Best bets for the horseracing this weekend

Into the weekend we go and the final couple of days of 2023. It's been a tough twelve months on the betting front with the Cheltenham Festival, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood all doing damage to the betting bank! Hopefully I have three winners for the weekend to end 2023 on a high. My fancies follow. 

Best bets for the horseracing at Newbury Saturday 

At 1.50 we have the 2m4½f Coral Racing Club Join For Free Handicap Hurdle. Get A Tonic won over track and trip last month. Irish Hill seventh, but is up 8lb for that to 138 so this would require a career best off this new mark. Irish Hill gets a 10lb swing at the weights today and the blinkers go on. Rambo T has a chance if improving his hurdling that has looked shabby at times. Steal A March hasn’t been seen in just over a year when he won a 3m½f Handicap Hurdle at Wincanton off a mark of 128. He had been progressing nicely and a mark of 132 here for the Kings gelding wouldn’t look too harsh if he was fully-fit. He hasn’t run over this short since winning at Exeter in 2021 but he usually runs quite prominently and could stretch the stamina of some of these if setting fast sectionals up front. James Bowen rides with Nico de Boinville not about after suffering an injury at Kempton on Wednesday and another at Doncaster Friday. I have the 9-2 early. 

Race of the day is the Grade One 2m4½f Coral Challow Novices' Hurdle at 3.00. Won last year by Hermes Allen Paul Nichols has actually trained the last three winners of this so Captain Teague has to be taken seriously. He finished third in Champion Bumper at the Festival last season and has started this campaign winning the 2m3f G.2 Persian War at Chepstow before finishing second in the 2m5f G.2 Trustatrader Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham last time carrying a 5lb penalty. He has the best form in the book and I noted Paul Nicholls saying in an interview back in the autumn “His long-term aim would be along the lines of the Challow Hurdle at Newbury.” Willmount arrives unbeaten having won a couple of bumpers last season before getting his Novice Hurdle campaign off to a winning start on debut for the Henderson yard here at Newbury over two-miles last month without breaking sweat. This is by far his toughest test yet, nothing much has come out of the Newbury race he won and they went no pace, but he looked talented and Henderson has described him as “something to look forward too.” My biggest worry for him would be will he stay on what could become testing ground if they get the forecast rain. Johnny Who also arrives unbeaten following a pretty straightforward victory at Carlisle last time but this is a big step-up in class compared to those he ran against there. I have sided with Captain Teague at the 11-4 this morning as he is somewhat more battle hardened than Willmount and proven at the trip 

Best bets for the horseracing at Lingfield Park Sunday

The race of the day on the Polytrack is the 1m2f Listed BetUK Quebec Stakes at 1.54. Base Note has been slowly improving through the year and was far from disgraced when third in the Listed Wild Flower Stakes at Kempton earlier this month behind globetrotting G.1 winner Rebels Romance, losing second place in the shadow of the post. He can be ridden prominent or out the back so stall one gives Harry Davies the chance to put his mount where he wants early. He stays further so I would ideally like to see him prominent and perhaps try to make this a bit of a test for some of the others. I will grab the best price I can when the Bookies price-up. Tyrrhenian Sea is never far away in these contests and has to be feared. 

All that laves is for me to wish you a happy and prosperous 2024! 

Be lucky