Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 1 February 2020

UK Racing Best Bets - Saturday 1 February 2020

UK Racing Best Bets

Neil Morrice walks you through the front runners for Saturday's racing at 
Lingfield Park, Musselburgh, Wetherby, Kempton Park, 
Sandown Park and Leopardstown. This will include the feature race analysis for the Betway Contenders' Hurdle and PCI Irish Champion Hurdle

BETWAY CONTENDERS’ HURDLE (Listed) ANALYSIS

IF you want a ‘shorty’ that looks cast iron to deliver at the weekend then CALL ME LORD fits the bill in this Listed trial for the Champion Hurdle, a race his trainer Nicky Henderson has won three years running with the currently sidelined Buveur D’Air.

He has a great record at this track, and given plenty of cut in the ground looks a worthy odds-on shot against rivals that in the main have question marks against them.

As far as Call Me Lord is concerned, he’s done absolutely nothing wrong since returning from his summer break, looking a tad unlucky not to beat If The Cap Fits at Ascot before gamely resisting Ballyandy in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham. At Ascot he probably hit the front too soon, and was inconvenienced by racing on the inside of the track and wide apart from the eventual winner, while at Cheltenham he did well to produce the best finishing speed in a race that became a sprint up the final hill.

ELDORADO ALLEN is most likely to follow the favourite home as long as he doesn’t ‘bounce’ after his excellent effort to chase home Mill Green in a handicap at this course last month. He didn’t attract much support which suggests Colin Tizzard felt he would benefit from the race. He had a good blow afterwards and should come on for it. It was his first outing since picking up an injury at Aintree in December 2018, which kept him sidelined for more than a year. He gets a valuable 6lb from Call Me Lord.

QUEL DESTIN wasn’t able to match Summerville Boy at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day but that was over two and a half miles and he gives the impression this drop to the minimum distance will help.

Confirmed front runner ZAMBELLA will inject the necessary pace into the contest to ensure its truly run. Unbeaten in two starts last season, he was just coming to the end of his tether when unseating two out on his return to action at Wetherby, and remains something of an unknown quantity.

Prediction

1st CALL ME LORD

2nd Eldorado Allen

3rd Zambella

4th Quel Destin

PCI IRISH CHAMPION HURDLE (Grade 1) ANALYSIS 
THE sweet smell of success has followed unbeaten rising star HONEYSUCKLE whenever she’s travelled over the past couple of seasons and the Henry De Bromhead-trained mare sets the standard for the others to aim at in this dress rehearsal for the Cheltenham Festival in March. A Grade 1 winner at Fairyhouse last season and again when storming home in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle this campaign, Honeysuckle is a hot favourite for the mares’ hurdle but a convincing display here could see connections rethinking towards a tilt at the Champion Hurdle itself.

Knockers of the likely favourite will point to the fact that the trip and ability to act round Leopardstown could count against her. So far she’s operated mainly over two and a half miles and has never raced on a left-handed course, giving the speedy SHARJAH a shot at lowering her colours. The 7yo loves this track and has plundered Grade 1 victories on each of his last two visits. A continuation of drying conditions would also play to his strengths more than the mare, but unlike her he is inconsistent.

KLASSICAL DREAM, trained by Willie Mullians and a stablemate of Sharjah’s, comes right into the equation having beaten Sharjah in the Morgiana Hurdle but uncharacteristic mistakes helped bring about his downfall in the Matheson Hurdle last time. Last season’s Supreme Hurdle winner seems to have regressed in his last two starts and has it all to prove.

This race fell to Apple’s Jade last year and to SUPASUNDAE in 2018. Supasundae returns from a lengthy absence, having last been seen making Buveur D’Air pull out all the stops at the Punchestown Festival in May. This is reflected in his big double-figure price, with trainer Jessica Harrington indicating he will come on for today’s race.

Prediction

1st HONEYSUCKLE

2nd Sharjah

3rd Supasundae

4th Klassical Dream

Leopardstown Undercard Best Bets


Race 3: NOTEBOOK (5) 
Trainer: Henry De Bromyard - Jockey: Rachael Blackmore 

This fascinating equivalent of the Arkle Trophy will provide Ireland’s chief protagonist for that Festival prize in March and the one they all have to beat in NOTEBOOK. He’s looked a natural for fences since tackling them this season, winning impressively on successive visits to Punchestown. He can confirm his superiority over Fakir D’Oudairies as well as seeing off the challenges of Cash Back and Melon in what promises to be a cracker.

Race 7: LIEUTENANT COMMAND (3)
Trainer: Noel Meade - Jockey: Mr F Maguire 

This will have a bearing on the betting for the Festival Bumper with the Elliott and O’Brien yards saddling four between them, all with chances. However, for the value I like LIEUTENANT COMMAND who looked a class act when scoring for Noel Meade at Limerick and could prove too smart for all of them.

Sandown Park Undercard Best Bets

Race 2: FIRST FLOW (6)
Trainer: Kim Bailey - Jockey: Chester Williams 

The tricky Sandown fences can bring out the best in FIRST FLOW who is a spectacular jumper who likes to strut his stuff from the front. It seemed he was caught out by the two miles and three furlongs trip when overhauled approaching the final fence against Espoir De Guye at Ascot and will be happy with this return to the minimum distance.

Race 5: ASK BEN (5)
Trainer: Graham McPherson - Jockey: Kieran Woods 

ASK BEN is getting closer to another win and has plenty going for him in what is one of the big betting heats of the weekend. He’s attracted support in the ante-post market for this and was also a very popular order when going down fighting against Goodbye Dancer in a similar contest at Cheltenham before Christmas. A strong traveller and slick jumper, it’s only a matter of time before he converts and this stiff track looks tailor-made for him.

Kempton Park Best Bets

Race 4: BEDTIME BELLA (6) 
Trainer: Mike Appleby - Jockey: George Rooke

The visored BEDTIME BELLA has been getting closer to a first win of 2020 and her trainer might have found a perfect opportunity in this Class 4 handicap in which she receives weight from each of her five opponents. She looked unlucky not to get up against Bond Angel at Southwell earlier in the week, and now switches to Polytrack.
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Race 5: FEARLESS WARRIOR (9) 
Trainer: Eve Johnson Houghton - Jockey: David Probert 

There’s a ring of consistency about the hooded FEARLESS WARRIOR whose shown a liking for this course and came back looking as good as ever to chase home Wanaasah at Wolverhampton when the winner stole a march on the rest. The selection is a good staying prospect that can do well this year.

Lingfield Park Best Bets

Race 3: KACHY (3) 
Trainer: Tom Dascombe - Jockey: Richard Kingscote  

In a race he’s made his own in recent years, KACHY can land this Listed sprint for the third year running and set a course for a rewarding season in this division. Few horses can hold a candle to him over four to five furlongs and when last seen at Royal Ascot last June he gave the brilliant Blue Point plenty to think about in the King’s Stand. He’s a horse that’s very hard to beat after a break, which makes a 224-day absence nothing to worry about.

Race 4: BENTLEY WOOD (2)
Trainer: Mick Channon - Jockey: Charles Bishop 

BENTLEY WOOD can do well in handicaps this year and should make a bold bid to win this after a pleasing return to the fray over course and distance last month. He held every chance at the furlong pole, and although fading demonstrated that he will soon shake off his maiden tag.

Race 5: BENTLEY WOOD (2)
Trainer: Andrew Balding - Jockey: Rob Hornby

One time Epsom Derby hope BANGKOK has already shown he’s as good as ever by narrowly failing to pick up a Group 2 at Doha in December. He can do well at a high level this year and the drop into Listed company should result in a win as long as he can master Court House, whose stable is looking to lift the race for the third year in succession.

Wetherby Best Bets

Race 1: EMMAS JOY (2) 
Trainer: Dan Skelton - Jockey: Harry Skelton 

A tendency to jump left shouldn’t bother EMMAS JOY on this left-handed track and she appeals as the best of those with winning form already under their belt. She bravely attempted to lead throughout at Warwick when last seen in December only to be worn down by Cill Anna on the run in. That form was handed a boost when the latter dotted up at Wincanton yesterday.

Race 3: KALOOKI (1) 
Trainer: Philip Hobbs - Jockey: Michael Nolan 

KALOOKI has skipped a couple of recent opportunities to find himself in a three-horse affair in which Lemon T is much his most dangerous foe. The selection impressively made all when last seen at Ludlow but doesn’t have to operate that way, which is important when considering his market rival also likes to force the pace.

Musselburgh Best Bets

Race 3: ASHINGTON (6) 
Trainer: John Quinn - Jockey: Brian Hughes  

ASHINGTON lost his unbeaten record when third to Sir Chauvelin here last month, but at revised weights can turn the tables. The selection travelled much the best until weakening at the final flight which was disappointing, but his shrewd handler reckons he’s far better than that.

Race 6: CRACKDELOUST (5) (Each Way)
Trainer: Brian Ellison - Jockey: Henry Brooke 

CRACKDELOUST gave us a good run for our money when being outpointed by Xpo Universal at Sedgefield last week and has rediscovered his old form to a large extent. He looks very solid for win and place purposes in an admittedly warm looking heat.

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