It’s a big day of jumps racing, with Wetherby and Ascot providing some quality equine entertainment, alongside further cards from Ayr, Galway and – on the Flat – Newmarket and Wolverhampton.

We’ve got a preview of the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby (15:35) to digest, while our other Saturday selections could see Bryony Frost enjoying her first major weekend winner since returning from injury.


Wetherby 14:25 – Martello Sky @ 2/1
Ascot 15:50 – Leave Of Absence @ 13/8
Ayr 14:33 – Silver Flyer @ 3/1
Newmarket 15:58 – Keep In Touch @ 9/2

Tip 1

There’s plenty quality on the card at Wetherby today, the west Yorkshire circuit staging their premier jumps card of the season, and it includes the bet365 Hurdle (14:25) where Molly Ollys Wishes is favourite to retain a crown she won readily last season for Dan and Harry Skelton.

She did, however, lose her form a bit towards the end of the season and might be vulnerable now.

Lucy Wadham saddles MARTELLO SKY (2/1) and she is the mount of Bryony Frost – no stranger to a big race winner on terrestrial television on a Saturday afternoon.

Martello Sky is only rated 1lb inferior to Molly Ollys Wishes and today she receives 2lb from the market leader. Most impressive however is her record on seasonal bow/reappearing from a break, which shows four wins in as many attempts.

Her only defeats in five starts last season came in strong contests at Aintree in November and the Cheltenham Festival in March and, at the prices, Martello Sky is worth taking on the favourite with.

Tip 2

At Ascot, look out for Chris Gordon’s hurdling newcomer LEAVE OF ABSENCE (13/8) in the GL Events Novices’ Hurdle (15:50).

Having joined this yard after one run in an Irish point (third), he made a winning start in a Kempton bumper in February and had no trouble carrying a penalty to success at Newbury in early April.

Connections boldly headed for Aintree a mere a week later and their charge performed well, placed third in a Grade 2 bumper, the form of which now looks reliable.

He’s entitled to be making his mark quickly over timber this season and find a very presentable opening opportunity, with a stiff track such as Ascot sure to suit.

Horse Racing Odds

Tip 3

Champion jockey and runway leader this time around, Brian Hughes heads for Ayr this afternoon seeking to add to his impressive tally.

He can likely do so on SILVER FLYER (3/1) for boss Donald McCain in the Marine Troon Hotel & Spa Handicap Hurdle (14:33).

The McCain inmate won at Catterick (2m3½f, soft) on hurdles bow last December and then finished second in novice events at Carlisle and Bangor in February/March over similar trips on testing ground.

On the strength of those runs, and with improvement likely forthcoming this term going off handicapping, an opening mark of 120 could prove too lenient. He goes up in trip here on seasonal return and will be fine on the ground. It’s no shock to find he’s on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder for Saturday’s action.

Tip 4

There’s Flat racing to take in today as well as Newmarket closes in on the end of another season and they have Listed action via the Montrose Fillies’ Stakes (15:58) where KEEP IN TOUCH (9/2) can go well for trainer Dermot Weld.

The Tamayuz filly has had just four starts in Ireland, winning a Galway maiden in September before going down narrowly in a Curragh Group 3 a fortnight later – both on soft ground.

Conditions at Headquarters are favourable for Chris Hayes’ mount and that run last time was a hint of more to come now upped to the mile trip for the first.

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