[Get Exclusive Tips on our Patreon, Ad-Free]
Today’s a bit of a weird day of racing, as we have the rearranged Welsh Grand National from Chepstow kicking things off. It was probably the most high-profile race postponed during December, so it’s good to see they’re getting it done as soon as possible. However, they’re running it as one of the first races of the day so as to avoid the deteriorating conditions, so things are a bit different, having the feature race kick off the televised coverage on Channel Four Racing.
Now, last week, we got the one winner, and our season profit so far is +5.67, but we had a bit of a dry spell of late, so I’m sure things will turn around as we hit the home straight for the Cheltenham Festival in March. Seriously, only two months to go until the Cheltenham Festival, it’s like being a kid at Christmas and counting down the sleeps. Not that I know how many sleeps there is, but, hey, I’m sure you’re all just as excited.
Now, before we start our free horse racing tips for today’s meetings from Chepstow and Kempton live on Channel Four Racing, I have to go into shill mode, 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.
The Welsh Grand National kicks us off, and it’s going to be a right slog. We need to be looking for a horse that’s well handicapped and should get the trip without struggling towards the end.
Tour Des Champs looks like the one to fit that bill. The 4lbs penalty for winning at Chepstow last time out is taken off by Jamie Bargary’s 5lb allowance. Course form also helps, and although it’s a distance not many horses have competed over, he should get the trip. He’s kept good company in the past, running in Group 3 races, finding the likes of the smart Holywell too good at the time.
Cogry looks a contender, but the handicapper might just have it right there. Good course form, looked OK in this year’s Scottish National, but my preference goes to the lightly-weighted Tour Des Champs in the feature race from Chepstow.
This is all about Ptit Zig really. There will be no price about him, but Ptit Zig really is the class performer out of the three runners in this race. It’s not much of a race, really, and it’s more of a filler, as we’ll not get many pointers out of it. I mean, if Wishfull Thinking does pick up the win, he’s 13, it’s not likely we’re going to learn too much we didn’t already know, is it? Ptit Zig to land the odds, as far as I’m concerned, as long as his jumping holds up.
A nice juvenile hurdle here, and it revolves around Paul Nicholls’ Adrien Du Pont. Now, have been writing that Nicholls’ horses have been poor as of late, but they’ve turned a corner and they’re picking up wins left, right and centre. But does Adrien Du Pont do it for me?
Well, it’s decent enough form and the stable is in good nick. However, preference is for Coo Star Sivola (NAP) to continue the upward trend. It was a good run first time out in a hot race at Cheltenham, and the form looks good enough to win here. The Williams/Coleman combination is always good in the big Saturday races, so all signs point to a win for another Sivola.
The Lanzarote Hurdle is a bit of a soft spot of mine, not that it makes it any easier to pick a winner in what is usually a wide open field. Still, there’s usually a few good ones that come out of it and have a good final few months of the season.
Westren Warrior (NB) screams out at a feather weight here, with some solid form in the bag this season already. He beat what were essentially trees last time out, but proved that horrible ground doesn’t bother him in the slightest. His second at Southwell the time before has also worked out exceptionally well, and we could have a smart handicapped on our hands here. I think he’s well handicapped and should go well here.
Ibis Du Rheu is the obvious threat, and is open to real improvement, but it’s not the ideal mark to win what is going to a real stiff test. Brother Tedd would also be in consideration if it wasn’t for the huge weight he’s going to have to lump around. We liked Brother Tedd earlier in the season, but he disappointed, and putting him into a handicap with top weight to lug round in the mud isn’t going to help him rediscover his form.
A very open handicap chase here, and it’s over 3 miles in horrible ground, so only true stayers need apply here.
Jennys Surprise has been running well without getting her nose in front. Will this be the time? Well, it’s a wide open race, and she’s a couple of pounds better off now. Courtown Oscar could still be well in at the weights, but it’s a huge hike for his last win, and it’s not stellar form that we’ve seen, while Jennys Surprise has been running in better races than this and might just take some beating.
Kurzhlinin will be all the rage here, having run in far better races than this last year. However, he doesn’t seem to go all that well fresh, so might just need to get that run under the belt before challenging for some better races in the coming few months.
Harry’s Farewell didn’t get into the race last time out, falling at the first, but he can be forgiven for that. He looks to be on an upward curve, and if he can get through with a clear round, he looks the one to beat on form.
Yet another handicap chase from Chepstow, although it looks a bit easier to work this one out.
Otago Trail looks the form horse in the race, but with 11st 12lbs on his back, it’s going to be a tough old slog against the well-weighted Four Act who also has good form in the book, but doesn’t have to lumber anywhere near that kind of weight around a marsh-like Chepstow.
Final race of the day, and we’re looking for Hollywood All Star to continue winning ways. He’s made some decent sorts look less than ordinary, and it’s an easy enough race to pick up sitting second bottom of the handicap. It looks like a nice race selection by Graeme McPherson here, and with Archie Bellamy taking 7lbs off the back, too, Hollywood All Star has next to nothing to carry around Kempton.