Saturday Horse Racing Tips & Trends: 3rd Nov 2019

It’s jump action all the way this Saturday as the hedge-hoppers take over from the flat horses with the new National Hunt season starting to hit top gear now.

Wetherby and Ascot are where the ITV cameras are at as we’ve seven races spread across the two venues with the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase the feature contest at Wetherby and with some familiar faces lining-up then it’s a must-see early season contest,  while at Ascot the Sodexo Gold Cup heads their bill.

So, as always, we’ve got it all covered here at RACING AHEAD with all the key trends, plus our verdict, on each of the LIVE ITV races – we’re confident these trends will point you in the direction of a few winners, or at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners – So, let’s get going!


Ascot Horse Racing Trends (ITV/ATR)


1.35 – Ascot Underwriting Chase (A Novices´ Limited Handicap) Cl3 2m3f ITV4

6 previous runnings
6/6 – Aged 7 or younger
6/6 – Irish bred
5/6 – Returned 6/1 or shorter in the betting
4/6 – Yet to win over fences
3/6 – Aged 6 year-old
2/6 – Had run over hurdles at Ascot before
1/6 – Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 6 runnings is 11/2

A very open-looking race here – with all 10 runners having some sort of chance. With ALL of the alst six winners aged 7 or younger, then that’s a negative for the 9 year-old Pingshou. The Anthony Honeyball yard have a 29% record with their chasers at the track so their Sully D’Oc AA has to be respected, while the 5 year-old Earlofthecotswolds would have a shout if bouncing back from his recent fall at Market Rasen – the longer trip should help him. The Nicholls-trained Darling Maltaix if the only course winner in the field so has to be respected too – Cervaro Mix and Jammy George are certainly others that have the form to go well. But it might be worth taking a chance on the Gary Moore runner – DIABLE DE SIVOLA (e/w). The yard won this race in 2017 and makes his debut for the stable after coming from the Nick Williams camp. He’s gone well fresh in the past and despite not winning yet over fences, has had 7 runs and been in the top three 4 times – 4 of the last 6 winners of this race were yet to win over fences. Soft ground is fine too and we know he stays this sort of trip too.

2.10 – Byrne Group Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 2m1f ITV4

13/16 – Aged 8 years-old or younger
11/16 – Irish (5) or French (6) bred
11/16 – Returned 13/2 or shorter in the betting
10/16 – Had won between 1-3 times over fences before
9/16 – Having their first run of the new season
9/16 – Carried 11-1 or less in weight
8/16 – Rated 130 or lower
8/16 – Unplaced favourites
5/16 – Aged 8 years-old
5/16 – Won last time out
4/16 – Ran at either Ascot (2) or Aintree (2) last time out
4/16 – Won carrying 11-12
3/16 – Winning favourites
3/16 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
3/16 – Trained by Venetia Williams
2/16 – Ridden by Richard Johnson
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 15/2

Another very open contest, but I think CAID DU LIN, who represents last season’s winning connections, looks the most reliable. This 7 year-old is the only proven CD winner in the field and will be fitter than most after a recent second at Chepstow. Soft ground is fine and this Dr Richard Newland runner is only a pound higher than that run. Of the rest, we can expect the front-running Speredek to make a bold bid from the front and despite note winning at Ascot has run well in defeat here many times. The Evan Williams yard run The Last Day, who is another with solid form if fit enough on his return, while the Skelton yard run two – Yorkist and Hatcher. Ballywood is another to consider from the powerful Alan King yard, as is Capeland and Diego Du Charmil for Paul Nicholls – both are sure to be well-tuned up for their return runs. However, it might be worth taking a chance on the bottom weight – CAP ST VINCENT (e/w) too. This 6 year-old is taking a big step up in grade but gets in here with just 10-5 in weight and looked to still be on the up when winning again last time out at Exeter. The softer ground is a small concern so hopefully the expected winds dry the ground out a bit, but the Tim Vaughan yard are going great guns at the moment and might be dangerous to rule out off such a low weight.

2.45 – Sodexo Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 2m ITV4

16/16 – Aged between 4 and 6 years-old
15/15 – Had won over at 2m or 2m1f over hurdles before
13/15 – Never raced at Ascot before
12/15 – Won between 1-3 times over hurdles
9/15 – Having their first run of the season
9/15 – Unplaced last time out
8/15 – Placed favourites
7/15 – Winning favourites (1 co, 2 joint)
6/15 – Ran at Huntingdon (3) or Aintree (3) last time out
6/15 – Winning distance – 2 lengths or more
5/15 – Won by a French bred horse
3/15 – Ridden by a conditional jockey
3/15 – Won by trainer Alan King, including last two renewals
2/15 – Won by the Pipe stable
2/15 – Won by trainer Paul Nicholls
2/15 – Won by trainer Nicky Henderson
6 of the last 10 winners were aged 5 years-old.
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 13/2

We can expect the Philip Hobbs runner – Gumball – to be up with the pace and he should be fitter than most after a good third last time out. He might be hard to peg back and it’s interesting that connections also have a 5lb claiming jockey riding. The Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson yards have won this race in the past too, so their runners Red Force One (Nicholls) and Adjali (Henderson) are sure to be popular. Jolly’s Cracked It and Didtheyleaveuoouto are the only course and distance winners in the race so are worth considering, but the call here is LISP (e/w). The Alan King team have targeted this race with success for the last two seasons and look to have another serious player there. This 145-rated hurdler is the top-rated in the field and also won first time out last season. Soft ground is fine too, and having finished in the top two from his 10 starts over hurdles (3 wins) rarely runs a bad race. Jockey Tom Cannon is back in the saddle too, and his form on the horse reads well – 2-3-1. Add in that 6 of the last 10 winners were aged 5 years-old then he also ticks this key age trend.

3.20 – Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 3m ITV4

14/14 – Had won a chase race over at least 2m4f before
11/14 – Didn’t win last time out
10/14 – Had run at Ascot before (4 won)
9/14 – Had won at least 3 times over fences before
9/14 – Unplaced favourites
9/14 – Carried 10-10 or more
9/14 – Aged 8 or older
8/14 – Had won a chase race over at least 3m before
8/14 – Having their first run of the season
8/14 – Unplaced in their last race
8/14 – Winning distance – 4 lengths or more
6/14 – Officially rated 135 to 138 inc
5/14 – Returned a double-figure price in the betting
3/14 – Won by the Pipe stable
3/14 – Winning favourites
2/14 – Trained by Gary Moore
2/14 – Ran at Sandown last time out
2/14 – Ridden by Aidan Coleman
2/14 – Ridden by Barry Geraghty
Go Conquer won the race in 2017 and was third in 2018
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 11/1

The Gary Moore yard have won two of the last three runnings so their LARRY (e/w) will be popular with punters here. This 6 year-old gets in with just 10-6 in weight and looks to have had this race as a target. He ended last season with another nice win at Sandown and is only 4lbs higher for that. We can expect him to have got stronger over the summer, while the softer ground is fine too – he’s won on soft and heavy. The Henderson yard have an interesting runner in On The Blind Side too. He’s not quite fulfilled the reputation many were giving to him as yet but is still lightly-raced and could be dangerous to write-off now into handicap chases – however, I’d prefer to see how he does on the track first. The classy and consistent Black Corton is sure to run his race and is never far away, but it won’t be easy with 11-12 to carry. Mister Malarky will be popular too and the Colin Tizzard yard have made a good start to the new season proper. He’s a proven CD winner too and should go well. Springtown Lake and course winner – Vindication are others to note, but it will be foolish to ignore last year’s third – GO CONQUER (e/w), who also won the 2017 renewal. Yes, he’s rated 8lbs higher than last year and 13lbs higher than when he won the race in 2017, but he’s a horse that goes well off a break and can go well again. In terms of actual weight to carry he’s actually got 6lbs less than last year and was only beaten just over 5 lengths. Ideally, he’d probably want the ground to dry out a bit, but he has won on soft – albeit over a much shorter trip. Of those at bigger prices. Regal Encore, Potterman, Walk In The Mill and Acting Lass must be considered too.

Wetherby Horse Racing Trends (ITV/RacingTV)

1.20 bet365 Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m3 1/2f ITV4

Just one previous running
Trainer Charlie Longsdon won the 2018 running
Trainer Philip Kirby has a 45% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Dan Skelton has a 31% record with his chasers at the track
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has a 21% record with his chasers at the track
Jockey Harry Skelton has a 34% record riding over fences at the track

1.55 – bet365 Mares´ Hurdle (Listed Race) Cl1 2m110y ITV4

12/12 – Had won over at least 2m1f over hurdles before
11/12 – Had between 2-5 previous hurdles wins to their name
10/12 – Having their first run of the season
9/12 – Never raced at Wetherby before
8/12 – Finished unplaced last time out
7/12 – Placed favourites
7/12 – Had won a NH Flat race previously
6/12 – Aged between 5-7 years-old
4/12 – Ran at Punchestown last time out
5/12 – Winning favourites
2/12 – Trained by John Quinn
Lady Buttons (7/2) won this race in 2018 and was second in 2017
The average winning SP in the last 10 years is 11/4

LADY BUTTONS was runner-up in this contest in 2017 but went one better 12 months ago and she can follow-up again this year. She’s a very versatile sort that is equally as good over both fences and hurdles – she rounded off last season with a fourth in the mares’ hurdle at the Festival and then a second in the Red Rum Chase at Aintree. She won this off a break last season too, wo the 212-day break isn’t a worry. She’s the top-rated in the field and despite having to give weight away remains the one to beat at a track and in a race we know she likes. Of the rest, the unbeaten pair of Zambella and Vision Du Puy can’t be ruled out and even though they could be anything their lack of experience would be a worry. So, the danger can come from the Paul Webber runner – Indefatigable. This 6 year-old will be fitter for a return run at Chepstow earlier this month and is closely-matched with the selection after finishing a neck second to her at Donny last season.

3.05 – bet365 Hurdle (West Yorkshire Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 3m26y ITV4

17/17 – Had won over at least 2m3f over hurdles before
16/17 – Had won at least 3 times over hurdles before
15/17 – Returned 8/1 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Won this on their seasonal reappearance
14/17 – Failed to win their last race
12/17 – Officially rated 149 or higher
12/17 – Placed favourites
11/17 – Aged 6,7 or 8 years-old
9/17 – Finished unplaced last time out
8/17 – Ran at either Aintree (5) or Cheltenham (3) last time out
7/17 – Had won at Wetherby before
4/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Trained by Philip Hobbs
3/17 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
2/17 – Ridden by Paddy Brennan
The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 5/1

Unowhatimeanharry is still going strong at the age of 11 and rounded-off last season with a top win at the Punchestown Festival in the Champion Stayers’ Hurdle. He’s actually the top-rated in the field here (155) and would be foolish to rule out with the Harry Fry yard going well at the moment. But as a result of winning a Grade One last time out he’s got to give weight away all-round here and that won’t be easy – especially to some decent younger horses. The 149-rated The Worlds End gets a handy 6lbs off Harry so that brings them really close based on the ratings. He’s a horse that also won first time out last season, so the 210-day break is fine. The Dan Skelton yard do well (33%) with their hurdlers at the track but it will be a big training performance to ready Two Taffs to take this after a 735 break. LE BREUIL (e/w) was last seen winning the 4m race at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but is back over hurdles here. He’s 3-from-8 over the smaller obstacles and if this turns into a real test then his proven stamina over further will be a plus – he can go well. However, the main pick is the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner – BALLYANDY. This 151-rated hurdler will be much fitter for a recent run at Chepstow. Prior to that he was a solid and close third in the Coral Cup at the Festival, while this step up in trip looks a good move by connections. We’ll have to see if he totally stays, but the signs are that it’s worth a crack and he’s still only an 8 year-old!

3.40 – bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 3m1f ITV

15/17 – Were having their first run of the season
15/17 – Rated 151 or higher
14/17 – Returned 7/1 or shorter in the betting
14/17 – Had won over at least 3m over fences before
12/17 – Aged 8 or older
12/17 – Had won at least 4 times over fences before
11/17 – Ran at either Ayr (3), Aintree (6) or Cheltenham (2) last time out
10/17 – Aged 8 or 9 years-old
10/17 – Placed favourites
7/17 – Had run at Wetherby before (3 won)
6/17  – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out
4/17 – Winning favourites
3/17 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies (5 wins in total)
2/17 – Trained by Evan Williams
Definitly Red (3/1) won the race in 2018
Nigel Twiston-Davies has won the race in 1992, 1994, 2005, 2007 & 2017
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 7/1

The Brian Ellison-trained DEFINITLY RED will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of this race since See More Business (1999 & 2000) and he’s certainly got a chance. The yard are in good form too, having won the Old Roan Chase last weekend, while his form at the track reads well 2-1-3-1. He beat Black Corton, by 2 lengths last year in the race, but is now 3lbs better off with that Nicholls runner. He’s a horse that goes well fresh too and acts on all ground – he ticks a lot of boxes. The Colin Tizzard yard took this in 2015 with Cue Card and also have a big chance with Elegant Escape. Last season’s Welsh National winner has stamina in abundance and is another that goes well fresh – I’d just be worried if he’ll find this 3m trip a tad on the sharp side. The improving Aso is another to note for the Venetia Williams yard, while the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard are always respected in this race, having won it 5 times – they run the proven CD winner Ballyoptic, who looks a big player too after his easy comeback win at Chepstow 3 weeks ago. Top Ville Ben is another CD winner here and hails from the Philip Kirby yard that have a 42% record with their chasers here. However, the two at the foot of the weights – Le Bague Au Roi – and MOLLY THE DOLLY (e/w) can give last year’s winner most to think about. Le Bague Au Roi has won 4 of her 5 chase starts and gets a handy 10lbs from Definitly Red too, plus is also a course winner over hurdles here. However, Molly The Dolly might be the better value. She gets in here with just 10-7 and the Dan Skelton yard are another that like having winners here. Jockey Harry Skelton also has a 34% record riding over fences at the track and with 3 wins from 4 since switching to the bigger obstacles, she’s a mare that should have more to come.


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