Saturday Horse Racing Tips and Trends: 16th Jan 2021

Probably not the best weekend of ITV action of the year, but we’ve still some nice jumping cards to look forward to from Warwick and Market Rasen, with seven races being shown LIVE on ITV across the two tracks.

The clear highlight on the day is the Grade 3 McCoy Constructors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase (3.00) – a race trainer Paul Nicholls has won three times since 2006.

As normal, here at RACING AHEAD we are on-hand with all the key stats for the LIVE ITV races – hopefully they might help point you in the direction of a few winners.

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Warwick Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

1.50 – McCoy Contractors Hampton Novices´ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m ITV4

13/13 – Returned 5/1 or shorter in the betting
13/13 – Had won between 0-2 times over fences
13/13 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
12/13 – Had raced in the last 7 weeks
11/13 – Had won between 1-2 times over fences
11/13 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
10/13 – Favourites that finished in the top 3
9/13 – Aged 7 years-old
9/13 – Had won over 3m (or further) chase
9/13 – Won last time out
8/13 – Irish bred
7/13 – Returned 9/4 or shorter in the betting
2/13 – Trained by Alan King
2/13 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/13 – Ridden by Daryl Jacob
2/13 – Winning favourites
Two For Gold (3/1) won the race in 2020

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Slightly disappointing turnout here with just three runners, but it should still be a fascinating affair with only 7lbs separating the trio in the ratings. Golan Fortune is the lowest rated at 142, but does get a handy 5lbs off the Nicholls horse – Next Destination – so there should be a lot between the two. NEXT DESTINATION, who was formerly with the Willie Mullins yard, heads here in the better form though after a good win at Newbury last time out and has made a decent start to his new career at Dicheat. The final runner – Fiddlerontheroof – will have his fans too and gets 5lbs from the selection too. He landed the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle last season and hasn’t done badly since going chasing this season. However, he’s won just one of this four starts over the bigger obstacles – finishing second three times. But the bigger question is this significant step up in trip to 3m here – the furthest he’s gone to date is 2m5f. Yes, he’s certainly worth a crack at this trip, but, for me, he’s not been running over shorter as if he’s crying out for longer. I’d prefer to side with the two proven distance winners in the field, especially on what’s going to be testing conditions.

2.25 – Ballymore Leamington Novices´ Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 2m5f ITV4

14/14 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
14/14 – Had won over at least 2m4f (hurdles) before
14/14 – Had won between 1-2 times over hurdles before
13/14 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
13/14 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
13/14 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/14 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival
10/14 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or less
10/14 – Irish bred
8/14 – Won last time out
7/14 – Aged 5 years-old
6/14 – Winning favourites
6/14 – Placed favourites
3/14 – Went onto win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (No Refuge, 2005 RSA Novices’ Hurdle, The New One, 2013 Neptune, Willoughby Court, 2017 Neptune)
2/14 – Trained by Dan Skelton (2 of the last 6)
2/14 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (2 of the last 8)
Mossy Fen (7/2) won the race in 2020

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: A race to look back on in a few months when it’s Cheltenham Festival week, as this contest has produced three Festival winners in recent times. The Tom Lacey runner – Adrimel – is a good place to start as he’s caught the eye in winning his two starts over hurdles. Hi certainly looks a nice prospect and has handled this sort of ground in the past. However, this will a big step up in trip from 2m to 2m5f and he also have to give 3lbs away to the others – with that in mind, I just feel he’s got a few questions to answer. Of the rest, Make Me A Believer, Mint Condition and Sending Love are respected, while Midnight River represents the Dan Skelton yard that have won this race twice in the last six runnings. Oscar Elite should go well too and won well last time out, but the Colin Tizzard yard are only 1 from 21 with their hurdlers here and that would be a worry. In contrast, the Harry Fry (27%) and Alan King (24%) yards both have fine records with their hurdlers at the track, so their PURE BLISS (Fry) and JAY BEE WHY (King) get the nod. The former is 2-from-2 over hurdles and gets a handy 7lbs mares’ allowance too, while the King runner is also a proven CD winner at the track after winning easily here last month. This is harder, but can expected to improve for that outing and it was also his first back from almost a year off and a wind op.

3.00 – McCoy Constructors Civil Engineering Classic Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m5f ITV4

15/15 – Raced within the last 6 weeks
14/15 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
13/15 – Had won a chase race over at least 3m
11/15 – Carried 11-2 or less in weight
11/15 – Winners that came from outside the top 3 in the betting market
11/15 – Officially rated between 129-140
11/15 – Aged between 7-9 years-old
10/15 – Won by an Irish bred horse
9/15 – Won between 2-5 times over fences before
9/15 –  Won by a horse aged 9 or older
9/15 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or less
9/15 –  Placed in the top 3 in their last race
8/15 – Had raced at Warwick (hurdles, chase, NH Flat) previously
7/15 – Returned a double-figure price
7/15 – Favourites placed
6/15 – Had run at either Cheltenham (3) or Newbury (3) in their last race
5/15 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Grand National (One For Arthur won both races in 2017)
3/15 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/15 – Won their last race
2/15 – Trained by Alan King
Kimberlite Candy (9/2) won the race in 2020
Just one winning favourite in the last 15 runnings
The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 10/1

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Another competitive renewal of the Classic Chase. It’s another race the Alan King yard seem to have a decent chance in with their recent winner – Notachance. This 7 year-old gets in here with just 10-5 in weight and with just five career runs over fences should have more to come. He’s 7lbs higher for that run though and despite looking to have a big chance, I’m not sure he’s great value. Storm Control has won his last two and is certainly going the right way, but is up another 5lbs here and even though the Kerry Lee yard won this in 2016, their overall record at the track (fences) is poor – 1 from 23 (4%). Course winner Le Breuil and the 2019 Grand National fourth – Walk In The Mill – will have their supporters too, but the two interesting ones for me are CAPTAIN CHAOS and DJANGO DJANGO (e/w). The first-named is on a bit of a recovery mission after some poor runs this season but as a result has dropped down the ratings. He was also runner-up in this race 12 months ago off just 2lbs lower, but crucially with topweight Ballyoptic in the race this year, he gets in with only 10st 2lbs in actual racing weight – that’s 10lbs less than last year! The Dan Skelton yard also have a decent 30% record with their chasers at Warwick and jockey Harry Skelton boasts a 32% strike-rate over fences here. The other pick – Django Django – hails from the Jonjo O’Neill yard that also do well here over fences (25%). This 8 year-old will have the services of former champion jockey – Richard Johnson – and despite being 2lbs out of the handicap gets in here with just 10st to carry. The first-time cheekpieces are an interesting addition too, while he beat the King horse – Notachance – at Newbury 12 months ago – a repeat of that run would give him a fair chance. Late Romantic is another to note, while the Venetia Williams yard have been going great guns of late so their Achille and Didero Vallis also command respect.

3.35 – Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) Cl2 3m1f ITV4

15/15 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or less
14/15 – Had won between 1-4 times over hurdles before
13/15 – Carried 11-0 or less
12/15 – Had raced within the last 5 weeks
12/15 – Had never raced over hurdles at Warwick before
12/15 – Officially rated between 126-142
12/15 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
10/15 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) before
10/15 – Went onto finish unplaced in the Pertemps Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
8/15 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
7/15 – Placed favourites
6/15 – Won last time out
2/15 – Ran at Bangor last time out
2/15 – Won by trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
2/15 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
2/15 – Ridden by Paddy Brennan
2/15 – Winning favourites
Silver Sheen (7/1) won the race in 2020
9 of the last 10 winners were aged 8 or younger
4 of the last 7 winners were ridden by a claiming jockey

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Recent winners – Come On Teddy, Flemcara and Mr Harp all have a claim, but also have a bit more on their plates here being up in the ratings and in this better race. Former Midlands and Welsh National winner – POTTERS CORNER (e/w) – is the one that looks very interesting though, back over hurdles. This dour stayer will love conditions but gets into this hurdles race off a mark of 132 and considering he’s rated 151 over fences, that’s a big difference. He did well in the Cross-Country race at Cheltenham (3rd) last time out and should be a lot fitter for that run as it came off a 322 day break too. He’s also only got 10-9 to carry and the useful Jack Tudor helps further by taking off 3lbs more. Yes, he’s not getting any younger at 11, but he showed last time he retains plenty of ability and looks very well-treated off this mark back over hurdlers. The ground will be fine and staying – as we know – will certainly not be an issue either. Tobefair won this in 2017 and is the only proven course winner in the field. He bounced back to form last time at Hereford with a fine second, but you feel this is harder. The Pipe runner – Kepagge – looks unexposed still and is respected, but the other pick, is the Hobbs runner – ESPOIN (e/w). This 7 year-old should be well suited by this step up in trip after running on well in his last two races at Sandown. Richard Johnson rides and his weight of just 10st 5lbs will make life a lot easier in conditions.

Market Rasen Horse Racing Trends (RacingTV/ITV)

2.05 – MansionBet Handicap Hurdle (Gbb Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m 1/2f ITV4

No previous runnings
Trainer Dan Skelton has a 22% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Stuart Edmunds has a 19% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Alan King has a 19% record with his hurdlers at the track

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Just the five runners here. Oscars Leader probably heads here with the best recent figures to his name after a few seconds at Sandown and Haydock, so is probably the safest call in terms of getting a run for your money. The other four all seem to have a bit to prove at the moment but the Alan King runner – EDWARDSTONE – is the class act in the race and I’m happy to side with him returning to form. This 7 year-old hasn’t really progressed as many thought he would, but this time last year he ran well (2nd) in the Supreme Trial at Haydock and was still 6th in the main race at the Festival last March. Yes, he unseated last time out, but that was early in the race and the time before ran okay on his return at Cheltenham. This looks a lot easier for him, despite having 11st 12lbs to carry. Of the rest, Langer Dan, Rowland Ward and Crooks Peak make up the five runners.

2.40 – MansionBet’s Bet 10 Get 20 Hurdle (Gbb Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 2m7f ITV4

Trainer Colin Tizzard has a 40% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Nicky Henderson has a 30% record with his hurdlers at the track
Trainer Dan Skelton has a 22% record with his hurdlers at the track
Jockey Brian Hughes has a 18% record riding over hurdles at the track

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Several old faces here, but the call is the Nicky Henderson runner ON THE BLIND SIDE. The yard has a cracking 30% record with their hurdlers here and this 9 year-old is in the form of his life this season. He ran the classy McFabulous to 2 ¼ lengths last weekend at Kempton and a repeat of that run would surely make him hard to beat. Okay, just seven days between drinks is a slight worry but he’s clearly a horse thriving at the moment and Henderson must feel he’s come out of last Saturday’s race well. Moyaayed and Keeper Hill are proven course winners, while the 149-rated pair of Vision Des Flos, who hails from the Colin Tizzard yard that have a cracking 40% record with their hurdlers here, and Lil Rockerfeller would certainly be players on their best form.

3.15 – Alan Swinbank mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed Race) (Gbb Race) Cl1 (4-6yo) 2m 1/2f ITV4

Three previous runnings
Trainers Willie Mullins, Murty McGrath and Emma Lavelle are previous winners of the race
One winning favourite
All three previous winners aged 4 or 5
Two of the last three winners carried 10st 3lbs
Trainer Fergal O’Brien has a 19% record with his NH Flat runners at the track

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Plenty of reputations on the line here, with five of the seven runners last-time out winners. The Fergal O’Brien yard have a decent 19% record with their NH Flat runners at the course, so their Fashion Nova would have a say, but she was beaten 5 lengths by one of the others in the race – Miss Lamb – last time out so has ground to make up. Eileendover has gone into a lot of notebooks too – after winning by 29 and 16 lengths in her two races. She looks a big player for the Pam Sly yard, but the worry, for me, about her is that those wins came over 1m5f and 1m4f, so this step up to 2m 1/2 f would be a slight unknown. So, it’s hard to get away from the Willie Mullins runner – GRANGEE. They’ve also targeted this race with success in the past, when winning it 12 months ago, so the fact they are sending another over should be noted. Nico de Boinville has been booked to ride and this 5 year-old could not have been more impressive when winning on debut at Galway back in October.

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