Saturday Racing Tips for 20th April 2024 (Ayr & Newbury)

Results for Saturday Racing Tips for 20th April 2024 (Ayr & Newbury)

We have another cracking afternoon of racing entertainment this Saturday, with quality action for flat and National Hunt fans. The tote have picked out six of the most competitive contests from Newbury and Ayr in this week’s Scoop6 bet, including the headline acts of the Greenham Stakes for the Classic contenders and the huge betting heat of the Scottish Grand National.

No winners last weekend means we have yet another bumper rollover fund to play for, and we will be throwing our hat into the ring. Here, we present our best bets in each of the six events in this week’s Scoop6 Racing Tips.

1:50 CPM Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase

Class 2, 3m

Inch House

The three-way tussle between Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls, and Dan Skelton for the British Trainer’s Championship provides an undercurrent of tension to the card at Ayr, and all three hold entries in leg 1.

Mullins sends the Rich Ricci-owned Sharjah (11/1) in pursuit of this prize, with the son of Doctor Dino being a notch or two above these rivals in his pomp. However, he hasn’t been at his best of late and will be stepping up to 3m for the first time. Paul Nicholls’ Mofasa (10/1) does stay this trip but has shown precious little in recent outings, with a wind-op seemingly not doing a great deal to rectify matters. Dan Skelton’s Hitching Jacking (15/2) boasts marginally the strongest claims of the trio but has yet to convince with his finishing effort over 3m.

The four-timer seeking Montgomery (13/2) makes plenty of appeal for Venetia Williams and looks a horse firmly on the up, but the vote goes to the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Inch House (10/1). Already a winner against this calibre of opposition back in December, he subsequently ran well off a mark of 137 to finish second to the smart Stumptown at Cheltenham, before running as though something was amiss at Newbury. Given two months to recover from whatever ailed him that day, he has dropped to 136 and may find more in the first-time tongue tie.

2:25 Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle

Grade 2, 2m

First Street

Dan Skelton won this with Ch’tibelo in 2016 and is responsible for the favourite this year in the shape of Coral Cup runner-up L’Eau du Sud (4/1). Having also finished second in the Betfair Hurdle, this six-year-old has improved markedly following wind surgery but keeps creeping up the handicap for not winning, which is a concern in an event as competitive as this. Having been undone by the Willie Mullins-trained Absurde at Cheltenham, L’Eau du Sud has three Closutton inmates to contend with here, headed by his fellow six-year-old Bialystok (13/2). This one never threatened in the Coral Cup but looks feasibly handicapped off 137 and may bounce back.

The 2023 champ Rubaud (10/1) returns to defend his crown for Paul Nichols but has a 13lb higher mark to contend with this time around, whilst Alan King’s Favour And Fortune (11/2) is open to improvement and arrives on the back of a respectable effort in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

Whilst there are plenty in with chances, overall, the one we like best is First Street (12/1) from the yard of Nicky Henderson. In his two most recent outings, this one has finished third behind Constitution Hill in the Christmas Hurdle and third again to Lossiemouth in the International Hurdle. Given time off during the yard’s quiet spell, he returns following a wind op and looks solid value.

2:40 Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes

Group 3, 7f


A change of pace comes next, with the first of the two flat legs seeing a field of potential Guineas contenders lock horns over 7f. Unbeaten in three career starts, Ralph Beckett’s Zoum Zoum (2/1) sits atop the market. He’s a likeable sort, but his two turf wins have come on heavy ground, and he will likely face different conditions here. Ballymount Boy (7/1) and Army Ethos (8/1) are strong challengers for Adrian Keatley and Archie Watson respectively, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a shock result.

Having landed two of the past six editions of this, Richard Hannon knows what it takes to succeed. It, therefore, looks interesting that he relies solely upon the course winner Son (20/1). In addition to that maiden success here, the form of this Too Darn Hot colt reads very well – notably a 2¼l fifth to Craven Stakes champ Haatem, and a similar distance defeat to Ghostwriter, who looks one of Godolphin’s best chances of Classic success this season. Those efforts put him right in the mix here, and 20/1 is a big price and worth a punt, Scoop6 or not.

3:00 Jordan Electrics Ltd Seafield Trophy Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

Class 2, 3m½f


Mullins, Skelton, and Nicholls dominate the market in this event with A Penny A Hundred (7/2), Coco Mademoiselle (5/1) and Larchmont Lass (11/2). A Penny A Hundred has the classiest form in the book, with her efforts behind Jade De Grugy reading well in the context of this. However, in common with her two British rivals, she is yet to convince over staying trips. As such, we will look elsewhere.

A 4m winner Flower Of Scotland (18/1) certainly does stay and is becoming dangerously well handicapped off 114, but has shown little signs of a revival of late. The switch back to hurdles may do the trick, but the vote goes to Stuart Crawford’s Ottizzini (12/1).

A six-length winner in a Class 2 novice event over this trip, her latest effort saw her fail by only ½l in a 3m Listed event at Doncaster. With the winner, Pinot Rouge, subsequently finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices Hurdle, the form looks solid, and she can upset her more highly touted rivals.

3:15 OLBG Spring Cup Handicap

Class 2, 1m

City Of York

It has paid to focus on the younger runners in the day’s big field handicap on the flat, with eight of the past 10 editions falling to a four or five-year-old, whilst seven of the last 10 carried 9st4lb or less on the day. Recent years also suggest that low is the place to be regarding the draw. In each of the past four editions, three or all four of the first four home emerged from a single-figure stall.

Applying all of the above to this year’s list of runners reduces the field to just five from 21. Of that quintet, a solid case can be made for Metal Merchant, Navagio, and City Of York, with narrow preference for the latter. A course and distance winner back in September, with Metal Merchant in behind, he’s 8lb higher here but looked value for far more than the 1¾l winning margin. Fit and well following a comeback spin on the all-weather, he can go close under Hayley Turner.

3:35 Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase

Premier Handicap, 4m


Rounding off the Scoop6 bet is the day’s biggest betting heat – and the highlight of the Scottish racing year – as 26 go to post in this marathon affair. Jamie Snowden’s Git Maker (8/1) sits atop the market following a solid second in the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, whilst Eider winner Anglers Crag (12/1) and Midlands Grand National champ Beauport (20/1) lend their weight to a solid British challenge. However, we see this falling to the Irish.

With £200,000 in total prize money up for grabs, this contest may prove pivotal in the race for the Trainer’s Championship. That fact hasn’t been lost on Willie Mullins, who sends six over from Ireland. Of the Mullins runners, Macdermott (9/1) had been heavily supported during the week, but the late money has come for his fellow six-year-old Spanish Harlem (9/1).

Paul Townend takes the ride on Spanish Harlem, but we fancy Macdermott is the one to be on. Having previously run with credit over 2m-2m5f, the step up to 3m unlocked huge improvement last time out at Fairyhouse. He’s up 12lb for that 12l success, but looked better the further he went, and it’s hard to envisage how far clear he would have been granted another mile that day. Having struck with I Am Maximus last weekend, Mullins can plunder the biggest pot on offer once again.