Free Horse Racing Tips and Trends: Sat 15th Feb 2020

With the equine flu situation now over, racing is back and it’s back with a bang!

With the ITV cameras covering some of last week’s lost races we’ve now 10 contests to take in from Ascot, Haydock, Wincanton and even  heading over to Ireland for the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park.

So, to help narrow down the fields, and point you in the direction of a few winners, then we’ve got all the LIVE races covered from a trends and stats angle – we hope they help!



1.50 – Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices´ Chase (An Ascot Appearance Money Scheme Race) (Grade 2) Cl1 2m7f180y ITV4

17/17 – Priced 17/2 or shorter in the betting
15/17 – Aged either 6 or 7 years-old
15/17 – Had run within the last 7 weeks
14/17 – Had won between 1-3 times over fences previously
14/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
12/17 – Won last time out
10/17 – Irish bred
10/17 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
10/17 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s RSA Chase (2 winners)
9/17 – Winners that went onto finish 5th or better in the RSA Chase
8/17 – Placed favourites
7/17 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/17 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
3/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/17 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill

Note: The 2005 & 2006 – Run at Lingfield Park

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Some promising Novice Chasers on show here today but it’s the joint top-rated PYM that stands out for me. From the Nicky Henderson yard, that have won this race three times since 2010, this 7 year-old has won 2 of this 3 chase starts to date. Wins here at Ascot and Cheltenham most recently have been impressive since being stepped up from 2m4f to 3m and if all goes well here it could be the RSA Chase at the Festival next. Of the rest, Sam Brown is the other joint top-rated in the field but has to give 2lbs away to Pym. He’s done nothing wrong in winning his two chase starts and looks an exciting prospect for the Anthony Honeyball camp – but with 15 of the last 17 winners of this race aged 6 or 7, then this 8 year-old falls down on this key age trend. Two For Gold and Copperhead are the others that will be popular after some solid wins last time out, but the official ratings suggest they will both need to find a tiny bit more improvement.


2.25 – Keltbray Swinley Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Listed Race) Cl1 2m7f180y ITV4

Only 9 previous runnings
9/9 – Returned 9/1 or shorter in the betting
8/9 – Finished 5th or better last time out
8/9 – Aged 8 or older
7/9 – Won 1 or 2 chase races previously
7/9 – Raced at either Ascot (3) or Cheltenham (4) last time out
6/9 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
6/9 – Had raced at Ascot (fences) before
5/9 – Aged in double-figures
4/9 – Returned 4/1 or shorter in the betting
4/9 – Irish bred
4/9 – Carried 10-13 or less in weight
3/9 – Winning distance head or shorter
2/9 – Won last time out
2/9 – Winning Favourites
5 of the last 7 winners carried 11-0 or more
Regal Encore won the race in 2018 and was third in 2019.

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: The 12 year-old – REGAL ENCORE (e/w) – seems to love Ascot and despite his age is still showing a great attitude for the game. He showed plenty of guts to win here back in December and is only 4lbsh higher. He also won this race in 2018 and was third 12 months ago off a mark 6lbs higher than today. Soft/Heavy ground is fine too, while it’s hard to crab his recent runs here at Ascot 1-3-2-1. Of the rest, with 5 of the last 7 winners carrying 11st or more, then it’s only Valtor and Ballyoptic that fit the bill on that front. Valtor is also a proven CD winner – 6 of the last 9 winners had raced at Ascot before. Another interesting runner is Domaine De L’Isle, who has won his last three, including last time out here. But is up 6lbs for that neck win and is now 16lbs higher than when his winning run started – it could be the handicapper is just starting to catch up with him. Jepeck, Captain Drake and Red Indian are others to consider, but I’ll stick with the old-timer- Regal Encore – to put in another solid performance in this race.


3.00 Give The Gift Of Ascot Annual Membership Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m3 1/2f ITV4

13/14 – Had won between 1-3 times over hurdles before
12/14 – Ran within the last 5 weeks
10/14 – Winning distance – 1 1/2 or less
9/14 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
9/14 – Had won over 2m4f or further before
8/14 – Carried 10-12 or less
8/14 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
8/14 – Winners that went onto race at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
8/14 – Placed favourites
6/14 – Priced 9/1 or bigger
6/14 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
5/14 – Irish bred
5/14 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
4/14 – Had run at Ascot over hurdles before
3/14 – Winning favourite (1 joint)
3/14 – Raced at Sandown last time out
2/14 – Trained by Dr Richard Newland
2/14 – Trained by Paul Nicholls

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: An open affair. The Con Man was a nice winner up at Kelso last time out and will be popular with title-chasing jockey Brian Hughes riding for Donald McCain – but he’s up 7lbs for that last win so more is required. Course winners, Eden Du Hoax, who like to run from the front, Malaya, Air Horse One and Jolly’s Cracked It can’t be ruled out if making the final line-up, but with the Nicholls yard having a solid record in the race – won the race 12 months ago and in 2010 – then it might be worth chancing his MALAYA (e/w) at a nice price. He landed the pot with a 25/1 winner last season too. Malaya does need to put some poor recent runs behind him but is down another 2lbs in the ratings and is now only 2lbs higher than when last winning. He was also fourth in this race 12 months ago – beaten just 5 ¾ lengths – so has clearly been aimed at the prize again and is also a prove course winner here at Ascot. With 2 ½ months to freshen-up the Nicholls team are sure to get him back racing competitively at some point and hopefully it’s today!


3.35 – Betfair Ascot Chase Grade 1 Cl1 2m5f110y ITV4

17/17 – Won over at least 2m4f (fences) previously
16/17– Priced at 15/2 or shorter in the market
15/17 – Winners from the top 3 in the market
14/17 – Winners that didn’t win their next start
14/17 – Ran within the last 7 weeks
13/17 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or more
13/17 – Favourites placed
13/17 – Officially rated 157 or higher
11/17 – Priced 2/1 or shorter in the market
11/17 – Favourites that won
8/17 – Won between 1-4 times over fences previously
7/17 – Unplaced in their latest race
7/17 – Raced at Kempton (King George) last time out
6/17 – Won over fences at Ascot previously
6/17 – Won their last race
5/17 – Winners that ran in that season’s Ryanair Chase (1 winner, Cue Card) later that year
3/17 – Raced at Cheltenham last time out
3/17 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/17 – Trained by Alan King
2/17 – Trained by Nicky Henderson
10 of the last 13 winners returned 2/1 or shorter in the betting
Note: The 2005 & 2006 – Run at Lingfield Park
Waiting Patiently won this race in 2018, Cyrname won the race in 2019

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: It’s nice to see the Gary Moore-trained Traffic Fluide back on the track as he starts his preparation towards the Grand National in April. But he’s been thrown in at the deep end here and is rated a monster 28lbs inferior to the top-rated chaser in the land – CYRNAME – so it will be a tall order. Really, it’s hard to see beyond the Paul Nicholls-trained 8 year-old getting back to winning ways here after finding 3m in the King George too far last time out. He travelled well that day but just ran out of petrol in the final stages so the drop back to 2m5f here will be perfect. He, of course, took the scalp of Altior here over this trip back in November and has now won his last three at Ascot. He’s rated 15lbs higher than the promising Riders Onthe Storm, who is certainly a chaser on the up after wins at Aintree and Ascot, while the only other runner – Janika – has become a hard horse to win with having finished fourth in his last three starts. This Henderson runner is the second highest rated in the race, but is still a massive 13lbs off Cyrname!


2.05 – Unibet Rendlesham Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 2m6f177y ITV4

16/17 – Priced 10/1 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Raced within the last 5 weeks
13/17 – Had won over at least 3m (hurdles) previously
11/17 – Rated 145 or higher
11/17 – Placed favourites
11/17 – Winning distance – 3 ½ lengths or more
11/17 – Had won at least 4 times over hurdles before
10/17 – Aged 8 or younger
10/17 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
10/17 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
8/17 – Aged either 6 or 7 years-old
8/17 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s World Hurdle (no winners)
8/17 – Had run at Haydock before
6/17 – French-bred
4/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Ran at Ascot last time out
2/17 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
1/17 – Winning favourites
1/17 – Winners that went onto win the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival

Note: The 2003, 2004, 2005 – Run at Kempton Park

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Donnas Diamond was the winner of this race back in 2018 so despite being a few years older might go better than his big odds suggest. Course winner, Clyne, will love the ground but just doesn’t win enough these days for me. THE WORLDS END sets the standard on what we’ve seen this season and is also the top-rated in the field at 156. He beat L’Ami Serge – by 2 ¾ lengths at Ascot in the Long Walk Hurdle in December and a repeat of that will make him hard to beat and gets the nod. West Approach could also be interesting now back over hurdles – he didn’t say in the Welsh National last time so the drop back in trip will help, but 1 from 17 runs over hurdles isn’t a great return. I feel Emitom is better than his last run – he might have just needed it off a break and better is expected this time. One Night In Milan makes up the six runners.

3.15 – Unibet Grand National Trial (Handicap Chase) (Grade 3) Cl1 3m5f ITV4

17/17 – UK-based trained winners
17/17 – Had won between 2-4 times over fences (rules) before
15/17 – Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
14/17 – Finished in the top three last time out
14/17 – Had won just 2 or 3 times over fences (rules) before
14/17 – Aged 10 or younger
13/17 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
13/17 – Rated 135 or higher
12/17 – Aged 9 or younger
12/17 – Finished in the top two last time out
11/17 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
10/17 – Carried 11-0 or less
9/17 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
8/17 – Won last time out
8/17 – Unplaced favourites
7/17 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Grand National (all unplaced)
7/17 – Irish-bred winners
4/17 – Winners that won by exactly 15 lengths
4/17 – Ran in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/17 – Won with 11-12 in weight
3/17 – Finished 1st or 2nd in the Welsh Grand National last time out
3/17 – Trained by Lucinda Russell
2/17 – Winning favourites
2/17 – Trained by Venetia Williams
4 of the last 5 winners returned 8/1 in the betting
The average winning SP in the last 17 runnings is 10/1

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: With the Grand National weights revealed this week then we should hopefully get a few more clues here with a lot of runner in this race entered for the Merseyside Marathon in early April. However, it’s worth noting that the name of this trial has to be taken with a pinch of salt as we’ve not had a winner got onto land the Aintree Grand National in the same season. There are plenty of key trends to take into account though – 14 of the last 17 winners were aged 10 or younger so that’s not great news for the 11 year-old One For Arthur, who is of course a former winner of the National, but with the Lucinda Russell yard having won this race three times in the last 17 years he does have this stat on his side. Smooth Stepper is also an 11 year-old in the race. 14 of the last 17 winners also finished in the top three last time out, so of the 11 runners only Lord Du Mesnil, Yala Enki, Vintage Clouds and Geronimo fit the bill. Of that bunch Yala Enki was actually the winner of this race in 2018 by 54 lengths and heads here off the back of a nice win at Taunton. Soft ground is ideal, but it’s worth pointing out he’s rated 11lbs higher than when winning in 2018. Vintage Clouds was a nice winner of the Peter Marsh Chase at here last time but a big-looking 11lb hike in the ratings makes life harder. He’s also got ground to make up on LORD DU MESNIL, who beat him 20 lengths here back in December. Yes, VC has a nice weight pull this time but Lord Du Mesnil has since franked that form by winning over this course and distance over Christmas and looks a rapidly-improving staying chaser. He’s up another 10lbs in the ratings but at just 7 years-old should still have more to come – he gets the nod with the promising Paul O’Brien in the saddle taking off 3lbs. The Two Amigos is a decent stayer too and gets in here with a low weight, which will help in the ground – he was last seen running 5th in the Welsh National off this same mark. Ballyoptic and Steely Addition have the form to go well too, but the class horse in the race – ELEGANT ESCAPE – might just be worth having on side too. It won’t be easy with 11st 12lbs to carry but he’s run some solid races in defeat this term when third in the Ladbrokes Trophy and sixth in the Welsh National. Yes, he’s also been a bit of a hard horse to win with but with 13 top three finishes from 16 runs over fences he’s rarely out of the frame.


2.45 – Betway Kingwell Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 1m7f65y ITV4

16/16 – Raced within the last 8 weeks
15/16 – Came from the top 3 in the betting
14/16 – Priced 4/1 or shorter in the betting
14/16 – Favourites to finish in the top 3
14/16 – Had won at least 3 times over hurdles before
12/16 – Winners that went onto run in that season’s Champion Hurdle (1 winner Katchit)
12/16 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
10/16 – Aged either 5 or 6 years-old
9/16 – Rated 155 or higher
8/16 – Winning favourites
8/16 – Won last time out
6/16 – Raced at Sandown last time out
4/16 – Trained by Alan King
1/16 – Winners that went onto win the World Hurdle (Inglis Drever)

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: Several with chances here – most notably, Song For Someone, Quel Destin and Ch’tibello. Of that bunch the Paul Nicholls runner – Quel Destin – took a nice scalp in Call Me Lord at Sandown a few weeks ago and a repeat of that effort would make him a huge player. He’s won 8 of his 15 starts over hurdles (53%) and acts well with give underfoot – he should go close. However, I think it might be worth taking a chance on the Alan King runner – ELGIN – who won this race in 2018 and gets a handy 4lbs from the Nicholls horse. Yes, he’s had his problems since and been off the track a long time – was last seen 582 days ago on the flat, while his last hurdles run was just over 700 days ago. The King team have also won this race twice in the last three seasons, and three times since 2011. We can expect Elgin to be tuned-up, being that he’s running back after a lay-off in a race of this nature and at 8 years-old he’s still got time on his side. He’s the only proven CD winner in the field and is also returning after a wind operation, which should hopefully bring out some more improvement too.


2.54 – Red Mills Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f

11/11 – Had won over at least 2m4f (Chase) before
11/11 – Had won between 2-5 times over fences before
10/11 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
9/11 – Irish bred
8/11 – Returned 5/2 or shorter in the betting
8/11 – Aged 8 or younger
8/11 – Placed in the top 4 last time out
7/11 – Winning favourites
6/11 – Rated 150 or lower
4/11 – Raced at Thurles last time out
3/11 – Trained by Willie Mullins
2/11 – Ridden by Paul Townend




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