Saturday Racing Tips for 2nd March 2024 (Kelso, Newbury, & Doncaster)

Results for Saturday Racing Tips for 2nd March 2024 (Kelso, Newbury, & Doncaster)

Not long to go now until the biggest jumps meeting of the year, with the 2024 Cheltenham Festival moving firmly into view. We have jumping action all the way on this week’s Scoop6 menu, with the tote picking out the toughest-looking contests from Kelso, Newbury, and Doncaster for their latest punting conundrum. The Grade 2 Premier Novices’ Hurdle from Kelso and a Listed event for the mares from Doncaster provide the classiest contests, whilst the Greatwood Gold Cup from Newbury and the Morebattle Hurdle back at Kelso look the most intriguing betting heats.

The six-winner combination proved elusive for punters last Saturday, leading to a bumper rollover fund this weekend. It is certainly well worth taking a stab at, and here we present our best bets in each of the six legs in this week’s Scoop6 Racing Tips.

1:42 bet365 Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 2m5f

Kelso
The Kalooki Kid
5/1

The going at Kelso is currently good to soft, but with rain, sleet, and snow in the forecast, there must be a fair chance that conditions will be a little more testing on the day. Potentially changing ground makes life tricky, but we will defer to the always-reliable weather forecasters and focus on those contenders we can trust to handle soft ground.

Itso Fury (5/1) fits the bill, having won on soft last time out, but is up 5lb for a win in a lesser event and must do without the services of his 7lb claiming rider here. Dual Grade 2 winner, Brewin’upastorm (7/1), is the class act in the field but is weighted accordingly and may find this trip slightly beyond his optimum, whilst Serious Operator (5/1) ran a cracker in the Lanzarote last time, but has shown his very best form on good to soft or quicker.

We fancy the one to be on here is the Nicky Richards-trained The Kalooki Kid (5/1). This six-year-old is more open to improvement than most on just his fifth hurdles start and posted one of his best efforts when landing a soft-ground 2m4f contest at Musselburgh. Grade 2 company, good ground, and a 2m½f trip found him out last time out at Doncaster, but these conditions look much more suitable.

1:55 BetVictor Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 2m4f

Newbury
Grandeur D’Ame
9/2

Moving down to Newbury, there is no uncertainty regarding the ground conditions here. Already described as heavy, with more rain on the way, the mud looks set to be flying. Tom Symonds’ Highstakesplayer (9/2) ought to handle these conditions, having won over 3m on soft last time out. He’s up 3lb in a hotter race but makes the shortlist. Kandoo Kid (11/2) from the Paul Nicholls operation has the form to go well but hasn’t faced anything like this sort of ground in the past, whilst fellow course and distance winner Heltenham (8/1) is zero from two on heavy.

Of those available at bigger prices, Jetoile (10/1) and Gustaivan (12/1) are beginning to look well-handicapped and should handle the going. They rate decent each way options, but for the Scoop6, the Alan King-trained Grandeur D’Ame (9/2) will carry our cash here. A dual winner on heavy ground, his best effort came when sauntering 25l clear to land a 2m3½f heavy ground event at Wetherby in November. Going on to finish an excellent fourth in the red-hot December Gold Cup, he makes plenty of appeal off a mark only 8lb higher than for that Wetherby rout.

2:17 bet365 Premier Novices’ Hurdle

Grade 2, 2m2f

Kelso
Brucio
7/1

Nicky Henderson’s Jango Baie is the clear form pick in the next event from Kelso, having landed a Grade 1 at Aintree in December 2023. However, he has been beaten at Listed level since, and the current form of the Henderson yard is concerning. From 10 runners in the past fortnight, Henderson has just one winner, which looks especially bad next to the six pulled-up runners he has had. That’s an alarming statistic and enough to make us look elsewhere.

Personal Ambition’s (5/1) verdict over Jingko Blue from earlier in the season reads pretty well. Subsequently running below form, he was back on track at Doncaster last time out, and shouldn’t be far away. Anthony Charlton’s Alnilam (13/2) is another intriguing contender, having hacked up at this track last time. He may not have beaten much that day, but couldn’t have done it any easier and deserves to take his chance.

However, overall, in a competitive heat, the one we like best is Irish raider Brucio (7/1). Hailing from the yard of Stuart Crawford, this Isaac Souede & Simon Munir-owned runner arrives seeking a hattrick, having landed a competitive Listed event at Leopardstown last time out. Given how tough those Irish handicaps are to win, a mark of 132 may be manageable.

2:50 bet365 Morebattle Hurdle

Class 2, 2m

Kelso
Ballygeary
14/1

Remaining at Kelso for leg 4, we find a similar scenario to the previous race. Nicky Henderson’s Under Control (7/2) stands out, having followed Ashroe Diamond home in a Grade 2 at Doncaster. She may well prove too classy for these, but under a welter burden of 11st13lb on challenging ground, and with those doubts about the Henderson yard, we will take her on.

Current favourite Black Hawk Eagle arrives seeking a hattrick but is untested on soft. Dan Skelton’s Skycutter (7/1) makes the shortlist following an impressive soft-ground win at Carlisle, whilst last year’s winner Benson (12/1) is an attractive price to hit the frame from a 5lb higher mark.

That said, overall, the one for us is the Donald McCain representative, Ballygeary (14/1). A winner over course and distance, he boasts career form figures of 2112 on soft ground. What’s more, he is 3lbs better off with Skycutter for a win over that rival in December and may find improvement for the first time cheekpieces.

3:10 Tips For Every Race At raceday-ready.com Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Listed, 3m½f

Doncaster
Mellificent
12/1

The James Moffatt representative Lunar Discovery has proven all the rage in the betting in the lead-up to this. That market support may prove ominous, but general odds of 9/4 look short enough for a horse stepping up over half a mile in trip.

Ottozzini is a dangerous Irish challenger for Stuart Crawford but is zero from five on soft, so may find the ground against him. Gaye Legacy possesses an admirable attitude and is one of only three distance winners in the field. She has plenty in her favour, but having come up short in Class 2 company in the past, she will need to find improvement.

In a tricky heat, we will take a chance on the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Mellificent. This one has done very little wrong in four starts to date – winning a bumper and low-key novice event, with the only subpar effort coming in a Listed event over 2m½f won by Cheltenham Festival-bound Dysart Enos. In common with the favourite, she moves up in trip, but was doing all her best work late over 2m4f at Carlisle last time out and is a much more attractive price.

3:40 Grimthorpe Handicap Chase

Class 2, 3m2f

Doncaster
Undersupervision
6/1

Richard Hobson’s Some Scope (10/3) is the clear market leader in the finale following his impressive win at this track in January. However, two starts on soft have yielded two defeats – by a combined 42½l. Erne River (8/1) should have no problem with the ground and won here in December. He’s since come up short off this revised mark but may find the return to this track to his liking. Java Point (8/1) and Certainly Red (10/1) are others to note, having filled first and second positions in the Masters Handicap Chase at Sandown.

Java Point appeals most of those mentioned above, but the most solid option here is the Nigel Twiston-Davies runner Undersupervision (6/1). This eight-year-old will be making his third appearance in this event, having won off a mark of 132 in 2022, and lost out by just a neck off that same rating 12 months ago. As such, his current rating of 134 looks no more than fair, but that proven ability in the conditions counts for plenty, and he arrives fresh following an 84-day break.