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Saturday Horse Racing Tips

Having now passed a second morning inspection, Sandown hosts one of the pre-Christmas highlights of the jumping calendar, the Tingle Creek Chase.

Betfair Tingle Creek Chase     

Unfortunately, Douvan misses the race after an unsatisfactory workout earlier in the week, so Fox Norton looks a strong favourite. In time, we think Colin Tizzard’s charge will be better over further (and could be a real threat in the King George if turning up at Kempton) and so he could be taken out of his comfort zone over the railway fences, especially with Ar Mad set to go off at a scorching pace from flag fall.

For us, that makes POLITOLOGUE the value bet. He looked a two mile chaser to follow when winning the Haldon Gold Cup on his re-appearance and his trainer has a fantastic record in this race.

Politologue (win)2.55 Sandown7/2Bet365

All odds quoted are subject to change

 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase     

The other Grade 1 contest on the card is the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase and this looks to be the best race of its kind run so far this season.

The Tizzard stable have another exciting prospect here too in the shape of Finians Oscar but, like Fox Norton, we think he could prove to be at his best over further. He’ll certainly have to have plenty of speed to cope with Brain Power, who was Champion Hurdle quality over the smaller obstacles.

However, novice chases can often throw up a few surprises, not least at a track like this that takes plenty of jumping, so with that in mind we’d suggest backing both outsiders – CAPITAINE and SCEAU ROYAL. Both should like the ground and have started their chasing campaigns well enough to suggest they could bustle up the more fancied runners today.

Capitaine (ew)1.45 Sandown10/1Bet365
Sceau Royal (ew)1.45 Sandown8/1Bet365

All odds quoted are subject to change

December Handicap Hurdle    

In between the two Grade 1s is a handicap hurdle where another Paul Nicholls runner, ZUBAYR, could run well. He is starting to come down the weights and his rider claims a handy 7lbs. He is surely better than his recent efforts might suggest and this is a significant drop in class.

The other one to back is EXITAS, who returns to hurdling on a handy mark having been in fine form over fences recently. He is a course and distance winner, which is another obvious plus.

Paddy Power are offering 4 places for each-way bets on this race.

Zubayr (ew)2.20 Sandown14/1Paddy Power
Exitas (ew)2.20 Sandown9/1Paddy Power

All odds quoted are subject to change

Betfair London National Handicap Chase     

The final televised race from Sandown is the London National over the marathon distance of three and a half miles.

SUGAR BARON looks the one to beat for Nicky Henderson judged on his recent comeback effort at Cheltenham. He came from a mile back that day to nearly take the prize and this longer trip should be right up his street. The fitting of blinkers should also improve his jumping.

Benbens is a threat, as is likely favourite Doing Fine, but we are going to side with Nicholls again and suggest SOUTHFIELD THEATRE as the best bet of those at double figure prices. He too ran on well in the closing stages of his seasonal re-appearance (at Wincanton) and don’t forget he was second in the 2015 RSA Chase.

Sugar Baron (ew)3.30 Sandown11/2Paddy Power
Southfield Theatre (ew)3.30 Sandown10/1Bet365

All odds quoted are subject to change

Becher Handicap Chase      

Up at Aintree there are two contests over the Grand National fences to savour.

First up is the Becher Chase and with the ground riding heavy this is likely to be a real war of attrition with only a handful of finishers. That could suit the bottom weights and we like the chances of outsiders FEDERICI and PORTRAIT KING.

Federici comes from the McCain yard that has such a great history with this famous circuit. He has won on heavy ground before and got round over these fences in the Grand Sefton last year. His stable is in much better form this season.

Portrait King has run a number of good races here and deserves a big prize. His third in the Topham last campaign was a notable highlight, and trip and ground will suit him even better today.

Of the more fancied runners, GOODTOKNOW looks the pick for the in form Kerry Lee. He ran really well for a long way in last season’s National.

Betfair are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race (just 3 places elsewhere).

Federici (ew)1.30 Aintree33/1Betfair
Portrait King (ew)1.30 Aintree25/1Betfair
Goodtoknow (ew)1.30 Aintree12/1Betfair

All odds quoted are subject to change

Grand Sefton Handicap Chase      

The Grand Sefton is the other race over the big fences and Gas Line Boy is clearly the one to beat. He is a short enough price, though, and preference is for MERCIAN PRINCE, who still looks unexposed and on the upgrade for Amy Murphy.

ARTIC GOLD is also interesting as he loves this ground and is well treated on the best of his hurdles form. He also stays further, which will be a must given conditions.

Of the rest, Imjoeking could run well for a long way, but may not stay, whilst Rathlin Rose is another big danger.

Mercian Prince (ew)3.10 Aintree13/2Bet365
Artic Gold (ew)3.10 Aintree10/1Bet365

All odds quoted are subject to change

Our tips in the other ITV races from the Merseyside track are:

Hillcrest Fire (ew)2.05 Aintree5/1Bet365
Flying Angel (win)2.35 Aintree9/2Bet365


All odds quoted are subject to change