Saturday Racing Tips for 30th March 2024 (Haydock & Musselburgh)

Results for Saturday Racing Tips for 30th March 2024 (Haydock & Musselburgh)

Spring is the time of year for fans who enjoy both the flat and the jumping action, with the tail end of the National Hunt season and the fledgling flat campaign both providing a host of quality action. The tote has kindly provided a nice mix in his week’s Scoop6 bet, with the conclusion of the Challenger Series at Haydock providing the jumping entertainment, and Musselburgh’s Scottish Sprint Cup card posing the flat conundrums.

Whether you enjoy the flat, jumps, or both, Saturday’s prize pool – expected to sail past the £100,000 mark – definitely catches your attention. Here, we present our best bets in each of the six legs of this week’s Scoop6 Racing Tips.

2:05 My Pension Expert Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 1m7½f

Haydock
The Churchill Lad
7/1

We kick off on Merseyside, with the current soft ground and unsettled forecast set to provide testing conditions at Haydock. Heavy ground won’t present a problem to the current market leader, Brentford Hope (5/2), who has enjoyed a fine time this season. On the downside, he struggled on his only previous outing at this track, which provides enough of a question mark to make us look elsewhere.

Milldam (6/1) makes the shortlist, having narrowly mastered both Playful Saint (9/2) and The Churchill Lad (7/1) in his two most recent starts, but he will be 1lb and 5lbs worse off with that duo here. We would expect Playful Saint to improve on his seasonal return, but on those form lines through Mildam, The Churchill Lad would appear to hold the edge. Only once outside of the first three in seven starts on soft or heavy going, he also hits the age trend in a race which has fallen to a five-year-old four times in the past six years.

2:25 Virgin Bet Silver Arrow Handicap

Class 2, 7f

Musselburgh
Poet Master
11/4

The weather looks a little better in Scotland, but it would still be a surprise if the word soft isn’t in the going description. Katie Scott’s Gweedore (11/2) is a regular over this course and distance and bids to win this for the third year in succession; successful off a mark of 83 in 2022 and 90 twelve months ago, he’s up to a 100 this time. Fellow course and distance winners Love De Vega (15/2) and Zip (11/1) are others to note, whilst Northern Express (9/2) has run with credit in the past two editions.

All of the above should run well, but we see this going to the least exposed runner in the line-up. Karl Burke regularly has his string in top order at the start of the season and can hit the target with the four-year-old gelding Poet Master (11/4). Making only his fifth racecourse appearance here, he already has three wins to his name, including a comfortable course and distance victory on debut. He joins Gweedore on a mark of 100 on his return, but it would be no surprise were he to rate higher by the end of the season.

2:40 Challenger Stayers Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 3m½f

Haydock
Picanha
12/1

The Philip Hobbs & Johnson White-trained Goshhowposh (13/2) is proving popular in the market in this event for the stayers and appeals as a runner we may not have seen the best of yet. However, she was fading out of contention when unseating on her only previous outing at this track, and her best form has come on good to soft or quicker. Jonjo O’Neill has won this three times in the past five years, making his sole entry, Judicial Law (9/1), of interest. He should go well but is 5lb above his career-high winning mark and may find a couple of these better handicapped.

Last-time-out winners Astronomic View (6/1) and Shoeshine Boy (13/2) are others on the shortlist, but the one we like best is the Richard Phillips runner, Picanha. This one has had his issues but has been tried in Grade 2 company and landed a decent event at Warwick off this mark of 122. His latest 6½l fourth to the smart Emitom reads well – particularly as that run represented his return from a massive 660-day break. Sure to strip fitter here, he is attractively priced at 12/1.

3:00 Virgin Bet Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap

Class 2, 5f

Musselburgh
Zarzyni
9/2

Eight go to post in the feature event on the Musselburgh card, with at least half of the field boasting clear claims. Vintage Clarets (9/2) heads the weights for Richard Fahey, having finished second in the 2023 edition of this contest. He looked unlucky in running that day but was over 4l adrift at the line and must bid to go one better off a 6lb higher mark.

The four-year-old duo of Glorious Angel (8/1) and Looking For Lynda (10/1) are likely to prove popular with each way punters, but for us, the two to concentrate on are the past two winners of the race, Silky Wilkie and Zarzyni. Silky Wilkie is 2lbs lower as he defends his crown, but Zarzyni is fully 17lbs lower than when successful in 2022. That kind of difference is hard to ignore about a runner who took a big step back in the right direction when going down by just a head last time out at Wolverhampton. The seven-year-old looks worth backing to regain his title.

3:15 Unibet Middle Distance Veterans’ Handicap Chase Finale

Class 2, 2m4f

Haydock
Riders Onthe Storm
5/1

The last of the jumping legs sees the old boys take centre stage in a race restricted to runners aged 10 and older. Champagne Mystery (4/1) sits atop the market for Tom George, having run a cracker behind Golden Son and Heltenham last time out. If returning in the same heart, he shouldn’t be far away, but he does need everything to fall just right, and has won only one of 17 starts over fences. Thor De Cerisy (6/1) arrives seeking a hat-trick, is at home on heavy ground and has the assistance of Jockeys Championship leader Harry Cobden in the saddle. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him start favourite, but on balance we prefer another.

In a very tight race, the one to carry our cash is the Richard Hobson runner Riders Onthe Storm (5/1). Now 11 years old, the mount of Gavin Sheehan was the best of these in his pomp, having won the Grade 1 Ascot Chase and reached a rating of 162. He’s not the force of old but caught our eye when finishing second to the useful Homme Public over 2m at Doncaster on his first outing since a wind operation. Back over a more suitable trip here, he’s won on soft and heavy going and looks very dangerous off a mark of 130.

3:35 Virgin Bet Queen’s Cup

Class 2, 1m6f

Musselburgh
Yorkindness
11/1

An excellent event for the flat stayers rounds out the bet, with the £100,000 prize pool attracting several contenders from high-profile National Hunt yards. Harry Fry’s Chester Cup winner Metier (11/1) is included in that number and should relish the likely going. However, top weight makes life tough, and he may be vulnerable to one of the younger runners in the line-up.

A horse aged six or younger has won the past six editions of this, and we fancy that run may be extended in 2024. Chillingham (9/2) is the shortest price of the horses to fall into the desired age bracket, and with form figures of 112 on soft ground, he would look to have plenty in his favour. However, he has yet to prove he stays this far, and preference is for the Charlie Johnston-trained Yorkindness. A five-time winner at 2m and beyond, he’s only 2lb above his most recent winning mark – which came at this track – and has hit the frame twice in his three starts on soft ground.