Horse Racing 2nd January, 2016 – Sandown, Ayr & Chelmsford

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Happy New Year to the regular followers of sports Betting Tips free horse racing tips. We didn’t cover Cheltenham’s New Year meeting, but it was an interesting meeting, nonetheless, which left us with more questions than answers when it comes to the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. The biggest question now remains over the World Hurdle. Cole Harden and Whisper both disappointed yesterday, which just firmed Thistlecrack up at the head of the market. With the two long-time ante-post favourites disappointing, it’s a tricky race now. It was the same for us after the King George at Kempton last week. Cue Card just left us all scratching our heads, Douvan, too. And Don Cossack, we just don’t know after he fell – is he a Gold Cup winner? It just summed up the Boxing Day racing for as, and with Wetherby abandoned, we just never got into it all day. So we ended up with a loss of 5 units, and which means the profit for our free horse racing tips is currently +12.33 units, which isn’t a bad way to start 2016.

So, January 2nd, 2016, and we have live National Hunt racing from Sandown and Ayr, as well as one race on the all-weather from Chelmsford live on Channel 4. The Tolworth Hurdle is the highlight of the day, and it should, once again, give us some pointers to the big races coming up. Just a note that Channel 4 have lost the horse racing rights at the end of 2016 to ITV. But not to worry, just because the broadcaster has changed, you will still get your free horse racing tips for every Saturday meeting.

As it’s 2016, you might think some things have changed, but all the great things still stay the same, because Bet365 will give you the best price on every horse race shown live on Channel Four if you back it from 10am on the day of the race. That means you should wait until 10am Saturday and get the best price, as they will match their competitors. What could be better than best prices? Well, if you back a winner at 4/1 or more at Bet365 on any of the Channel Four races, you get a free bet that matches your stake on the winner for the next Channel Four race.

1:50 Sandown

First race of the day, a 2 mile handicap chase, and there’s some real in-forms sorts going to post in this 9 runner field.

Grey Gold had a good win last time out, but doesn’t look well handicapped here. At 11 years old, top weight against some well handicapped runners might just be a bit too much. Just Cameron (NB) looks the one to beat on bare form. His 2nd behind Un De Sceaux last time out in April reads unbelievably strong, and should, in theory, put him well ahead of the handicapper, and Joe Colliver’s 3lb allowance certainly helps, too. Pearls Legend has been consistent in handicaps this season, and should go well again, although shouldn’t be trusted to get in front when it matters. Arthur’s Oak looks progressive, but has a bit to find with Pearls Legend.

2:05 Ayr

Our first race from Ayr is a 3 mile handicap chase, and luckily it’s a small field of 7 runners going to post. While it’s not the classiest field of the day, there are a couple here that should pick up some decent races over the coming months.

Capard King would be the obvious choice here, with some solid form over hurdles and one win out of one over fences. However, the ground at Ayr is turning into a bog, and lugging top weight around on that ground isn’t going to be easy for a novice chaser against some more experienced sorts, some carrying far less. Presenting Junior has strong claims on form at Ayr, with a sequence at around this time last year of 4 wins and 1 second place in a row around this track. He’s had a couple of runs over hurdles to get him prepped and should go well. Presented is handicapped to win, and off bottom weight with a 3lb claimed on-board, can’t be written off, although a lacklustre record over fences is enough to look elsewhere.

2:25 Sandown

The 2 mile Tolworth Hurdle is the feature race of the day, and it’s a small field for the 2016 renewal, although we have some decent-looking novices going to post for it.

On ratings alone, O O Seven sets a high standard, winning over course and distance last time out. Second in that race, Premier Bond, has come out and won just a few days ago, so the form in the book is rock solid. Welsh shadow looks handy, but the form is hard to work out, with very few clues to help us, although a close second to the classy Yanworth looks good enough form. It’s a bit too far of a step up for Cyrius Moriviere, but still he’s a nice hurdles and should pick up a few easier races. The same applies for Agrapart. We’re going to go with the very classy Yorkhill (NAP) here. Not a surprise choice, but with some great form in the book for Willie Mullins, we can’t oppose. A smart bumper winner, and a comfortable winner on debut over hurdles, he should be challenging for top novice hurdle honours for the rest of the season.

2:40 Ayr

A 2 mile 5 furlong handicap for us next. 10 runners going to post, and a fair few with allowances, which makes things just a little bit tougher for us to work out, especially with the ground as tacky as it is.

Sa Suffit likes it round here, and won last time out at the course. Should come on for the first run of the season over a trip that was far too short. Worth keeping an eye on. Tap Night has raced at a higher level than this and gone well, last time out at Musselburgh was a nice win, but the handicapper might just have caught up. At the weights, Caledonia looks the proverbial penalty kick. Bottom weight, with the great Brian Hughes doing the steering, Caledonia should oblige. Four races in total over hurdles and he didn’t take to them first time around. However, his two most recent starts, both at Ayr, have looked great. He should have opened his account in November, but stumbled at the last when 12 lengths clear. If he stays up, he should win.

3:00 Sandown

A 3 mile handicap chase for the veteran chasers of our great sport. It’s the final race of the series, and we’re getting to see some of the great names of National Hunt racing over the last few years trying to get some of that magic back.

Golden Chieftain has been going well of late, but the current mark doesn’t look too appealing. The classy French Opera hasn’t won in almost 5 years, and this looks a bit too much to ask, especially carrying top weight. Aachen, even though he’s getting on, is actually looking a little bit like a progressive sort. The form in the book is solid enough. However, Reaping The Reward is handicapped far more favourably this time out than when they met last time, and should go well under Richard Johnson. It’s a wide open race, though, and most of the field know how to win a race like this.

3:20 Chelmsford

1 mile 5 furlongs on the all-weather at Chelmsford. What’s not to love? We have a field of 7 for this race, and it’s pretty wide open.

Groovejet has risen through the ranks, from basically the bottom rung, to compete in Group races. 3 wins out of 5 on the AW looks impressive, but he seems to have lost his way a little bit, and this return to the all-weather might seem like a desperation switch to get him back to winning ways. Top weight is a concern. Intense Tango is a very useful hurdler, and if he takes to the all-weather, could be a good thing. However, question marks on this kind of surface are never a good thing. Ballynanty ran into a potential good thing last time out, and looked good chasing him home. Handicapped to win this, there’s a lot to like. Precision Five is a threat, and with Alan King you know you’re going to get a good race, but there are question marks, again, over form.

3:35 Sandown

Last race of the day, a 2 mile handicap hurdle for us to try and work out. As always, the last race of the day seems to be a bit of a conundrum for us, and this 11 runner field is a tricky one to work out.

Sirop De Menthe has been running well, but it looks like the handicapper has him just about right now after a string of wins. Leviathan has run well this season, without troubling the judges too much. A few more pounds down the handicap and he’ll pick up a nice win, but maybe not this time out. See The Rock could be thrown in here at the weights on his first run in a handicap over hurdles. Smart flat form catches the eye, too. However, LochnagarGet stuck into the great Channel Four Racing promotions at: Bet365[/colored_box]