Saturday’s Horse Racing Preview & Tips- 3rd 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.

Many eyes will be across the Irish Sea this weekend with the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown. The highlight on Saturday is the Irish Gold Cup where Galopin Des Champs will be a warm favourite to retain the crown he won last year prior to coming to Cheltenham to try to do the same there.

ITV Racing are covering that race and one other from Leopardstown. They are shoehorning them into their Saturday programme but their two main meetings are from Sandown and Musselburgh.

There are five races from Sandown, including the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Chase where Emmet Mullins has withdrawn Corbetts Cross who was due to challenge the UK trainers. Pity the British trainers have sent no entries for the big money on offer in Ireland, do they lack confidence?

Sandown’s other four televised races are handicaps as are the three races from Musselburgh. So we have seven great betting races to choose from for this week’s Lucky Fifteen and here are my thoughts.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
2.15 Musselburgh. Peaches And Cream
2.50 Musselburgh. Park Annonciade
3.10 Sandown. West Balboa
3.45 Sandown. Fortescue
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

Beginning in Scotland with the 2.15 at Musselburgh the bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase a Class2 race run at a tad under 4 miles. Top weight and current favourite is Paul Nicholls’s Truckers Lodge who won at Sandown in December before being pulled up in the Welsh National at Chepstow just after Christmas. He has plenty of weight on what could be tacky ground.

Nicholls’s other runner, Enrilo, has not really fulfilled the promise he showed as a novice and he has not won since 2021, he is best watched.

Fergal O’Brien’s Landen Calling moves up in class after winning at Market Rasen on Boxing Day, he can go well.

Venetia Williams’s Christopher Wood has won twice here at Musselburgh in his career. His only run this season resulted in him finishing third at Carlisle in December, a race where Nicky Richards’s Universal Folly finished second. More is required by both of them to feature here.

There is an Irish raider with a great chance here, Peaches And Cream trained by Gavin Cromwell, who was last seen at Cheltenham in November when he finished a fine fifth in a Grade 3 contest, a repetition of that form can see him take this.

The 2.50 is the bet365 Scottish County Handicap Hurdle a Class2 run over 1m 7 1/2f. Sandy Thomson has the top weight with Benson who won here on New Year’s Day, this race over a shorter distance looks tougher.

Paul Nicholls’s Afadil was third that day but he is a course and distance winner and can turn the tables on Benson and go close.

But the Irish have a strong hand here with their three runners the highest weighted is J A Nash’s Your Honour who won a Listed race at Limerick at the end of December.

Zanndabad trained by AJ Martin comes back in trip after running poorly at Fairyhouse in December, more is required from him.

The one I like is SRB Crawford’s Park Annonciade who has three victories to his credit already this season the latest of which was at Haydock in November. On his latest run on New Year’s Day, he ran fourth here at Musselburgh after a bad mistake early on.

Donald McCain’s Ballygeary was second that day after winning at Bangor in December and can go close but I feel with an error-free round Park Annonciade can reverse those placings and take this.

Moving south to Sandown, and the 3.10 is the Virgin Bet Heroes Handicap Hurdle. This is a Grade 3 race run over 2m 7 1/2f. Sam Thomas’s Ed Keeper won at Newbury at the beginning of December and then ran a fine third at Cheltenham at the beginning of January. However, this is a step up in class.

Tom Lacey’s Operation Manna is 3 from 3 this season and is another horse looking to step up into Graded company, he can go close.

Jonjo O’Neill’s Saint Davy won a small race at Ludlow last month but was deemed good enough to run in a Grade One at Aintree last April where he weakened from two out.

Transmission finally got his head in front for his first career win at Plumpton last month. But I’m sure trainer Neil Mulholland would be pleased with a place here.

Harry Derham’s Scamallach Liath won a small race at Ascot in November and has been consistent in his other races but this is a big ask.

Class will tell and Dan Skelton’s West Balboa has it in abundance, a winner of a Grade 3 last April he was disappointing in a Grade 1 on his return just before Christmas where he was reported to have run too free. If he is held onto, he can defy top weight to be victorious.

The Virgin Bet Handicap Chase is at 3.45. This is a Class 2 contest run over 3 miles. The top weight and bookies favourite is Anthony Honeyball’s Blackjack Magic who won at Wincanton in November but was unable to follow up at Ascot the following month after a mistake at the last. Both races were Grade 3s and he is sure to go well.

Ben Pauling’s Bangers And Cash was a well-beaten third at Newbury in December and Lydia Richards’s Certainly Red was only fifth, more is required.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’s Kestrel Valley has been winning small races at Ludlow and Hereford but this is much tougher.

The same can be said for David Bridgwater’s Dom Of Mary who won at Plumpton in January. Prior to that, he ran sixth at Cheltenham in a Grade 3.

My preference is for Henry Daly’s Fortescue who is a course and distance winner. He comes here en route to the Grand National where he finished 13th last year. Last time out he was a fine second in the Haydock mud in December – he can go one better.

Saturday Lucky Fifteen
2.15 Musselburgh. Peaches And Cream
2.50 Musselburgh. Park Annonciade
3.10 Sandown. West Balboa
3.45 Sandown. Fortescue
Bet this lucky 15 now on Bet365

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