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It’s amazing what a week off does to recharge your batteries and visit some stables, isn’t it? Last week, we got off to a great start, thanks in part to Djakadam falling. However, since we knew Smad Place was a real mudlark, we knew he’d be up there and Lady Luck was smiling on us, so we got a nice winner to start the weekend’s free racing tips off with a bang. Now, can Smad Place win the Cheltenham Gold Cup? Well, if we get a lot of rain, I can’t see why not. Sure, everything would all have to come right at the same time, but hey, we’ve seen Cheltenham look a bottomless pit before in March, so it could happen in 2016, especially considering the weird weather we’ve been having as of late.
Now, thanks to Smad Place doing the business, as well as wins for Yanworth, Barter’s hill and Thistlecrack, we made a nice profit of 4.87 units and we’re nicely in the black to the tune of +6.53 units. Wasn’t it great watching Thistlecrack last weekend? He’s really turned a corner this season, and will take some stopping at Cheltenham in the World Hurdle. The fact he’ll go on any ground, and no other contender has shown up means he might just be the best value on offer just not for any Cheltenham Festival favourite at around 13/8. He’ll go off a lot shorter on the day, that’s for sure.
As always, before we get to the free horse racing tips for today’s meetings from Sandown, Ffos Las and Wetherby, which are both live on Channel Four Racing, I have to promote my the go to bookie for the team at at Sports Betting Tips. The team at 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.
We start the day in the south of England with a 2 mile handicap chase with six runners declared.
For me, this race revolves around Bold Henry and Arthur’s Oak. Last time out, Bold Henry got the jump done over Arthur’s Oak by 2 lengths, but he was receiving 5lbs from the second place finisher. This time round, they’re both running off 10st 13lbs, which puts everything back into Arthur’s Oak’s favour.
Should we look at the rest of the field? Well, Mr Mole has had his successes in the past, but he looks to be McManus’ second string in this race, with Bold Henry being the preferred choice for the owner. And there’s all sorts of querstion marks over Chris Pea Green. So I’ll stick with Arthur’s Oak to get the job done now that he’s back on favourable terms with Bold Henry. The ground and course suit, so we should get a good run.
2:05 Ffos Las
Our first trip to Wales this National Hunt season for the free horse racing tips, and this is the Welsh Champion hurdle from Ffos Las, so expect a quality field. With 12 runners declared, we’re not short of options. Although unlike other Champion hurdles this is a Listed Handicap, so working things out is a tad trickier.
Now normally I would avoid those near the top of the handicap in horrible ground like it’s going to be at Ffos Las, however, Deputy Dan has some ridiculously good form on the book, getting within 6 lengths of the staying hurdle superstar that is Thistlecrack. We need a real stayer as our selection, and Deputy Dan fits the bill. He’s also raced at a much better level than this, so should have enough in hand. The worry is the weight, sure, but he’s head and shoulders above most of this field.
The danger could be One For Harry, although which horse turns up remains to be seen. On his day, he’ll give Deputy Dan a race, but if he’s not playing ball, well, he could come trailing home last. But this is going to be a real test of stamina, we went a classy stayer and we’ve got one that fits the bill.
Next up, it’s the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novice Chase, we’ve got six going to post at the time of writing for this 2m 4f heat.
As De Mee hasn’t done half of what was expected of him at the start of the season. It’ll be a real shock if Paul Nicholls’ charge wins this one. As for Maximiser, it’s a real step up in class, and I doubt he’s good enough for this. The same applies to Ubak, too.
It comes down to three horses, here – Tea For Two, Bristol De Mai and Bitofapuzzle.
Bitofapuzzle won handily at Exeter before falling last time out. There’s no doubt her third in last year’s Mare’s Hurdle is great form, and she jumps like a real stag at times. But she just might not be the one here, although she is a real class act over fences.
Really, it’s between Tea For Two and Bristol De Mai, and I think the preference falls to Bristol De Mai purely because of the 3lb allowance. In this ground, on such close terms, any extra help you can get is a plus, and is Bristol De Mai can nick this by a length of two, it’s all down to that allowance.
A six-runner novice chase over 3 miles, and it’s a seriously hot race. Yes, another small field, but hey, some real classy novice chasers in the field.
If Bitofapuzzle runs here, she’s be in with a great shout. However, even this late on, we don’t know what race she’s going to be running in.
Blaklion sets a very high standard, taking a big win at Cheltenham, and proving that a 3 mile chase will be no problem whatsoever.
Native River also has a great chance, but doesn’t seem to be just as classy as Blaklion. Sure, Native River will claim some big wins, but the preference is for the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner.
A 2 mile 7 furlong handicap hurdle up next, we’ve got 11 runners going to post, so not great for eac-way backers.
The long and short of this is, Baywing could still be ridiculously well handicapped here, and we need to continue following him, with four wins over hurdles in the last four races, all in the space of a couple of months.
Yala Enki is on an upward curve and has shown real class as of late, but last time he capitalised on an obvious handicap rick, not it looks like he’s on a fair mark. But we’ll stick with Baywing, as we know he likes the ground, will get the trip and is in good form.
3:15 Ffos Las
The last from Wales today is the West Wales National, a 3 mile 1 furlong handicap chase.
The obvious pick here would be Bob Ford, given the class and ability he’s shown. However, it’s a long trip and horrible ground, so just over 3 miles isn’t going to be the most fun for him. Instead, preference is for Red Devil Lads purely because he’s shown form at this course in the past, and will enjoy the trip, too. He’s shown great form at this time of the year before, so should go well. It’s a tricky race, and Bob Ford might have up, but we’ll take a chance with our selection on weights.
The lucky last of the day, a 3 mile eight-runner handicap chase in the bottomless ground of Sandown.
La Reve has some good form in paper, but hasn’t shown that he’s back into race-winning form just yet. Preference goes to the lightly-raced Summery Justice, who will be having his second start of the season. He went well at Sandown last time out, and should be ready for this.
Charlie Deutsch takes 5lbs off the back, and that’s going to help a hell of a lot in this ground.