Horse Racing January 16th, 2016: Warwick, Wetherby, Chelmsford

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We’re sitting up late watching the weather in the Sports Betting Tips offices, as all signs point to carnage throughout the UK with snow and freezing temperatures on the way. In fact, Warwick, one of the day’s televised meetings on Channel Four, will be inspecting in the morning. While they say they’re confident of racing going ahead, who knows? It’s looking like an unpredictable few days with the weather, which also means that the racing is going to be as equally unpredictable. And unpredictable racing does not help us a hell of a lot, does it?

Last week, I think the weather really hit us, and we just couldn’t get the winners over the line, as we had a couple of close seconds and thirds, but no real luck. In fact, I even called Ptit Zig’s dodgy jumping, but couldn’t bring myself to back against him. So that leaves us with a running loss of -3.67 units. While it’s not great, the weather really isn’t helping us at the moment, so hopefully once we get a better run of it, things will change. The thing is, we’re hitting the post a lot on a Saturday, and as soon as we find the net with a couple, the profits will start flowing back. The free horse racing tips will turn a corner soon enough, as we found on the flat, and we’ll cop a nice winner or two to get us nicely back into profit. If nothing else, we’re enjoying watching the horse racing on Channel Four before it heads off to ITV next year.

Now, before we start our free horse racing tips for today’s meetings a weather-hit Warwick, Wetherby and Chelmsford, all live on Channel Four Racing, I have to go into promote one of our favourite bookies at Sports Betting Tips, 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 Warwick

The first race of the day is a small novice chase, and there’s one horse that really stands out over this 3 mile trip and in the horrible ground. It’s not a novel selection, but Black Hercules (NAP) should prove hard to beat is showing the form that saw him win easily at Navan back in October in similar ground. He’s got a whole host of entries at Cheltenham, connections think highly of him, and everything points to him taking this down.

Definitly Red has Black Hercules matched on hurdles rating, but hasn’t shown as much over fences as Willie Mullins’ charge, and although could be dangerous, doesn’t give us too much cause to worry. Forecast backers might want to put him in to finish runner-up to our selection.

2:05 Wetherby

A tricky little 2 mile handicap chase in heavy ground leaves the first televised race from Wetherby looking like a trappy race to call.

It’s hard to really made a case for any of the runners, as none of them are really in form. However, Gardefort is crawling down the handicap slowly and looks the pick of them in terms of potential. Plus, with Venetia Williams, you know you’ll get an honest run out of him no matter what.

Is there any threat to our selection in the race? Sure, the entire field, as something has to win it! It’s a tentative selection at best, but it’s also the sensible choice given that he looks well-handicapped and lightly races, which really helps in bottomless ground.

2:25 Warwick

A 3 mile 2 furlong on heavy ground is just going to be horrible for the 10 declared runners. In fact, if all 10 go to post, I’ll be mightily impressed.

Anyway, where to start? Those at the top of the handicap look like a bad of Scrabble tiles fell onto their form guides, given the amount of Fs and Ps on it. But ignoring the top three, who seems to terribly handicapped, it’s a nice race with some form runners contesting it.

Arctic Gold has some nice wins on paper and looks progressive, but it’s hard to get past the fact he’s beaten very little on his way to those victories. Volcani’s form is all over the place, and it’s a real step up in class for Howaboutnever. Pobbles Bay’s form hasn’t really worked out. However, Isaacstown Lad (NB) has some seriously good form in the bag and might just still be in with the handicapper to the tune of a couple of pounds. He’s beaten subsequent winners comfortably, looks on the up, and will relish the ground and the trip. What’s not to like about Brian Harding’s mount?

2:40 Wetherby

A 2 mile 3 furlong handicap hurdle is up next at Wetherby, and it’s another trick race to get our head around. The ground doesn’t help matters, either, if I’m being honest with you. Still, there are some nice runners in this race, and it could be an interesting one to watch should we get a real springer coming from it.

Divine Port will have its backers at the bottom of the handicap, and with a couple of wins in the last two races. However, the form isn’t stellar, and there are better choices in this race. Master Jake also appeals, but the jockey booking suggests connections are worried that the handicapper has caught up with him, as Bridget Andrews’ 5lbs is needed. But this is a winning mark for Vendor, who has gone well of this rating before in a much better race. Sure, top weight in this ground isn’t ideal, but a class animal in an ordinary race stands out, much like Otago Trail last weekend.

3:00 Warwick

the feature race of the day is a 2 mile 5 furlong novice hurdle, and this is a wide open race, which will no doubt spring a shock and cause form guide to be thrown away in disgust, as seems to be the case with conditions like this.

Anyway, Final Nudge’s form is red hot, coming off the back of a decent novice hurdle second at Cheltenham. A lot to like about that run, and more should follow. However, the distance is a bit muddling, and others are preferred. Born Survivor has some nice form in the book, beating a subsequent winner last time out. However, Willie Mullins saddles two, and his sons are riding them both. Double Eagle will relish the testing ground, and should lap it right up, but Thomas Hobson beat a subsequent Group 2 runner-up last time out, will like the ground and trip, and has the kind of big race entries that makes you sit up and take notice. Mullins wouldn’t be sending him here if he wasn’t confident.

3:20 Chelmsford

There’s some clause that they have to go to Chelmsford on Channel Four Racing whenever a semi-decent field is assembled. Hopefully it means this incarnation of the all-weather track isn’t a disaster like Great Leighs was back in the day. Anyway, enough of my sniping.

Luv U Whatever has course form, which is important when it comes to the all-weather tracks, as they all differ so greatly. Two weeks on from that run, he should still be in good enough form against a field that has some quality runners in it, but they all seem to have question marks over their head. It’s not a great race for betting on, but, hey, you came her for a free tip, and I’ll give you it.

3:25 Warwick

The lucky last. As long as the meeting goes ahead, that is.

A 3 mile 5 furlong chase on bog-like ground is not going to be fun. So let’s just turn our attentions towards the bottom of the handicap, as anything lugging top weight around and winning should really just be heading for the Grand National, such is the test of stamina this is going to be.

De Kerry Man is bottom weight here, and could have easily hacked up at Cheltenham at the start of the year if it wasn’t for a blunder causing him to unseat his rider three from home when leading. Jake Hodson even takes another 5lbs off, so De Kerry Man will have 10 stone on his back, which is just a lovely weight to be carrying round a sodden Warwick for close to 4 miles, isn’t it?

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