Saturday racing tips: Best bets from around the UK and Ireland
Our tipster reveals his win double and four Lucky 15 selections from Wetherby, Musselburgh, Leopardstown and Sandown.
2.40 – Towton Novices’ Chase (Wetherby)
Starting off with a Grade 2 chase, and I’m going for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ BALLYOPTIC .
After some decent success over hurdles, he has switched to fences this season and has made a nice start.
He won at Exeter by 13 lengths in November and was then a respectable second to Black Corton at Cheltenham.
He was travelling really well in the Kauto Star Chase on Boxing Day and had every chance until he hit the 13th fence.
A proven winner over 3m, I think he’s the one to beat here.
3.15 – Edinburgh National Handicap Chase (Musselburgh)
Moving over to Scotland now for a very open race where there is definitely some each-way value to be had.
The one I like here is BELLS 'N' BANJOS .
He had two really good wins at Leicester at the start of last year but was never really in contention in the JT McNamara Chase.
However, a respectable run last time out at Cheltenham, where he finished behind the likes of Cogry and Singlefarmpayment, gives some reason for optimism.
3.30 – Irish Champion Hurdle (Leopardstown)
Attention now turns to the biggest race of the day with a field filled with class.
I think Defi Du Seuil will run a good race, but I’m keeping the faith with FAUGHEEN as he looks to build some momentum going into Cheltenham.
The 10-year-old is certainly up there with the best Mullins has ever trained, winning 13 from a possible 15, with the late Nichols Canyon the only horse to beat him home.
It was a huge shock when he was pulled up in the Ryanair Hurdle and there was a concern it could’ve been a long-term injury.
I’m hoping that was a one-off and, if he is back to his brilliant self, then he's a safe bet.
3.35 – Handicap Chase (Sandown)
The final tip of the day comes from Sandown, and it’s another from the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard in COGRY .
I tipped him when he won at Cheltenham back in October and, after a disappointing run at Newbury, he showed signs of improvement at Warwick last time out.
He did finish 11 lengths behind Milansbar when coming second in that race, but that was at least in part down to a fantastic ride by Bryony Frost.
The nine-year-old is well handicapped at 11-4 and has Jamie Bargary bringing his 3lb claim on board, so I think his price is too good to ignore.
BALLYOPTIC | FAUGHEEN
BALLYOPTIC | BELLS 'N' BANJOS | FAUGHEEN | COGRY