Wetherby, Warwick & Kempton Tips for 13th January 2024

Results for Wetherby, Warwick & Kempton Tips for 13th January 2024

Always keen to create as tricky a puzzle as possible for us punters, it is no surprise that Saturday’s small field Graded events of the Silviniaco Conti Chase and Hampton Novices Hurdle haven’t made the cut for this week’s Scoop 6. It is instead handicapping action all the way as Wetherby, Warwick, and Kempton set the stage for the big pot hunting. An excellent renewal of the Lanzarote Hurdle from Kempton tops the bill, whilst a field of potential Grand National contenders take to the track in the Classic Chase at Warwick.

Here, we run through the main contenders and pick out our best value punting options in each of the six events in this week’s Scoop 6 Racing Tips.

1:40 William Hill Daily Bet Boost Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

Class 4, 3m


A competitive field of novice chasers gets the Scoop 6 underway. Sue Smith’s Paddy O’Mahler (4/1) has come in for support in the days preceding the race. That may prove an ominous sign, but having finished tamely in his past three outings over much shorter than this, he is tough to support on form. Handicap debutante Sprucefrontiers (9/2) is next in, but he hasn’t pulled up any trees of late and hails from a yard which appears to be under a cloud.

Distance winner Stratton Oakmont (9/2) and Delgany Bobby Blue (13/2) from the Dan Skelton operation are harder to dismiss. Overall, we feel the market has this right in rating the Lawney Hill representative Shewearsthewellies (10/3) as the one they all have to beat. Three from four so far this season, this Walk In The Park mare is up another 5lb for her last win at Lingfield but couldn’t have done it much easier that day and rates the most solid option in leg 1.

1:49 Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 3m1f

Gentleman At Arms

We switch to hurdles for leg 2, but stamina again looks to be of paramount importance. These Pertemps qualifiers are always tricky, as the runners only need to finish in the first six to earn a place in the final. If that event at the Cheltenham Festival is the ultimate goal, winning the race may even prove a negative due to the inevitable hike in the handicap. All of which leads us to seek an each-way option at decent odds.

The hattrick-seeking Kyntara (11/4) and Gordon Elliott’s Mel Monroe (11/4) are obvious contenders but haven’t been missed by the market. Of those available at double-figure odds, The Big Breakaway (14/1) has more than enough ability to be involved but has been woefully out of sorts for some time now.

As such, the Stuart Edmunds runner, Gentleman At Arms (12/1) gets the vote. Good enough to finish second in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle in 2022, he shot to a peak rating of 143 but is now down to 129. Despite not being the force of old, he beat the talented stayer Iwilldoit over this trip two starts back before being undone by early errors last time out at Newbury. He’s not the most reliable sort, but has twice run well here and looks decent value to hit the frame.

2:42 Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 2m5f

Impose Toi

Sitting on four and three wins, respectively, the powerful duo of Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have rock-solid records in what is invariably a big-field affair. 19 line up in 2024, and Henderson and Nicholls will again have their supporters. Nicholls sends two to post in the shape of Irish Hill (20/1) and Sonigino (13/2). The betting suggests that the latter is far more likely to prevail, and it’s hard to disagree with that assessment.

Showing promise in his first two outings of the season, Sonigino bounced right back to his best with a resounding success last time out at Aintree. A 6lb rise looks perfectly fair on the back of that, but no horse has carried 12st to victory in the history of the race.

Side instead with Henderson’s sole entry, Impose Toi, who looks just the type of unexposed stayer it often takes to prevail. Only six years of age, he’s a good fit on the age and weight trends, and, but for a final-fence blunder in the Betfair Exchange Trophy, would be a perfect two from two this season. His two outings this term have come over 2m, but his final start of last season resulted in a 15-length rout over this trip at Ludlow. Looking like a horse firmly on the up, he can defy a mark of 134.

2:50 William Hill Pick Your Places Handicap Hurdle

Class 3, 2m3½f

Santos Blue

Benassi (4/1) comes firmly into contention in the final event from Wetherby, having finished a decent second off a 1lb higher mark at Lingfield. Milldam (5/1) is one of only two last-time-out winners in the field and ought to go well for Jamie Snowdon. Lesser (10/1) is the second last-time-out winner and is actually yet to taste defeat in four career starts – one of which came over this course and distance. However, the most recent of those outings came over 2½ years ago. He makes some each-way appeal at a double-figure price but looks a little risky.

The one we like best is the Dan Skelton runner, Santos Blue. Already a winner over this course and distance, he has run some excellent races in defeat, including a runners-up effort to Stayers Hurdle-bound Crambo and a close-up third to Broadway Boy. He hasn’t been so good in his past two outings, but those efforts came at 3m½f and 2m5½f. Back down in trip, and only 2lbs higher than for that excellent effort against the now 155-rated Broadway Boy, he looks the one to be on.

3:00 Wigley Group Classic Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 3m5f

Malina Girl

We have a couple of Collonges towards the head of the market in a race that often provides a stepping stone towards the Grand National. Guetapan Collonges (7/1) is the first of those, but is short enough, having managed only fourth in this off a 10lb lower mark last year. His half-sister, Fontaine Collonges (8/1) looks more interesting, having won at a canter at Wetherby on Boxing Day, but she has finished out of the frame on two previous cracks at this trip. Midlands National winner, Major Dundee (10/1), has no such stamina concerns and would be our each-way pick, but we fancy this prize may be plundered by the Irish.

Anything Gavin Cromwell sends across the Irish Sea merits the utmost respect, and we will be backing him to hit the mark again with the seven-year-old mare Malina Girl. Coming in for substantial support ahead of the Jewson Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November, she promptly made a mockery of her mark of 136 to power home by 10 lengths. Up to 146 last time out, she appeared to be on the verge of a repeat performance only to fall three from home. That was unfortunate for backers that day, but she gets in off the same rating here and may prove tough to deny.

3:35 Unibet Veterans Handicap Chase

Class 2, 3m

Aye Right

Last but not least, the rescheduled final of the popular veterans series, which had been due to take place at Sandown last weekend. The later date and change in the venue haven’t had much effect on the field, with many of the same old favourites standing their ground. The hattrick-seeking Good Boy Bobby (13/2) shades favouritism and is hard to rule out, having been raised 4lb for that latest success at Sandown. Former Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up Thomas Darby (9/1) is another to note, having rediscovered some of his old sparkle at this track in November.

In a tricky heat, the one to get the vote is a horse who finished behind Good Boy Bobby and Thomas Darby in his two latest outings – the Harriet Graham & Gary Rutherford-trained Aye Right. Beaten only a neck by Good Boy Bobby, he’s 12lbs better off with the jolly once Dylan Johnston’s 7lb claim is factored in. He was 5¾l behind Thomas Darby in November but is similarly 13lbs better off with that rival under these conditions. It was only a little over 20 months ago that this horse finished ninth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and he is fancied to make his class tell in his big target for the season.