Where to watch racing this weekend

While the nation may be gripped by a seemingly never-ending cold snap at present, the horse racing season continues regardless.

The sport also continues to thrill fans nationwide, with this weekend unlikely to offer any exception to this rule. In fact, there are seven jump and flat race meetings scheduled across Saturday and Sunday alone, as some of the UK’s leading runners and riders compete for glory.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best meetings scheduled this weekend and appraise a selection of the most likely contenders.

 Lingfield, Saturday 20th January

We start on Saturday at Lingfield, where a total of six flat races will take place in the afternoon. The pick of these races is the Class 2, Betway Sprint Handicap, which will run over six furlongs of polytrack surface. The race will also see nine runners compete for a top prize of £11,828, and it’s likely to be one of the most keenly contested meetings of the weekend.

The early favourite here is the 5/2 shot Kachy, a five-year old foal trained by Tom Dascombe. Although he’s without a win since May 2016 and was a beaten favourite on his last outing at Leicester, this run has included an extended hiatus from the circuit and Kachy is renowned for his pace over short distances.

He’s likely to be pushed by the Richard Guest trained Undontdodou, who is emerging as a genuinely progressive sprinter and has won three of his last four outings. Each of these wins came over a similar length at Chelmsford, with the last (and most impressive) triumph coming off a mark of 98. So, while this foal has never run at Lingfield before, he should be strongly suited to the course and is likely to be in contention right until the end.

We also like the look of the Stuart Williams trained Human Nature, who can currently be backed at 6/1 and won impressively at Chelmsford off a mark of 85 in December. While he’ll find this race a much tougher assignment, he belongs at this level and could well spring a surprise if he’s ridden well by Milly Naseb.

Chepstow, Saturday 20th January
On the same day, there’s also a six-race jump meeting scheduled to take place at the iconic course in Chepstow. These include a couple of Class 3 races, with the standout being the 14:10 188Bet Novices’ Chase. While there are only four runners competing for £7,343 in this race, the distance of two miles and seven furlongs will provide an excellent spectacle.

This race will see two of the country’s top jump trainers do battle, with David Pipe’s Ramses De Teillee and Neil Mulholland’s Impulsive Star the two clear favourites to prevail. The former is priced at 11/10 to edge his rival at present, with the gelding having made an immediate impact over the fences during his win on the same course back in November. This performance has compelled bookies to make him the favourite, particularly as he’ll also experience heavy going this time around.

The 15/8 shot Impulsive Star should not be discounted, even though he’s better known for his form over the flat. He won four of his five starts in 2016 and at the beginning of 2017 and finished second as the favourite at Catterick on his maiden chase outing last month. He’ll definitely be a contender here and could well contribute to a keenly-contested race and an exceptionally close finish.

Fontwell, Sunday 21st January
While Sunday is a slightly quieter day in the sport of kings, Fontwell will host a total of seven jump races on 21st. These include a couple of eye-catching Class 3 races, with the Marigold Somerset at 90′ Handicap Hurdle offering a truly compelling proposition for punters and fans alike.

Five runners are listed to compete over a two-mile, five-furlong distance, with the lucky winner set to take home £6,077 for their troubles. The early favourite here is the 5/2 shot I See You Well, who is a five-year old gelding trained by Willie Mullins. He’s placed in each of his last two steeplechase meetings at Ascot and Wincanton respectively, while he was particularly impressive in last outing over a similar, two-mile course.

Colin Tizzard’s 9/4 gelding Fourth Act will also be in contention at Fontwell, despite finishing seventh in a field of 16 last time out at Ascot. This nine-year old certainly boasts the experience and pedigree to prevail in this field, particularly given his ability to perform over longer distances.

We also like the look of Nick Gifford’s eight-year old gelding Theo’s Charm, who will start with a price of 7/2. He’s remained active during the winter and placed well at Plumpton and Haydock over similar distances in October and November respectively, although this is his first outing at Fontwell.

He also finished ninth in a field of 11 last time out at Sandown earlier in the month, despite starting at 4/1. He can win here, though and seems to perform better in smaller fields.

 

 

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