Saturday horse racing best bets – Tips for the day’s quintet of UK fixtures
We give our Saturday horse racing best bets for the day’s quintet of meetings across the UK including day two of the Cheltenham International Meeting.
There’s plenty of top-class horse racing action to look forward to on Saturday where five meetings go to post including the second day of the Cheltenham International Meeting where the self-titled Grade Two International Hurdle is the feature of the day on a racecard that also includes the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup.
Elsewhere there is also Grade Two racing action on the card at Doncaster with the Summit Juvenile Hurdle and December Novices’ Chase both on the agenda on Town Moor; while Hereford also race over the sticks on Saturday.
The day also plays host to two all-weather meetings with afternoon action at Newcastle, and evening racing under the floodlights at Wolverhamton to complete the day’s line-up. We’ve looked over each of the day’s cards and we pick out our Saturday horse racing best bets and tips.
SATURDAY HORSE RACING BEST BETS – TIPS FOR CHELTENHAM, DONCASTER, HEREFORD, WOLVERHAMPTON & NEWCASTLE
12:55 Doncaster – bet365 Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f
WILD MAX looked progressive last term for Paul Nicholls following his switch from the flat in Germany, winning back-to-back at Taunton before shaping as if amiss at Musselburgh on his final start of the campaign.
Subsequently absent until returning at Cheltenham in October the Maxios gelding travelled well in that race before being badly hampered two out and losing his position. He still stayed on well though although he was overhauled late for the bronze medal and eventually finished fourth.
That form looks quite solid and the Ditcheat runner made no mistake next time out where he struck by a neck over Constancio at Huntingdon, arguably value for more. He’s been raised 6lbs for that but his rider can offset that extra burden by claiming 7lbs and he should continue to make his presence felt where he can enhance his good win record.
1:15 Cheltenham – Spreadex Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m½f
Lightly-raced in this sphere ZANZA could continue to improve over the larger obstacles and Philip Hobbs’ charge can follow up his latest win.
The Arcadio gelding proved a very useful hurdler last term, winning at Newbury prior to contesting Grade Three contests which include here where he finished a creditable sixth to Harambe in the Greatwood Hurdle.
He did disappoint however on his final run of the campaign at the Cheltenham Festival but he’s returned this term to tackle fences and he’s been in good fettle, bettering his finishing position each time.
Fourth on his debut at Newton Abbot he chased home subsequent Grade One scorer Allmankind at Warwick before readily getting off the mark two weeks ago at Newbury where he ran out a five lengths’ victor despite jumping right at times. A 7lbs rise in the weights for that outing might not prevent further progress and still unexposed over fences he looks worth sticking with to go close in this contest.
1:22 Hereford – starsports.bet Watch And Bet For Free Mares’ Handicap Chase (Hereford Mares’ Series Fnl) (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 3m1f
KAPGA DE LILY could be worth sticking with as the Kapgarde mare chases a hat-trick of wins and Venetia Williams’ charge can collect.
A hurdles winner earlier in her light career she has taken well to fencing, shaping with promise on her chase debut at Ffos Las back in March and returning from eight months off to strike at Bangor with an eight lengths’ defeat of Volcano.
That performance was bettered when she went in again upped to this trip at Chepstow, scoring by a similar margin under this rider and she can progress further despite a 9lbs rise in the ratings and stepping up again in class.
1:30 Doncaster – bet365 Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Northern Lights Mares’ Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl4 (4yo+ 0-110) 3m½f
THATS THE TRUTH twice finished in the frame in the point-to-point sphere prior to joining this yard and Jonjo O’Neill’s charge has run well on all starts over timber to date, finding only one too good at Huntingdon back in March and possibly needing the run at Perth when last seen in October on her reappearance.
The Darsi mare switches to handicapping now where a mark of 112 might not overestimate her, while she has the services of a very good 7lbs claimer for this outing which eases her burden at the weights.
Also tried over a longer trip which could unlock some improvement she looks worth chancing in a competitive contest where she can go close.
2:20 Newcastle – Betway Conditions Stakes (All Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier) Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f
RAINBOW DREAMER is 0-2 here but Alan King’s charge can get back on the winning trail and the smart Aqlaam gelding ought to go close.
A four-time winner last term, three of which came at Kempton with the other at Wolverhampton she hasn’t been disgraced in either start at this venue, possibly needing the run in the Sagaro Stakes in June when finishing fourth and he ran at least as well in the Northumberland Plate where he finished fifth and beaten just over two lengths.
He’s been raised another 4lbs in the ratings and there is a slight worry he could just need this latest run back from six months off and his record fresh doesn’t instil confidence. However on the pick of his form he rates a major player and if fully wound up on his return then he ought to go close.
3:30 Newcastle – Play Ladbrokes 5-A-Side On Football Nursery Handicap Cl5 (2yo 0-75) 6f
ANNIE ROSE won back-to-back races over this trip at Wolverhampton in August and the Equiano filly is taken to get back to winning ways here.
David Barron’s charge failed to make an impact when tried in a Class 2 contest at Doncaster in September where he finished down the field from 4lbs out of the weights; but back in a more suitable contest she went close to a return to winning ways when denied by less than one length behind Mutasallem.
She was possibly given too much to do on that occasion, finishing well but not quite getting to the front two and she could get back on the scoresheet here from just 2lbs higher for her in-form yard.
3:35 Cheltenham – Close Brothers Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f
AGGY WITH IT is the choice of Harry Skelton from the Skelton pair in this race and the decision could pay dividends with the progressive Presenting mare fancied to land a hat-trick of wins.
A bumper winner at Market Rasen last March, she wasn’t convincing in a pair of hurdles starts last term where she fell on debut before beating only one home at Newbury and she was subsequently absent for almost eleven months.
Not disgraced on her return back at Market Rasen where she found only one too good she has posted solid wins in subsequent runs there and at Taunton, latterly beating Fitzroy by almost four lengths readily.
Now tackling handicaps where an opening 127 doesn’t look prohibitive she can progress again and likely there’s more to come from her. Assuming she handles the softer ground here then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see her in the mix.
5:45 Wolverhampton – Play 4 To Win At Betway Handicap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-85) 1m1½f
DAHEER is 2-3 at this venue and Mark Loughnane’s charge is taken to bounce back to winning ways.
The Speightstown colt registered both of those success over this trip either side of a three months’ break and switching yards, posting the first of them for Owen Burrows and then doubling up on his stable debut in November.
Having possibly just been stretched by the longer trip latest where the race was run at a crawl he might prefer this likely stronger pace dropping back in trip and he could be capable of going close having been dropped 1lb in the weights and no shock if she were to collect the win here.