Saturday’s racing tips – 10/1 treble covering big races at Newbury and Leopardstown

Jon Vine rolls his three best bets on Saturday into this tempting treble, covering big races at Newbury and Leopardstown on Saturday 28th December.

I haven’t had much luck with my multiple bets over the last couple of weeks, but I’m hoping Saturday marks a change in fortunes, I’ve teamed my NAP and Next Best with a third selection at Leopardstown, and together they make up this tempting 10/1 treble. Best odds available with Unibet.

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Saturday’s Treble

1:25pm Leopardstown Ballymaloe Foods Beginners Chase 2m5f

This looks a cracking little Beginners’ Chase, with both Rhinestone and Walk Away likely to progress up to Graded company as the season wears on. ALLAHO (TRB) (5/4 Unibet) is most definitely the one to beat though, and he should get this treble off to the perfect start.

Having finished fourth in a bumper here last Christmas, Willie Mullins threw Allaho straight into a Grade Three on his first start over hurdles and his French important did him proud, powering home to beat Minella Indo by four lengths in the Surehaul Novice Hurdle. Minella Indo went on to reverse that form at both Cheltenham and Punchestown, but Allaho wasn’t beaten all that far in either of those Grade Ones and there’s no shame in finishing so close to such a classy rival.

I’ve been itching to see Allaho attack fences since the start of the season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be the best of Willie Mullins’ crop of novices this term. A victory here would be the first step on a road that would inevitably lead to the RSA at Cheltenham.

Allaho (right) following Minella Indo home at Punchestown in the Spring.

3:00pm Newbury Betway Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m4f

Enrilo came out on top in a very poor Grade Two at Kempton before Christmas and The Cashel Man comes into this on the back of a handicap triumph, so he too has a little to prove. Éclair Surf shaped with plenty of promise when winning a maiden hurdle at Exeter in November too, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Emma Lavelle’s youngster run well beyond his odds.

That being said, I don’t think any of the three has much of a chance against THYME HILL (NAP) (4/5 Unibet). Philip Hobbs’ five-year-old has certainly been the best of the British novice hurdlers so far this term and still represents good value at a shade of odds-on.

Having gotten the better of Fiddlerontheroof as the pair made their hurdling debuts in the Persian War at Chepstow, Thyme Hill rubber-stamped his star potential with a fine victory over Champagne Well in the Hyde during Cheltenham’s November Meeting. The form of both races is working out nicely and plenty of juice in the ground won’t hinder the favourite’s chances at all. Thyme Hill looks a banker to me!

Bacardys should be hard to beat in the first Grade One at Leopardstown on Saturday.

2:00pm Leopardstown Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle (Grade 1) 3m

With Benie Des Dieux out of the picture, I’d be surprised if this didn’t go the way of BACARDYS (NB) (13/8 Unibet), who brings by far the best seasonal form to the table. Willie Mullins’ charge bolted up on his return to action to beat Apple’s Jade in the Lismullen Hurdle. Bacardys then tried, and failed, to hang with Honeysuckle as Henry De Bromhead’s mare trounced her rivals in the Hatton’s Grace, but still managed to finish a long way clear of Apple’s Jade, Penhill and Killultagh Vic.

After not taking kindly to chasing, Bacardys has been switched back to hurdling in both of the previous two seasons. Willie Mullins’ has learned from his mistakes this season, resigning his charge to the smaller obstacles and it’s clear Bacardys is a very high-quality hurdler. He may not be of the same level of Honeysuckle, Benie Des Dieux and Paisley Park, but he should have the beating of this lot.

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