Saturday Horse Racing Preview & Tips – 6th February– Seymour Biz

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Find all previous Seymour Biz racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.

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It’s going to be very busy this Saturday on ITV with no fewer than four meetings being televised. The presenters will be flitting up and down the country with racing from Musselburgh, Wetherby and Sandown in the UK and Leopardstown in Ireland.

Sandown has managed to slot in the Cotswold Chase, one of the abandoned races from Cheltenham last week. I still like the look of Saint Calvados but unfortunately, the field has dwindled and each-way is no longer a viable option.

There is a great card at Musselburgh with the Edinburgh National and the Scottish Champion Hurdle and these are reviewed below.

Moving south to Wetherby, they have slotted in another of the abandoned races from last week, the Cleeve Hurdle, albeit with a distinctly changed lineup. Across the water to the Emerald Isle they are. Holding the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown or is it the Willie Mullins Festival?

Once again, the Irish trainer has an incredibly strong hand here and on Saturday, the ITV features the Dublin Chase with Min taking on Chacun Pour Soi and the Irish Champion Hurdle with Sharjah taking on last year’s winner, Honeysuckle. So we can look forward to an exciting weekend of equine action and here are my thoughts for this week’s Lucky Fifteen.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
2.05 Musselburgh. Newtown Boy
3.45 Musselburgh. Billy Bronco
3.30 Sandown. Kiltealy Briggs
1.58 Wetherby. Third Wind
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

Beginning with the 2.05 at Musselburgh the bet365 Scottish Champion Hurdle which is run as a handicap. Locker Room Talk is highly fancied, the gelding trained by Stuart Coltherd had an excellent season last year and started this season off with a bang by making all and winning at Kempton last October, but I think he is high enough in the weights and was found wanting when running here last February.

You should never overlook a Paul Nicholls horse here at Musselburgh and he sends Christopher Wood up to Scotland to try and break his duck for the season. He has had three runs and the latest was at Kempton’s Christmas meeting, where he seemed to be going easily two out but was headed over the last and had to settle for the runner-up spot. The same may happen again.

Donald McCain’s Blakeney Point was a winner here at Musselburgh last time out on New Year’s Day. He beat top weight Voix Du Reve that day and has only gone up a couple of pounds, so I expect him to confirm those placings but he is another who may have to settle for a place.

Trainer Keith Dalgleish has a good strike rate at his home course and he has Newtown Boy in the lineup, a former course winner in December. His latest run was on the all-weather at Newcastle in January where he kept on strongly to win reasonably easily and he can add to his tally here.

The bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap is at 3.45 and this 4m 1f chase will be a real challenge for the competitors. The current bookies favourite is Sandy Thomson’s The Ferry Master, a winner of his last two contests which were both novice chases over 3 miles. This is a major step up in both class and distance for this young horse and he is playing with the big boys here.

Another young challenger is Iain Jardine’s Dino Boy, a horse who was successful over this distance last time out at Kelso in December. While he has proved himself over four miles, he does prefer a left-handed course so that goes against him.

Last year’s winner, Bob Mahler, returns to defend his crown for trainer Warren Greatrex, but he has been pulled up on his last three occasions and should have no chance on that form.

Ben Pauling has the top weight with Le Breuil. He ran third over the National fences in December, then was third again at Warwick last month, both were Graded races. This is top class form and, add to this, he is a past Cheltenham Festival winner, but he is trying this distance for the first time and will not want too much give in the ground.

I will take a chance with bottom weight Dr Richard Newland’s Billy Bronco who has been lightly raced this season. His latest outing was in December at Hereford where he ran a fine second in preparation for this and low weight should mean he can have a good spin round here.

Sandown’s rearranged card features an all-chase meeting due to the going on the hurdle course. What the going will be like after five or six chases if the going is soft, only God knows.

At 3.30, we have the Virgin Bet Masters Handicap Chase over three miles where Ask Me Early from Harry Fry’s yard is a warm favourite. He will love the soft going and will go off in front and try to make all as he has done in his last two victories. However, he is not unbeatable if he does not get things all his own way at the front.

Paul Nicholls has the top weight with Danny Whizzbang, who was a Class 1 winner fourteen months ago, but this season has not gone well and he pulled up on his latest outing at Newbury in November. I think he will need much less give in the ground to figure here.

Coo Star Sivola runs for Nick Williams. He was a Cheltenham hero back in March 2018 but has not won since. His form has been poor this season however he has dropped down the handicap and may run into a place.

Jamie Snowden’s Kiltealy Briggs is in the lineup. He is a very consistent sort having won or been placed in eight of his nine races. He was a very good third in a Graded race at Ascot in December and he will relish the heavy going. He has the ability to take this.

Wetherby stages the Cleeve Hurdle at 1.58 without Paisley Park but there is still a very competitive lineup. Unsurprisingly, the bookmakers favourite is Nicky Henderson’s On The Blind Side who has been running well all season after returning to hurdling when the wheels came off his chase career. His latest victory at Market Rasen in January was on heavy ground, so the going should not be a problem but he does not look unbeatable.

Main Fact won at Haydock in November for trainer David Pipe but was well beaten at Ascot last time out and I pass him over.

Olly Murphy’s Itchy Feet has been chasing this season without success and returns here to hurdling. He may be run off his feet.

I like the outsider Portrush Ted trained by Warren Greatrex who won at Sandown in December then tried his luck against the big boys at Ascot a fortnight later, unfortunately, he was pulled up there. He will have learned from that and may be placed at a nice price.

But my choice for this contest is Hughie Morrison’s Third Wind who has been running well in top-class contests, although the form figures do not show that. He was second behind Main Fact at Haydock in November then a good fifth behind Paisley Park at Ascot. He is an improving horse and can nick this.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
2.05 Musselburgh. Newtown Boy
3.45 Musselburgh. Billy Bronco
3.30 Sandown. Kiltealy Briggs
1.58 Wetherby. Third Wind
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

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