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Saturday Horse Racing Tips

February 28th, 2015

It is very much the calm before the storm at the moment with the Cheltenham Festival just over a week away, but there are four decent handicaps for punters to get stuck into today - three at Newbury and one at Doncaster.

Grimthorpe Chase

The Grimthorpe is the feature event at the Yorkshire track and it is a race in which novices have a good record, which points to the chances of Drop Out Joe. The ground will be lot better here this afternoon than it has been for most of the season and that should really suit Charlie Longsdon’s seven year old, as should the step up in trip as he has been staying on well over lesser trips recently. He has been keeping pretty decent company in novice events and looks well handicapped based on his best form over hurdles.

Course specialist Night Of Milan is bound to run well as he will relish underfoot conditions too. The same is true of Streams Of Whiskey, although he isn’t always the most fluent of fencers. However, if back to anything like his best, the most favourably treated horse in the line-up could be Super Duty, who won the Kim Muir two seasons ago. He’s had injury problems since, but ran an encouraging race on his comeback over hurdles recently.

Drop Out Joe (ew)
3.45 Doncaster
Super Duty (ew)
3.45 Doncaster

Greatwood Veterans Handicap Chase

It’s Greatwood day at Newbury and in the Veterans’ Chase at 2.15 Roalco De Farges can bounce back to winning ways for the deadly combination of Hobbs and Johnson. He has been out of form since winning impressively at Cheltenham on his comeback, but the better ground here can see him rediscover that level of form from a 6lb lower mark. He is two from two at the Berkshire circuit, including a course and distance success almost a year ago.

It can be hard to predict how these old timers will run as they aren’t always the most consistent at this stage of their careers, so a shock is possible, which is why it is also worth having a few quid on Golden Chieftain. He was beaten out of sight by Soll last time out, but it is hard to ignore the fact that he is 3lbs lower than when winning the big staying handicap chase at the 2013 Festival. He’ll surely start showing some better form soon, so let’s hope today’s the day.

Roalco De Farges (ew)
2.15 Newbury
Golden Chieftain (ew)
2.15 Newbury
Sky Bet

Greatwood Handicap Hurdle

In the Greatwood Hurdle Baby King really catches the eye. It is interesting that connections have decided to go, and then stick to, the handicap route with this horse who won a competitive bumper in Ireland last season before switching to Tom George’s yard. He cost 130,000 euros and is highly regarded by connections, and it is easy to forgive his last run at Sandown, where conditions were horrendous.

Attwaal is the other interesting one, on the basis that the drop back in trip might bring about some improvement.

Baby King (ew) 2.50 Newbury 8/1 Bet365

Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase

In the Greatwood Gold Cup that follows, the same is true for Bennys Mist, who ran really well for a long time over 3m at Sandown last time out, only to fade in the closing stages. The same forcing tactics over this shorter trip on better ground could see him as the one to beat.

There are plenty of dangers, not least Sound Investment for Paul Nicholls who can’t stop winning these big Saturday chases, but as backup to the main choice we are going to give one last chance to Easter Meteor. 

David Pipe will surely win a big race with this talented horse, who has run well here before. The ground is key to him as he relishes decent going so let’s hope underfoot conditions suit him today. If so, he is handicapped to win. Let’s hope this is his target rather than him being primed for one of the big Cheltenham handicaps.

Bennys Mist (ew) 3.25 Newbury 10/1 Bet365
Easter Meteor (ew) 3.25 Newbury 11/1 Bet365
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