Saturday is a day of trials with the Grand National Trial at Haydock and Red Mills Trials day in Ireland. There are also Ascot Chase betting tips in the offing, and even a selection from Wincanton! See who our experts like…
Haydock betting tips – Enqarde appeals in Grand National Trial
In the Grade 3 Grand National Trial over 3m 4f at Haydock (14:40), Enqarde could follow-up on a nice victory at Ascot last month. Trained by Dr Richard Newland, this seven-year-old by Kapgarde fell at this venue on his penultimate start.
However, he has proved no worse for taking that tumble with a comfortable victory off the same chase mark of 124. As Enqarde jumped left throughout his Ascot win, the return to an anticlockwise track like Haydock is an obvious plus.
Charlie Hammond also takes 3lb off his back here. In a trappy renewal of the Grand National Trial, he could be unexposed as a stayer. Enqarde stayed on well when last in action, so the step up in distance should suit. He is 6/1 with Bet365 to land the spoils off bottom-weight.
On The Blind Side the Rendlesham Hurdle bet
In the 3m Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle earlier on the card (14:05), another of our Haydock betting tips is On The Blind Side. Since reverting to this sphere from fences, he has had enjoyed a new lease of life for trainer Nicky Henderson.
On The Blind Side has won two of four starts this sphere, and also posted two smart efforts in defeat when runner-up. There are many in the Rendlesham with something to prove, but this nine-year-old is not one of them. Connections planned to run him in the Cleeve Hurdle rearranged for Wetherby last week, but bad weather put paid to that.
Many sorts have done likewise, so if On The Blind Side was fancied there, it makes sense to put him up here. Despite the presence of three course and distance winners in opposition, he appeals most. On The Blind Side is 3/1 with Boylesports to follow-up on his latest victory at Market Rasen.
Monmiral the Victor Ludorum wager
As trainer Paul Nicholls has won three of the last five renewals of the race best known as the Victor Ludorum Juvenile Hurdle over almost 2m (15:14), Monmiral has strong claims. This is one horse that definitely does not have Cheltenham on his agenda. Running her is a stepping stone to Aintree in April instead.
Monmiral is unbeaten in three career starts winning easily on both British outings to date after joining Ditcheat from France. In his most recent run in Grade 2 company at Doncaster he bolted up on a surface that looked softer than the official going.
According to Nicholls, this has been the plan ever since. If Monmiral has any chance of Grade 1 juvenile honours at the Grand National Festival in the spring, then he has to be winning this. Odds of 7/4 with William Hill say he will do just that en route to Aintree.
Ascot betting tips – Cyrname can regain Ascot Chase crown
Since his defeat of the legendary Altior in November 2019, Cyrname has been very in and out. However, he won the 2m 5f Grade 1 Ascot Chase in such style two years ago that he simply can’t be opposed against the field that faces him in Berkshire (15:35).
On official figures, Nicholls’ charge, who is still rated the best steeplechaser in training by the assessor, has 12lb and upwards in hand on his four rivals. Cheekpieces now go on for the first time too, as Cyrname faces a stable companion with a dodgy history of jumping in Master Tommytucker and some top level handicappers.
These are deep waters for the game Dashel Drasher and Benny’s King. Last year’s Ascot Chase winner Riders Onthe Storm was the beneficiary of two fallers, and faces a huge ask to retain his crown if Cyrname stands up. He has a favourite’s chance at 4/5 with William Hill here. This has always looked like the optimum trip for Cyrname, so he can bounce back from another disappointment in the King George.
Newtide each-way value in Swinley Chase
In the 3m limited handicap registered as the Swinley Chase (14:25), Newtide is one of our each-way Ascot betting tips for trainer Kim Bailey. The Andoversford handler has had a fine season. In Newtide, he has a lightly-raced eight-year-old who has won two of four career outings over regulation fences.
A runner-up in an Irish point, he was always going to make up into a better chaser. Newtide brings strong novice form to the table after beating subsequent Welsh Grand National winner Secret Reprieve at Ffos Las and then landing the Grade 2 Towton at Wetherby around this time last year.
He should come on for his reappearance when third at Haydock, and the winner has since gone down all guns blazing in the Roland Meyrick. As Newtide is also down slightly in trip and has had a wind op since, there could be even more to come. With the Bailey yard back among the winners, he looks a great each-way bet at 14/1 with Betfair in this.
Gowran Park betting tips – Jason The Militant your best bet
In the 2m Grade 3 Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park (14:30), it is now or never for Jason The Militant. His trainer, Henry De Bromhead, is better known for saddling winner of the Red Mills Chase on this card, but that looks a very trappy affair this year.
Jason The Militant progressed last season to win a Grade 2 novice event at Navan where he made all and just prevailed by a nose. A winner of the Flat since, the seven-year-old Sans Frontieres gelding has placed third on both his hurdles starts this term.
Although Jason The Militant was unlucky to lose second in the final strides at Down Royal, Abacadabras confirmed the form with victory in the Morgiana. On that Punchestown run, however, he has the beating of re-opposing rival Coeur Sublime. Jason The Militant must win this now eased in grade if he wants to play a meaningful part in the spring festivals, and his odds reflect that.
Wincanton betting tips – Song For Someone can keep Kingwell crown
In the 2m Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincaton (15:18), Song For Someone seeks successive wins in the race and a four-timer at this level. The stable star of the Tom Symonds yard, this six-year-old took this 12 months ago when it was moved to Kempton.
Since then, Song For Someone has won both of his starts this season. After landing the Ascot Hurdle over further, he showed tremendous guts and hearts to land the International Hurdle in a photo finish with Silver Streak. The runner-up has since gone one better in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, so that advertises the form nicely.
It is the best on offer. Goshen and Champion Hurdle Trial winner Navajo Pass are both respected, but the former still needs to find his mojo. Donald McCain’s horse may find this tougher than taking on a rusty Buveur D’Air. Song For Someone gets the nod at 5/4 with BetVictor for a successful defence.