Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 16 November 2019

UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 16 November 2019

UK Racing Best Bets

Neil Morrice walks you through the front runners for Saturday's racing at Wetherby, Wolverhampton, Lingfield, Uttoxeter and 
Cheltenham, including the feature race analysis for the BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase. 

Cheltenham Feature Race Analysis
BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 

A wave of heavy rain that resulted in the abandonment of Friday’s card has ensured unusually testing underfoot conditions for what is traditionally the first major race of the National Hunt season in Britain.

The ‘BetVictor’ has nevertheless held up well, with a final field of 20 headed by SLATE HOUSE who Hollywoodbets make 5-1 favourite to follow-up his silk smooth triumph over the same course and distance three weeks ago. On that occasion the 7yo proved himself well suited by deep going by storming to an 11 lengths defeat of Garo De Juilley. The assessor reacted by raising the gelding 12lbs but this former exciting novice hurdler could have plenty more to offer. His trainer Colin Tizzard has an embarrassment of riches in the chasing department and granted normal development Slate House could be set for inclusion in the premier division.

SPIRITOFTHEGAMES has always been the apple of trainer Dan Skelton’s eye and has also been the subject of a steady gamble in the ante post market. The 7yo never quite lived up to his star billing last season and bled from the nose when flopping over this trip in a valuable novice chase at the Aintree Grand National fixture. However he ran a corker over these fences when third to Sirius DunLac and Janika and that form looks rock solid, with the latter recently landing the prestigious Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

SIRUH DU LAC has commanded a place high in the pecking order for today’s race and his magnificent four-timer that was completed at the Festival is strong form to take to post. However, on the evidence of the form book he might struggle to beat Spiritofthegames.

COUNT MERIBEL comes right into the picture for Nigel Twiston-Davies and was the grittiest of winners over this course and distance exactly a year ago. He loves to get his toe into the ground and did nothing wrong when outclassed by Lostintranslation on his seasonal reappearance in a conditions race at Carlisle. Furthermore he will almost certainly improve for that, and his overall profile is one that should carry him into the frame at the very least.

Following the incessant rainfall over the past couple of days Harry Whittington is leaving the option of a switch or Sunday’s Schloer Chase with SAINT CALVADOS open. Although the BetVictor was the trainer’s preferred option earlier in the week, he is now not averse to targeting the conditions chase as he’s concerned about his stable star carrying top weight in bottomless conditions.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls fields a couple of lively outsiders in BRELAN D’AS and MAGIC SAINT. Brelan D’As was already beaten when unseating his pilot last time and tackles this in favour of a race on yesterday’s abandoned card whilst Magic Saint has been beaten when favourite for two of his last three starts, whilst showing a definite preference for competing in smaller fields.

GUITAR PETE is another to bear in mind as he’s a classy individual with few miles on the clock who looked as good as ever when stylishly delivering on his comeback in a warm race at Wetherby. He gives his northern connections more than a sporting chance of earning and deserves respect.



2nd Count Meribel

3rd Guitar Pete

4th Spiritofthegames

5th Siruh Du Lac

Cheltenham Undercard Best Bets 

Race 3: WHOLESTONE (3)
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies 
Jockey: Daryl Jacob

The excellent hurdling form of WHOLESTONE and liking for this course was always going to stand him in good stead when he went chasing and in two outings over fences he’s looked every bit as good. He delivered first time back at Perth and when beaten a neck by Mulcahys Hill at The Showcase meeting here last month did everything but win. He’s the class act in this, and should deliver.

Trainer: Colin Tizzard 
Jockey: Robbie Power 

In what could be a red letter day for this stable WEST APPROACH can gain an overdue victory. The 9yo skipped a valuable opportunity at Wincanton to wait for this and can better his pleasing first run back when second to The Conditional here last month. Well supported, he seemed to do everything right that day and after being headed was closing with the winner in the final strides, suggesting this longer trip will prove even more agreeable to him.

Race 8: URBAN ARTIST (11)
Trainer: Hughie Morrison  
Jockey: Nico De Boinville 

Morrison must always be respected with his runners in bumpers at this course and URBAN ARTIST looks sure to go well. She landed some good bets when returning at Ludlow last month where she did well to repel the useful Bit On The Side, while her subsequent form on the home gallops indicates she has gone forward.

Wolverhampton Best Bets 

Race 4: SERIOUS JOCKIN (10) (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon 
Jockey: George Bass 

Taking a step up from five furlongs to seven in this nursery, SERIOUS JOCKIN can get into the argument at a big double figure price. He’s not quite delivered his ability onto the track but has some good form on the all weather, and wasn’t beaten far when fourth on his latest start at Chelmsford. He’s a hold up horse who needs to be delivered late.

Race 5: DUTCH TREAT (5)
Trainer: Andrew Balding  
Jockey: David Probert 

DUTCH TREAT deserves a crack at a conditions race after her game triumph in a Class 3 handicap at Newmarket where she produced a nice change of gear to wear down Clara Peters. That was outstandingly her best effort in just four outings this season. When a filly produces that level of improvement she is worth following.

Lingfield Best Bets 

Trainer: Roger Varian 
Jockey: John Egan

Several of the top Newmarket stables are represented in this intriguing maiden but the form HIBERNIAN WARRIOR produced on his debut at Newmarket should have teed him up nicely to open his account. He overcame a sluggish start to stay on for minor honours behind New World Tapestry and can take a step forward over this suitably longer trip from a good draw.

Race 5: MAGIC LILY (5)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby 
Jockey: Jason Watson 

The one with room for improvement in this fillies’ Listed race is MAGIC LILY. The Godolphin-owned runner showed ability in both juvenile starts only to meet with a setback that put her on the sidelines. When coming back in a similar contest at Saint-Cloud last month she went down by just threequarters of a length to Lanana. Not only did that confirm she had retained all her old ability, but it should have served to blow away any cobwebs and make her the finished article this time.

Race 6: LORD NORTH (3)
Trainer: John Gosden 
Jockey: Frankie Dettori 

Dettori’s presence on the back of LORD NORTH tells you all you need to know about the automatic favourite for the featured Churchill Stakes. The 112-rated 3yo ran out an 11 length winner of his only other start on the all weather at Newcastle and has gone on to plunder the Cambridgeshire and the Listed James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket either side of finishing second in a valuable handicap at Ascot. He holds outstanding claims and looks banker material.

Uttoxeter Best Bets 

Race 2: EGLANTIER (4)
Trainer: Mark Bradstock 
Jockey: Sean Bowen

From a small stable that can excel with a young horse coming through, EGLANTIER can preserve his unbeaten record in this debut over jumps. He made virtually all and showed a gritty determination to score on his Fontwell introduction in March. That bumper was run on heavy ground, so we know he will handle these conditions.

Trainer: Tom George 
Jockey: James Bowen 

Without question the dark horse in this novices’ hurdle, GLOCKESPIEL can score on his debut under Rules. The 4yo is returning from a whole year off the track but has shown promise in his preparatory work for this, while his only run in France resulted in a respectable third in soft conditions at the provincial course of Angers.

Trainer: Anthony Honeyball 
Jockey: Sean Bowen

MIDNIGHT TUNE probably faced a fitter rival when beaten by Sensulano at Fontwell and that outing is thought to have brought her to the boil. She jumped well in the main, and was eased when beaten.A win here can tee her up for another successful season.

Race 6: TARA WELL (7)
Trainer: Robin Dickin 
Jockey: Ceris Biddle 

Even though she was eventually beaten more than 20 lengths, TARA WELL acquitted herself well on her Chepstow reappearance when fifth behind Guardia Top. Her starting price of 25-1 indicated she might be in need of the run, while she had a good blow on returning to unsaddle. If that’s brought her on she can get into the shake up in this mares’ only hurdle.

Wetherby Best Bets 

Race 2: GOOD BOY BOBBY (3)
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies 
Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies 

A course winner over hurdles last season, GOOD BOY BOBBY ran into one when beaten by Brewin’upastorm on his debut over fences at Carlisle. His bold bid to make all was only thwarted in the last couple of strides and the form recieved a boost when the winner followed up at Taunton on Thursday.

Race 4: MR ANTOLINI (1)
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies 
Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies 

Former Imperial Cup winner MR ANTOLINI has the make and shape of a chaser and did little wrong when succumbing to the high class Black Op on his debut over fences at Stratford. He handles easy conditions and it’s most interesting that his trainer has elected to go straight for a handicap.

Race 5: FARO DE KERSER (1)
Trainer: Tom George 
Jockey: Jonathan Burke

French import FARO DE KERSER joined his trainer with a tall reputation after winning a minor contest in the provinces and is a fascinating prospect. He’s reported to have worked and schooled pleasingly ahead of this Class 2 introductory hurdle in which Big Bad Bear and Miah Grace rate the main dangers. 

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