And so it continues with a bundle of horse racing on Saturday following a couple of hectic days since Christmas. I have tried to be selective again and a couple of plan punts won’t be happening such as Benie Des Dieux who I wanted to back in Ireland but she doesn’t run. The three bets I have had follow and it’s a busy, and hopefully profitable, half-an-hour or so for me on Saturday.
At 2.45 on the Polytrack of Lingfield they host the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Novice Stakes over 1m2f. Charlie Appleby had a few entered at the meeting but the only one to run is First Winter in this. Already a gelding he is by Dubawi out of Abhisheka a winner for Saeed bin Suroor in her racing career herself being by Sadlers Wells out of Oaks winner Snow Bride. The breeding is certainly there, two winning half brothers, and with Adam Kirby doing the steering the gelding is fancied to win first time out grab the best price you can when they chalk-up.
The Grade One 2m4½f Betway Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury is the big race of the day here in the UK due off at 3.00. Thyme Hill looks a good thing to me and the Satchel Swingers agree making the Philip Hobbs trained 5yo the Evens jolly. Third, in the Bumper at Cheltenham, he has won his first two starts, both Grade Tow races, over the sticks at Chepstow and Cheltenham respectively pretty easily and should have too much in his locker for this field, get on! The Cheltenham Festival is, of course, the aim later in the season and he is currently a 12-1 chance for the Ballymore and 8-1 favourite for the Albert Bartlett; both those prices should be shorter after this.
No sooner have they pulled-up at Newbury and at 3.10 out in Ireland it’s the three-mile Grade One Savills Chase. This could be a cracker with Kemboy, Presenting Percy and Road To Respect to name only three lining-up. I honestly thought Kemboy would be shorter than the 2-1 that was on offer Friday morning and I grabbed a bit of that. He, of course, won this last year and signed off his season with a couple of Grade One victories having blotted his copybook in the Gold Cup where he unseated at the first! He is fancied to take this again before another tilt at the Gold Cup.