Saturday’s Horse Racing Preview & Tips- 24th February 2024 – Seymour Biz

saturday horse racing tips and previews from expert tipster seymour biz on everytipFind all previous Seymour Biz racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.

There are three meetings being covered by ITV Racing this week in the run-up to Cheltenham, where the Irish trainers are expected to rout their UK counterparts as has been the case in many of the handicaps run in Britain this season, including last week’s big race at Haydock.

We have a mix of meetings this week, with the main attraction being Kempton, where five races are being covered. These are backed up by one race at Newcastle, the Eider Chase, but I can’t help feeling that jump racing at Gosforth Park has declined since the all-weather track was laid down.

These two meetings are backed up by a couple of flat races on the all-weather at Southwell, where the Winter Derby takes place, and John and Thady Gosden’s Lord North returns to try and retain the title he won last year.

Here are my thoughts on the best value from this week’s eight races.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
2.08 Newcastle. Major Dundee
1.15 Kempton. Pentland Hills
3.00 Kempton. Secret Squirrel
3.37 Kempton. Il Ridoto
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

I will begin at Newcastle with the 2.08 the Betting. Bet Eider Handicap Chase, a Class 2 contest run over 4m 1 1/2f. This race was always looked upon as a Grand National Trial, but I can see none of this year’s entrants that figure in the Aintree betting, and the Irish trainers have ignored the race completely.

Christian Williams has won the last two runnings of the Eider, but he has no runner in the lineup with last year’s winner, Kitty’s Light, not entered.

The current favourite is Brian Ellison’s Anglers Crag, who has won all three of his races this season, but this is a step up in class and a mile further than he has ever won over.

Sam England’s Fenland Tiger record is very similar, and although his form record looks good, he seems out of his class.

Andy Irvine’s Gold Clermont is also being upped in class, but he can probably handle the trip and may be placed.

Ben Clarke’s The Galloping Bear has shown poor form this season and has plenty of weight.

Major Dundee won the Midlands National for trainer Alan King last March. He has been running in lesser distances so far this season in preparation for these marathons. We know he can cover over 4 miles, and he is a Grade 2 winner, so he is able to take this.

Moving south to Kempton Park and the 1.15 Coral Racing Club Handicap Hurdle, a 2m 5f Grade 2 contest. Nicky Henderson has the top three horses in the handicap, Pentland Hillls, No Ordinary Joe and Fantastic Lady and probably the first named has the best chance after his fine second at Doncaster in December.

Dan Skelton also has three runners, Get A Tonic, West To The Bridge and Boombawn – the latter has not been seen since winning at Aintree last May and is probably best watched.

Harry Skelton has chosen to ride Get A Tonic, so that should be noted.

Paul Nicholls has just the one runner, Largy Poet, who won a small race at Exeter at the end of January, more is required.

So, in what can be an exciting betting heat, I will side with Nicky Henderson’s top-weight Pentland Hills.

The 3.00 is the Coral Dovecote Novices Hurdle, a Grade 2 contest run over 2 miles where the whole field is looking to step up and win in Graded company. Sam Thomas’s Lump Sum is currently the bookies’ choice, notching up a couple of wins this season, the latest of which was at Wincanton in December. He ran second in the Graded company in January.

Ben Pauling’s Fiercely Proud has also won twice this season and was third behind Lump Sum last time out – there seems little between the pair.

Paul Nicholls’s Fasol was second in a Group 2 flat race at Longchamp in September but was all over the place on his hurdling debut at Newbury a month ago when he finished fourth. If he has learnt from that experience he can go close here at a big price.

Paul Nicholls’s Panjari has won twice in a busy season, including last time out at Musselburgh, but this is tougher.

Hughie Morrison’s Secret Squirrel has been consistent this season after two wins last year. He can continue his good form and win this prestigious contest.

The big race of the afternoon is the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at 3.37. This is Grade 2 contest run over 3 miles. Joint top weight is Sam Thomas’s Al Dancer, the trainer won this last year and comes here with his experienced 11-year-old hoping to repeat the feat but his weight is a problem.

Nicky Henderson’s Tweed Skirt won here at Kempton at the Christmas meeting and was third in a Grade 2 at Doncaster last month. She can go well.

Flegmatik is the bookies’ choice, and Dan Skelton’s gelding was a course and distance winner last month, but this is a step up in class.

Anthony Honeyball has three runners, the best of which is Forward Plan, who won at Doncaster in December and was only beaten a nose in Grade 3 when returning to the same course last month.

I favour Paul Nicholls’s Il Ridoto, whose three runs this season have been in top-class Grade 3 handicaps at Cheltenham. He has not been disgraced in any of them and hit the frame in all three. I think he will cope with the nuances of Kempton and be suited by the extra distance to succeed here.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
2.08 Newcastle. Major Dundee
1.15 Kempton. Pentland Hills
3.00 Kempton. Secret Squirrel
3.37 Kempton. Il Ridoto
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

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