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.
Ante-Post Preview #4 – 13/02/2019
2m4f JLT Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) – Thursday 14th March 2019
The JLT Novices’ Chase is one of three Championship Novice races for Steeplechasers, and opens Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival. The race is run over an intermediate distance of 2m4f, and last year was won by the likeable Mare Shattered Love. Since the races’ inception in 2011 Willie Mullins has struck up an impressive four wins (50% strike rate!), most memorably when Vautour demolished his rivals by fifteen lengths in one of the all-time great Cheltenham Festival performances. In a weird season which has been halted by both the weather and Equine Flu, we’re set for another competitive renewal. Continue reading “Cheltenham Ante-Post #4 – JLT Novices’ Chase”
Ante-Post Preview #3 – 05/02/2019
2m4f OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – Tuesday 12th March 2019
The Mares’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 contest ran over an intermediate trip of two-miles-four-furlongs, and is only eligible for female horses. There have been some fantastic renewals in the past such as when Apple’s Jade saw off Vroum Vroum Mag and Limini in 2017, with the former winning this contest in 2016. Superstar Mare Quevega dominated the race for six years running between 2009-2014, but arguably the biggest claim to fame for the Mares Hurdle was when Annie Power fell at the last in 2015, costing punters millions. However you feel about there being a Championship race for female horses at the Cheltenham Festival, it clearly has thrown up some fantastic horses.
The Dublin Racing Festival is a two-day meeting held at Leopardstown in Ireland, and is made up of eight Grade 1 races. Last season’s inaugural meeting was a huge success, producing winners such as Samcro and Footpad – who subsequently went on to win at the Cheltenham Festival. We look set for another highly competitive day of Irish action on Saturday (Day 1), with my selections listed below. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceTips for updates and reaction throughout the day.
Trials Day is the last meeting at Cheltenham before the Festival gets underway in March, and offers connections a last chance to get some course practice into their string before their bigger targets. This season’s Trials Day looks another fantastic card, and we look set to run on Good to Soft ground. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePriceTips for live updates from the racecourse.
Ante-Post Preview #2 – 22/01/2019
3m Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final (Grade 3) – Thursday 14th March 2019
The Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Final is the concluding race in a series of Pertemps Qualifiers ran at various tracks from October through February. This ultra-competitive Handicap is run over three-miles and requires a horse to have finished in the first six of a qualifying race. Ran on Day Three of the Cheltenham Festival, this Grade 3 has been won by some brilliant horses – including Presenting Percy and Delta Work in recent years. The Pertemps Final is a unique race in that although horses need to qualify to run, they don’t necessarily want to win a qualifier as it could jeopardise their Handicap mark. Equally, you need to have a mark which is high enough to get into the race as a maximum field is all but guaranteed.
Ante-Post Preview #1 – 17/01/2019
3m Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) – Friday 15th March 2019
The Albert Bartlett is the last of three Championship Novice Hurdles, run over a full three miles on Day Four of the Cheltenham Festival. This unique race is a gruelling test for any young horse, with favourites notoriously faring poorly – recording just three wins since the race began in 2005. In order to find a winner in this race you need a gutsy horse who stays well –which are exactly the type of qualities which previous winners such as Unowhatimeanharry possessed. With there being less than 8 weeks until the Festival gets underway, we are in a strange position where there won’t be a lot of time for young horses to come out of the woodwork and stake their claims for this Grade 1 contest, so there seems to be a lot of value in some all but confirmed runners – especially as there are a lot of horses at the top of the betting with other targets.
Although a winner is a winner – even if it is picked out at Ffos Las on a Tuesday – there is a greater sense of achievement in backing the winner of a big handicap. In the early part of the National Hunt season there are three notable handicaps that everyone is trying to find an angle on; the BetVictor Gold Cup, the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle and the Ladbrokes Trophy. Whilst the latter contest isn’t until the 1st December at Newbury, the BetVictor and Greatwood are coming up this weekend at the Cheltenham November meeting, so I thought I’d take this chance to share my selections for the duo of Grade 3 races. I’m in a lucky position this year where I will be in attendance of both the Greatwood and the Ladbrokes Trophy, so I will also be able to provide live updates from the respective tracks. Let’s get right into it…
Jumps racing is back at HQ – which means I am also back at my beloved Cheltenham Racecourse! There’s no going back now as National Hunt racing has officially started, and we have a fantastic card to look forward to, headlined by Lil Rockerfeller and Diakali in the Novice Chases. Elsewhere, one of our horses to follow in Sebastopol will make his debut over hurdles.
It’s that time of year again – the National Hunt season is about to kick-off proper at Chepstow this weekend, meaning we sadly have to say good-bye to one of my favourite racecourses in Newton Abbot – until the spring at least! Their finale fixture is always a belter, last year producing the likes of Black Corton and Maria’s Benefit, who both went on to record Graded success thereafter. This year we are treated to another brilliant card, with over £100,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. Headlined by the Class 2 Intermediate Chase, Cheltenham Festival third Benatar is the stand-out entry and it will be fascinating to see how he does on his seasonal return. I will be at Newton Abbot tomorrow live tweeting the event, so be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceTips if you don’t already. If you want to read more from me, you can check out my National Hunt Horses to Follow 2018/19 here.
Market Rasen plays host to the highlight of Summer National Hunt Racing on Saturday, where the ITV cameras will be showing the Listed Summer Handicap Hurdle, and the Listed Summer Plate Handicap Chase. Last year the Hurdle was won by John Constable (150), whilst the Plate went to Paul Nicholls’ beautiful grey Alcala (147). I actually tipped up both of these winners 12 months ago, so the pressure is on to repeat the feat this time around!
It may be ‘Super Saturday’ on the Flat, but down in the South-West the summer jumping continues at Newton Abbot, with a valuable card worth nearly £80,000. The feature race of the day is the Class 2 Handicap Chase with Tempestatefloresco (rated 143) heading a field of seven. Elsewhere, exciting Novice Chaser The Unit (rated 140) will also have a spin around the Devon track. It promises to be another fantastic race-day, and the perfect excuse to avoid watching England play in the third place play-off (although screens will be showing the game)!
Although my main focus from a betting prospective will always be Horse Racing (it takes up a lot of time!), my affection for football is still made apparent from the liked tweets on my twitter account. Ever since my beloved Fulham won promotion back to the Premier League just 18 days ago, the World Cup has been firmly set on my sights and I can’t wait for the action to get underway with Russia vs Saudi Arabia tomorrow at 16:00 (UK). To keep my twitter account based around Racing I thought I’d write an article for those interested on some of my thoughts surrounding the group stage, including a few selections to boot. Let the festival of football begin!
It’s that time of year again! The race that gets the Nation involved with Horse Racing is back. The 2018 Grand National is here! This year 40 brave horse will tackle the famous Grand National fences over a trip of 4m2f. With all the recent rain however, we are set for a grueling renewal due to the soft ground. It’s sure to be another fantastic race up at Aintree, and good luck to everyone involved. It’s really needless to say, but no matter what happens to your bet, let’s hope that they all make it back safe and sound.
Aintree takes center-stage this weekend with three extremely high quality days of National Hunt Racing at the Liverpool track. With eleven Grade 1 races all leading up to the feature £1,000,000 Grand National on Saturday, this meeting always produces fantastic Horse Racing. Ahead of the big Festival, I have a few early fancies that are likely to go off a shorter price.
The build up is finally over and the Cheltenham Festival has arrived! Here is my preview for the opening ‘Champion Day’ Tuesday, where the feature race will be the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle. I will be attending and live-tweeting from the track on Twitter, so be sure to follow me for the latest news @JakePriceTips. Before I get on with my selections for the greatest show on turf, the lastest ground update is Soft, Heavy in places.
The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate is a Handicap Chase ran over a distance of 2m5f on Day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival. A maximum of 24 runners can go to post for this race worth £110,000. Last year Road To Respect won very easily, and this year heads to Cheltenham as a Gold Cup contender.
The National Hunt Challenge Cup is a Grade 2 Novices’ Chase for Amateur Riders, ran over a marathon 4m trip. The race is run on day one of the Cheltenham Festival. Last year I tipped up Tiger Roll, who went on to easily beat Missed Approach and complete an unusual Festival double having previously won the Triumph Hurdle.
The County Hurdle is a Grade 3 Handicap race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival, ran over 2m1f and with a maximum field of 26 runners. This valuable race is worth £100,000 and Willie Mullins has won four of the last eight renewals. Last year, Arctic Fire got up close from home to beat L’Ami Serge by a neck after a long absence.
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is Listed race around 2m4½f, and concludes day one of the Cheltenham Festival. It is open to Novice Chasers with a rating between 0-145. Last year the race was only a 0-140, where Tully East got the better of Gold Present.