2m½f Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – Wednesday 11th March 2020
3m Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – Thursday 12th March 2020
The Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle is run over three-miles on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival, culminating a 16 race long Qualifying series. Qualifiers for the Pertemps Final begin at Cheltenham way back in October of the current season, with races taking place across the UK from Exeter to Musselburgh, as well as Leopardstown and Punchestown in Ireland. In order to Qualify for the race a Horse must finish in the first six places of a Qualifier, which means that Horses with Handicap marks high enough to get into the race would usually rather finish sixth than first! This caveat means the Pertemps Final has a completely different dynamic to that of an ordinary Cheltenham Festival race, as it’s not all about finding a Horse with the best recent form. One factor that does remain constant in regard to finding a Festival Handicap winner however is that you need a Horse who is ahead of their mark, be that through careful plotting by connections, or untapped potential.
2m5f Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – Tuesday 11th March 2020
The Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle is the first Handicap on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival, run over two-and-a-half miles. The race will inevitably have a bit of cross-over with the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle as they are run over the same distance, but the Coral Cup is aimed at Horses higher up in the Handicap. Last year William Henry saw off the top weight and much missed Wicklow Brave in a thrilling finish. Recently the Coral Cup has been contested by subsequent Grade 1 performers Whisper, Supasundae and Topofthegame.
The Dublin Racing Festival has been a fantastic initiative so far, with two fantastic days of National Hunt Racing at Leopardstown, featuring 8 Grade 1 events. The first of those two days is all about speed, with six races ran over two-miles including the Grade 1 Dublin Chase and Grade 1 Irish Champion Hurdle. Below are my selections for an extremely competitive card. Best of luck!
2m4½f Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) – Friday 13th March 2020
The Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle is the concluding race of the Cheltenham Festival, run over two-and-a-half miles. The race is for Conditional Jockeys’ only, and is named in honour of the legendary fifteen-times Champion Trainer. Certain trainers like to target this race due to their admiration and respect for Martin Pipe – especially Gordon Elliot. Whilst the race isn’t one of the most high-class affairs of the week, you can start to get a picture as to who is being targeted for the race around this time of year. The British and Irish Handicappers start giving marks to Novices’ who have had three runs over Hurdles (usually happens around January time), which gives a rough idea as to if a Horse is Grade 1 standard. Although some Horses might not be up to that level before the Spring Festivals, plenty will get a mark that looks exploitable in Handicaps – with further improvement likely to come. When you combine these sorts of Horses with trainers who like to win the Martin Pipe, betting angles start to shine through.
Cheltenham Trials Day is always one of my favourite National Hunt meetings to attend, with anticipation building for the main event starting in just over a months time. Last season we were treated to three winners going on to land Festival success; Siruh Du Lac (Stable Plate Handicap Chase), Frodon (Ryanair Chase) and Paisley Park (Stayers Hurdle). This season the card looks as competitive as ever, with Paisley Park bidding to retain his Cleeve Hurdle crown, and Bristol De Mai taking dead aim on the Cotswold Chase. I’ll be attending the Prestbury Park meeting as usual, and will provide live updates from the track on Twitter @JakePriceRacing. Be sure to give me a follow to keep up to date with daily selections, Horses to Follow, and 2020 Cheltenham Festival Ante-Post Previews.
3m6f National Hunt Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) – Tuesday 10th March 2020
The National Hunt Chase is the longest race run at the Cheltenham Festival, traditionally being dubbed the ‘four-miler’. After the controversies of last year’s renewal with only four Horses finishing the race however, a BHA review has made several changes to the race conditions for 2020. Significantly, the race distance has been reduced to 3m6f, with the number of fences jumped decreasing from 25 to 23. The participants also have more boxes to tick; Horses must have a minimum rating of 120, have ran at least twice over fences (including finishing in the first four of a Chase over 2m7f+), and have ran at least once during the current season. With the race being for Amateur riders, the Jockey’s also have new conditions to meet; they must have ridden a minimum of 20 times over fences, achieving at least five winners, all under National Hunt rules. Safety is clearly paramount in Racing, so fingers crossed these changes to the race conditions will provide a middle ground – as some fantastic Horses have graduated from this race in recent years including; Cause Of Causes, Minella Rocco, Rathvinden, Native River and of course the legendary Tiger Roll.
2m4f Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) – Tuesday 10th March 2020
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is always an intriguing race, aimed at Novice Chasers who aren’t quite yet up to Grade 1 standard. The rating band was changed in 2018 from a 0-140 to a 0-145, attracting a highly competitive field with just 7lbs between the top and bottom weights in 2019, and 8lbs in 2018 (excluding any claims). The race was extremely kind to my selections twelve months ago, with leading fancy A Plus Tard bolting up, and my second selection Tower Bridge following him home. The performance of A Plus Tard from a rating of 144 was that of an incredibly well Handicapped Horse, which has since been proven by him landing a Grade 1 at Leopardstown and earning a mark of 165. A similar story applies to 2018 winner Mister Whitaker, who won the Grade 2 Silver Trophy Handicap in April from a mark of 149 (12lbs higher than when winning this contest). This highlights the type of Horse required to win the race however, as essentially the weights are now irrelevant; Horses who wish to participate will need a mark of 140 to guarantee themselves a run, but obviously cannot be rated higher than 145. Whilst it is no longer an issue winning the race off top-weight, it will inevitably require a Horse who is ahead of the assessor.
The Showcase meeting is the traditional curtain raiser for Cheltenham’s season, kicking off what promises to be a fantastic National Hunt season at Jumps Racing HQ. We’re treated to an absolutely fantastic card on Day 1, with starts such as Al Dancer, Getaway Trump and Wholestone all taking their chances in Novice Chase events. I’ll be at the track across both Days this weekend, so be sure to Follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day. Cheltenham is back!
After a break since the King George meeting at Ascot, I’m back with my weekly article taking a look at the live ITV Racing on Saturday. This week’s feature race is the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, whilst Ripon also provides a Class 2 Handicap. I’ve ended up writing a lot more than planned on my three selections, but each would be a fairly strong fancy for me with the rainfall today (Friday). Be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for live updates through-out the day, and to ensure you never miss any of my selections. Good luck!
All eyes are on Ascot this Saturday as the King George VI Stakes provides a fantastic Group 1 contest, headlined by superstar Mare Enable bidding to repeat her 2017 success. Fresh from victory in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, this relentless John Gosden five-year-old takes on Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean in a tantalising clash. I’m lucky enough to be attending the Berkshire track on Saturday, and can’t wait to see Enable once more. Elsewhere we also have good action up at York, where Ante-Post selection Regal Reality lines up in the Group 2 York Stakes. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceRacing for live updates throughout the day, and to ensure that you don’t miss any selections going forward. Good luck with your bets and enjoy the Flat Racing! Continue reading “Ascot – King George Day 2019”
This Saturday is an unusual in the context of the Flat season, with two Listed National Hunt races live on ITV Racing alongside the Flat action at Newbury. Whilst I haven’t been punting on the Summer Jumpers as much as I usually would – mainly due to the Flat Racing content taking priority – I do have one selection in the Listed Summer Hurdle up at Market Rasen. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day. Good luck!
This weekend sees the return of ‘Super Saturday’ as ITV Racing broadcast 10 live races, with top class action throughout the day. Newmarket’s July Festival comes to a close with the feature Group 1 July Cup, whilst York hosts a very competitive card. As if that action wasn’t enough, Ascot also host a premier race-day featuring the Group 2 Summer Mile. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day. Good luck!
With so much fantastic racing going on over the next couple of days, I’ve decided to split my thoughts into two articles – one covering Thursday and Friday, and one covering Saturday as usual. This week sees the beginning of Newmarket’s July Festival, culminating in ‘Super Saturday’ with other big meetings at York and Ascot. I have some strong selections across the three days, with Day 1 and 2 the focus here. Be sure to check back on Friday for all my Saturday selections, and follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for any further fancies. Good luck!
The Group 1 Coral-Eclipse takes center stage at Sandown on Saturday, as the three-year-old horses get their first chance to clash with the older generation. This year we are treated to the superstar Mare Enable making her seasonal reappearance, and I am ecstatic to be in attendance at the Esher track. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing if you don’t already, for live updates (and pictures!) throughout the day. Away from the Group 1 action we have some competitive Group 3/Listed races on the under-card, and you can find my thoughts below…
Rain has been the theme of the Summer so far, and racegoers received another down-pour on Day 2 of Royal Ascot. With the ground still Soft it’s crucial to find horses which have form on the going. The feature race on Day 3 is the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup, with some brilliant supporting races such as the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes for two-year-olds. Despite my best efforts Royal Ascot really hasn’t gone to plan for me so far, but fingers crossed we can turn the tide today with some stronger selections.
The rain fell heavily on Day 1 of Royal Ascot, with the ground now reduced to Soft across the whole course. We’re set for another top day of Flat Racing action however despite conditions, with the feature race being the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at an earlier time than normal of 15:40. I’ll be following the action over @JakePriceRacing throughout the Day as usual, so fingers crossed we can get a bit more luck on Day 2…
The 2019 Royal Ascot Festival has finally arrived, and we kick off the five-day bonanza with arguably the best day of them all. We’re treated to three Group 1 contests on Day 1; the curtain raising Queen Anne Stakes, the King’s Stand Stakes sprint and the St James’s Palace Stakes for three-year-olds. Unfortunately I won’t be attending Ascot this year, but I will be providing live updates throughout the day on my twitter account @JakePriceRacing as usual. I hope you all have a successful Royal Ascot!
The world’s most famous Flat race takes place at Epsom on Saturday in the form of the Group 1 Derby, where Aidan O’Brien sends over seven runners. The fourth Classic of the season also brings a competitive day’s action with it, including the Group 3 Diomed Stakes over an extended mile. I’m going to be on a Plane tomorrow so will unfortunately miss most of the Epsom action – but a Holiday is well deserved! Be sure to follow me @JakePriceRacing if you don’t already for all the reaction once I land…
The third English Classic of the season takes place on Friday in the form of the Group 1 Oaks, and we have a good day’s action in store at the iconic Epsom Downs racecourse. Won in the past by Fillies such as Enable, we are set for another interesting race here despite there being no stand-out performer. The rest of the day’s action is also competitive, and I have four selections across the card. Be sure to give me a follow @JakePriceRacing to keep up to date with all future articles – including my Derby preview.
This Saturday sees the first Irish Classic of the season, with the 2000 Guineas taking place at the Curragh. Over in England, Haydock takes center stage with the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes and Group 2 Temple Stakes. ITV Racing will be providing nine live races for us to enjoy this weekend, including that Group 1 event in Ireland for the first time. I’ve had a look through the cards, and below you will find some of my thoughts on an action packed day of racing. Be sure to give me a follow @JakePriceRacing if you haven’t already, and good luck with your bets.
We’re set for a fantastic day of Flat Racing at Newbury on Saturday, featuring the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at 15:40. The action is competitive from start to finish, with what’s sure to be an informative two-year-old contest before a very exciting looking Listed Fillies Trial Stakes. You’d usually find me writing about Newton Abbot this time of year, but Flat Racing has really got me hooked this Spring – thus meaning my first Flat Racing article! I’m heading up to the Berkshire track and will provide live tweets from the racecourse over @JakePriceTips. Good luck with your selections!
17:15 – Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) – 4m2½f
The long wait is over and the Grand National is finally here! Last year was hugely successful for us with one of my favourite horses in Tiger Roll winning the race, tipped up on this site at 14/1. This year our hero is back, but fancy prices like that are long gone.
With just three weeks between the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals this year, we haven’t been starved of top class National Hunt racing for long – but I’m excited to delve back into Graded action over the jumps. Day 1 of the Aintree Festival provides us with four Grade 1 events, and the Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase over the famous Grand National fences. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceTips for live updates throughout the day, and best of luck with your bets over this fantastic three-day meeting.
The 2019 Cheltenham Festival has treated us well so far with Tiger Roll, Band Of Outlaws and Envoi Allen all winning for us on Wednesday, so I have decided to treat myself and attend Day 3 of The Festival despite not planning on it! Let’s hope we can pick up some more winners today. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceTips for live updates from the track throughout St Patricks Thursday.
After a solid Day 1 Preview with Supreme winner Klassical Dream (6/1) and A Plus Tard (16/1 Ante-Post) storming home, we swiftly move onto Day 2, where hopefully we can again pick up some more winners. Be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceTips for live updates from the racecourse throughout the day.
After a long twelve months, the wait for the best week in Horse Racing is finally over – the Cheltenham Festival is back! We kick off the week with my favourite day of them all – ‘Champion Day’ Tuesday. The feature race is of course the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle, where we have an outstanding renewal which includes the two Mares Apple’s Jade and Laurina, taking on Dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air. Elsewhere we have another three Grade 1 events, two fantastically competitive Handicaps, and one of my favourite races of the season – the four-mile National Hunt Chase. I’ll be attending Day 1 as usual, providing live updates from the track via my Twitter account @JakePriceTips. The recent rain has significantly eased the surface, and despite the dry winter, we look set to race on the softer side of good.
Ante-Post Preview #8 – 05/03/2019
2m Arkle Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) – Tuesday 12th March 2019
The Arkle Novices’ Chase is the first of three Championship races open to first and second season Novice Chasers, ran on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival. Some of the best horses in our sport have won this race in the past including Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop, Sprinter Sacre, Altior and Douvan. Last year the race was won by Irish banker Footpad, trained by the genius Willie Mullins – who has won three of the last four renewals. The Closutton handler doesn’t have his normal fire-power this year however due to injuries and dry ground, so the race has a much more open feel to it. With Ante-Post favourite Le Richebourg also ruled out of the race due to injury, this looks a fantastic opportunity for a horse to have their day in the sun.
Ante-Post Preview #7 – 03/03/2019
2m½f Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – Tuesday 12th March 2019
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is the traditional Cheltenham Festival curtain raiser, always preceded by the famous Cheltenham roar of a crowd full of anticipation and excitement. Run over a fast paced two-miles, this is one of the most competitive Novice Hurdles of the season. The Supreme has a fantastic roll of honor including the likes of Altior, Douvan, Vautour, Al Ferof and Champagne Fever in recent years – so it clearly takes a classy horse to win. Last year the race was won by Tom George’s Summerville Boy, and we look to have an even more competitive renewal this year with no Willie Mullins hot-pot at the front of the market.
Ante-Post Preview #6 – 27/02/2019
2m4f Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) – Tuesday 12th March 2019
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is run over two-and-a-half-miles and is limited to Novice Chasers rated 145 or below. This rating band changed from 0-140 last season, and in result we now have an extremely competitive handicap. Last season the bottom weight ran from a mark of 137, and this year we look set for another tightly matched field. Mister Whitaker won from that bottom weight in 2018, but the nature of the race means that the top weights won’t have as difficult a task as they may have in a traditional handicap – we could see as little as 5lbs between the field this year.
Ante-Post Preview #5 – 26/02/2019
2m½f Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – Wednesday 13th March 2019
The Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is one of two races at the Cheltenham Festival for four-year-olds, and this race is usually made up of horses not quite up to Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle standard. Last year the race was won by Gordon Elliot’s Veneer Of Charm, with the likes of Diego Du Charmil and Sanctuaire also on the honors list. The race is run over two-miles-and-half-a-furlong on Wednesday of the Festival and is the last race over obstacles on the Old Course, before action switches over to the New Course the following day.
We’re set for a bumper weekend of National Hunt action after racing resumed from the Equine Influenza crisis last week, with both the Betfair Hurdle and Denman Chase transferred to Ascot’s top class card. With so much racing on this Saturday, I wanted to write up my selections in one place to avoid cluttering my Twitter feed. It also allows me to use more than 280 characters for reasoning! Good luck and enjoy the fantastic racing on offer at Ascot, Haydock, Wincanton and Gowran Park this Saturday – all live on ITV4.