Saturday racing tips: Best bets for Sandown and Chepstow
Our tipster talks you through his win double and four Lucky 15 selections for the festive meeting, as well as his top tips for the Welsh Grand National.
12.45 – Mares’ Hurdle (Sandown)
Starting off with the Mares’ Hurdle, and I’m backing Betway ambassador Richard Johnson to get the job done on POPPY KAY .
She’s been a solid performer for Phillip Hobbs with four wins from eight, and was particularly impressive over two miles at Newbury in November.
Finishing third in the Intermediate Hurdle behind High Bridge and Charli Parcs deserves credit, while she has also won on both soft and heavy ground.
The step up to 2m 3f will be the biggest challenge here, but I’m always confident with Johnson on board.
1.50 – Handicap Chase (Sandown)
There’s not much between the field in this race, but the one I fancy is SPEREDEK .
He comes into the race in great form having won four of his previous five, the only blip being a second to Verdana Blue at Ascot in November.
A course-and-distance win here in February is encouraging, and the fact he has 15lb less than Harry Fry’s Overtown Express could be a big factor.
Sean Bowen takes the saddle for a second time, having beaten Workbench by 11 lengths at Ludlow in March in his only other ride on board.
2.05 – Welsh Grand National (Chepstow)
I've got two big-priced each-way fancies for the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.
The first is Evan Williams’ ON THE ROAD , who comes into the race in brilliant form (11112-21112).
He travels really well and is a proven winner on both soft and heavy ground, which bodes well for the potentially boggy conditions he'll encounter.
The step up to 3m 5f is a massive ask, but he’s well-handicapped at 10-5 and has Mitchell Bastyan bringing his 5lb claim on board.
The other one I like is EMPEROR’S CHOICE .
The 11-year-old won this race in 2014 so he knows his way around the course, while his experience of running in the Scottish Grand National means staying the trip shouldn’t be an issue.
He won the Last Fling Handicap Chase by 3½ lengths last time out at Haydock and is another who is really well handicapped at 10-3.
Mountainous won this race twice in quick succession in 2013 and 2015, so hopefully Venetia Williams’ horse can do something similar just over three years after his first triumph.
2.25 – Tolworth Hurdle (Sandown)
I tipped Finian’s Oscar in this race last year, so I’m hoping KALASHNIKOV can make it two from two.
This horse is a really exciting prospect for trainer Amy Murphy, with a perfect record of three wins from three races so far.
Tellingly, his two most recent victories both came by a full 10 lengths.
He travels like a dream and I’m confident Jack Quinlan can guide him to a four-timer and claim a big Grade 1 prize in the process.
3.00 – Veterans’ Handicap Chase (Sandown)
For the last tip of the day, I like the value with Venetia Williams’ HOUBLON DES OBEAUX .
He was a course-and-distance winner here in November, when he beat three of today’s field in Third Intention, Loose Chips and last year’s winner Pete The Feat.
Respectable performances in the Aintree Grand National and Midlands Grand National also prove he’s a decent jumper and will stay the three miles.
I think he’s a decent each-way bet here.
SPEREDEK | KALASHNIKOV
POPPY KAY | SPEREDEK | KALASHNIKOV | HOUBLON DES OBEAUX