horse-racing

Where to Watch Racing This Weekend

April 28, 2017

- Grant Whittington

This weekend promises to be yet another seminal one in the sport of horse racing, especially as it is the Mayday Bank Holiday. This, along with firmer ground and cloudless skies, makes for an immersive experience that is sure to appeal to punters across the UK.

The weekend will also see events at iconic locations such as Kempton and Haydock Park, while Bank Holiday Monday will be particularly busy with five meetings scheduled across the length and breadth of the UK.

With this in mind, here are some of the most exciting meetings taking place across the weekend:

Haydock Park, Saturday 29th April

We start on Saturday, where the iconic Haydock Park will host seven flat races on what is set to be a sun-kissed and action-packed day of activity.

Two of these events stand out from the crowd, however, with the first being the Best Odds Guaranteed At 188Bet Handicap. This will run at 14.40, while the lucky winner will take home £28,012 from a total prize fund that is in excess of £40,000.

At first glance, the Owen Burrows-trained Fawaareq would appear to be the favourite, having won his last three outings at Newmarket (twice) and Beverley.
The last of these triumphs came on the 8th July last year, however, creating an opportunity for one of the other 10 runners.

More specifically, the 4 year-old, Richard Hannon-trained Oh This is Us has an excellent chance of claiming first on Saturday. The filly has a lifetime record of six wins from 15 outings, while he was victorious on his last outing at Bath on 14th April.

The other race of interest here is the Champions League Betting At 188Bet Handicap, which has a first prize of £20,231 available. Hannon’s War Glory is one of the initial front-runners, having finished in the top two in six of the eight races that he has competed in so far.

Thirsk, 30th April

There are two meetings on Sunday, with the standout event being hosted in Thirsk. There are several races running here, with most including competitive fields of more than 30 runners. This creates a significant challenge for bettors, as it can be hard to select a viable winner from such a vast range of contenders.

The most intriguing race is the 15:15 Thirsk Racecourse Licensed For Wedding Ceremonies Handicap, which has a total of 42 runners listed to participate. Early favourites include the talented Skellig Michael, who is trained by G. Lee and enters the race in excellent form. He won at Kempton on 3rd February, for example, while he secured a credible second at odds of 16/1 during his last outing in March.

See You Mush may run him close, however, despite the fact that he lacks the pedigree of some of his rivals. He did win his last flat race on 6th April, however, romping home impressively despite starting odds of 16/1.

Kempton, Monday 1st May

Now we come to the May Bank Holiday, which is always a popular date for horse racing fans across the UK. The highlight is undoubtedly the meeting at Kempton Park, however, where seven jump races are scheduled to take place throughout the afternoon and early evening.

The standout race is clearly the class 2, 16:40 Smarter Bets With Matchbook Handicap Chase, which is run over a little more than two miles. It is sure to be keenly contested, with total of 13 high quality runners and a first prize available of £14,389.

It is hard to look beyond the in-form Meldrum Lad as the favourite, however, who is trained by Seamus Durack and has claimed five wins in 22 jump outings. More impressively, he has won his last three races, each of which took place earlier in April. This stellar run of form included a particularly comprehensive win at Exeter on 11th of the month, as he emerged victorious from a competitive field of eight runners.

The Jonjo O’Neill-trained A Little Magic may yet throw a spanner in the works, however, particularly with three wins in his last four jump outings since December. He also won last time out on 9th April at Market Rasen, over a similar length to the Matchbook Handicap Chase and on almost identical ground.

Some may argue that the smart money may actually lie here, as A Little Magic is likely to start at far higher odds.

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