It’s Super Saturday – if any of Naas, Newbury and Warwick survive this wintry weather! Jumps horse racing is really heating up with just a month or so to go the spring festivals. Check out the Super Saturday betting tips from our experts below…
Super Saturday betting tips – Soaring Glory appeals most in Betfair Hurdle
The big betting race at Newbury is the Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle over an extended 2m (15:35), where Soaring Glory gets the vote. This is a wide-open, big field handicap, which trainer Jonjo O’Neill won in 2010. In Soaring Glory, he has a well-weighted six-year-old with solid each-way claims.
Although the Fame And Glory gelding has only won one of his four hurdles starts, he has also run well in defeat. He beat subsequent Grade 1 winner Bravemansgame on his bow over obstacles at Chepstow. That one is now a leading contender for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Only the impressive Dusart was too good for Soaring Glory in a red-hot novice event over course and distance. After then falling at Wetherby in a race he looked sure to win, he ran a fine third behind My Drogo in a Grade 2 at Ascot. Now making his handicap debut off a mark of 133, that could well underestimate Soaring Glory’s ability. He is 15/2 with the race sponsors, who pay six places, for at least the frame in a typically competitive renewal of the Betfair Hurdle.
Altior going for fourth Game Spirit success
Beloved veteran Altior seeks a fourth victory in the race registered as the Game Spirit Chase, an extended 2m Grade 2 contest (15:00). Nicky Henderson’s long-time stable star faces just four rivals but, for the first time in his illustrious career, has something to prove.
Looking at the opposition, Altior has always had the beating of Sceau Royal. These are deep waters for Magic Saint, meanwhile, and Fanion D’Estruval jumps fences very low. On paper, that leaves Greaneteen as the only danger to the 11-year-old.
Despite suffering a second career defeat over obstacles at the hands of Nube Negra in the Desert Orchid at Kempton on reappearance, Altior loves this course and distance. Jumping out to his left is no problem at Newbury, and he could well come on for his return to action. Altior is therefore well worth siding with at odds against.
Newbury betting tips – Champ the Denman Chase choice
In the Grade 2 Denman Chase over almost 3m earlier on Super Saturday (14:25), Gold Cup contender Champ makes his much-anticipated seasonal bow. Also trained by Henderson, the JP McManus owned nine-year-old is short on experience of fences but showed superb speed and stamina when last in action.
Champ looked beaten turning for home in the RSA Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. However, he stayed on up the famous hill superbly to overhaul Minella Indo and Allaho. It was an incredible display, and both those Irish raiders have since won at this level to advertise the form.
If he has brushed up on his jumping, then Champ has plenty going for him on what could be a good Super Saturday at Newbury for Henderson. Odds of 9/4 with William Hill reflect his horse’s chances here against opposition of eight other horses that all have something to prove.
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Pipesmoker the punt in Super Saturday opener
In the extended 2m novice hurdle that opens proceedings at Newbury (13:15), Pipesmoker is another Henderson inmate that looks worth a wager. The six-year-old has seen Huntingdon bumper conqueror Pink Sheets rack up a four-timer this season which culminated in a Listed victory over this course and distance.
Pipesmoker was then behind subsequent Supreme Novices’ Hurdle third Chantry House at Cheltenham on his debut over the obstacles. His Ascot second to Sporting John when last in action had plenty of advertisement from the winner, who landed the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase around Sandown last Saturday.
On that basis, Pipesmoker’s form looks really strong. He does concede race fitness to re-opposing rivals Gowel Road and Good Ball but, if running up to his official rating of 137, he could well get his head in front on these terms. Pipesmoker may do just that.
Warwick betting tips – Side with Paul’s Saga for mares’ prize
In the Listed 2m 5f Warwick Mares’ Hurdle (14:05), French raider Paul’s Saga bring strong form with her at a higher level across the Channel. Trained by David Cottin, this seven-year-old daughter of Martaline is a proven graded performer.
Paul’s Saga won the French Champion Hurdle in the autumn. A repeat of that performance at Warwick, and she takes this hands down. She was held half-a-length in another Grade 1 last time out, so Cottin puts cheekpieces on for the first time to sharpen her up.
He has also booked champion jockey Brian Hughes for the ride. If coming over from France for this, then there is simply no looking past Paul’s Saga for the spoils. Again, her price with bookmakers reflects that. If she doesn’t turn up, then Harry Fry’s Sandown scorer Whitehotchillifilli looks next best and overpriced at 17/2.
Naas betting tips – Elimay can bounce back in Opera Hat
At Naas, there is a last chance for McManus’ Elimay to underline her Cheltenham claims in the Listed 2m Opera Hat Mares Chase (13:40). Trained by Willie Mullins, this seven-year-old won graded novice events over fences last season. She has the beating of re-opposing rival Tintangle on her Cork victory.
The runner-up, Agusta Gold, has come out and won a Grade 3 this season. That gives the form a strong look. Elimay also confirmed the placings at Thurles, so there is no reason why she can’t come out on top again. She has also run two big races in defeat this season, the first of which saw her denied by a nose over hurdles in Listed company at Punchestown.
Elimay then gave Ryanair Chase fancy Allaho a race at Thurles, and went down fighting by three lengths. This is much easier, now she is back against fellow mares. For that reason, Elimay is a strong fancy for the Opera Hat – a race in which Mullins has a great record – and a winning Cheltenham prep run.
Hurricane Cliff can get head in front in opener
In the first division of the extended 1m 7f maiden hurdle that kicks off the card (12:35), Hurricane Cliff looks better suited than Captain Kangaroo for victory. Trained by Henry De Bromhead, this five-year-old has finished runner-up twice in three starts in this sphere.
A Flat recruit, his second to Indiana Jones on hurdles bow at Cork looks good. The winner had a 3lb claimer aboard that day and has since finished third in Grade 2 company. Hurricane Cliff then ran fifth at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, but shaped well again when denied by Frere Tuck at Punchestown.
He was weak in the betting that day, so ran above market expectations. With Captain Kangaroo’s bumper win coming over further and suggesting he needs a longer trip in this sphere, Hurricane Cliff thus appeals for victory at the fourth time of asking.