Betting Tips

Alan Kelly’s Tips For Monday's ITV Racing – 18th April

The feature race on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon is Fairyhouse’s Boylesports Irish Grand National at 5.00pm. We will provide a Horse Racing tip for the 3m 5f marathon handicap along with the other six races covered by ITV4 cameras, another three contests from Fairyhouse and three taking place on Kempton Park’s Polytrack surface.

“Tip of the Day” – My Astra – 4.05pm Kempton

Beaten only once in three starts, that sole defeat coming in a Saint-Cloud Listed race on heavy ground, William Haggas’s unexposed filly should prove too good for her six rivals before stepping up into Group company.

Saga – 2.55pm Kempton

The Queen’s promising colt Saga was unlucky to come up against a couple of classy Godolphin juveniles when runner-up on his first two starts before landing the odds without much trouble at Ascot on his final start of the season.

Providing the mount of Frankie Dettori is not inconvenienced by this artificial surface, John & Thady Gosden’s charge should prove too good for main rival Maljoom, who won on his debut at Doncaster last month despite looking as though he would improve for the experience.

Folcano – 3.15pm Fairyhouse

A maximum field of 17 for this extended 2m 5f handicap hurdle in which many can be given a chance, in particular the improving Carrig Sam who will attempt to make it three from three since going over hurdles.

The six-year-old has gone up 8lb for winning here in February and may be vulnerable to a better handicapped rival, a remark which applies to the Gordon Elliott-trained Folcano. The mount of Jack Kennedy has been running consistently well in some fiercely competitive handicaps this season, including when ninth in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Off a 6lb lower mark the Falco gelding looks sure to go close.

Diamond Bay – 3.30pm Kempton

A winner at Windsor last July off a mark of only 65, such is the improvement shown by the Tom Ward-trained Diamond Bay that the four-year-old son of New Bay will be running off a rating some 24lb higher here in an attempt to win this long-standing 1m 3f handicap.

A 7lb lower mark was unable to prevent the mount of Tom Marquand from winning easily over a furlong shorter trip at Kempton last month and the handicapper may not yet have caught up with Diamond Bay who is fancied to make it four from six on an all-weather surface.

If fit enough on his first run since winning the November Handicap at Doncaster last November, Farhan and in-form jockey William Buick could give the selection most to do.

Flame Bearer – 3.50pm Fairyhouse

Plenty can be fancied for this Grade 2 hurdle run over 2m 4f, in particular Thedevilscoachman and Darasso, two of the three JP McManus-owned runners. However, Flame Bearer, the mount of Jack Doyle, has already won a couple of Grade 2 contests this year and should prove hard to beat once again.

Despite winning by only a neck here earlier in the month, the seven-year-old did not enjoy the clearest of runs and was conceding weight to all of his rivals. With the step-up in trip expected to suit, the son of Fame And Glory can extend his winning run to four.

My Astra (NAP) – 4.05pm Kempton

The only defeat suffered by the William Haggas-trained My Astra as a three-year-old was when just losing out in a Saint-Cloud Listed race on heavy ground last October.

Unraced as a juvenile, the daughter of Lope de Vega has bags of untapped potential and should prove too good for main form rival Potapova.

Blackbow (Next Best) – 4.20pm Fairyhouse

Ryanair runner-up Janidil is the obvious one to beat in this Grade 2 two mile four furlong chase. The mount of Mark Walsh had a hard race against stablemate Allaho at the festival however and in receipt of 8lb the vote goes to another Mullins inmate on Blackbow.

Paul Townsend’s mount had a confidence booster courtesy of a bloodless victory at Clonmel last month and could take some pegging back here if the gelding’s usual front-running tactics are deployed.

Time To Get Up (Longshot) – 5.00pm Fairyhouse

Fielding 12 of the 30 runners for this stamina test (including second reserve Definite Plan) it is a case of all guns blazing for trainer Gordon Elliott in an effort to win this valuable prize for a second time following the victory of General Principle in 2018.

Aintree absentee Farclas is probably Elliott’s best chance of winning, while the same could be said of Gaillard Du Mesnil who represents leading trainer Willie Mullins along with top weight Franco De Port. Max Flamingo and Screaming Colours are two more who go into the race with plenty of confidence behind them. But it would be good to see a British victory in the race again and the Jonjo O’Neill stable, who won the race in both 2007 and 2014, have a live contender in Time To Get Up for top owner JP McManus.

The mount of Robbie Power has had a light season and goes into today’s race on the back of a decent third in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. The nine-year-old will appreciate this better ground and is due to meet the winner there, Screaming Colours, on 8lb better terms. The Presenting gelding has always looked the type to win a big staying handicap and at a big price can chalk one up for the British.

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