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Saturday Horse Racing Tips

April 12th, 2014

The Guineas trials start in earnest at Newbury today, but our focus is still on the national hunt game and the Scottish Champion Hurdle and Scottish National are perfect for value hunters to get stuck into this afternoon.

The presence of My Tent Or Yours and Tidal Bay in each of these contests not only adds a touch of real class, it also means that plenty of the runners in both fields are out of the handicap.

QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle

My Tent Or Yours looks to have a massive chance at the weights, in particular, as most of his rivals haven’t managed to win off their current official marks, let alone the inflated marks they have to run off here. We expect him to win, but his price means there is value elsewhere both in the place markets and if something untoward happens to the favourite.

The two we like are Flaxen Flare and Cockney Sparrow.

Flaxen Flare ran really well in the County Hurdle at the Festival and loves these competitive, fast run handicaps. He has a nice swing in the weights with Montbazon from their clash at Cheltenham and deserves to win another big handicap.

Cockney Sparrow was also in action at the Festival, where she was fifth to Quvega in the David Nicholson. The drop back in trip today should suit her and her conditional jockey’s allowance means she is actually 3lbs well in at the weights.

Barizan could out run his odds too, but he is furthest out of the handicap and so it is a tall order to expect him to hit the frame. That said, he ran really well on his first start for his new yard and comes here fresher than most.

Flaxen Flare (ew) 2.40 Ayr 12/1 Bet365
Cockney Sparrow (ew) 
2.40 Ayr

Coral Scottish Grand National

There is rain forecast at Ayr this morning and any worsening of the ground could play a key part in the marathon that is that Scottish National.

Even if the going stays pretty much as advertised, as we saw in the Grand National last weekend, it is always wise to have horses with proven stamina on your side and that puts Roalco De Farges top of our shortlist.   

Philip Hobbs has his yard in great form and this horse was second behind Tidal Bay in the Bet365 Gold Cup over 3m 5½f in 2012 and a winner over 3m 2½ f at Newbury last time out. He missed last season through injury and is lightly raced, but that means he could still be improving and after their near miss with Balthazar King at Aintree his connections deserve a change of luck here.

Novices have often done well in the past, so next best may prove to be Sam Winner, who has always threatened to be well suited by this sort of test, whilst Yes Tom was a revelation for his new yard last time out and is the last horse to be running off his proper mark here (the rest of the field are out of the handicap).

Of the rest, Battle Group could prove to be a massive price if he consents to start, whilst Midnight Appeal would have been a selection but for some nagging doubts about his stamina - he could easily prove us wrong.  Mister Marker is the one who could most benefit from plenty of rain.

Roalco De Farges (ew) 
3.50 Ayr 11/1 Bet365
Sam Winner (ew) 
3.50 Ayr
Yes Tom (ew) 
3.50 Ayr
16/1 Bet365

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