horse-racing

Where to Watch Racing This Weekend

April 13, 2017

- Grant Whittington

The last few weeks have been a testament to the enduring appeal and excitement of horse racing, as both the Cheltenham Festival and the iconic Grand National have delivered tremendous entertainment.

While fans and bettors may have finally come back down to earth after a stellar few weeks, however, the season continues in earnest with various meetings scheduled across the UK this weekend. Easter has always been an outstanding time for horse racing, as people look to bask in the spring sunshine and spend their holidays visiting local courses.

Here, we will take a look at some of the weekend’s standout events, while identifying the key runners and the races that are sure to capture your imagination…

Friday 14th April at Newcastle

We start on Good Friday, when Newcastle will play host to the finale of the inaugural All Weather Championships. With prize money totalling £250,000 across six races, this remains one of the most lucrative meetings of the season and one that provides the ideal antidote to the hype and the bluster of the Grand National.

The headline act here is the Burradon Stakes, which serves as the £100,000 feature race and one that boasts an elite field of runners. Just eight have been declared so far, while the quality of the competitors makes it extremely difficult to determine a potential winner.

The Andrew Balding-trained South Seas (15/8) is the early front-runner, although a number of pundits are leaning towards Taamol (9/2). This horse is trained by the experienced Michael Stoute, while the Irish filly won the first of its two races to date in June last year and boasts immense potential.

There should also be an honourable mention for Forest Ranger here, as this filly also emerged victorious from its debut outing in September. Trained by the outstanding Richard Fahey, he can be backed at 16/1 and could offer considerable value to bettors.

Saturday 15th April at Kempton Park

On Saturday we had to the iconic Kempton Park, which will play host to seven races including the Sky 432 Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes. This carries a winners’ prize of £22,684, so it is sure to be keenly contested by all of the participating runners.

There are 13 runners declared so far, for example, and this jam-packed field includes several potential winners. One of the most backed horses so far is the four-year old foal Tegara, who has managed to place in the top three four of his five outings to date. Trained by David Simmcock, he placed second out of six runners at Wolverhampton during his last race in December, so he will fancy his chances here.

Trainer Charlie Fellows will also approach the race in good mood, as his single runner Carolinae will arrive at Kempton in excellent form and well worth checking some free bet deals for. The five year old has won his last two races at Wolverhampton and Lingfield respectively, with the latter outing coming as recently as February.

We complete our betting trilogy for this race with trainer John Gosden and the outstanding Laugh Aloud, with the latter arriving at Kempton with a lifetime record of two wins and three second placed finishes in just six outings. This run includes finishing first in a field of 15 at Newmarket last September, while the filly has also secured two victories from his last three outings in total.

Sunday 16th April at Ffos Las

Sunday may traditionally be renowned as a day of rest, but this does not apply in the popular sport of horse racing. Even Easter Sunday is no exception to this rule, with Ffos Las hosting seven afternoon and early evening races in the pale spring sunshine.

The 16:40 Permission Homes West Wales National Handicap Chase is the pick of these events, with this class three meeting offering a prize fund of £15,640 that will be contested by up to 35 runners.

Many of the UK’s top trainers will be represented in the race, including Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson. The early favourite for this race is the Irish-bred Have a Go Hero, which is trained by Dai Williams and appears to have come into his own during recent month. The nine-year old won on his last outing at Shelford on 26th March, for example, and he is likely be heavily backed this time around.

This will be a close race, however, particularly with so many elite-level trainers on show.

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