pass morning inspections in order to race.
In addition to those two classy fixtures, both of which feature some excellent racing action there is also Grade One racing to look forward to at Ascot with the Clarence House Chase and there are so far no reported issues with racing at the Berkshire venue.
Completing the Saturday line-up of horse racing action is an evening all-weather racecard on the tapeta at Newcastle under the floodlights. We’ve looked over all four cards in hope there are no problems with any of the fixtures and have picked out our best bets and tips for the day’s racing action.
SATURDAY BEST BETS AND TIPS – SELECTIONS FOR TAUNTON, ASCOT, HAYDOCK & NEWCASTLE
2:05 Haydock – Unibet Extra Place Races Every Day Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 3m½f
It’s a long time since CLYNE last got his head in front but Evan Williams’ charge could be worth siding with to end his losing streak and get back on the scoresheet.
The veteran Hernando gelding posted his best effort for a while when finding only Queenohearts too strong over this course and distance in December in similar conditions and he was still in contention when falling at Chepstow earlier this month in the race won by Storm Arising although perhaps beginning to feel the pinch when headed.
This represents a drop back in class and he’s proven in the ground and over course and distance so he could be capable of a big run if none the worse for his recent tumble.
2:25 Ascot – Matchbook Best Odds Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-135) 3m
COBOLOBO wasn’t entirely reliable last term but he did manage to score a win at Haydock prior to taking in the Mandarin Chase at Newbury where he finished fifth and the test of the Devon National probably proved too much for him.
The Maresca Sorrento gelding has looked more assured this campaign and he represents a yard amongst the winners hailing from Jonjo O’Neill’s stable that has been in good form of late. Runner-up on his return at Exeter he responded well to cheekpieces back at that venue in December where he ran out a comfortable winner over Butterwick Brook and he can follow up here.
That form was boosted when the third horse home won next time and although 8lbs higher there could be more still to come and he can make his presence felt.
2:45 Taunton – Invest Southwest Seniors’ Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (8yo+) 2m3f
THIBAULT is on a hat-trick over hurdles having won both starts over timber since joining Adam West and the Kayf Tara can make it three wins for the yard.
His latest success came in heavy ground at Hereford in December where he was scoring under a penalty when beating Sexy Lot by a half-length under this rider and he was subsequently far from disgraced back on the flat at Kempton earlier this month where he was given too much to do.
The form of his last hurdles win received a small boost when the fourth subsequently chased home easy winner Sandymount Rose earlier this week and while he’s up again in the weights his young rider can use his full claim this time around. There’s a suspicion that this mark is workable still and he ought to be in the mix.
3:50 Haydock – Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-130) 2m½f
The run might have come too soon for LE COUER NET when disappointing in his hat-trick bid at Chepstow last month but the Network gelding could bounce back from that effort having been given more of a break between runs.
Anthony Honeyball’s charge had previously struck heavy ground wins at Plumpton and Ffos Las under this rider and he was possibly not suited by the strong pace when last seen at Chepstow where he finished fourth to Supreme Escape under a penalty.
That run had come just six days on from his earlier win but he’s been given a breather since and he’s 3lbs lower in the weights for this latest outing which sees him drop back to two miles. With conditions also no issue he can post a better effort and he can get involved for all this is probably a slightly stronger race than he’s been contesting of late.
4:00 Taunton – Newton King Estate Agents Mares’ Handicap Chase (Challenger Mares’ Chase Series Qualifier) Cl4 (5yo+ 0-120) 2m5½f
It might be worth giving another chance to AGENT VALDEZ who is still unexposed over fences after three starts and Fergal O’Brien’s charge opened her account in this sphere when running out a ready winner at Leicester in December.
The Arvico mare didn’t jump well on her next outing at Cheltenham but possibly felt that race coming too soon just eight days on from her win and she’ll be fresher this time having had more of a break.
She does have another 2lbs on her back to contend with but this looks an easier race than she contested last time and these fences are less demanding than the Cheltenham obstacles so she could bounce back with a better run.
4:10 Ascot – Matchbook Betting Exchange British EBF ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (GBB Race) Cl3 (4-7yo) 2m5½f
VALLERES won a point-to-point in Ireland prior to joining the Alan King team and the Coastal Path gelding made just one start for that yard last term where he finished third in a Kempton bumper.
Since switching to hurdling however he’s looked a potentially smart prospect, overcoming inexperience to score at Wetherby on his return and hurdles debut before finding only one too good over this trip at Ludlow where the better ground was possibly just too quick.
Last seen finishing runner-up to the impressive Star Gate in a Grade Two at Sandown this is a much more suitable contest so he could get back to winning ways with the underfoot conditions no issue while the easier grade ought to be well within his ability so he could hold big claims here of a return to winning ways.
4:40 Newcastle – Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Handicap Cl6 (3yo 0-55) 1m
KINGDOM FOUND posted his best run to date last time out despite only finishing seventh behind Fast Emma, beaten just over one length and it might be worth giving the Kingman filly another chance to build on that better effort.
James Fanshawe’s charge didn’t threaten to get seriously involved but she ran on well from the rear and there could be a small race in her if she can build on that better run and granted a stronger pace to aim at.
That isn’t guaranteed here but Danny Tudhope takes the reins for this latest start and still with the potential for better she can make her presence felt in a poor race.
5:40 Newcastle – Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Handicap Cl4 (4yo+ 0-85) 7f
TINTORETTO can get back on the winning trail having gone close at Wolverhampton earlier in the month at Wolverhampton and a repeat of that effort could be good enough to see the Lilbourne Lad gelding go one better.
A dual-winner last campaign, scoring twice at Kempton under Tom Marquand who is in the saddle again he was beaten only a neck in that last outing behind Baby Steps and the application of cheekpieces for the first time could deliver some improvement in Tom Ward’s charge who is only 2lbs higher in the weights.
Quite a few of these rivals arrive on the back of lesser efforts last time so treated as if form he could prove the answer here.