We’ve got daily tips from our resident horse racing expert, Alan Kelly.
Alan Kelly’s Horse Racing Tips for Saturday, 2nd December, 2023
A fabulous afternoon of jump action is in store from the meeting at Newbury featuring the Coral Gold Cup, one of the handicap highlights of the national hunt season with four races live on ITV Racing.
We were set to see hurdling superstar Constitution Hill and the reigning champion’s stablemate Shishkin race at Newcastle until the meeting had to be cancelled due to snow on Friday.
Nap of the Day - Jet Powered (1:40pm Newbury) - 7/2 with bet365*
Off an opening handicap mark of 131, Nicky Henderson’s charge can start to fulfil his earlier promise with a victory in this Class 2 handicap hurdle.
1:40pm Newbury, 2m 4 1/2f - Jet Powered (Nap)
After making an impressive winning debut at this meeting 12 months ago, the Nicky Henderson-trained JET POWERED (Nap) looked an exciting prospect for the future. Sent off at odds of 2/7, again on this course the following month, the Jet Away gelding proved a big disappointment in finishing a well-beaten fifth behind horses who have hardly set the world alight since.
Whatever the reason for that poor run, it is far too early to write off a horse who looked destined to be competing in Graded company. Off an opening handicap mark of 131, James Bowen’s mount has the potential to prove way ahead of the handicapper.
At a double-figure price, Anyharminasking, the only horse to have finished in front of Constitution Hill, that being in a Tipperary point-to-point in April 2021, could make the frame for trainer Jonjo O’Neill.
2:15pm Newbury, 2m 1/2f - Under Control (Next Best)
I expect this intermediate handicap hurdle to be fought out by the two market leaders in Nicky Henderson’s UNDER CONTROL and Harry Derham’s ex-Flat recruit Brentford Hope, with preference for the former.
Brentford Hope couldn’t have won more easily when cruising home in a conditional jockeys’ contest over course and distance last month, putting 16 lengths between himself and the opposition. Paul O’Brien’s mount is at his very best on soft/heavy ground, and today’s conditions may just favour his main rival, Under Control.
The daughter of Doctor Dino’s only defeat to date came in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares’ Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when never able to get into contention, probably due to the fillies’ lack of experience on just her second start over hurdles.
The mount of James Bowen ended the season on a high, however, when beating stablemate Iberico Lord in Sandown’s bet365 Novices’ Championship Handicap Hurdle. The form of that race could hardly have worked out much better with the runner-up’s victory in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham’s Paddy Power meeting.
2:50pm Newbury, 3m 2f - Dusart (Each Way) (Longshot)
Advised earlier in the week (ante-post, see below), Nicky Henderson’s sole runner would have a great chance of taking this famous handicap if able to reproduce his novice chase form of last year, in particular when giving weight and a beating to the 161-rated Sounds Russian at Ayr’s Scottish Grand National meeting.
3:25pm Newbury, 2m 1/2f - Calgary Tiger (Each Way)
Since going over fences, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Mister Chewy has started to fulfil his potential courtesy of a victory and narrow defeat at Aintree Racecourse this season.
Dan Skelton’s Real Stone won in a common canter at Haydock last weekend and is another horse with a bright future. But with several bookmakers going three places, I think joint bottom weight CALGARY TIGER (e.w.) can outrun his odds and make the frame at the very least.
An emphatic winner of his first two starts over fences, the second over today’s course and distance, the mount of 5lb claimer Ben Ffrench Davis enjoys bowling along in front. Off his featherweight, William de Best-Turner’s charge could take some pegging back with conditions to suit.
2:50pm Newbury, 3m 2f (Coral Gold Cup - Saturday) - Dusart (Each Way)
23 horses stand their ground for Saturday’s Coral Gold Cup (The Hennessy to those of us of a certain age), one of my favourite races of the entire national hunt season. The fact that bookmakers are going 7/1 the field for the three-and-a-quarter mile contest highlights just what an open renewal this is.
I think Lucinda Russell’s top-weight Ahoy Senor is capable of running a massive race on a track that suits, while Complete Unknown, Mahler Mission, Monbeg Genius, Midnight River and Cloudy Glen have all made it onto my “short” list. However, at odds of around 20/1, I think Nicky Henderson’s sole runner in this famous handicap chase, DUSART (e.w.), has a decent chance of supplying the Seven Barrows handler with his fourth victory in the race.
Henderson admitted he was never happy with the horse last season until running the Flemensfirth gelding in the Scottish Grand National, only to be brought down by Flash Collonges at the 19th fence. A talented novice, the Dusart who gave weight and a beating to the 161-rated Sounds Russian in Ayr’s Champion Handicap Chase last April, would make plenty of appeal if his talented trainer can get him back to anything like that level for form.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.
About Alan Kelly
A passionate follower of horse racing for over 50 years, Alan has enjoyed a 40-year career in the betting industry, 28 of which he spent running his own betting shop as an owner/manager.
A successful punter with a keen eye for value, Alan has had many betting highlights down the years, including a Scoop 6 win and has shown a consistent profit in the battle with bookmakers since joining Freebets.com in 2008.
You can follow Alan on Twitter for more racing insight.