ITV does us proud on Saturday – TEN live races!

So; as all sentences seem to begin these days. TV interviews anyway. We’ve got 4 National Hunt races from Kelso, same code brings us 3 from Newbury, and a magnificent bonus in the form of 3 top flat contests from the Dubai World Cup meeting in Meydan. Get in!

Here’s the schedule;


1:50 BetVictor Go North Cab On Target Handicap Hurdle (Series Final) (Class 2) (2m5f)

2:25 Schloss Roxburghe Hotel Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (3m2f)

3:00 BetVictor Herring Queen Series Final Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (2m)

3:35 Make Your Best Bet At BetVictor Handicap Chase (Class 2) (3m2f)


1:30 Play Pick 6 At BetVictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (2m3f)

2:05 BetVictor Handicap Chase (Class 2) (2m4f)

2:40 British EBF BetVictor “National Hunt” Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) (Series Final) (2m 4 1/2f)


3:10 Dubai Turf (Group 1) 1m 1f

4:00 Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1) 1m 4f

4:35 Dubai World Cup (Group 1) 1m 2f

Lots to ponder then, so without further ado here’s a race-by-race rundown with what we think could have bright chances this afternoon.

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Newbury 1:30 Play Pick 6 At BetVictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

Four places each-way, and a decent-sized field. Inneston (around the 3s mark) has the steadier of 11st 10lbs but has earned it. Big performances the last twice at Sandown sets him up nicely for this.

Toothless for Paul Nicholls has 12st – but reduces this by 5 with a claimer booked. Knows where the winning post is but I’m unconvinced. Atlanta Brave (circa 7/1) for Kerry Lee is on a three-timer, up in grade, but is certainly progressive. Has performed well at Chepstow, another top-notch left-handed galloping track.

Gary Moore has his string in fine fettle just now and that tips the scales in Inneston’s favour for me.

Selections – Inneston to win, Atlanta Brave each-way.


Kelso 1:50 BetVictor Go North Cab On Target Handicap Hurdle

Remembering Mary Reveley’s fine jumper from many years ago Cab On Target, this is a series final paying four places each-way, with an ultra-competitive look.

Coral Blue is on a hat-trick, and importantly is a previous course and distance scorer. Raised 7lbs here, but won comfortably last time at Ayr. Big chance, at around 11/2.

Euchan Falls is another hat-trick seeker, up a huge chunk in class here but just 4lbs higher for his last success. Famous last words, but he’s not for me.

Idilico ran really well against Coral Blue last time and might just be coming to the boil. At around 12/1 it’s potentially fertile each-way territory.

Selections – Coral Blue each-way, Idilico each-way.


Newbury 2.05 BetVictor Handicap Chase

Heltenham for the Skeltons (4/1) has been making hay at lower levels and raises his sights considerably here. The penny appears to be dropping nicely after a wind op, and he might just have it in him to take the step up.

Super Six represents the Twistons (6/1) and took a similar Haydock affair impressively last time. Should have no issues whatsoever however testing the ground might be.

Messire Des Obeaux (8/1) represents the famous double green of Munir/Souede, and at 11 years of age we’re perhaps talking Indian summer material after a great victory last time. Gary Moore runs Zhiguli, up 3lbs for a good win at Sandown. Much flatter track here for this son of Flemensfirth, who trades at around 11/1.

Selections – Super Six to win, Zhiguli each-way


Kelso 2:25 Schloss Roxburghe Hotel Handicap Hurdle

A tough staying test paying three places each-way, even though only 7 are due to start.

Flower Of Scotland is an interesting mare, nicely priced at around 15/2. Has winning course form, and is one of the few not taking a big step up in class. She’ll do nicely for me, e/w. The excellent Ryan Mania is in the plate. Job done!

Selection – Flower Of Scotland each-way.


Newbury 2.40 British EBF BetVictor “National Hunt” Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

We’re paying five each-way places, it’s a good field numerically, with a very decent prize to the winner (around £26,000).

15/2 the field country here, so each-way heaven and then some. Most of these novices are up in grade today, so it’s a case of finding ones with that little bit of improvement (hopefully) up their sleeves.

Chris Gordon’s Presenting A Queen has won here before, and has Bryony Frost on board. Had a recent, decent spin after a little break and could be cherry-ripe for this at around 10/1.

Nicky Richards raids from the north with Aubis Walk, easy winner last time of a small event at Sedgefield. More needed here, but presumably the trip from Cumbria is made with high hopes.

A cracking big field offers any number of alternative or accompanying prospects but let’s not muddy the waters. A couple of e/w ‘arrers to throw will do nicely.

Selections – Presenting A Queen each-way, Aubis Walk each-way.


Kelso 3:00 BetVictor Herring Queen Series Final Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

A shortish-priced fav at last in the shape of Bonttay. Wouldn’t put you off but is no value, for me at least, at around 2/1. One decent win at Exeter but readily held at Market Rasen last time.

Fine Irish pilot JJ Slevin has been booked to ride Jane Du Berlais for trainer Ryan Potter. Beat Bonttay narrowly at Lingfield in December, then had a little break. A spin around Wetherby last month might just have put her right for today.

One I’m taking against the field, e/w. I love the booking, and is around the 9/2 mark.

Selections – Jane Du Berlais each-way.


Meydan 3:10 Dubai Turf

The small matter of two-and-a-half-million pounds to the winner. Pass me another aspirin ..

Lord North tuned up for this with an effortless win in a Group 3 at Lingfield on the all-weather. Gosdens-trained, Dettori-ridden. Massive chance, dead-heated for first in this last year.

Aged 7 now, pretty old for a European flat horse but commonplace elsewhere around the world. Bags of class, gears, and trades at around 7/2.

One that could spoil the party is Nations Pride, for Charlie Appleby/Will Buick. Took a Group 3 nicely here last month, and getting further than this should ensure a strong finish.

Alfareeq is a UAE-trained Shadwell inmate who won a Group 1 at this trip earlier this month. Tremendous e/w value at about 18/1, and we’re paying FOUR places.

Selections – Lord North to win, Alfareeq each-way.


Kelso 3:35 Make Your Best Bet At BetVictor Handicap Chase

A cracking handicap ‘chase over the Gold Cup trip no less. Anything as exciting as that scintillating renewal at Prestbury Park eight days ago or so ago will be fabulous.

One or two could have Aintree aspirations in mind after this, but it’s a nice pot of around 18 grand in its own right. I like Doyen Breed, for Sandy Thomson/Ryan Mania. Good second here last month in a similar event. Nice racing weight of 10st 12lbs, and is around a 6/1 shot.

Top weight Cilaos Emery is one of those National entries that one could hardly say is in great form, and has 12st. Plenty of others are in ordinary form at present for me, too. Great opportunity then for the locally-based trainer and this eight-yr-old son of the great Doyen, winner of an Ascot King George no less back in the day.

Selection – Doyen Breed each-way


Meydan 4:00 Dubai Sheema Classic

Three million to the winner this time, and a Japanese even-money hotpot in the shape of Equinox. Boasts high-class form in Japan for regular jockey Christophe Lemaire, and appears to get this trip readily.

Rebel’s Romance took the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland last November in a career-best. Looks to spearhead the ‘home’ defence for Godolphin, and Appleby/Buick. 9/2 or thereabouts.

If Equinox takes to the track I believe it’s his to lose, but that is a fair-sized IF. There’s a lovely globe-trotting look to the field, but few with great chances in my view.

Selection – Equinox to win, Rebel’s Romance each-way


Meydan 4:35 Dubai World Cup. SIX MILLION to the winner.

The big one, on an afternoon of big ones. We’re paying FOUR places each-way, and there’s a field of 15 expected on the dirt.

Another really cosmopolitan feel to proceedings, with that sensational first prize up for grabs. The Crisfords saddle Algiers, (7/2), who has hoovered up a couple of Group 2’s on this track this year. In the form of his life, at 6.

Bob Baffert/Frankie Dettori are represented by Country Grammer, another 6-yr-old (4/1) who took this last year. Remains in peak form, as evidenced by a great run at Riyadh in February.

Winner of that Riyadh contest, The Saudi Cup, was Panthalassa, a very smart Japanese challenger who has form ties with Equinox. Dead-heated with Lord North for last year’s Turf.

This is a fabulous renewal, exactly as one would expect. I’m hoping Frankie can do the business once again before eventually returning to wow us all in what’s his farewell season.

What a career – and it ain’t finished yet.

Selection – Country Grammer to win.

Have a brilliant afternoon’s sport. As I said – surely something for everyone.

Horse Racing Odds


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