After some bumper weekends of racing we have a Saturday where the focus is more on quality than quantity. There is still enough in the six ITV Racing contests on Saturday for some big-name horses to entertain us and for plenty of variety in the racing.
However many races there are and whatever form they take, we go through all of Saturday’s ITV Racing contests every week. So, join us as we pick out the best of the betting value in this week’s Saturday Racing Tips.
1:45 Paddy Power Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase
Grade 2, 2m
We have a high-class start to the day’s racing at Cheltenham with the Grade 2 Paddy Power Arkle Challenge Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase. The Paul Nicholls-trained Monmiral is the bookies’ favourite and for good reason. Nicholls wasn’t ever fully happy with his string last season but he’s much happier with the start that his horses have made to the new campaign and Monmiral is certainly good enough to keep Ditcheat’s run of form going.
The only issue with Monmiral is the price. At odds of 2/1, the five year old looks a little skinny amongst this calibre of opponent and he could well be vulnerable to 11/4 shot Tommy’s Oscar. His hurdling form is as good if not better than all of his opponents at Cheltenham and he immediately looked at home over fences when making a winning chase debut last time out. This is obviously a considerable step up in class but it’s one that Tommy’s Oscar looks set to take.
2:20 Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase
Premier Handicap, 2m4f
The Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase is always a hot contest and we have another highly competitive renewal as 15 horses go in search of the £90,000 winning prize. French Dynamite and Ga Law are the favourites with the bookmakers and will continue to get plenty of support in the run-up to the race. This, however, has not been a race for favourite backers in years gone by and it makes sense to go in the search of each way value this time around.
Galahad Quest could be the one to side with at odds of 9/1. Although he has not found winning over fences as easily as might have been hoped given how good he was over hurdles, Galahad Quest has had a fresh start this season. After a pleasing start for new trainer Jane Williams, the consistent six year old should be up to running a big race on Saturday and he might even be able to finally get his head home in first.
2:35 Betuk Golden Rose Stakes
Good Effort won the last two editions of the Betuk Golden Rose Stakes as the bookies’ favourite and plenty of punters will feel as though Summerghand can do likewise for this year’s edition. The experienced eight year old has the ability to win a race of this calibre but front runners tend to have a better time of it over the sprint trips on Lingfield’s all-weather surface than those who come on strong late on with their charge so it could pay to take the favourite on.
Logo Hunter isn’t exactly what you’d call a front-runner but he won’t be far off the pace which is expected to be set by Tippy Toes. Providing he can keep himself clear of any traffic problems and remains well-positioned, Logo Hunter should be good enough to claim a third Listed success at a price of 9/2.
2:55 Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle
Class 2, 3m
There are plenty of reasons why Shearer is the 7/2 favourite to win the Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle. The six year old has made two starts so far this season and won them by a combined distance of nine lengths. Those came in novice races but he ran as a second-season novice and should have no trouble stepping into open handicap company.
Paul Nicholls’ six year old will probably need to improve if he is to outrun his official rating of 139 but he is very much a horse on an upward curve. While it remains to be seen how far that curve can take him, Shearer is now free of the injury problems that have blighted him in the past and he should be able to secure another big win on Saturday.
3:10 Betuk Churchill Stakes
Lingfield is one of Britain’s premier all-weather venues and the course will be happy to see such a competitive edition of the Betuk Churchill Stakes on Saturday. This really is a race in which it’s possible to make a strong case about most of the runners and it could be that tactics play the pivotal role.
It might be a bit of a stretch to say that the strong record of prominent runners will be enough to propel Majestic Dawn all the way to victory at Lingfield. This confirmed front-runner will get himself into a strong position at the head of the pack though and he is strong enough to hold onto a place. That would be a good result for connections and for anybody who backs Majestic Dawn each way at odds of 10/1.
3:30 Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Intermediate Handicap Hurdle
Class 3, 2m5f
Cheltenham is the home of British jumps racing so it is rare to see horses who are used to running on the Flat turn up at Prestbury Park and win. And yet, Unanswered is the 5/2 favourite for the Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Intermediate Handicap Hurdle as he bids to do just that.
While relative inexperience over hurdles and the calibre of this race will make some nervous about parting with their hard-earned money by backing Unanswered, he does have the benefit of sneaking in at the foot of the weights. Unanswered will be fit having been kept busy over the summer months and his very workable mark means that he has a favourite’s chance in the last ITV Racing contest of the day.