horse-racing

Horse Racing Tips for the 21st and 22nd April

April 20, 2018

- Grant Whittington

In the wake of one of the most thrilling Grand National finishes of all-time, the sport of kings has continued to dominate the sports headlines in the UK.

After the 10/1 shot Tiger Roll pipped Pleasant Company thanks to a photo finish in the jump season showpiece at Aintree, fans across the country have been clamoring to attend the next big event.

Fortunately, this weekend will see another bumper schedule of racing, with eight jump and flat meetings set to take place across the length and breadth of the country.

Below, the Bet Hut team will take a closer look at the action, while identifying the stand-out races and the runners and riders who are likely to compete.

Newbury, Saturday 21st April

We start at the iconic Newbury track, which will host seven prestigious flat races throughout the afternoon.

The pick of these is the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap, which is a class two handicap with a hefty first prize of £25,876 available to the competitors. There are 10 runners listed to compete here, while the race is likely to continue the recent trend for driving close and keenly-contested finishes.

The early favourite here is the 3/1 shot Golden Birthday, who is trained by the experienced Harry Fry. This seven-year-old gelding enjoyed a stellar 2017, winning five consecutive races between 31sy July and 27th October. The included a run of three straight victories on the flat, as he romped home at Leicester, Kempton and Doncaster during the autumn.

Although this has been followed by a hiatus of six months, Golden Birthday will have benefited from his timely return at Lingfield last month (even though he eventually placed fifth out of six runners at a starting price of 2/1).

This versatile and seasoned runner will have a distinct edge over the rest of the field at Newbury, meaning that his odds could well shorten by the time he comes under starters’ orders on Saturday.

Golden Birthday (7/2) will undoubtedly be pushed close by J J Quinn’s four-year-old gelding Look My Way. He’s certainly proved himself to be smart and capable operator over the hurdles in recent times, while he also won convincingly on his last flat race outing at Ffos Las in September.

This superb win came over a similar distance, while it also showcased the horse’s ability to thrive in dry conditions. So, if the going is good come Saturday, he is likely to contend right until the final straight.

If you’re looking for more on outside bet, you should cast your eye over Coeur de Lion. This five-year-old gelding has genuine pedigree on the flat, having won his last outing at Southwell in February and placed in the top three during his last six flat races dating back to October 2016.

Make no mistake; Alan King’s charge would boast shorter odds were it not for his recent form over the hurdles, where he has failed to finish higher than fifth in any of his last three outings. At 9/2, however, he offers genuine value as an each-way bet, while he could contend for the win if he’s ridden well.

Interestingly, this race is preceded by another Class 2 outing in the form of the Dubai Duty-Free Handicap, which boasts eight listed runners and a total prize fund in excess of £24,000.

This relatively select field is certainly competitive, however, with no obvious favourite standing out from the crowd. We reckon that the 10/3 shot A Moment of madness is the sight frontrunner, with Charlie Hill’s five-year gelding established as a consistent and in-form handicapper with a solid record on the flat.

He also wowed onlookers by breaking the track record at Kempton Park during an impressive win at the beginning of the month, which was his last outing on the flat. So, he’ll start at Newbury with some genuine momentum and a great deal of money behind him.

Be sure to look out for the Ed Dunlop-trained Global Applause too, who’ll start at 11/4 and will push his rivals close. Although this four-year-old has not won on the flat (or indeed in any format) since May 2016, he did follow up a maiden victory on debut with a Listed success just two starts later. He has also not disgraced himself in any outing since, performing well in Class 2 and competing even as his form tailed off.

He certainly represents a solid each-way bet, and is worth a punt for the win in such a small and restricted field.

Elsewhere, the 5/1 shot Tomily also looks good for at least a place here. The four-year-old gaining, trained superbly by Richard Hannon, has definitely been kept busy this winter and only just failed when seeking a third consecutive win over the flat at Kempton at the beginning of April.

Although he has yet to convince fully on turf, he’s placed in the top three in six of his last seven outings and is a sure contender here.

Wincanton, Sunday 22nd April

While there are only two main meetings on Sunday, the seven-race jump event at Wincanton definitely caught our eye.

We’re particularly intrigued by the Richard Hardy Memorial Handicap Chase, which is a Class 3 race with 19 listed runners and the first prize of £13,256.

Ran over two miles and four furlongs, the race will feature some excellent runners and trainers, while its competitive nature should make for compelling viewing.

In terms of the likely winner, we feel that Paul Nicholls’ The Last But One will start as the clear favourite at Wincanton. Despite an unfortunate fall at Sandown in March (from which he has recovered), this six-year-old gelding has won three of his last four steeplechase outings and romped to victory over the same course last time out.

He’s also known to perform well in soft or heavy conditions, so if the ground does receive a little overnight rain he’ll most likely use this to secure a competitive advantage.

Keep your eyes peeled for the consistent Princeton Royale, however, as this nine-year-old runner makes for an outstanding each-way bet and a narrow outsider for the win. Trained by Neil King, he’s finished second in his last three steeplechase outings since the beginning of the year, while he also has a penchant for good to soft ground. So, this Sunday’s race should see him perform close to his best, even in a busy and evenly-matched field.

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