Horse Racing 5th November, 2016: Doncaster, Wincanton & Aintree

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Last week, we didn’t learn too much on the road to Cheltenham and Aintree, although during the week Apple’s Jade was turned over on her first start for Gordon Elliott, after being removed from Willie Mullins’ stable. She was 8/1 for the Champion Hurdle before the race, but can now be backed as his as 20/1 on the exchanges. Sure, she wasn’t match fit, but she shouldn’t have been losing to Rashaan, who is rated 22lbs worse than her. She’s better than this, though, and she now seems a backable price for the Champion Hurdle, because if she can replicate the form she showed last season, it will plummet again, and we’ can put her run at Down Royal down to nothing more than a lack of fitness. The other interesting news during the week was that there are a lot of classy flat horses coming over from Aidan O’Brien’s stables to his son Joseph. Housesofparliament, who was third in this year’s St Leger, is the most notable defector to jumps, and is actually the ante-post favourite for the 2017 Triumph Hurdle. It’s going to be interesting to see how some big flat names make the transition to the obstacles.

This week’s free horse racing tips are a combination of flat racing and jumps racing, as we take in meetings from Doncaster, Aintree and Wincanton. The first race live on Channel Four is the 1:50 from Doncaster, and the first jumps race on Channel Four is the 2:10 from Wincanton. Remember to get over to our friends at Bet365, as they have some amazing offers for horse racing. You will get best price on all Channel Four races, if you back a winner at 4/1 or better, you get a risk free bet for the same stake. But what’s even better is that Bet365 do Best Odds Guaranteed Plus, so not only do you get the best odds, but they will boost that even further. Take a price of 3/1 and the horse wins at 4/1? Bet365 will pay you 9/2!

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1:50 Doncaster

We start with a huge 19-runner handicap over 7 furlongs from Doncaster. Who says flat racing is boring? Anyway, there’s a real puzzle to work out here. Hillbilly Boy sets a good standard, but disappointed last time out. The step up in trip should help, but he doesn’t seem too well in at the weights. There should be money here for George Bowen, who went well over the course last time out and should find the extra furlong beneficial, as he was closing in on race winner Muntadab in the final stages. However, Albernathy could be really well in at the weights here, and should be respected. He’s gone well over the course and distance and could be a real rick in the handicapper’s book.

2:10 Wincanton

A 7 runner renewal of the Elite Hurdle over 2 miles and we’ve got a decent enough field for this race. Aristo Du Plessis racked up 6 wins from 7 in 2015, but lost his way the last two starts. Should go welll if he can replicate old form, but the signs don’t point to it. Sceau Royal won handily last time out at Cheltenham, and is 50% over the smaller obstacles. However, joint top weight won’t help things against a few classy sorts. Zubayr is the one to go for in this race for me. His first run of the year, but he’s won over course and distance, was well fancied when disappointing in the Triumph Hurdle and ran the classy Footpad and Device in France. Put that disappointing Triumph run behind him and he’s got everything required to win on his handicap debut.

2:25 Doncaster

Back to Doncaster for the 6 furlong Wentworth Stakes. We have 11 horses hopefully going to post for this. A lot of form from the Ayr Gold cup here, with Growl being the one to watch here, especially off level weights. However, I think the better ground is really going to suit Jane’s Memory, who has raced in great company in her few runs, and if you put her two bad defeats in the last two races down to the ground, she’s got to be in with a great chance.

2:40 Aintree

A very interesting 2 mile 4 furlong hurdle next, and even though we only have 5 runners declared, there’s a few classy sorts to whet our appetite. Zarkandar might just need longer and his best days could well be behind him. He’s had 517 days off the track, and it might well be a tribute tour for the great stayer. Vyta Du Roc will be going chasing again, so this looks like a warm-up run. The same can be said for Un Temps Pour Tout. That leaves Mister Miyagi, even though he’s carrying a penalty. He’s had a warm-up run at Kempton and he’s three wins from five over hurdles, so even though he’s carrying a penalty, he should have enough for those that seem to be warming-up before they start their chasing season.

3:00 Doncaster

1 mile 2 furlongs next up from Doncaster, and we have 18 runners declared for this fillies’ stakes race. Attention turns to the three-year-olds in this race for me, as they will be matured by this point in the flat season, they’ll be lightly-raced and should have something left in the tank compared to their heavily-raced counterparts. Entsar might need a bit more give in the ground. It’s Dubai Fashion that stands out to me. She’s having his first race over the distance on turf, and accounted well for herself on the all-weather at Newcastle over 1 mile 2 furlongs last time.

3:10 Aintree

A handicap chase next from Aintree, with 9 runners declared for this 2 mile 3 furlong race. Mr Mole basically wrecks the handicap, and although he’s got solid form in the book, he’s not shown it for quite some time. Princeton Royal has a 40% strike rate over fences and should be respected for Neil King and Trevor Whelan. However, Orbasa for Paul Nicholls should come on well from last season’s good runs, and is near the bottom of the handicap, which should certainly help. It’s not a particularly great race, but there has to be a winner, and Orbasa looks it.

3:20 Wincanton

11 runners declared for this 3 mile 1 furlong chase, the highlight of the day’s racing at Wincanton. It’s a good field, actually, and The Young Master, who went well at Cheltenham and backed it up at Sandown next time out, will be hard to beat. However, his first race of the season and he’s carrying top weight of 11st 12lbs doesn’t look good, when you can find some classy sorts further down the handicap. Gentleman Jon has good course form and looks well handicapped. However, Present Man has course and distance form and should hold Gentleman Jon on form from their meeting at Wincanton last month. Fingerontheswitch who is just out of the handicap might also spring a surprise and seems to go well at this time of the year, so could be worth an each-way punt.

3:35 Doncaster

Last race of the race, it’s the November Handicap over 1 mile 4 furlongs and we have 23 runners declared. To be fair, it’s nearly a case of sticking a pin in and hoping for the best, but we’ll see what we can find. Wrangler right at the bottom of the handicap looks the perfect type for William Haggas to land a bit prize at the end of the season. Lightly raced and went well last time on this course, all signs point to this being a race Haggas has had in mind. Plus, it’s his only entry in the race, so you have to think he fancies it. Soldier In Action looks to have been caught by the handicapper, while Qassem needs more give in the ground.

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