Yes, whether you are betting on jumps racing, flat racing, or all-weather, there is literally a meeting for everyone today.
Wetherby and Uttoxeter, as well as a good card from Down Royal, keep those jumps fans busy today while Kempton and Dundalk offer up all-weather action, and Newmarket hosts the first of their two day season closer!
Let’s get cracking!
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
14:20 Down Royal – Cask Mate 7/5 into 11/10
15:30 Down Royal – Street Value 25/1 into 20/1 (touched 16/1)
16:50 Newmarket – Sir Sedric 10/1 into 13/2
16:55 Wetherby – Stream Of Stars 11/4 into 15/8
20:00 Kempton – Clownsman – 12/1 into 7/1
The morning markets have never been so busy!
Street Value 25/1 into 16/1 this morning (14’s in places) but was as big as 66/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook last night. The six-year-old is a winner of two of his seven hurdle starts with a racing post rating high of just 122.
However, better is clearly expected today as he plunges in the market for his chase debut on seasonal return, but his last victory came off a handicap mark of 109. He was beaten 15 lengths on his final outing in a handicap off a rating of 120, so he will need to improve significantly to figure here.
The market says LAY!
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
16:25 Wetherby – Ballyvic Boru 10/3 OUT 5/1
Despite being seven pounds lower than when winning this race last year, the market is against Ballyvic Boru this morning!
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
Newmarket begin their shut down today with the start of a two-day meeting to close out the season – yes, it’s still lingering on!
It’s no surprise that in Newmarket’s 13:55 888sport British EBF Conditions Stakes, two-year-olds have a 50% record when taking on their elders, given they receive a whopping 20lbs in weight!
Eldrickjones 3.55/2 and Atheby 6.511/2 are the two receiving the weight but the first mentioned on weight-adjusted ratings is 18 lbs clear of his rivals – not always full proof though!
In the 14:30 Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Bosra Sham” Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket, nine of the 13 runners won on their last start, but six of the last ten winners of the race failed to win on their last outing. Desert Dreamer 3.7511/4?
Trainer Hughie Morrison has won the 15:05 at Newmarket twice in three attempts in the last seven years and today saddles Whitehaven 3.55/2 and has booked Oisin Murphy for which the pair have a 25% strike rate.
Cobden Novice Chase hint and a Bobby warning?
At Wetherby, the 14:05 bet365 Novices’ Chase sees Aintree Grade 1 winner Ahoy Senor 1.84/5 take on two useful rivals in Barbados Bucks 3.55/2 and Ashtown Lad 5.04/1.
Interestingly, Barbados Bucks’ regular rider Harry Cobden opts to go to Uttoxeter to ride Novice Chase debutant Flic Ou Voyou 3.02/1 in the 14:48 Kalahari King Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, instead – could be a pointer to the chances of each one.
In the 15:50 at Wetherby, Good Boy Bobby 3.259/4 has been well supported on his return to chasing after a season over hurdles which has seen his handicap mark fall. However, be warned he can jump out to the right! Not ideal on this left-handed track.
A big gamble as stars make a Royal return
It’s all eyes on Hallow Games 1.42/5 in the 13:10 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle at Down Royal as the unbeaten bumper horse makes his hurdling debut.
Triumph Hurdle fourth Zanahiyr 1.51/2 makes his return to action today in the 14:20 WKD Hurdle and takes on former Grade 1 Royal Bond runner-up Cask Mate 3.9.
The 15:30 Tote Ten To Follow Beginners Chase at Down Royal has an exceptional honour role with winners including Envoi Allen, Samcro, and Delta Work.
Albert Bartlett winner Vanillier 3.55/2 starts off his season in a highly competitive event which features Beacon Edge 2.68/5, Grand Paradis 3.55/2 and the big gamble of the race Street Value 66/1 into 16/1 amongst other interesting chase recruits.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.
14:30 Newmarket – Desert Dreamer – Has won here twice (67%)
15:50 Wetherby – Good Boy Bobby – Has won here twice (67%)
16:25 Wetherby – Ballyvic Boru – Has won here twice (33%)
19:30 Kempton – Corinthia Knight – Has won here twice (40%)
19:30 Kempton – Enduring – Has won here twice (50%)
19:30 Kempton – Run To Freedom – Has won here twice (67%)
20:30 Kempton – Brid For Life – Has won here twice (9%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
15:23 Uttoxeter – Glance Back – Has won off 107 runs off 96
16:25 Wetherby – Dr Sanderson – Has won off 132 runs off 117
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Trainer Kerry Lee has had two winners from her last four runners (50%) in the last 14 days. Today she saddles up Magic Dancer 5.04/1 in the 14:48 at Uttoxeter.
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Nick Williams with Galahad Quest 10.519/2 in the 15:50 at Wetherby. He has made the 290 mile journey with his Novice Chaser and has just one runner on the card.
Race of the day
I wanted to pick this 15:15 Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Wensleydale Juvenile Hurdle today because it could be an informative race for the future. While there are plenty in with chances, it could be a race to follow throughout the season.
A field of seven goes to post, and there could be some very smart horses produced for the future.
Today’s favourite Porticello is a French recruit making his stable debut for Gary Moore, and this is the second potentially useful type the yard has picked up for this season.
His sole start came in Auteuil when a very commanding winner of a race that has worked out well. The second, Magistrato, is now with Paul Nicholls and made an impressive start to his career in Britain when scoring at Chepstow by 12 lengths on debut, and the third has won twice since including in Listed company in France.
This horse has the potential to be the best Juvenile for the yard this term, strong, powerful and a good jumper of a hurdle, but he faces different conditions here with good ground expected, and this is his first start in the UK on the back of a six-month break.
Gary Moore’s other useful French import this term needed the run on debut before scoring the second time out, and it could be the case here. A market watch is advised.
Oceanline ran well on debut only to be caught late by a useful one of Dan Skelton’s, who is this morning a non-runner.
He jumped well but lacked the speed in a crucial part of the race, and given he spent much of his time on the flat over trips of 1m6f, he may need further than this 2m over hurdles, but he is entitled to improve.
Of those at bigger odds, Sacre Pierre is two for two over hurdles, winning both starts in good style but faces much stiffer competition here at the head of the market, and it’s difficult to know exactly what he has achieved.
He was well in command at Cartmel on his latest start, but the time figure was slower than the handicap chase on the card which was run over half a furlong further.
He is entitled to improve, but he needs to in order to trouble the favourite should he be on song.
Timeform out to benefit from a visit to Newmarket
The Timeform team head to Newmarket today for their NAP, NB and each way shout.
Read Timeform tips here.
Super Saturday to return more than Halfapiece
At Wetherby on Saturday in the 15:40 bet365 Handicap Hurdle, I am quite keen on the chances of Pam Sly’s Halfapiece, who looks very well treated under Mr Jack Andrews, who claims five off his back.
The eight-year-old ran three cracking races at this venue last season, the first of which came when fourth on seasonal return to Anemoi and Proschema, both of whom are eight and 14 pounds higher in the handicap.
His second run saw him finish second and bump into the highly progressive Albert’s Back, who is now nine pounds higher in the handicap, and the pair were 20 lengths faster than today’s favourite Mackenberg, who ran on the same card.
It was a tough ask on his third outing here when poorly positioned and made a hash of the second last hurdle chasing home Pay The Piper and Shantou Express, of which the former is now 11 pounds higher in the handicap.
He would have won off his handicap mark of 130 at Cheltenham when splitting those runs above if not for coming down at the final flight when he took up the lead, and the winner of that contest is 12 pounds higher in the handicap.
He bumped into the rapidly improving Ajero, finishing second at Huntingdon before failing to land a blow at Sandown in a class 2 on his final outing.
Today, inclusive of the jockey claim, he runs off 122, effectively eight pounds and ten pounds lower than those above runs at this venue and he takes on mainly exposed rivals. The drop-in class and step back up in trip are reasons for improvement, and he must go close.
That’s all from me this week, folks. A quick moan before I leave!
Tomorrow’s Charlie Hall Chase looks like a very exciting contest, but I continue to hear the same people that moan about Cheltenham talk moan that the entries for races like the above are below par.
There’s a very good reason for this – not the moaning – the field size.
In the UK, three-mile (Charlie Hall Chase trip) horses rated 160 plus below the age of 10 at the turn of the year consist of just four! Espoir De Romay, Dashel Drasher, Royal Paigile and Chantry House.
We have no depth to our established chasers, let alone those over three miles. In fact, those rated 160 plus that will be younger than ten at the turn of the year have just 15 Grade 1’s between 13 of them – seven courtesy of Defi Du Seuil.
If you look at Ireland, they have 21 Grade 1’s between 12 of them and they are shared out between nearly all of the 12.
Stop complaining about small field sizes in graded races when we don’t have the runners!
Until tomorrow, be lucky!
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7