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Nick Hardman Free Tips

A bright Friday morning brings with it the joy of six tips from the excellent Nick Hardman of the Betting School Insiders Club

We have some decent racing today with the meetings at Doncaster and Huntingdon standing out by some way. I have gone through the cards and picked out some horses with strong chances as well as picking out a couple of bigger priced each-way runners.

John Ferguson is 4-11 with his hurdlers at Doncaster in non-handicap races in the last 3 years for a level stakes profit of £9.29. He runs Buckwheat in the novice hurdle race at 1.05pm and champ AP McCoy is booked to ride.

Nicky Henderson’s Days Of Heaven rates a big danger after showing much improved form in a first time hood when scoring at Ludlow (hood fitted again here). With that in mind there are options for the forecast with these two likely to be a lot better than the rest.

Steel Summit’s winning sequence must come to an end at some point but the manner of his latest victory and the fact he is 10lbs well-in at the weights make him one of the strongest bets on the card in the 2.50pm.

Nicky Henderson has a good chance of taking the final race on the Doncaster card with Clondaw Banker in the maiden hurdle. His second behind Jolly’s Cracked it at Ascot back in November is smart form and he ran that same rival to within a length next time out. A reproduction of either of those efforts should be enough to win this.

It’s not often a horse with form figures 8696 would interest me but you should always put those figures into the context of the race the horse is running in.

In this case the race is a novice handicap hurdle and a quick look at the rest of the runners reveal they too have form figures that look like the numbers round from Countdown.

The horse in question is Haleo and he runs in the 1.40pm today at Doncaster.

What drew my eye to him originally is that he is rated 97 in a race where the top rated horses are rated 99.

However, he gets a hefty 13lbs weight-for-age allowance from those two horses.

He ran well for a long way on his last start before fading two from home to finish 6th, beaten 10 lengths in total. He is the 20/1 outsider of the field here but I think that allowance will see him finish closer than market expectations.

Over at Huntingdon we have a similar scenario in the 4.05pm handicap hurdle that closes the card. Cyclop is joint-top rated with Harry Hunt on an official rating of 120.

However, the 4yo Cyclop gets 11lbs from his 8yo rival. Also in his favour is the booking of Sam Twiston-Davies and he also has a C&D win to his name. Up 6lbs for that latest win he might still have a bit of improvement in him.

The best race on the Huntingdon card is the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier and top rated Aubusson is sure to prove popular dropping back into a handicap.

His latest effort saw him finish 3rd in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle. Prior to that, he won the Grade 3 Fixed Brush Hurdle at Haydock to earn his current rating of 153.

He has to give 11lbs away here although Lizzie Kelly’s claim will off-set 7lbs of that.

However, this is a hot race with David Pipe’s Knight Of Noir also holding strong claims along with Dolatulo and Zeroshadesofgrey.

But the one really interesting runner is Ely Brown. He defied an absence of 198 days to win a Pertemps Qualifier at Ascot in 2012 off a mark of 125 and went on to finish 6th in the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham festival.

He defied an absence of 206 days to win the same Qualifier again in 2013 off a mark of 135 before being sent novice chasing where he won a Grade 2 on his second start.

He has not been seen in almost a year but it is interesting he goes back over hurdles and is racing here off a mark of 139.

Charlie Deutsch takes off 5lbs so that puts Ely Brown 1lb below his last winning hurdles mark.

He has won first time out in the last 2 seasons. This would be some training feat were he to take this and it will be interesting to see how he goes.

The negatives are that he is returning from injury (as opposed to a seasonal break) and word is he is being aimed at a tilt at the Grand National so this may just be a pipe-opener.

That said you often see Grand National horses running at the Cheltenham festival in the Pertemps Final.

My interest is perked just enough to have a little each-way @12/1.

Doncaster 1.05pm Buckwheat tweet this tip
Doncaster 1.40pm Haleo @20/1 (e/w) tweet this tip
Doncaster 2.50pm Steel Summit @6/4 tweet this tip
Doncaster 3.50pm Clondaw Banker tweet this tip
Huntingdon 3.05pm Ely Brown @12/1 (e/w) tweet this tip
Huntingdon 4.05pm Cyclop @9/2 tweet this tip

Nick Hardman Free Racing Tips

It’s Friday and here’s Nick Hardman from the Betting School Insiders Club.
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We had another terrific Friday last week courtesy of Nicky Henderson’s hurdlers and he rattled up a hat-trick across the cards with winners at 6/1, 4/1 and 9/4. With Chepstow abandoned and nothing making any appeal at Musselburgh, we turn out attention back to the AW and some qualifiers from the systems we are road testing over at the Betting School Insiders Club which are ticking over nicely.

There are no qualifiers from Lingfield but we have a few from the evening card at Wolverhampton below:

5.15pm Solar Deity & Linton
5.45pm Harwoods Star
6.15pm Little Lord Nelson
6.45 Go Packing Go & Sciustree

Solar Deity looks to have a good chance to get off the mark in 2015 after a string of placed efforts. He is rated 6lbs higher than his nearest rival on official ratings but is well-in under these weights. He rates a solid bet and I expect him to shorten so take the best morning price with a Best Odds Guaranteed bookmaker.

Stablemate Linton needs to recapture the form that saw him win plenty of races in Australia and compete in a pair of Listed races on the flat last year. I would be as surprised as anyone if Linton were to take this from his stablemate but he is one that may tempt the each-way backers at a price.

Harwoods Star got turned over at 4/9 on his last start but has a chance of making amends here back up in trip and with7lb claimer Aaron Jones back on board. The yard are in excellent form too so he is worth another chance.

The same trainer and jockey team up on Little Lord Nelson in the next and he also has decent chance on handicap debut. The final race will most likely see Charlie Appleby’s New Approach colt Symbolic Star go off a warm order. If he takes a chunk out of the market that could see our two qualifiers go off at an each-way price.

Sciustree is related to plenty of winners and was 6th of 12 on debut and should improve for that experience. Go Packing Go is also well related and makes her debut here.

Saturday’s feature race is the Clarence House Chase which sees the return of the mighty Sprinter Sacre. I for one will be hoping he doesn’t just win this, but wins in the manner of a horse that totally dismisses his rivals. Racing needs superstars and we want this one back. With that in mind it is a watching race and not a betting race for me.

For a selection on Saturday I have run the rule over the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock from a trends perspective.

We have a shortlist of 4 qualifiers in Vintage Star, Benbens, Amigo and Toby Lerone. Benbens had Amigo some 20 lengths behind in the Welsh National and I cannot see any reason why Amigo should turn the tables here.

Toby Lerone put in a career best last time when finishing second to Broadway Buffalo in the Tommy Whittle Chase at this venue. He is up 6lbs for that and could still be improving. That was on heavy ground too, which he will likely get again on Saturday.

Vintage Star is 4lbs lower than when runner-up in this race last year. He is also back down to his last winning mark that saw him win a Graduation Chase at Carlisle on heavy ground over 3m 1f.

He has not performed that well in 3 starts this season but he has yet to see really testing ground which he may well get on Saturday. Trainer Suzy Smith has an excellent record in the race having trained 2 winners, a runner-up and two third placed finishers since 2000.

It’s a leap of faith but I am willing to make him one of my selections from the shortlist in the hope this is a true test of stamina.

I am torn between Benbens and Toby Lerone for my second selection but I will side with Benbens as the father & son Twiston-Davies combination has been in fine form recently. In addition he was travelling as well as anything in the Welsh National until running out of gas about three flights from home. Back down in trip I think he can go well.

Saturday Haydock 3.15pm
Vintage Star e/w
Benbens e/w

The one runner who does interest me on Saturday’s cards is super-tough mare Carole’s Spirit in the Mare’s Hurdle race at Ascot.

A winner of 4 of her 5 starts her only defeat came at the hands of Highland Retreat who has gone on to be an exciting novice chaser for Harry Fry.

Against her own sex and proven over track, trip and ground I expect her to go very close.

Saturday Ascot 1.50pm
Carole’s Spirit

Good Luck
Nick Hardman
Betting School Insiders Club

Big Race Tips

Thank Nick it’s Friday 🙂

Nick Hardman (http://bettinginsiders.com) is back with tips for today’s racing at Exeter and tomorrow at Sandown and Aintree.

By the way Nick also has an excellent article in the December On Course Profits magazine which explains his methods for finding winning trainer angles.

You can get that magazine for free at http://oncourseprofits.com

Over to Nick…

I have been working on some betting angles for the AW Championships that I will share with you as soon as they are ready. For a bit of a change I have taken a look at Friday’s card from Exeter which features three valuable races. We follow that up with a trends analysis and some pointers for the Becher Chase and my fancies for the Tingle Creek and the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.

Exeter hosts a really good card today including a £12k Novice Chase, a £15k Handicap Chase and the £12k Devon Marathon Handicap chase over 4 miles. I have gone through the card in search of value plays and worthwhile betting opportunities.

The novice chase at 1.10pm is a fascinating race featuring a couple of smart former hurdlers in Deputy Dan (2nd in the 2014 Albert Bartlett and rated 145 over hurdles) and Saphir Du Rheu (Lanzarote hurdle winner and Welsh Champion hurdle winner last season and rated 168). Deputy Dan has form figures 21 over fences.

He was beaten on debut by Virak who has since followed up in impressive fashion at Haydock. Deputy Dan won his next start, beating Far West who was also a decent hurdler. That gives him a form line with Dunraven Storm (who also beat Far West) who won a Grade 2 Novice Chase at Cheltenham’s November meeting.

Saphir Du Rheu unseated on debut but is held in high regard by Paul Nicholls and he would win this if translating his hurdles form to fences. Connections (same ownership as Big Buck’s and Celestial Halo) have said they might go back over hurdles if he fails to perform here. If you think he won’t get round you can lay him for a place on the exchanges at around 1.10. If pushed for a tip I would go for Deputy Dan on that form line with Dunraven Storm.

The handicap chase at 1.40pm will probably see Paul Nicholl’s Wilton Milan go off favourite following an impressive win last time out that saw him finally get off the mark over fences. However, I am happy to take him on and the two that interest me are Workbench and Umberto D’Olivate.

Workbench has been on the go since August notching 3 wins in the process. His last two starts were a decent 5th of 11 behind John’s Spirit at Cheltenham and a 4th (revised to 3rd) in the Badger Ales Trophy over further than ideal. He travelled as well as anything that day before making a bad mistake.

The drop in trip could work out well but the concern is that all three wins came on good ground. His trainer Dan Skelton has said he does not want it soft. However, his last two runs were on good to soft so I will definitely be backing him if the going has the word “good” in it.

Umberto D’Olivate was very progressive last season, rattling off a hat-trick and he will come on for his seasonal reappearance. The slight concern is that his best form is over shorter so this trip might just stretch him.

The Devon Marathon Chase has a small field and the 4 miles takes some getting. It is another race that features a few horses with smart previous form and it also lends itself to a trends analysis.

No 6yo has won this since 2000 and no horse in that time has carried more than 11st 10lbs to victory. All of the last 5 winners were rated 110+ and all of the winners completed their previous race.

That leaves us with Reblis, Adrenalin Flight and Gorgehous Lliege.

Reblis is back down to his last winning mark but has shown nothing on his last two starts. He has won over 3m 5f on heavy off today’s mark of 119 so should see out the trip if in the right mood.

Adrenalin Flight has 49 lengths to find with Gorgehous Lliege but gets a 17lb pull in the weights. I doubt that will make much difference though as Gorgehous Lliege looks quite progressive over staying trips and should go close if this does not come too soon.

Reblis and Gorgehous Lliege are the two trends horses against the field. For the brave amongst you, Flying Award has won a Devon National, a Highland National and a Somerset National. However, his form figures since read PP0. I’ll leave that one up to you.

The Becher Chase is run over the Grand National fences where the horses jump 21 obstacles over a trip of 3m 2f. 16 of the last 17 winners had a top 5 finish LTO. Only one 7yo has won since 1997 and 8 of the last 9 winners were aged 9yo or older. The last 9 winners were all rated 130+ and only one of the last 13 winners carried 11st 7lb or more. In fact 10 of the last 13 winners carried under 11st. 15 of the last 17 winners had between 0 and 2 season runs and 8 of the last 11 winners had won over 3m or further.

The one horse who ticks all the boxes is Benbens for Nigel Twiston-Davies. The two that who fall down on just the one trend are Knock A Hand for Richard Lee and Renard for Venetia Williams. This may be a prep run for Knock a Hand ahead of a tilt at the Welsh National, Benbens has had just 6 chase starts and Renard looks a shade high in the weights. None of these are really fancied in the market and I have not seen them tipped up anywhere, but we rolled the trends dice and that’s what we have.

If you are not a fan of trends then there are a couple of other ways of looking at the race and one is course experience.

There are plenty of horses who have shown they jump these fences well including Saint Are, last year’s winners Chance Du Roy and Mr Moonshine. However the most interesting could be Across The Bay @25/1 who led the last two Grand Nationals for a fair way.

In 2013 he led until fence 26 and last year he was bowling along in front until carried into a different post code by a loose horse after fence 16. However, usual jockey Jason Maguire opts to ride Donald McCain’s other runner Kruzhlinin who is an even bigger price @40/1.

Despite this I think Across The Bay could well give each-way backers a run for their money. Saint Are @14/1 is probably the best handicapped horse in the race here off 127 which is 10lbs lower than his last winning mark. He ran his best race in a long time on his first start for Tom George at Cheltenham in November and he has attracted some support this week. It’s a wide open race and a case can be made for most of the runners. I will probably back the trends horses and Across The Bay to small stakes with any bookmaker offering 5 places. It would be a pleasant surprise if one of them were to win.

The Grand Sefton Chase looks like a cracking renewal. The trends on this one are not that strong but the one horse that ticks the most boxes (aged 8yo -10yo, rated 123+, carrying less than 11st 5lbs and a top 5 finish LTO) is Rebel Rebellion who attempts back to back wins off a 5lbs higher mark. 8/1 is plenty short enough.

One I like at a bigger price is Dolatulo who has a good form line through Court By Surprise (promoted to winner of the Badger Ales Trophy after disqualification of Young Master) whom he walloped by 35 lengths at Stratford back in March. His seasonal reappearance behind Sound Investment was a great prep for this race considering the 1st and 4th from that race occupied the front two places of the novice chase at Newbury on the first day of the Hennessy meeting. Up To Something for Charlie Longsdon could also outrun his price if taking to these fences.

The Tingle Creek has been far more straightforward for me. I think God’s Own has a huge chance and I have backed him @9/2 even when he held another entry in the novice chase on the same card. If Somersby brings his A-game he should give each-way backers a decent run for their money @10/1.

So there are my thoughts for Friday and Saturday and hopefully a few pointers for you. Racing is all about having an opinion and the conviction to back it up with a wager. With that in mind only back the selections below if you agree with my thoughts and analysis. Good luck if you are having a bet this weekend.

Friday

Exeter 1.10pm Deputy Dan @6/4
Exeter 1.40pm Umberto D’Olivate @12/1 & Workbench @6/1 (good or good-to-soft)
Exeter 3.20pm Reblis @20/1 & Gorgehous Lliege 3/1 (trends horses), Flying Award @20/1 (for the brave)

Saturday

Sandown 3.00pm God’s Own @9/2 and Somersby @10/1 (each-way alternative)
Aintree 1.30pm Benbens @20/1, Knock A Hand @20/1 & Renard @25/1 (trends horses), Across The Bay @25/1 (each-way alternative), Saint Are @14/1 (best handicapped)
Ainree 3.25pm Rebel Rebellion @8/1 (trends horse) and Dolatulo 14/1 (each-way alternative)

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