Get the best bets from Tony Calvin, Kevin Blake and Kate Tracey as well as insight from Paul Nicholls and Joseph O’Brien for the pick of Saturday’s horse racing…
“Top Moon (Fairyhouse, 12:50) has proven to be inconsistent over fences, with his fine third in the Munster National at Limerick in October having been followed by two poor efforts in valuable handicap chases.
“We’ve decided to revert to hurdles with him in an effort to change things up and hopefully get his confidence back. He would have a bit of a chance based on his best form, but getting him to complete the race and finish it out well will be our first priority with him.”
“It’s Fanzio who just about edges the trends for this race. We have only had five renewals of this race so the stats do have to be assessed in that contest however, they firstly suggest that a mark in the mid-130s is optimal. The horse is aged between six and eight, has already had at least two runs in the season and the latest start was three weeks ago. Interestingly the horse didn’t have to run well last time out but racing prominently appears to be key.”
“He has made a brilliant start to his chasing career, rattling up a hat-trick on his last three starts. He jumps soundly and is nice and fresh now after a nice little break at home following four fairly quick races. Threeunderthrufive is a strong stayer and can handle any ground. Big chance.”
“I am also personally going to be looking to back Dans Le Vent at 16s or bigger win-only on the exchange, as I thought the handicapper could have upped him after his excellent run in the Relkeel last time (when Isobel Williams couldn’t claim her 5lb), but it would be pushing it to stick up three in here and my main bet in the race has to be William Henry at 33/1 each-way, six places on the Betfair Sportsbook.
“There has been a lot of love doing the rounds for Sam Thomas in recent seasons and I will be hitting pause on the remote, and kissing his pretty little mug on my TV if his 12yo lands the spoils here and he is interviewed afterwards.”
“At Warwick, the 15:00 Agetur UK Ltd Classic Handicap Chase will be the main betting race for many and the one I like is the Alan King-trained Notachance. The eight-year-old showed that this extreme test of stamina is just what he wants when winning this very race last year in similar conditions. It was a strong performance on the day and the form worked out well in the main thereafter.
“Though, Notachance didn’t make a good contribution to the future form of the race, as he has been pulled up in three of his four starts since. That has resulted in him being dropped back to 139, the same mark off which he won that day.
“However, there was certainly more encouragement to be taken from his latest outing at Haydock, which was his second run of the season. While he was beaten 28 lengths in sixth, he definitely showed more sparkle prior to weakening late on.”
“Earth Company is firmly on the progressive path now, building on the promise of his hurdling debut when easily taking care of a next-time-out winner in a novice hurdle at Taunton, and leaving the impression he has even more to offer when following up on handicap debut at Wincanton last month.”
Saturday 15 January, 1.50pm
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