Saturday jumps racing best bets – Tips for Newbury, Kelso & Doncaster
Brian Healy assesses the day’s horse racing action over the sticks and gives his Saturday jumps racing best bets and tips for every race across the day’s quartet of National Hunt fixtures.
Three meetings go to post over the sticks across the UK on Saturday and the day’s jumps racing comes from Newbury where it is Greatwood Gold Cup day, as well as Doncaster whose competitive Grimthorpe Chase is the feature of the afternoon on Town Moor.
Completing the Saturday trio of jumps racing fixtures is a meeting north of the border at Kelso where the Grade Two Premier Novices’ Hurdle is the main event of the day at the Scottish Borders track. Unfortunately the scheduled Irish jumps racing fixture at Navan has been abandoned.
Newbury (jumps) – 12.55 – 5.00pm (8 races)
Kelso (jumps) – 1.37 – 5.07pm (7 races)
Doncaster (jumps) – 1.50 – 5.20pm (7 races)
Brian Healy looks over all three of Saturday’s jumps racing fixtures and gives his Saturday jumps racing best bets and tips for every race from all three fixtures.
SATURDAY JUMPS RACING BEST BETS AT A GLANCE
1.30 Newbury – LOVERBOY (3/1, Ladbrokes)
2.12 Kelso – PROTEK DES FLOS (7/1, Ladbrokes)
2.25 Doncaster – NUTS WELL (9/2, 888Sport)
2.40 Newbury – LE LIGERIEN (11/2, Ladbrokes)
3.35 Doncaster – WORTHY FARM (7/2, 888Sport)
3.57 Kelso – BLACK PIRATE (6/4, Bet365)
NEWBURY RACING TIPS
LOVERBOY (3/1, Ladbrokes) was a French hurdle winner at Pau earlier in his career; but his time on the track in France had been blighted with lengthy absences before he made the switch to Dan Skelton.
The Winged Love gelding made a decent debut for that yard, finishing third to Dashing Oscar at Fontwell; but he failed to back up that run and was absent for another two years before joining Alan King.
However he made a taking debut for his handler with an impressive defeat of Marley Firth at Chepstow last month, and he could build on that having been given time to get over those exertions. He appeared well-suited by the testing ground and strong pace, and the form of that return has been boosted.
An 8lbs rise in the weights for that success looks harsh at face-value, but he is low-mileage for his age and could improve for that outing to follow up with conditions again looking ideal.
LE LIGERIEN (11/2, Ladbrokes) has been in good form this term and the Turgeon gelding turns out here in search of a hat-trick having struck earlier wins here and at Haydock in January.
Philip Hobbs’ charge ran out an impressive winner in heavy ground over course and distance when beating Fibonacci by almost twenty lengths on his penultimate start; he then followed up four days later under a 7lbs penalty with a four lengths’ victory over Flamboyand Joyaux at Haydock.
The handicapper has taken a dim view of those wins with a 10lbs rise in the weights; but there could still be further improvement to come and he can continue to run well here he can land his three-timer here.
12.55 – Ashutor
1.30 – Loverboy
2.05 – Singlefarmpayment
2.40 – Le Ligerien
3.15 – San Benedeto
3.50 – Faustinovick
4.25 – Tidal Flow
5.00 – Staithes
KELSO RACING TIPS
PROTEK DES FLOS (7/1, Ladbrokes) might be worth chancing to get back on the winning trail having ran a shade disappointingly when last see at Wetherby in January.
A two-time winner for Nicky Henderson, the Protektor gelding was entitled to have needed his return from more than 550 days off the track at Newcastle in December where he finished five lengths’ third to Dali Mail on his first start for Ben Haslam.
He was never competitive last time, failing to get into the race having been held up; but he is probably better than he was able to show there and having been eased 2lbs in the weights he could post a big effort back at this shorter trip.
Still relatively unexposed over fences, he remains with some scope given he was rated higher over hurdles and he won his only previous try at this trip so could run well.
BLACK PIRATE (6/4, Bet365) won two of his three starts in bumpers prior to a lengthy absence; but James Ewart’s charge has made up for lost time since his return where he is 2-2 over hurdles to date with wins at Wetherby and here latterly.
The Black Sam Bellamy gelding ran out a neck winner latest over Ebony Jewel with the front pair clear; he appeared just to idle on that occasion, but he looked in control and there could be more to come from him now his attentions are switched to handicapping.
That runner-up was a 122-rated rival and an initial opening rating of 127 could prove workable with the potential for better stepping up in trip for an in-form yard.
1.37 – Strategem
2.12 – Protek Des Flos
2.45 – Cheddleton
3.22 – Definitely Red
3.57 – Black Pirate
4.32 – Dunly
5.07 – Ask The Weatherman
DONCASTER RACING TIPS
NUTS WELL (9/2, 888Sport) has been raised again in the handicap, but the son of Dylan Thomas could be worth siding with again given his current vein of winning form which has seen him rack up a hat-trick of successes at Wetherby and Musselburgh.
Ann Hamilton’s charge latterly won readily at Wetherby with a four lengths’ defeat of Clan Legend and a subsequent 5lbs rise might not prove enough of a burden to prevent a repeat dropping back to two miles which won’t be a problem.
He is proven in this ground and another big run could be in the offing under Danny McMenamin who has been been on board for all three of those recent wins.
WORTHY FARM (7/2, 888Sport) has looked progressive since switching to chasing with the application of blinkers perhaps being a catalyst for improvement.
Paul Nicholls’ Beneficial gelding is 2-2 in the headgear and produced a solid performance in a decent contest at Wincanton last month to readily see off The Kings Writ. Both wins over fences have come at that track but he has run well enough on stiffer tracks over hurdles so shouldn’t be inconvenienced by this venue.
Heavy ground holds no fears and the longer trip could elicit sufficient improvement to see him defy a 7lbs rise in the weights. Harry Cobden comes here to ride rather than Newbury which might be a significant pointer. He does need to progress again, but that could well happen and he can post a big effort here as he bids for a winning hat-trick.
1.50 – Sakhee’s City
2.25 – Nuts Well
3.00 – Cill Anna
3.35 – Worthy Farm
4.10 – Firak
4.45 – Stonific
5.20 – Whitechurch