There’s some great National Hunt racing on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend to deliver our weekly dose of Horse Racing Tips.
Cheltenham stages its traditional January Cheltenham Festival trials day that includes the BetBright Cup Chase and the Cleeve Hurdle, respectively Gold Cup and World Hurdle trials.
Meanwhile, Doncaster stages the class 1 Skybet Chase. Then, on Sunday, it’s over to Leopardstown which hosts the Irish Champion Hurdle and Irish Arkle.
BetBright Chase, Cheltenham, Saturday 1.50pm
A fascinating Gold Cup trial in which five of the eight possible runners wouldn’t look out of place in the Gold Cup itself. The market is headed by last year’s Ryan Air winner Dynaste as his trainer David Pipe tests the water for a possible tilt at the Gold Cup. However, Dynaste may struggle to truly see out a trip in excess of 3-miles at Cheltenham, especially on soft ground.
The Giant Bolster loves it round Cheltenham’s New Course and won this last year. Sure to make a bold attempt to double-up, but carries 10lb more than last year which may prove difficult.
Next in is last year’s top-rated chaser Holywell who you wouldn’t back on his last two runs, however it’s worth pointing out he’s never won before Christmas. The Gold Cup will be his major target but no surprise if he were to take this en-route.
This season’s Hennessey is represented by first and fifth Many Clouds and Smad Place, but the former has to concede weight all-round. Smad Place gets between 4lb-8lb from all his rivals, and is the selection as this looks a perfect opportunity for last year’s RSA runner-up to get his head in front.
2 points Smad Place @ 4/1
Cleeve Hurdle, Cheltenham, Saturday 3.35pm
A proper trial for the World Hurdle, and the winner may well have an outstanding chance of winning the Stayers’ Crown come March. Paul Nicholls thinks Saphir Du Rheu could emulate Big Bucks by returning to hurdles after a failed bid to make him a chaser. Yet to run over 3-miles over hurdles but put up his best performance over 22-furlongs – the furthest he’s hurdled over.
2 points Saphir Du Rheu @ 11/4
Skybet Chase, Doncaster, Saturday 3.15pm
The two course winners, Night in Milan and Grandad’s Horse, have each-way claims but both look vulnerable to a potential up-and-comer, and the obvious one looks to be Easter day from the all conquering Paul Nicholls stable. Having won off a mark of 144 over fences and 140 over hurdles, he can race off just 142 here after finishing just third of four on his comeback at Newbury after a year off. Most of Nicholls’ horses have improved for their first run of the season, and the 7-year-old has the potential to rate a good deal higher than his current mark
2 points Easter Day @ 9/2
Willie Mullins is likely to saddle both the favourites in Un De Sceaux in the Irish Arkle (1.40pm) and Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle (2.45pm) and it looks worth doubling them up.
Un De Sceaux was much the best hurdler of the of the Arkle participants and, as a front-runner, the likes of Clarcam and Gilgamboa may struggle to keep tabs on him.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Fly remains unbeaten at Leopardstown and Jezki may not get the better of him until Cheltenham in March.
4 points double: Un De Sceaux (8/11) and Hurricane Fly (4/5)
Let us know in the comments box below if you agree with the above or if you have some Horse Racing Tips of your own to share.