Saturday jumps racing best bets – Tips for every National Hunt meeting

Brian Healy gives his Saturday jumps racing best bets and tips in every race for the day’s fixtures over the sticks.

Assuming the continuing bad weather doesn’t have other plans then four UK and Irish jumps racing meetings will head to post on Saturday with the feature race of the day coming from Ascot where the Grade One Ascot Chase dominates the action at the Berkshire venue.

Elsewhere at Haydock the Grand National Trial spearheads an excellent card on Merseyside, while the Kingwell Hurdle is the day’s main event at Wincanton. Also racing is Gowran Park in Ireland where the Grade Two Red Mills Chase is the feature race of the day at the County Kilkenny Track.

Gowran Park (jumps) – 1.10 – 4.39pm (7 races)
Ascot (jumps) – 1.15 – 4.45pm (7 races)
Haydock (jumps) – 1.30 – 5.00pm (7 races)
Wincanton (jumps) – 1.37 – 5.07pm (7 races)

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for Saturday‘s four scheduled jumps racing fixtures.


1.44 Gowran Park – CILAOS EMERY (4/5, Coral)
1.50 Ascot – PYM (5/2, William Hill)
2.40 Haydock – SIR PSYCHO (6/4, Bet365)
2.45 Wincanton – QUEL DESTIN (3/1, William Hill)
2.54 Gowran Park – CHRIS’S DREAM (11/4, Ladbrokes)
3.50 Haydock – PORTRUSH TED (4/1, Bet365)
3.57 Wincanton – BATTLE OF IDEAS (5/1, William Hill)
4.10 Ascot – SILENT ASSISTANT (7/1, Bet365)


(1.44 Gowran Park)

Darasso will be dangerous if building on his reappearance in the Haydock Champion Hurdle Trial; but it could be worth siding with CILAOS EMERY (4/5, Coral) who reverts to hurdles having fallen when last seen out over fences at Leopardstown.

Willie Mullins’ Califet gelding had been unbeaten in three prior chase starts, but he had been a very smart hurdler and won a Grade One at Punchestown as a novice prior to locking horns with the likes of Apple’s Jade and Mick Jazz.

He remains a lightly-raced sort and there could yet be better to come from him over hurdles where he remains unexposed despite his more recent chase exploits. If he’s none the worse for his recent fall then he could bounce back returning to hurdles.

Saturday jumps racing best bets. Cilaos Emery can win at Gowran Park

Cilaos Emery is one of our Saturday jumps racing best bets if the meeting goes ahead.

(2.54 Gowran Park)

CHRIS’S DREAM (11/4, Ladbrokes) is proven in testing ground and looks worth siding with here for the Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore combination.

The Mahler gelding is 3-6 over fences, latterly returning from seven months off the track to bolt up in the Troytown Handicap Chase where he posted a nine lengths’ victory over Fitzhenry. He had won a Grade Two contest as a novice last term but struggled in Grade One company in his final couple of starts.

He’s been given plenty of time since scoring at Navan in November and turns out here a fresh horse having not been seen since. He has proven he goes well fresh and while this is tougher back in Graded company he is lightly raced over fences and could progress again to make his presence felt.

1.10 – Saint D’Oroux
1.44 – Cilaos Emery
2.19 – Southerner
2.54 – Chris’s Dream
3.29 – Milan Native
4.04 – The Long Mile
4.39 – Lorvon Pearl


(1.50 Ascot)

PYM (5/2, William Hill) looked a class act when blitzing Imperial Aura by eight lengths at Cheltenham in December and he can improve again to land the hat-trick.

Nicky Henderson’s Stowaway gelding has shown classy form both in bumpers and over hurdles, and he won twice over timber last term as well as make the frame in Grade Two company.

Runner-up on his chase debut at Huntingdon back in November, he has since impressively landed wins over course and distance as well as at Cheltenham and he likely has more in the locker judging on his demolition job latest.

He sets the standard on official ratings and handles these conditions well so with the potential for better still to come he can strike again upped to this level where he can land the three-timer.

(4.10 Ascot)

SILENT ASSISTANT (7/1, Bet365) has shaped with promise in all three starts to date over hurdles and Emma Lavelle’s charge could be worth chancing here to get off the mark.

The Sans Frontieres gelding was a winner between the flags for Donnchadh Doyle, and he probably needed his first run over hurdles at Warwick before showing up better next time at Doncaster. He made a promising reappearance at Ludlow last month when finishing fourth to Kalooki and he should strip fitter for that reappearance.

He appeared to handle the softer ground well on that occasion and he switched to handicapping here from a mark which could prove workable so every chance he can post a big run where he has the potential to improve stepping up in trip.

1.15 – Master Debonair
1.50 – Pym
2.25 – Ballyoptic
3.00 – Eden Du Houx
3.35 – Cyrname
4.10 – Silent Assistant
4.45 – Sabrina

Cyrname features in our Saturday jumps racing best bets in the Ascot Chase.

Cyrname features in our Saturday jumps racing best bets in the Ascot Chase.


(2.40 Haydock)

SIR PSYCHO (6/4, Bet365) has won two of the last four renewals of this contest and he can enhance that recent record by adding to his tally.

The Zoffany gelding has looked a progressive sort over timber, winning two of four starts which includes his most recent outing at Exeter on New Years’ Day where he blitzed Bullionaire by more than thirty lengths.

That form has been franked and he has proven himself in testing ground. He returns to the juvenile ranks here and further improvement ought to make him tough to beat.

(3.50 Haydock)

PORTRUSH TED (4/1, Bet365) showed high-class form in bumpers, winning twice which included a Grade Two event at Aintree. Warren Greatrex’s charge then made a winning switch to hurdling when impressively scoring on debut at Perth.

The Shantou gelding was subsequently absent for a long spell, but he made a winning reappearance following some 17 months off the track when impressing in soft ground at Ayr last month. He’s entitled to come on for that return and he can improve again.

He has won all three of his starts in soft ground and so conditions here will be ideal, while the yard are in better form now so every chance he can post another big effort and no surprise if he follows up his latest success here.

1.30 – The Big Bite
2.05 – Emitom
2.40 – Sir Psycho
3.15 – The Two Amigos
3.50 – Portrush Ted
4.25 – Ramses De Teillee

Haydock Saturday jumps racing best bets and tips in every race.

Haydock are racing on Saturday with the Grand National Trial the feature race of the day.


(2.45 Wincanton)

QUEL DESTIN (3/1, William Hill) battled well to hold off Call Me Lord in the recent Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown and the Muhtathir gelding could be worth keeping onside to follow up assuming this doesn’t come too soon.

Paul Nicholls’ charge won five straight races last term which included a Grade One at Chepstow prior to posting a creditable fifth behind Pentland Hills in last season’s Triumph Hurdle. He then made a winning return to hurdling when scoring back at Cheltenham in October having had a prior spin on the flat to put him right.

Not seen to best effect in subsequent runs at that venue which included in the Relkeel Hurdle behind Summerville Boy, he bounced back to form in heavy ground at Sandown two weeks ago where he scored by three lengths where he dug deep to hold off the runner-up with the pair pulling six lengths clear of the rest which included the reopposing Zambella.

He has won both starts when faced with heavy ground and conditions again will be no issue here so if none the worse for recent exertions he could prove a tough nut to crack and give trainer Paul Nicholls another win in this race.

(3.57 Wincanton)

BATTLE OF IDEAS (5/1, William Hill) blundered away his chance at Plumpton when last seen, but Colin Tizzard’s charge could bounce back here.

The Fracas gelding had been in good form since returning from a wind operation, getting off the mark over fences when scoring at Newton Abbot last June; but he has run well in testing ground and was travelling strongly in front until taking a fence by the roots mid-race when last seen.

That error cost him all chance and while he tried to get back into the contest he was fighting a losing battle and he perhaps shouldn’t be judged too harshly on that run.

He’s been dropped 2lbs following that effort and he takes a downwards step into an easier grade for this latest outing so he could well make his presence felt with his good conditional rider taking off a handy 7lbs at the weights.

1.35 – Lieutenant Rocco
2.12 – Cloudy Glen
2.45 – Quel Destin
3.23 – Storm Arising
3.57 – Battle Of Ideas
4.32 – Worthy Farm
5.07 – Arctic Footprint

Quel Destin features in our Saturday best best at Wincanton

Quel Destin features in our Saturday jumps racing best best at Wincanton


1.44 Gowran Park – CILAOS EMERY (4/5, Coral)
1.50 Ascot – PYM (5/2, William Hill)
2.40 Haydock – SIR PSYCHO (6/4, Bet365)
2.45 Wincanton – QUEL DESTIN (3/1, William Hill)
2.54 Gowran Park – CHRIS’S DREAM (11/4, Ladbrokes)
3.50 Haydock – PORTRUSH TED (4/1, Bet365)
3.57 Wincanton – BATTLE OF IDEAS (5/1, William Hill)
4.10 Ascot – SILENT ASSISTANT (7/1, Bet365)