Andy Newton
4 months ago - 18 minute read

Saturday TV Racing Trends (30th December)

Knowledge is power so we’ve compiled a number of key stats for the big horse races ahead to give you a betting edge. Take two or so minutes to read up on the big trends and you can guarantee you will make better informed and more profitable decisions today. What’s not to like? Read on and cash in.

A huge day of National Hunt action on Saturday 30th December as the ITV cameras head to Newbury, Taunton and Haydock to take in eight races from the three venues.

We’ve got all the key trends and stats for all the LIVE races to help you whittle down the fields.

Newbury Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV)

13.50 – Happy New Year Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV4

  • 5/5 – Favourites placed
  • 5/5 – Had raced in the last 4 weeks
  • 5/5 – Had won over the trip before
  • 5/5 – French (2) or Irish (3) bred
  • 4/5 – Aged 5 years-old
  • 4/5 – Had won 2 or more times before (hurdles)
  • 4/5 – Placed in the top 3 last time out
  • 3/5 – Had raced at the track before
  • 2/5 – Ran at Newbury last time out
  • 2/5 – Winning favourites
  • The average winning SP in the last 5 runnings is 5/1
  • Tim Vaughan’s Theligny (13.0) won the race 12 months ago

If last year’s winner, Theligny, lines-up again then this Tim Vaughan-trained 6 years-old has to be respected. Yes, the horse is 6lbs higher this year, but he did it nicely that day (2 ¾ lengths) and should be a lot fitter after his run a few months ago at Aintree. Shelford is another that should have come on a fair bit for his recent run over fences at Fontwell. Back over hurdles here though on a fair-looking mark and being he stays further than this 2m4 ½f trip that will be a help in conditions. 4 of the last 5 winners of this race were aged 5, so – if running – Sir Antony Browne and Brave Eagle – certainly command respect from the powerful Alan King and Nick Henderson yards.

However, the hat-trick seeking HUNTSMAN SON gets the nod. This 7 year-old has won his last two at Market Rasen and Doncaster in decent fashion and despite an 11lb hike in the ratings there should be more to come. Yes, the ground will be a lot heavier here, but he’s points in yielding/soft conditions before and with just four runs over hurdles can continue his progression up the ranks.

Diable De Sivola, for the in-form Nick Williams team would be a big danger and looks sure to be involved and rates best of the rest.

14.25 – Mandarin Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-135) 3m2f ITV4

  • 6/6 – Returned 5.5 or shorter in the betting
  • 6/6 – Aged between 6-9 years-old
  • 6/6 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
  • 6/6 – Had won over 3m (fences) before
  • 5/6 – Had won between 1-2 times before
  • 5/6 – Carried 11-2 or more in weight
  • 5/6 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
  • 4/6 – Irish bred
  • 4/6 – Unplaced favourites
  • 3/6 – Had raced at the track before
  • 2/6 – Winning favourites
  • 2/6 – Ran at Fontwell last time out
  • 2/6 – Trained by Charlie Longsdon
  • Knockanrawley win the race in 2014

The Kim Bailey-trained KNOCKANRAWLEY took this race in 2014, but has only had six races since and is yet to record another victory. He’s clearly had some issues, but a close second last time at Ayr was an encouraging sign, plus don’t forget he was an excellent runner-up in the Eider Chase over 4m back in February. The Pipe-trained Daklondike is sure to be popular too having won two of his last three. He’s up 7lbs more for the most-recent of those at Wincanton, but he did it nicely that day to make him one for the shortlist. However, the main call here is HENLLAN HARRY.

This 9 year-old was pulled-up last time in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton, but before that ran a solid third at Worcester. He’s a horse that often takes a few races to get going and the form of his Bet365 Gold Cup win back in April would make him a big player. He’s only 3lbs higher here, but his followers will also remember him winning in heavy ground at Ffos Las back in March so conditions will be fine. He’s also handled these fences well, when running third (of 16) back in Nov 16, while Sean Bowen back in the saddle is a huge plus – his last rides on him read an impressive 2-5-1-2-1-4-3. Of the rest, old timers Grand Vision and Shotgun Paddy can make their presence felt, while Potters Legend was a fair seventh in the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy (Hennessy) so should find this easier. The McCain team are also going ok at the moment and their Federici (also engaged to run at Haydock) ran well to be fourth to the classy Blaklion in the Becher Chase at Aintree last time. He gets in here off 4lbs lower and is another to consider.

15.00 – Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (Class 1) (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV4

  • 10/10 – Returned 11.0 or shorter in the betting
  • 10/10 – Won between 1-3 times (hurdles) before
  • 9/10 – Raced in the last 6 weeks
  • 9/10 – Had won over this trip (hurdles) before
  • 8/10 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
  • 8/10 – Won last time out
  • 7/10 – Placed favourites
  • 4/10 – Winning favourites
  • 4/10 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
  • 3/10 – Ran at Sandown last time out
  • 2/10 – Trained by Nick Williams
  • 2/10 – Trained by Jonjo O’Neill
  • 2/10 – Ridden by Daryl Jacob
  • The average winning SP in the last 10 runnings is 4.5

A chance to see some promising Novices’ on show here as these young staying types look to take another step forward in their careers. Jamie Snowden’s Dans Le Vent ran well in some hot bumpers last season and has translated that to hurdles well this season. He won well at Market Rasen last time out and if brushing up his jumping would be of interest at a fair price. This will be the softest ground he’s encountered so far though. Way Back Then looks another useful sort from the Ben Pauling camp too and won on his first start over Kempton last month. He’s untried on ground this soft though so that would be the concern.

Course winner DAME ROSE has won three of her last four and getting the mares’ allowance looks a big player though. She beat the useful Cap Soleil last time Out here and with the runner-up since franking the form then everything points to a big run. She’s won on heavy ground in the past too and has now run at the track three times (winning once). Those against here will look to the longer trip as this will be the furthest she’s gone, but the way she’s been winning her races suggests she’s certainly worth a crack over it. Poetic Storm is another that looks to have a big say based on running the useful On The Blind Side to 2 ½ lengths at Cheltenham last time. That form has been more than boosted since and with form on soft ground conditions will be fine. Kilbricken Storm is also sure to be popular after beating Count Meribel at Cheltenham last time out, but with that race coming just 14 days ago we’ll have to see if he turns up here.

15.35 – TV Limited Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+) 2m6½f ITV4

  • 9/9 – Won between 0-1 times over fences
  • 8/9 – Raced in the last 6 weeks
  • 8/9 – Aged 5 or 6 years-old
  • 8/9 – Didn’t win last time out
  • 8/9 – Carried 10-10 or more in weight
  • 7/9 – Favourites that finished in the top 4
  • 6/9 – Irish bred
  • 3/9 – Winning favourites
  • 2/9 – Trained by Venetia Williams
  • The average winning SP in the last 9 runnings is 9.0

Some key trends to take into the race, with 8 of the last 9 winners aged 5 or 6 years-old and carrying 10-10 in weight. It’s been a fair race for the favourites too with 3 of the last 9 winning, while 7 of the last 9 market leaders finished in the top 4. Only four runners here though. Duke Des Champs returns from a 631 day absence so has clearly had it’s issues and so this Philip Hobbs runner is overlooked. Solighoster is one to consider though. This Neil Mulholland runner won well on debut at Ffos Las, but probably found the ground too quick last time at Market Rasen when third of three. Back in these conditions he should be seen in a better light.

A Vos Gardes gets in with just 10-6, which will help in these conditions, but the call here is ROCKLANDER. This 8 year-old unseated last time at the first fence at Doncaster, but before that dotted-up at Ludlow so is worth giving another chance to. He’s got fair form in soft and has also run well on heavy ground to suggest conditions will suit, while with 4 winners in the last 2 weeks there are signs the Tom George yard is returning to a bit of form.

Haydock Horse Racing Trends (RUK/ITV)

14.10 – Last Fling Handicap Chase (Class 2) (4yo+ 0-145) 3m3½f ITV4

  • Just 3 previous runnings
  • 3/3 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
  • 3/3 – Unplaced last time out
  • 3/3 – Had won over 3m+ fences before
  • 3/3 – Had run within the last 4 weeks
  • 2/3 – Irish bred
  • 1/3 – Winning favourites
  • Trainer Kerry Lee has a 33% record with his chasers here
  • Trainer Donald McCain has a 29% record with his chasers here
  • Trainer Tom George is just 1 from 19 with his chasers here
  • Jockey Will Kennedy has a 36% record riding over fences here
  • Trainer Venetia Williams won the race 12 months ago

Only three previous runnings so not much to go on here. However, all of those winners were aged 9 or 10 years-old, plus had run in the last 4 weeks and been unplaced last time out. The Venetia Williams yard too this 12 months ago so anything they run should be given a second glance – Emperor’s Choice holds an entry at this stage. Harry The Viking, Jennys Surprise and West Of The Edge tick a fair few trends – especially the last two.

However, the main pick here is WHISKEY CHASER. This 9 year-old is a proven course winner and hails from the Donald McCain yard that boast an impressive 29% record with their chasers here. The horse is up just 5lbs for a recent win at Haydock, but upped in grade here gets in with just 10-0 to carry. Jockey Will Kennedy also does well over fences here with a 36% record. Heavy ground is also fine for this in-form 9 year-old, who has finished in the first two in 4 of his last 5 races.

14.45 – #help4Matt Handicap Chase (Class 3) (4yo+ 0-130) 2m4½f ITV4

  • Just 1 previous run
  • Trainer Charlie Mann won the race 12 months ago
  • Trainer Donald McCain has a 29% record with his chasers at the track
  • Trainer Evan Williams is just 1 from 30 with his chasers at the track

Un Prophete and Wolf Sword are two that will be popular after good wins last time out, as will Church Hall, who won by 10 lengths at Lingfield last time. The last-named is up 10lbs here though so more is needed, but with that run coming after a year off then there is a chance the dreaded ‘bounce-factor’ might kick in. The Donald McCain yard that do so well here (29%) with their chasers have another runner – FEDERICI (also engaged to run at Newbury)– and despite top-weight looks to have a great chance.

He was a fair fourth in the Becher Chase last time out over the National fences and was only 17 lengths behind the classy Blaklion that day. He won well over shorter last time and is just 5lbs higher than when winning by 3 lengths at Kelso that day, while the ground will be fine. Granville Island is another that can be expected to have improved for a recent fourth at Haydock and is 4lbs lower this time. Of those at the bigger prices is a past course winner that could run better than his odds suggest.

Taunton Horse Racing Trends (ATR/ITV)

15.15 – totetrifecta Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) (3yo+) 2m½f ITV4

  • 5/5 – Returned 6.5 or shorter in the betting
  • 5/5 – Won between 1-2 times (hurdles) before
  • 5/5 – Had raced in the last 6 weeks
  • 4/5 – Irish bred
  • 4/5 – Favourites placed in the top 2
  • 4/5 – Won last time out
  • 3/5 – Aged 5 years-old
  • 2/5 – Winning favourites
  • 2/5 – Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies
  • 2/5 – Trained by Paul Nicholls
  • The average winning SP in the last 5 runnings is 3.5

A rare LIVE race for the ITV cameras from Taunton here. Maria’s Benefit and the Queen’s Sunshade are both big players and really on the ratings should be fighting this one out. Maria’s Benefit has won her last three in decent fashion and is a fast-improving mare. She’s up into Listed company here though so more is needed and this is also likely to be the softest ground she’s encountered. Sunshade is unbeaten from three after some easy victories, including last time out at Market Rasen. From the powerful Henderson yard she looks to have a big future, but like Maria’s Benefit is yet to race on ground this soft.

So, the value call here could be Gary Moore’s ALL CURRENCIES. This 5 year-old ran the useful Dame Rose to just under 10 lengths last time at Newbury, but with that only being her second run this season can be expected to be a lot fitter there. He’s won a point on soft/heavy ground so conditions are likely to bring out more improvement in her and won well the time before at Worcester. If You Say Run, from the Paul Nicholls yard, is another to note, as well as She’s Gina, but with proven form on the ground I’ll stick with the Moore runner as being the value pick.