The meetings at Sandown and Aintree provide some tremendous jumps action on Saturday, the highlight of which is the Grade 1 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at the Esher racecourse. For today’s Horse Racing tips, previews and predictions we look at three of the most challenging handicaps in an effort to find a decent priced winner or two.
At Aintree we go over the big Grand National fences for our Horse Racing tip in the Unibet Becher Handicap Chase at 2.40pm. While at Sandown our tips come in the final two contests, the 3m 5f Betfair Exchange London National Handicap Chase at 3.00pm and at 3.35pm the 2m Betfair Daily Rewards December Handicap Hurdle.
Our Tip for the 2.40pm at Aintree:
A seriously competitive renewal of this 3m 2f contest over the big Grand National fences, with most of the 22 runners having some kind of a chance.
Mac Tottie and Achilles are just a couple who make some appeal in a wide-open contest but at a big price and with many bookmakers going six or even seven places, the David Pipe-trained Via Dolorosa is fancied to make the frame at the very least.
The ex French-trained gelding ran well on his first start for the Pond House handler when finishing fourth in the Grand Sefton over these fences last month, only giving best on the long run-in.
Despite being 6lb out of the handicap and racing over a five furlong longer trip, the mount of David Noonan, an easy winner of a Grade 3 handicap chase at Auteuil over just short of 3m is expected to improve significantly on his second run for his new connections.
Our Tip for the 3.00pm at Sandown:
With the Colin Tizzard stable’s poor run of form at the beginning of 2021 it may be best to ignore several disappointing runs from dour stayer Christmas In April who, based on two long distance victories during the previous year, looks more than capable of landing a decent marathon handicap in the months ahead.
The mount of Brendan Powell began last season by attempting to give subsequent Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloudy Glen 3lb in the Southern National at Fontwell. In finishing second to that now 150-rated chaser, Christmas In April was hardly disgraced before the son of Crillion performed well below par on his next three starts with the stable very much under a cloud.
The nine-year-old got back to winning ways with a victory at Newton Abbot in May before getting this campaign off to a good start when beating all bar favourite Hold That Taught at Carlisle just over a month ago.
This out-and-out stayer looks on a fair mark of 135 at the moment and is fancied to earn his place in the Welsh Grand National later this month with a big run in this 3m 5f handicap. The main dangers look to be the bang-in-form Strictlyadancer and Deise Aba who ran well over hurdles at Aintree on his reappearance.
Our Tip for the 3.35pm at Sandown:
With three course and distance wins to his name from five runs over hurdles, the Gary Moore-trained Hudson De Grugy is likely to prove hard to beat off what still looks a decent mark of 134. The classy Metier, not seen since disappointing in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, would have been of interest if the ground had been a lot softer. But the horse who makes the most appeal is Benson, from the stable of Dr Richard Newland.
All ground seems to come alike to the Beat Hollow gelding, who reeled off three wins last season before finishing a creditable fourth in the valuable Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot just before last Christamas.
The form of that race could hardly have worked out much better with the winner Not So Sleepy having recently dead-heated with Epatante in Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle. While the runner-up Buzz, as well as winning this year’s Cesarewitch is now a leading fancy for the Stayers’ Hurdle following an impressive victory on his reappearance over the smaller obstacles.
One place behind Benson was Belfast Banter who, along with winning the County Hurdle at the festival, went on to take a Grade 1 contest at Aintree. A recent run at Cheltenham should have put the mount of Lee Edwards spot on for this Listed handicap who is fancied to get back to winning ways.
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