Northumberland Plate Tips

One of the most competitive handicaps of the season – The John smith’s Northumberland Plate – comes from Newcastle tomorrow and it will be an historic day at the North East track. This is always a big day for the racecourse, but this year will be the first time the Plate is run on the new all weather tapeta surface. There had been mixed reviews about the decision to dig up the turf and put the sand down, but what Newcastle have now is the best all weather track and surface in the country and this should be a thrilling race. 20 runners will head to post and compete over two miles in this £150,000 race and the favourite in the betting is Steve Rogers at 7/1 for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni. This horse was a very good winner over two miles at Kempton on seasonal reappearance and was then sent off a 7/2 favourite for the Chester Cup last time out. The five-year-old was well beaten on that day, but you can often[…] Read More

Investec Derby Tips

The biggest race of the season takes place this afternoon as the Investec Derby gets underway. It is of course a Group 1 held over a mile and four furlongs and there is now over £1.5 million in prize money up for grabs. This is comfortably the most competitive Derby for some time and the favourite at the moment is Wings Of Desire, who is as big as 6/1 for last year’s winning connections John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. This horse has only been seen on three occasions but has won his last two races and managed to win the Dante at York last time out. That race has produced eleven Derby winners in the past and is a great trial for this Epsom Classic. Of course, this horse needs to improve again but with this being only his fourth run you have to expect a little bit more. Any drying in the ground would be a bonus, too. Next in the betting is US Army Ranger, who is at 13/2 and even less experienced[…] Read More

Investec Oaks Tips

The Investec Oaks comes from Epsom Downs on Friday afternoon and we’re all set for another excellent Classic. This race is open to three-year-old fillies and is held over a mile and four furlongs. Usually you’re expecting quick ground at this time of year, but Epsom has had plenty of rain and will be on the softer side of good in this encounter. The filly to beat looks to be 1,000 Guineas winner Minding, who is the even money favourite and the one to beat on ratings. She was quite sensational at Newmarket on the opening day of May, but then finish second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas less than two-weeks-ago. There were excuses on that day though as the ground was really testing and the horse had troubles in the stalls. That said, it was still a good performance from the filly as the front two pulled a long way clear. As lost as that race hasn’t taken too much out of Minding, she is very much the one to beat. As always in[…] Read More

2,000 Guineas Tips

The National Hunt scene has taken centre stage this week with the Punchestown Festival, but the Flat is certainly back this weekend as the first Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas Stakes, comes from Newmarket. This is a Group 1 race held over a mile on the Rowley Mile and as always, we have a superb field for this one. 13 runners will head to post and the 4/6 favourite is Air Force Blue for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. This horse produced one of those “wow” performances when bolting up in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes here towards the end of last season, beating a good field without really having to come off the bridal. He looks, as though he could be one of the most exciting horses in training and the yard are incredibly bullish about his chances. O’Brien has called this one of the best he’s had and that is some statement from the all conquering Irish trainer. On paper, he will take all of the beating but the price wouldn’t[…] Read More

Betfair Hurdle

Saturday 13th February, 3.35pm, Newbury The feature race taking place tomorrow is the Betfair Hurdle, which is a Grade 3 handicap coming from Newbury. It is one of the most valuable handicaps of the season with £155,000 up for grabs and as always, there’s a competitive field here with 22 runners set to go to post. There’s a pretty short priced favourite in the betting right now, as Blazer is a 7/2 shot for Willie Mullins and Barry Geragthy. This horse was a comfortable winner of a handicap hurdle at Leopardstown just last week and comes here under a five pound penalty, but is due to go up much more than that in the future. He’s off a low weight and is clearly well in. There’s no doubt the horse is set to improve some more, but the worry might be that this race is coming a little bit too soon.   However, you have to say he does look to have an outstanding chance. War Sound is next in the betting at 7/1 for[…] Read More

Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase

Saturday 6th February, 2.25pm, Sandown We’ve got Grade One action coming from Sandown tomorrow with the Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase taking place. This race is held over two miles and four furlongs and horses that do well in this can often go onto compete in the JLT Novices’ Chase. The horse leading the way in the market right now is Tea For Two, who is a 5/4 shot and looking to build on what was an excellent win at Kempton on Boxing Day last time out. That was just his second run over fences and to win a Grade One by four lengths is always pretty impressive. The win at Kempton did come over three miles though and you wouldn’t say that Tea For Two was crying out for a step down in trip, but he has won over this distance before and has to have a big chance. Bristol De Mai is available at 13/8 and was very impressive when bolting up in Grade 2 company at Haydock last time out in[…] Read More

Sky Bet Chase Tips

Saturday 30th January, 3.15pm, Doncaster There’s a cracking card from Doncaster tomorrow and the feature race is the Sky Bet Chase, which is a Listed contest held over three miles. 15 runners will head to post in this extremely competitive encounter. Paul Nicholls has the favourite in this one with Le Mercurey, who is a 6/1 shot and was a decent third on heavy ground at Cheltenham last time out. This horse should enjoy the step up in trip and his win over Thomas Brown two starts ago reads well with that horse winning well at the track on Friday afternoon. Le Mercurey could still be quite well handicapped off this chase mark of 142 and this is his first time in a handicap over the larger obstacles. More is expected from the six-year-old and he could go well. The top weight here is Holywell for Jonjo O’Neill and Will Kennedy. This horse was third in the Gold Cup back in March and then third in a Grade One at Aintree in the spring. His[…] Read More

Cleeve Hurdle Tips

The feature race coming from Cheltenham tomorrow is the Cleeve Hurdle, which is a Grade 2 held over a distance of three miles. This is, as you’d expect, a regocnised trial for the World Hurdle at the Festival and the horse leading the way in that market and indeed in this race is Thistlecrack. Colin Tizzard’s runner is a 4/5 shot to land the spoils tomorrow and with what he has shown so far this season, you’d expect this eight-year-old to take all of the beating. The horse was second at the Punchestown behind the excellent Killultagh Vic back in April and has continued to improve this season with wins in both the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury and the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot. He made some good horses look ordinary in that race at Ascot too and this horse looks a serious World Hurdle contender. He does need to show that he can do it at Cheltenham as he wasn’t too good here on this card last year, but is[…] Read More

Peter March Chase Tips

One of the feature races from Haydock tomorrow is the Peter March Chase, which is a Grade 2 Handicap held over a distance of three miles. There are 13 runners set to go to post here and it looks to be a competitive renewal. Reve De Sivola heads the market here and he is interesting now going back over fences. The horse does seem to be better over hurdles, but is off an attractive mark over the larger obstacles and was a good second in Grade One company last time out. James Reveley takes the ride on this eleven-year-old and you’d expect a decent run from the gelding. This is competitive though and 4/1 could be a little short, as we don’t quite know the ability of this horse over fences right now. You then have Virak at 5/1, who has been second on each of his last two races, but has performed well on both of those occasions and gets the valuable seven-pound claimer Harry Cobden on board here. He is 15 pounds higher[…] Read More

   Saturday 22nd January, 3.00pm, Ascot The big race taking place from Ascot tomorrow is the Sodexo Clarence House Chase, which is a Grade One held over two miles. There is a field of just five competing here, but it is of the highest quality. The winner of this has gone onto win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in the last two years and Willie Mullins will be hoping Un De Sceaux will take this on route to Festival glory. The Irish raider is currently a 4/7 shot to land the spoils and that’s not much of a surprise after he won the Arkle Chase in superb style last year. Un De Sceaux then went onto win at the Punchestown Festival, but was a faller on his seasonal debut last time out and that means it is now two falls from just six chases for the eight-year-old. However, he did fall on seasonal reappearance last season and his recent tumble wasn’t a heavy one, so he should be none the worse here. The odds are[…] Read More