ITV Racing Tips from Warwick and Market Rasen on Saturday 16th January
The opener on ITV is a novice chase ran over 3m and only 3 runners go to post. It’ll be a tough stamina test on the heavy ground.
The one for me here is FIDDLERONTHEROOF. This horse is proven on testing ground and a lot of his best form has come on testing ground. I think the step up to 3m is the best move as he has ran solid races this season over shorter but has just lacked the paced to get his head in front most of the time. No no O’Neill Jnr takes the ride and he has a solid record for trainer Colin Tizzard.
2:05 Market Rasen
We head to Marker Rasen for the next contest and this is a 2m handicap hurdle and again the ground is likely to be testing.
The horse for me here is EDWARDSTONE. This horse was fifth in the ultra-competitive Greatwood Hurdle on his seasonal debut before he unseated on his chase debut early on last time. I think this move back to hurdles is the right move and he is the classiest horse in this race by along way in my book.
The best race of the day comes up at 2:25 and it is a Grade 2 affair over 2m5f for the novice hurdles. It may provide some clues for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
The horse I like today is OSCAR ELITE NB. I think it is quite telling that this horse has managed to win both his last two start despite trainer Colin Tizzard struggling for form. He has won over 2m3f and 2m7f which suggests to me he has a touch of speed but is a strong stayer at the trip. Both them starts we’re on heavy ground which is what he’ll be racing on today and I think he’ll go well again here given the conditions.
2:40 Market Rasen
The 2:40 at Market Rasen is up next and this is a 3m hurdle race with plenty of familiar names near the top of the market.
The one for me is ON THE BLIND SIDE. This horse seems rejuvenated this season where he’s ran three cracking races. He won on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham staying on strong before running a close second at Cheltenham on his next start behind a well handicapped sort. He ran a great race last weekend at a Kempton finishing second behind McFabulous and I believe a repeat of that effort will be enough to win this. He’s proven on soft ground and I think he’s the horse to beat here.
The 3:00 race from Warwick is a very competitive handicap chase ran over 3m5f known as the Classic Chase.
The one for me here is NOTACHANCE NAP. This horse won well last time out at Bangor in what looked a pretty competitive handicap. He won that race by nearly 4l and that effort over 3m suggested to me that this trip wouldn’t be a problem. I think he is progressing well and will prove to be better than his current handicap mark. That run last time out was on soft ground so I’m confident he’ll go on heavy. Alan King knows what it takes to win races of this nature.
3:15 Market Rasen
The final race from Market Rasen on ITV is an intriguing mares national hunt flat race. Willie Mullins sends Grangee over and I’m sure she’ll prove all the rage.
However, I am happy to chance MERRY MISTRESS here. I was very impressed with her on debut at Hereford where she pulled clear of the field and won well. The second that day who was beaten by over 8l has since won so the form is in the book. That win at Hereford was on heavy ground so the likely testing conditions here won’t be an issue for her and Champion jockey Bryan Hughes is a positive jockey booking.
The 3:35 from Warwick is a Pertemps Handicap Hurdle qualifier for Cheltenham so some of the horses may be ridden with the race in March in mind. Keep an eye out for any significant market movers in either direction as this may tell us a lot.
The one I do like is IMPERIAL ALCAZAR. He ran last time out at Haydock in the competitive Betfair exchange handicap hurdle where he travelled well for a long way but just blew up in the straight. I got the impression he just needed the run there and would come on a bundle for it. He was supposed to go novice chasing and connections believed he’d make a Graded level chaser which is significant. Due to a few of his engagements being cancelled they’ve put his chasing career on hold till next season. They must think quite a lot of him and I think he is definitely up to winning a race of this nature. He’s been trimmed in the betting at the time of writing the article which is promising for his run here.
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