Saturday horse racing tips 11 January – Sherwood’s 6/4 chance can pay the Bill at Kempton

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

Saturday sees six UK and Irish horse racing meetings going to post, and there is classy action taking place on the jumps racing cards at Kempton and Warwick; while Wetherby are also racing over the sticks with a competitive card alongside Fairyhouse in Ireland.

The day’s all-weather fixtures come from Lingfield’s polytrack surface in the afternoon, while in the evening they are racing at Chelmsford which also races on polytrack.

Lingfield (flat, aw) – 12.15 – 3.40pm (7 races)
Kempton (jumps) – 12.20 – 3.45pm (7 races)
Fairyhouse (jumps) – 12.25 – 3.50pm (7 races)
Wetherby (jumps) – 12.30 – 3.55pm (7 races)
Warwick (jumps) – 12.40 – 4.00pm (7 races)
Chelmsford (flat, aw) – 4.15 – 7.15pm (7 races)



(12.50) DREAM MAGIC (SP) won over this course and distance last April, and the Lord Shanakill gelding ended a seven-run losing streak when beating Fayetta at Wolverhampton on his penultimate run, scoring by just over four lengths.

Mark Loughnane’s charge wasn’t in the same form on Boxing Day over the same course and distance where he finished ten lengths’ fourth behind Clap Your Hands, but he could bounce back here having seen that form franked by the winner going in again since.

This is an easier grade and Richard Kingscote takes over from a 7lbs claimer for this assignment, and the pair can defy a wide draw to get back to winning ways.

(1.25) TOTAL COMMITMENT (5/2, Coral) won three times last term for Roger Charlton which included twice on the all-weather at Kempton, and the Exceed and Excel gelding can get back on the winning trail having shaped encouragingly on his first start for new handler Peter Hedger at Wolverhampton last month.

That was his first try on tapeta, and although only finishing fourth to Reeves he was beaten less than two lengths having perhaps gone off too hard.

Back on polytrack for this latest outing, he probably needs a shade more to defy this mark; but it wouldnt’ come as a surprise to see him find more improvement and he can get back on the winning trail.

12.15 – Agent Of Fortune
12.50 – Dream Magic
1.25 – Total Commitment
2.00 – Red Mist
2.35 – Marmalade Day
3.10 – Mrs Upjohn
3.40 – Holiday Magic

Lingfield are racing on Saturday.


(1.30) SAMMY BILL (6/4, William Hill) is 2-2 since switching to chasing, and Oliver Sherwood’s charge can land the hat-trick here.

Placed in a point-to-point for Johnny Hurley prior to joining this yard, his three starts over hurdles last term included finishing third behind Ferrobin, and he returned from a break to score at the first time of asking over fences with a course and distance defeat of Celtic Joy.

That success was followed up by an impressive victory over Fixed Rate at Aintree in December, and there could be better still to come from him despite being hit hard in the weights.

Assuming he can handle this softer ground then he ought to go close, and every chance he can collect his three-timer here.

(3.15) TOUCH KICK (4/1, Unibet) is taken to get back on the winning trail in receipt of 9lbs from On The Blind Side, and Paul Nicholls’ charge can bounce back from a slightly disappointing effort when last seen out.

The Presenting gelding is already a four-time winner over fences, scoring his latest success at Fakenham on his reappearance in October, and he possibly was unsuited by the drop in trip last time out at Aintree behind Hogan’s Height in the Grand Sefton Chase.

He made a couple of mistakes over the Grand National obstacles, but he plugged on well enough and will be suited by a return to this longer trip and more conventional fences so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see an improved effort here.

The handicapper has eased him 1lb in the weights following that outing, and he made the frame on his only previous start here over hurdles. With soft ground no issue, he can post a big run where he can make the most of the weight he receives from Nicky Henderson’s rival.

12.20 – Fraser Island
12.55 – Saint Xavier
1.30 – Sammy Bill
2.05 – Frodon
2.40 – Burrows Edge
3.15 – Touch Kick
3.45 – Never Adapt


(1.00) FLYING RISK (SP) won a Limerick bumper last summer, beating Majestic Maid, and although the Shirocco mare was beaten into sixth behind Vegas Blue in a Huntingdon bumper latest she could be worth chancing to resume winning ways now faced with hurdles.

That was a Listed contest which Gordon Elliott’s charge faced last time, and she might just have needed the outing after almost five months off the track; but she ought to strip fitter now, and switching to hurdles she could find another jolt of improvement.

Sure to have been well schooled ahead of this hurdles debut she is taken to make a winning introduction and could prove tough to beat if taking well to the jumps game.

(2.10) AVENIR D’UNE VIE (9/2, William Hill) has proven to be a very useful sort over both hurdles and fences, and he won three times for previous handler Henry de Bromhead as well as making the frame on several other occasions.

The Lavirco gelding joined Gordon Elliott following a lacklustre effort at Listowel last September, and he wasted no time in getting off the mark for his new stable when running out a seven lengths’ winner over Doctor Phoenix at this venue in November and he can quickly follow up despite a 8lbs rise for that win now demanding more from him.

He still has some scope to improve as a chaser and he can give another good account on just his second outing for the Meath handler.

12.25 – Wolf Prince
1.00 – Flying Risk
1.35 – Alohamora
2.10 – Avenir D’une Vie
2.45 – Annamix
3.20 – Isle Of Destiny
3.50 – Five Bar Brian

Gordon Elliott can saddle winners on Saturday’s Fairyhouse racecard.


(1.05) ANNIE MC (SP) won a Grade Two contest over hurdles at Newbury last term, adding to an earlier success at Chepstow, and having run well on her reappearance in a Listed hurdle at Kempton in November she made a winning transition to chasing with a defeat of If You Say Run at Wincanton on Boxing Day.

Jonjo O’Neill’s Mahler mare struck readily by four lengths, and while that form is perhaps only ordinary she is likely to have significant improvement to come over the larger obstacles.

She showed testing ground to be of no concern with that bloodless win, and although this is a tougher test of her credentials she could prove to be a very progressive sort over fences and she can remain unbeaten over fences here.

(1.40) PENNY MALLOW (SP) won a Fakenham bumper last February, and Venetia Williams’ charge was subsequently highly tried in a Cheltenham bumper in April where she ran creditably in defeat behind Mystic Dreamer.

The Kapgarde mare made a winning reappearance when faced with hurdles for the first time at Plumpton in November, beating Outonpatrol by three lengths in heavy ground and he ought to strip fitter for that outing so every chance he can progress on the back of that win.

He still looked a shade inexperienced on that occasion so he’s likely to have learned plenty for the outing, and there could be some scope for better so she is chanced to follow up here and make it 2-2 over hurdles although this does look to be quite a deep race.

12.30 – Coconut Splash
1.05 – Annie Mc
1.40 – Penny Mallow
2.15 – Ballyvic Boru
2.50 – Big Bad Bear
3.25 – Eclair De Guye
3.55 – Maridadi


(1.15) MASTER WORK (10/3, Coral) made a winning reappearance from almost six months off the track when successful at Fontwell back in October, and the ground might have been too testing for him when pulling up behind Saint Calvados at Cheltenham on his next outing.

Philip Hobbs’ charge has bounced back from that disappointment with successive runner-up efforts at Ludlow, not beaten far latest behind Caid Du Lin, and the Network gelding might be capable of getting back to winning ways here.

A course and distance winner over hurdles, he handles soft ground but perhaps would prefer slightly better conditions than he’ll get here; but from just 1lb higher in the handicap he can give a good account back at this track and every chance he can resume winning ways.

(2.25) Colin Tizzard has made a bit of a habit of landing big weekend prizes, and HARRY SENIOR (6/1, Paddy Power) could be another success story for the Dorset handler with the Oscar gelding taken to claim this prize.

He has shown improved form with each start, progressing well to get off the mark at the fourth attempt with a bloodless win over Global Fame at Chepstow just after Christmas where he struck by five lengths and appearing suited by the stiffer test of stamina.

On the bare form he has a little bit to find with a couple of these, but he is clearly going the right way and has proven that soft ground is no issue. This further step up in trip also ought to suit and can deliver another jolt of improvement so he could be set for a big run stepping up in grade.

The form of his earlier Exeter runner-up finish in November has worked out extremely well with the winner, third, fourth and fifth horses all winning since and he can find the requisite improvement for his in-form handler to make his mark at this level.

12.40 – Made For You
1.15 – Master Work
1.50 – Roll Again
2.25 – Harry Senior
3.00 – Kimberlite Candy
3.35 – Doc Penfro
4.00 – Here Comes Mccoy

Harry Senior can take the rise in class in his stride to win the Leamington Hurdle.


(4.45) ASDAA (6/4, William Hill) was a Fairyhouse winner for Dermot Weld a couple of seasons ago, and the Dutch Art gelding has shaped well in three starts on the all-weather for new handler Mark Johnston where he has twice hit the frame.

The latest of those came when finding only the progressive Suitcase ‘n’ Taxi too strong at Southwell six days ago, where he was beaten a half-length with the front pair clear and a repeat of that effort might be good enough this time around.

He has raced on fibresand and tapeta, and he makes his debut on polytrack for this latest outing where he contests from the same mark, and he can get back to winning ways here.

(5.45) SWISS CHEER (4/1, Ladbrokes) overcame a slow start to open his win account a shade readily over course and distance latest, and the Swiss Spirit gelding can follow up here.

Jonathan Portman’s charge appears better suited to the all-weather than turf, and he has run well on all starts on artificial surfaces where he might still have further progress to come given he remains relatively unexposed.

He had the better part of three lengths to spare at the line from Squelch, and that race has thrown up a couple of subsequent winners. He likely wouldn’t need to find much improvement to figure in this race, and he can double up his win tally.

4.15 – It’smabirthday
4.45 – Asdaa
5.15 – Xian Express
5.45 – Swiss Cheer
6.15 – Lucky’s Dream
6.45 – Cat Royale
7.15 – Valley Belle