Saturday racing best bets – Tips for today’s jumps and all-weather meetings across the UK

Horse racing best bets on Saturday 13 March

On the final weekend before the Cheltenham Festival five meetings head to post across the UK over the sticks and on the all-weather and we’ve picked out our Saturday racing best bets and tips.

Five meetings head to post across the UK on Saturday as the final weekend of horse racing action before the Cheltenham Festival gets underway and the day’s classy jumps racing action comes from Sandown where the Imperial Cup is the feature race of the day.

Further jumps racing goes to post at Ayr and Hereford also; while the afternoon all-weather action takes place at Wolverhampton and features Listed racing on the card with the Lady Wulfruna Stakes.

Completing Saturday’s line-up of horse racing fixtures is an evening fixture on the Chelmsford polytrack under the floodlights to close out the day’s quintet of racing fixtures and we’ve looked over all the day’s action to pick out our Saturday racing best bets and tips.


12:55 Wolverhampton – Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap Cl4 (4yo+ 0-80) 1m1½f

STARFIGHTER has been in decent form in recent runs, winning over ten furlongs at Newcastle in February and subsequently finding only one too good in each of his next two starts back at that venue and over course and distance latest.

Mark Loughnane’s Sea The Stars gelding has been beaten just a head and three-parts of a length in those starts latterly coming up just short behind Classical Wave where he ran on well late having met with trouble in running.

He’s up 3lbs for that last run but he’s been rated higher in the past and he should make his presence felt again here.

2:25 Sandown – Paddy Power Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m

LANGER DAN boasts some solid form from the past couple of seasons, winning his first two career starts before successive runner-up efforts and a very good sixth to Aramax in the 2020 Fred Winter Hurdle.

Dan Skelton’s charge failed to match the form of his debut campaign in his first couple of runs this term, but he turned in a better effort back from a break and having had wind surgery to post an eye-catching fourth to Ajero at Market Rasen last month.

Given a tender ride he ran on well from the back to only be beaten around six lengths and he’s likely to step up for that outing where he could do better this time around and eased another 1lb in the weights he could be well-treated if stepping up on the back of that performance.

The Skelton team continues in good form and he’s interesting pitched into this competitive handicap on the back of that performance so no surprise to see a big run from the son of Ocovango.

3:42 Ayr – Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 2m4½f

MAYO STAR returned from a long absence following his switch to Nicky Richards to post back-to-back wins over course and distance and Newcastle; the Stowaway gelding then returned from another absence to make his chase debut where he finished a creditable fourth behind Hear No Evil.

The longer trip on that occasion possibly just stretched him and he wasn’t the most fluent at several of his obstacles; however he’s proved heavy ground to be no issue and easing back to this yardage returning to hurdles and the handicap ranks he could prove well-treated off a rating of 125.

He’s been absent again for another three months so he’s presumedly hard to keep sound or needs to be kept fresh and the lightly-raced sort could have more to come given he’s very low mileage for a nine-year old.

3:50 Wolverhampton – Betway Casino Handicap Cl5 (4yo+ 0-75) 2m½f

Both The Rutland Rebel and KANGAROO POINT arrive here in search of a hat-trick and it might be worth siding with the latter to come out on top for the in-form Ian Williams yard.

The Australia gelding has been in good form this term following a short break, registering wins at Kempton in February and Southwell both over this trip and the manner of his latest success where he ran out a six lengths’ winner suggests he might have further improvement to come.

Cheekpieces seem to have perked up his ideas in recent starts and while he has a 6lbs rise to contend with following his most recent success he should continue to give a good account and every chance he can strike again here.

4:02 Hereford – MansionBet Cheltmas Bet £10 Get £20 Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m

MARRACUDJA hasn’t won since December 2019 but he’s been contesting at a decent level since that success and there was nothing wrong with his recent run at Wetherby following wind surgery where he finished a very creditable third behind Umbrigado.

Dan Skelton’s charge didn’t aid his chances with a couple of tardy leaps late on, but he kept on well to go down only by around three lengths. He was in turn clear of the rest and the form was boosted when the winner took the recent Greatwood Gold Cup.

The less testing ground on this occasion might be more suitable and the Martaline gelding can build on that latest return to form where he looks the stable’s first choice under Bridget Andrews who was on board when he last won from this rating so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big run.

4:10 Sandown – ‘From The Horse’s Mouth’ Podcast Handicap Chase (Challenger Staying Chase Series Qualifier) Cl3 (5yo+ 0-135) 3m

ECLAIR DE GUYE has returned this term in good form, finding only one too good on his reappearance and bouncing back from a lesser effort next time to get back on the winning trail at Huntingdon in December where the Lord Du Sud gelding ran out a near-ten lengths’ victor over Pemberley.

Lucy Wadham’s charge was given a short break following that run and he returned to action with a very good second to Eclair Surf at this venue where he was beaten three lengths but finished a long way clear of the rest.

The better ground here is unlikely to present a problem given his Fontwell reappearance last October came on similar conditions and while another 2lbs rise in the weights demands a bit more from him he could still have further progress to come; while the return of Bryony Frost to the saddle is another plus with the pair having a good rapport.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big effort from Lucy Wadham’s charge who can return to winning ways here.

4:55 Ayr – Virgin Bet Free Bets For Winners Handicap Chase (Northern Lights Two Mile Chase Series Qualifier) Cl4 (5yo+ 0-115) 2m½f

Ardera Cross is dangerous to discount given his record here but a chance is taken on PISTOL PARK who is dropping in the weights and ran his best race for some time over fences when chasing home Miss Amelia at Carlisle last month.

Brian Ellison’s Poliglote gelding was beaten just over two lengths on that occasion where he was headed over the final fence; but he kept on well without matching the winner and the form was boosted when that winner went in again next time.

He’s been pushed back up the weights slightly but he’s still well-handicapped on old form and if he can build on that more promising recent run then he could end a losing streak stretching back almost three years.

5:50 Chelmsford – CCR Handicap Cl4 (4yo+ 0-85) 7f

APOLLINAIRE made the frame in each of his first four career starts which included a win on debut at Doncaster and the Poet’s Voice gelding wasn’t disgraced on his return from a lengthy break despite beating only two home at Lingfield last month.

Ralph Beckett’s charge was only beaten around four lengths on that occasion, perhaps going off too hard over the extra furlong and lack of race-fitness probably told in the end given how he faded once headed.

That run should have brought him on however and he can be expected to strip fitter; while the form has been boosted since with the first three home all making the frame in subsequent runs (third won next time) and if he can build on that having been dropped 2lbs then he could go well here and can get back on the up.

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