Saturday racing best bets – Tips for Sandown, Aintree, Chepstow, Wetherby and Wolverhampton
We’ve picked out our Saturday racing best bets and tips for the day’s quintet of fixtures across the UK.
Top-class horse racing action awaits punters across the UK where five meetings go to post including Sandown’s Tingle Creek Chase meeting and the eponymously-titled Grade One contest spearheads the day’s fixture at the Esher track.
Also going to post is Aintree where we pay two visits to the Grand National fences with both the Becher Chase and the Grand Sefton Chase on the agenda alongside the Grade Two Many Clouds Chase; both Aintree and Sandown will feature on ITV Racing’s Saturday coverage.
Elsewhere there is further jumps racing at Wetherby and Chepstow; while on the all-weather in the evening Wolverhampton completes the Saturday racing action under the floodlights on their tapeta surface.
We’ve looked through all five cards taking place on Saturday and have picked out our Saturday racing best bets and tips at each fixture.
SATURDAY RACING BEST BETS – TIPS FOR SANDOWN, AINTREE, WETHERBY, CHEPSTOW & WOLVERHAMPTON
12:20 Aintree – Follow @willhillracing On Twitter Handicap Chase (Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series Qualifier) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 2m4f
QUOI DE NEUF won a point to point before proving himself as a useful hurdler, scoring at this venue on his debut over timber and then posting four successive efforts in the frame which include finishing fourth in the 2019 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Things didn’t go to plan in subsequent outings but Evan Williams’ charge made a good fist of things on his chase debut back here in November where he found only Canelo too strong and the Anzillero gelding can progress for that experience to go one better here.
That runner-up did no harm to the form next time out and the selection has been eased 1lb while he is open to plenty of improvement; there’s likely to be more to come given his point to point background and he could make his presence felt here with further progress likely under Brian Hughes.
12:55 Aintree – William Hill Play Responsibly Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4f
HUNTERS CALL has some good form to his name over obstacles, winning in Ireland for John Neilan prior to his move to Olly Murphy where the Medaaly gelding won his first two starts for his current yard either side of a lengthy absence.
The first of those successes came in the Grade Three Racing Welfare Hurdle where he beat Silver Streak after which he stepped up in trip to strike at Southwell on his return from 921 days with a defeat of Kentford Heiress.
He’s finished fourth in both runs since, contesting the Galway Hurdle in July and the Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham latterly; this is easier however dropping into a Class 2 contest and racing off the same mark he could get back to winning ways.
1:02 Wetherby – Follow @racingtv On Twitter Handicap Hurdle (Northern Lights Stayers Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl4 (4yo+ 0-115) 3m
ALL HAIL CAESAR could have more to offer over hurdles having appeared to find a measure of improvement when stepped up to three miles in first-time cheekpieces last month at Catterick.
Rebecca Menzies’ charge finished around four lengths’ third on that occasion behind Airgead Suas and if able to back up that performance could go a couple of places better if the softer ground doesn’t pose an inconvenience.
A Newcastle bumper winner back in February he has placed in heavy ground over shorter trips so there’s hope the underfoot conditions won’t hinder and with the Nathaniel gelding still unexposed as a staying hurdler he looks worth chancing off the same mark with Nathan Moscrop able to use his claim this time around.
1:15 Sandown – Read Paul Nicholls On betting.betfair Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl4 (3yo+ 0-120) 2m
FRENCHY DU LARGE has looked potentially useful in his two hurdles runs to date, stepping up markedly on a promising fourth behind Bear Ghylls at Lingfield to chase home Paddy Motorbike at Uttoxeter.
Venetia Williams’ charge had made the frame in all four bumper starts prior to his switch to obstacles which included finishing runner-up in heavy ground at Sandown so these conditions won’t inconvenience and his stamina for further could stand him in good stead as he tackles this shorter trip for the first time over hurdles.
A mark of 113 on his handicap debut could underestimate him and representing a yard that is amongst the winners the Al Namix gelding could get off the mark now at the third attempt.
1:57 Chepstow – Coral Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 2m7½f
Lightly-raced SECRET REPRIEVE could be worth chancing to bounce back from his fall at Haydock last month on his first run of the campaign and Evan Williams’ charge could get off the mark in this sphere.
A hurdles winner here back in December 2018 he has been largely lightly raced since with just a further five five starts since that success, four of which have come over the larger obstacles where he’s twice finished runner-up.
He was yet to be asked for effort when coming to grief at the Merseyside track latest where he was just beginning to make headway although it was perhaps too soon to predict whether he’d have been involved in the finish.
He’ll likely prove a bit sharper though and open still to further improvement it would be no surprise to see him making his presence felt in this competitive handicap.
2:47 Wetherby – William Hill Yorkshire Christmas Meeting Up Next Novices’ Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl4 (4yo+ 0-120) 3m
WHOS IN THE BOX twice finished third over hurdles following his switch from Tom Keating for whom he had won a point-to-point; but the Witness Box gelding stepped up on his hurdling efforts faced with fences at Southwell last month, running out a three-parts of a length winner over Reve and there could be better to come from Nick Kent’s charge.
That performance came despite a first-fence blunder and being hampered at the second, but he warmed to his task and ran on well late although he was arguably held by the winner. The front three had pulled clear though and the experience won’t have been lost on him while he’ll be sharper for what was his first run in almost ten months.
He’s effectively only 1lb higher here taking into account his rider’s claim and if building on that performance then he could go one better despite this arguably being a deeper race.
3:00 Sandown – Betfair Exchange Back And Lay London National Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 3m5f
DOING FINE was first past the post in this race twelve months ago although the race was subsequently voided; but the veteran Presenting gelding gained compensation at Cheltenham next time and Neil Mulholland’s charge has continued to belie his advancing years this campaign with a series of solid runs.
A winner at Uttoxeter during the summer he finished sixth in the Durham National prior to going well for a long way in the recent Southern National although he was no match for reopposing Cloudy Glen, eventually finishing third.
However he could be worth chancing to gain some revenge now on considerably better terms at the weights, while his young rider can take a further 7lbs off his back so he’s weighted to turn the tables from this mark which is only 6lbs higher than when ‘victorious’ in the contest last year and he could go well again with conditions no problem.
5:30 Wolverhampton – Ladbrokes Watch Racing Online For Free Conditions Stakes (AW Championships F-T Qual’) (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 6f
A competitive contest could go the way of ZAMAANI who can get back on the scoresheet following some good efforts in defeat.
Simon Crisford’s charge won twice over the summer at Windsor and Goodwood respectively and he’s since made the frame in three of four starts subsequently although he did disappoint behind reopposing Mighty Gurkha when only fifth at Kempton in the Sirenia Stakes.
The Night Of Thunder gelding may have been given too much to do on that occasion however and he could gain revenge on that rival to whom he was meeting on level weights. This time around however he gets 7lbs despite being rated 2lbs superior to Archie Watson’s charge and if the switch to tapeta doesn’t prove an inconvenience then he could get back on track.