Best bets for the horse racing Saturday 8th January 2022

It’s not exactly top table stuff on Saturday, in fact most of the horse racing is pretty standard stuff, though they do have the Tolworth Novices' Hurdle at Sandown to add a little Grade One sparkle to the afternoon. I am having three bets on the day, two at lunchtime and one later in the afternoon. Spoiler alert, they are short, a little Saturday Trixie might be the way to go, I'll leave that decision to you.   

Best bet for the horse racing at Sandown Park  

Constitution Hill will be no price for the race of the day at Sandown Park the two-mile Grade One Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle at 2.25 having destroyed the field in the Andy Stewart - Sandown Park's Great Friend "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle at the Tingle Creek meeting over track and trip last month. He beat my tip for the race Might I by 14-lentghs that day, albeit getting a bit of weight. Trainer Nicky Henderson will not be at Sandown as he is self-isolating at home at Seven Barrows after contracting Covid-19.

Earlier in the card they have the 2m4f Listed Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Mares' Hurdle at 12.40 which looks to be between the Willie Mullins trained Gauloise and Martello Sky from the yard of Lucy Wadham. The grey mare does have match fitness on her side, two wins from three runs this season already, and appears to be improving; her one defeat this season in a race won by Brewinupastorm. She was just in front of the Mullins mare in the G.2 The Dawn Run Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last March over what is probably and inadequate two-miles. She showed some tenacity to win at Cheltenham in December off top-weight in the Close Brothers Mares' Handicap Hurdle and is fancied to take this at the 15-8

On the All-Weather they race at Lingfield Park in the afternoon then at Kempton Park in the evening.  

Best bet for the horse racing at Lingfield Park

The 12.35 over a mile the Play Coral Racing-super-series For Free Novice Median Auction Stakes is the race to concentrate on at Lingfield. Far Away Thoughts won on debut over track and trip at the end of November and is back for his second start. He travelled well on debut and came through horses off the last turn to win in nice style suggesting the colt might be half decent. By Storm The Stars out of War Effort there are some big names in his pedigree such as grandsires Sea The Stars and War Front. You would expect improvement naturally and even though he has to carry top-weight under race conditions he should be capable of making it two from two. I noted in the Kingsclere Magazine for Winter that trainer Andrew Balding said of this one ‘only came to hand late in the season and there could be plenty more to come from him.’ Get on the Sheikh Juma homebred colt at 10-11.  

Best bet for the horse racing at Kempton Park

Charlie Appleby has sent two to Kempton for the Twilight meeting and they both go in the 1m4f Unibet Casino Deposit 10 Get 40 Bonus Novice Stakes that gets the meeting underway at 4.10. The chestnut Nahanni makes debut. A son of Frankel out of Final Stage who won over 1m4f in her career, there are certainly some big names in his pedigree. I will be watching how he goes. Stablemate Wild Crusade has a couple of runs under his belt and should make it third time lucky. Never going well on debut at Wolverhampton over 1m1½f his second appearance on a racetrack here over 1m3f was more like it, though still green at times and looking a tricky ride, he stayed on nicely to finish second to a shock winner, the pair clear of the field. He is actually the brother of two favourites of mine, top class mare Prix de l'Opera and Nassau Stakes winner Wild Illusion plus Breeders' Cup Turf winner Yibir; and we know that one could be a bit of a monkey at times but had talent! All being well Tom Marquand can concentrate the mind of Wild Crusade to the matter in hand and he should be backed at 4-5.  

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