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Saturday Horse Racing Tips

February 21st, 2015

With Cheltenham only a few weeks away we aren’t likely to see many of the main protagonists for jump racing’s showpiece spectacle in action between now and the start of the four day festival, but Sire De Grugy is a notable exception and he has star billing today.

Rifles Handicap Chase

The reigning champion chaser needs more practice after coming to grief on his comeback at Newbury two weeks ago. He is a short price to make amends at Chepstow this afternoon, but giving lumps of weight to rivals in heavy ground won’t be easy. Unfortunately, with only four runners there is no each-way option when trying to take him on, but we still can’t resist a small interest in rank outsider Mister Grez, with some 40/1 still available.

He is a fair way out of the handicap, but has an amateur on board to offset some of the difference and he loves heavy ground. The drop back to two miles should also be in his favour as he can be a free going sort and is worth taking a chance on at such long odds.

Mister Grez (win)
3.35 Chepstow
40/1 Bet365

Betfred Eider (Handicap Chase)

At the other end of the scale in terms of distance is the Eider Chase at Newcastle, where the 18 strong field will travel more than twice the distance of Sire De Grugy and co.

Here we like the chances of two lightly raced sorts - Alpha Victor and Milborough.

The former caught the eye when a fine second in the Midlands National last season after only four runs over fences. He had been a little bit disappointing over fences so far this campaign, but bounced back to form with a fine effort over hurdles last time out and that run should have put him spot on for this.

Milborough was beaten only 8 lengths in the National Hunt Chase at last year’s Festival. Favourite for this race, Shotgun Paddy, was second that day, but our selection gets a handy swing in the weights of nearly a stone and yet can be backed at three times the price (he is 20/1 with Sky Bet, who are offering 5 places).

He switched yards in the summer, but looked better than ever when winning over Carlisle’s stiff 3m 2f in November. He fell at the first last time out, but that means he comes here a fresh horse.

Of the rest, veteran Neptune Equester will be a big danger if he manages to keep in touch early.

Alpha Victor (ew)
2.55 Newcastle
Milborough (ew)
2.55 Newcastle
Sky Bet

BetBright Chase

Kempton’s feature is the BetBright Chase (formerly the Racing Post Chase). Surprisingly, conditions are much softer here than at Newcastle and that will suit our main selection, Le Reve.

He is a giant of a horse, who ploughs through heavy ground and seems to be improving fast having now grown into his big frame. He won a valuable handicap at Sandown recently under similar conditions and is at his best going right handed. He should be able to cope with his rise in the weights here given how much he seemed to have in hand at the finish that day.

Of the others, favourite Easter Day makes plenty of appeal, but previous course winners Lost Legend and Tenor Nivernais also have chances and are much more attractive prices. Narrow preference is for the latter, who looks ready for the step back up in trip, although Venetia Williams’ yard is slightly quieter than it was at its peak, which is a slight concern.

Le Reve (ew) 3.45 Kempton
9/1 Bet365
Tenor Nivernais (ew) 3.45 Kempton
Bet365 & BetVictor

Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

Another Williams, Evan, certainly has his string in fine fettle at the moment and our final selection is his Firebird Flyer in the Pertemps Qualifier back at Chepstow.

This horse is better known for his antics over fences, but is very well handicapped over hurdles based on that form, and he loves heavy ground and stays all day.

Firebird Flyer (ew)
4.10 Chepstow
12/1 Sky Bet & BetVictor
Bet365Sky BetBetVictor
£200 bonus
£20 free bet
£25 free bet

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