We’ve got daily tips from our resident horse racing expert Charlie McCann
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Charlie McCann Horse Racing Tips for Monday 30th January
A terrific day of jumps racing in Britain with three cracking cards to enjoy.
2.15pm Huntingdon - Feuille De Lune
All ground comes alike to Sheldon who is unbeaten over fences when he has stood up although he has also fallen in two of his four chase starts. He was always going well under a ground-saving ride at Exeter last time, and a 4lbs rise looks fair. That win was gained on heavy ground, but he is at least as effective on a sounder surface – conditions described as good to soft on Sunday morning – and he is a worthy market leader.
Mahon Point only got as far as the fourth on his chase debut at Taunton, but this winning pointer has the physique of a chaser and he looks sure to run a big race although he may just need a stiffer test of stamina.
The outsider of the whole field is FEUILLE DE LUNE, but she gets the each-way vote. The mare ran as well as the betting suggested she would over an inadequate trip at Hereford in a hot Novice Chase last time, but she looks sure to come on for the run, and this better ground over a longer trip will suit.
3.25pm Huntingdon - Whizz Kid (Nap of the Day)
Impulsive One was well backed when fourth over C&D here last month, and he has been dropped a pound as a result. He is only 3lbs higher than scoring here the previous month, and he has his optimum conditions this afternoon. That said, he is short enough in the betting at 5/2 in what is another terrific contest.
Homme Public has been running on ground softer than ideal in recent weeks, and while he is 7lbs higher than when scoring at Wetherby on good ground back in November, Toby Wynne takes off a valuable 5lbs this afternoon. I think he should be the market leader.
That said, I have backed a couple each-way - Head Law at 8/1 and WHIZZ KID at 14/1, with a marginal preference for the latter.
Head Law travelled well at Kempton earlier in the month on his belated reappearance before finding little off the bridle. Despite a win last term on soft ground, this sounder surface should suit, and he is entitled to come on for the run, his first in 266 days.
We suggested on Friday that there were signs in recent days that the Dr Richard Newland stable was beginning to hit their straps, and Taste The Fear did us a huge favour at Doncaster on Saturday.
Whizz Kid was sent off market leader when beaten less than 3L in a conditional jockey’s handicap at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, and the winner, Hacker Des Places, landed the valuable handicap at Cheltenham at the weekend.
The each-way selection is 5lbs lower this afternoon, will enjoy this sharp two miles and is ridden by a talented 7lbs claimer who rode a winner for the yard at Uttoxeter on Saturday. I feel the 14s is far too big.
1.50pm Hereford - Interne De Sivola
There is plenty of pace in the two-mile handicap chase at Hereford, including INTERNE DE SIVOLA, who overjumped at the first at Wincanton last time and came a cropper. That was a change of tactics on the Jane Williams-trained novice who had been held up out the back on his two previous runs over fences over further than the minimum trip.
Rose Sea Has and Generous Day will ensure a fast pace, and I hope to see jockey David Noonan get a lead if he doesn’t get to the front over the first fence. That said, I think he is well handicapped at present and could be the each-way value.
Charlie McCann’s Horses to Follow
Going forward as well as our daily racing previews, I will be recommending a couple of horses which have caught my eye in the last seven days. The hope is that they may be worth putting into your own trackers.
There was little jumps action last week, so I am going back to late November and the Christmas period for our first couple. We will be adding to the list weekly and taking horses out of our Horses To Follow if they disappoint or I feel they have reached their handicap ceiling.
Ballygrifincottage 8-y-old trained by Dan Skelton
Ballygrifincottage has not been seen since making a visually very impressive win on chase debut at Haydock at the end of November, but he created such a favourable impression in the northwest that I vowed to follow him until he meets with defeat.
Indeed, at the time of writing, he is the only horse I have backed for the Cheltenham Festival when it was confirmed earlier in the month that he had only been entered for the Brown Advisory Chase over three miles.
The form of his Haydock win has taken a few knocks given the subsequent defeats of runner-up Beauport and third home Quel Distin and, on a line through the second, Ballygrifincottage has a bit to find with Cheltenham New Year’s Day winner The Real Whacker although I think the 2m 4f Turners Novices’ Chase looks the more likely destination for Patrick Neville’s stable star.
His subsequent absence from the track is a slight concern given that the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Warwick – won by stablemate Galia Des Liteaux – was nominated as his next target in the aftermath of his Haydock win.
Given he has only had the one chase start, one would imagine/hope he will be running at Ascot next weekend or Newbury next month en route to Cheltenham.
The Irish have only won two of the last seven renewals of the race now known as the Broadway Novices’ Chase, and I’m not convinced they are as strong in this division as they are in many of the other novice hurdle/chases. That said, the Dublin Racing Festival could easily throw up a potential star!
There was 16/1 available earlier in the month, but the 12/1 currently available, almost across the board, still looks fair although we will obviously know more about his ability and potential after his next start.
Out Of Office 5-y-old trained by Evan Williams
Out Of Office cost £160,000 after landing a point in his native Ireland in February and built on a promising British debut – 10L fourth to subsequent Tolworth winner Tahmuras – when bolting up on a return visit to south Wales on Welsh Grand National Day.
His owner described him as “an out-and-out two-miler” after his fluent win, which I’m not convinced is the case, and he has been given an opening handicap mark of 128. He will always appreciate a bit of cut in the ground, and I wonder if something like the Imperial Cup might come under consideration in March.
Note Williams saddled Howdyalikemenow – rated 126 – to finish sixth in the valuable Sandown handicap last season, and it will be interesting to see if Out Of Office gets an entry at the Esher track or whether they remain in novice company.
The form of his Chepstow win was boosted when the runner-up Equinus did us a favour at Ffos las on Monday, benefiting from a step up in distance. He would have come home alone had he jumped with more fluency – let’s hope the handicapper does not take overreact and raise Out Of Office as a result!
About Charlie McCann
Seven years as talkSPORT racing correspondent/tipster who recently spent over a decade as Director Of PR/Communications for a couple of leading igaming operators.
Failed cricketer - I regularly bore people, myself included, with the story about how I caught Imran Khan when 12th Man for Lancashire v Sussex as a youth - former National League Basketball player - once scored 72 points in a game - and lifelong and long-suffering Everton supporter.
Many of my old friends - and I mean old - would tell you I was a better footballer than cricketer - but cricket was my first love. Horse racing has long been my passion - ironic really as I’ll never pass the vet again as my sport injuries have come back to bite - with my specialism handicap chases over jumps and 1m+ handicaps on the level.
I have met many of the great and good in the game and consider myself to have been very fortunate. Please always bet within your means and never chase your losses.
You can follow Charlie McCann on Twitter for more racing insight.