Best bets for the horseracing this weekend

We have three Grade Two races split one each between Wetherby, Kempton and Warwick on Saturday on what is, truth be told, not the most exciting weekend of horseracing we will have all season. That said, if the weather forecasters are to be believed we may not get much horseracing next week at all with freezing temperatures and snow predicted so we should enjoy what we have! I am not overly involved but there are three bets to be had to hopefully nick a few quid and warm the cockles. 

Best bet for the horseracing at Kempton Park

There has been money during the week for Banbridge in the Grade Two 2m4½f Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase at 2.07 and the eight-year-old will go off jolly now. Last seen winning the 2m4f G.1 Racehorse Lotto Manifesto Novices' Chase at Ascot in April, if fully wound-up after ten-months off he clearly has to be considered but for me has a few pounds to find to win this. Edwardstone goes over this sort of trip for the first time since his hurdling days. In fairness he finds things over two-miles at the top-level all happening a bit too quickly these days; there’s little point in keeping chasing home Jonbon! I see no reason why he won’t stay but at ten he aint going to be getting any better. Pic D’Orhy found only Shiskin too good in the 2m5f G.1 Ascot Chase last season winning his other four starts including this and the G.1 Marsh Chase (Registered As The Melling Chase) at Aintree in April. Got this campaign off to a winning start at Ascot in the 2m5f G.2 1965 Chase back In November and I think the nine-year-old trained by Paul Nicholls is the one to be on in this. I have a bit of the 11-4“He won this by 16 lengths a year ago and has a solid chance of completing the double,” Paul Nicholls said in his Betfair column. “I don’t think he was at his best when he was successful in his only race this season at Ascot, where he found the ground quicker than ideal. But he still won decisively and we fancied our chances against Shishkin before he refused to start. Pic D’Orhy is in good shape, working nicely and I’ve had this race in mind for him for a while.”

At 2.42 they face 2m5f for the Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle, usually an ultra competitive affair but I fancy one quite strongly here. Impose Toi has done little wrong thus far in his career and looks a decent bet to me in this stepping back up in trip. Beaten a neck by stablemate Luccia at Ascot last time over two-miles a 3lb rise for that is fair and the six-year-old looks the one to beat for me with potentially more to come and the step-up in trip expected to se further improvement; won one of his novice wins over this trip. I am on at the 4's with Hills early. A line through Luccia gives the selection the advantage over Nemean Lion so  Sonigino is feared most. 

Best bet for the horseracing at Warwick

The Grade Two three-mile Trustatrader Hampton Novices' Chase at 2.24 is the main event up at Warwick. Broadway Boy has taken to Novice Chasing well beaten just once in four starts, when second to Flooring Porter giving away weight. The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained six-year-old won a big Handicap at Cheltenham over 3m2f just before Christmas having won a Listed heat there by twenty-lengths before that. Top-weight might anchor him here though. Grey Dawning didn’t stay when tried over this trip at Exeter earlier in the season and made a mistake last time at Cheltenham over 2m4f that probably cost him the race. With questions about his jumping and stamina as far as I am concerned he isn’t for me. The mare Apple Away gets a chunk of weight and the G.1 winning hurdler over three-miles has to be considered. Third on Chase debut over an inadequate 2m5f, a race won by Grey Dawning (she’s 3lb better off at the weights today), she the won at the second attempt this time over 2m6½f beating her two rivals by over thirty-lengths at Leicester on Heavy last month. She faces considerably better rivals here but with the ground soft, the weight allowance and the step up to three-miles all seen as positives she is the pick. I have 5-2. I noted Lucinda Russell saying of her in a stable tour interview at the start of the season “She has been a very progressive mare and she has been schooled over fences and is ready to go as soon as the ground is soft enough and comes right for her……….. She is a very tough mare and that is her forte.” For me the Mares Chase at Cheltenham is no good for her being over two-and-a-half as she wants three-miles so something like the Brown Advisory may be considered come March and she'll need to win this if that's where she is going. “I wish we could find an easier race, but this is where she is at and this is what we do,” said Peter Scudamore, Russell’s partner and assistant this week. “I think Nigel and Dan’s horses are very good horses but she jumped very well at Leicester and she won a Grade One at Aintree (over hurdles), so she deserves her chance. I was pleased by the way she jumped (at Leicester) and we gave her quite a big ask first time over fences at Haydock. But she learnt from that and got it together at Leicester and really jumped well. She has toughened up and is on the upgrade and let’s hope she puts up a good performance round Warwick. We would love to go to Cheltenham with her and we just need to decide if she runs in the mares’ race, a handicap or the Brown Advisory.” 

Be lucky