Horse Racing Betting Tips – Weekend 20/21 Oct
Welsh Champion Hurdle Betting Tips & Predictions
Weekends mean one thing – horse racing and with that come our top horse racing betting tips. Sports fans have a thrilling Saturday of top-class horse racing ahead with action on the Flat coming from Ascot. There we have the Fillies and Mares Stakes, Long Distance Cup, Sprint Stakes, Champion Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Balmoral Handicap.
The biggest names in the game are out to shine, eager to grab a share of glory before the Flat season makes way for the National Hunt campaign. Punters who get themselves along to the Berkshire track will catch a glimpse of Stradivarius – 10/11 Ladbrokes to win the Long Distance Cup – and Cracksman – even money Ladbrokes to triumph in the Champion Stakes.
There’s also plenty of value to be had on the day with eagled-eyed punters able to get 11/8 (888sport) Lah Ti Dar in the Fillies and Mares Stakes, 10/1 (Ladbrokes) Tasleet claims the Sprint Stakes, 7/2 (Ladbrokes) Roaring Lion Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and 8/1 (Coral) Flaming Spear in the Balmoral Handicap.
Competitive Field Expected
We’re going to scoot across to Ffos Las for our bet of the day, however, where the eagerly anticipated renewal of the Welsh Champion Hurdle goes at 4.25pm. A bumper 17-runner field has been confirmed for this competitive limited handicap contested over 1m 7f. With £28,152 paid to the winner alone, it’ll come as no surprise to see the stars have come out to shine.
First run back in 1969 in a race won by Persian War for Colin Davies and Jimmy Uttley, we’ve had some memorable champions over the years, including Bula (1971), Comedy of Errors (1973), a Night Nurse double in 1976 and 1977, Monksfield (1979), Sea Pigeon (1980) and 2011 champ Oscar Whisky.
The New One came home in front 12 months ago, under the ride of Zac Baker and bookies are keen to keep Nigel Twiston-Davies’ star close again. The experienced 10-year-old gelding proved his class when seeing off fellow 2/1 favourite Clyne by ½ a length in last year’s race. It was a thrillingly close finish, the runner-up having reason to feel hard done by, but those who hold the purse strings are convinced we’re set for more of the same.
Favourite’s Recent Form Isn’t Too Impressive
Since winning the Welsh Champion Hurdle, The New One has run has run six times but won only once. That spare victory came in a Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock back in January, beating Ch’tibello, Unison and Clyde when sent off an even money jolly.
There’s also a couple of silver medals on his form, ending second to My Tent Or Yours when contesting the International Hurdle at Cheltenham and Buveur D’Air in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle on soft ground at Kempton; the 2/11 jolly lived up to expectations that day.
The New One, showing career stats of 20 wins and nine placed efforts from 38 outings, was last seen disappointing in the Aintree Hurdle back in April. An 8/1 quote suggested he’d need a fair share of luck in a market dominated by 11/10 shot Supasundae, but the sporting gods weren’t smiling.
Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, he led for the early stages before seemingly running out of gas and dropping back through the field. Followers weren’t sure if it was the result of an injury or long season taking its toll, but there were no complaints when Sam pulled his mount before the finish.
Search Out the Value
For as impressive as The New One was last year, there may be some who’d prefer to look beyond the market leader and search out a bit of value. Le Prezien has sat second in line throughout the ante-post betting, trading 9/2 with 888Sport.
The seven-year-old, out of Paul Nicholls’ yard, was also pulled-up in his most recent start, the JLT Melling Chase at Aintree over 2m 3f; clearly, his stats are far from convincing, having won only one of his last eight. The spare on that list came in the Grand Annual Challenge Cup at Cheltenham in March when landing backers a handy 15/2.
Ch’tibello may make more appeal on the back of a busy 2018 that has seen him run four times already. The highlight so far remains a runner-up spot in the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton when crossing the line 2 ½ lengths behind eventual champion Elgin. Dan Skelton’s hopeful carried a 6/4 price tag that afternoon but found no end of troubles on-route to the finish. With a clearer run he may just have won the race.
Coral have Ch’tibello available at 6/1 and that’s sure to attract the attention of each-way backers. The progressive bay has finished in the top-three places 10 times from 14 starts and was just ½ a length off The New One over 1m 7f in that Champion Hurdle Trial.
There’s certainly improvement in him and when keeping that race in mind you’d much rather to have a nice price about the close second than tight odds on the winner.
Worth Chancing an Outsider?
There are, of course, a few big priced outsiders in the field and the usual low stakes will come for those. It looks a wide-open race at this point, but some have more of a chance than others. When looking towards the bottom of the list, you’re trying to pick out a horse with a good chance of claiming a place, while holding slim hopes of causing an upset.
Betting on Unison
There have been some surprise results in the Welsh Champion Hurdle over the years, including Silsol who won three years ago off a cracking 8/1, ahead of 20/1 runner-up Kayf Moss. Jeremy Scott’s Unison lines up this year with a 12/1 (Ladbrokes) on his back and he rates as one of the form horses of the pack.
As experienced as they come, the eight-year-old gelding has won two of his last three, claiming a Handicap Hurdle at Taunton over two miles in February. He made a quick-fire return to the winner’s enclosure just a few weeks later, banking the prize money at 5/1, ahead of Caid Du Lin and pre-race favourite Black Mischief.
Unison also brings his share of track experience, having run at Ffos Las five times in the past. He has a mixed bag at the Welsh track but has finished in the top-four in four of those five visits. Take a closer look at that stat and you’ll see it boasts two wins and a second.
He found only Combustible too good over a mile back in 2013 with a nose the margin of defeat that day. Encouraged by that effort he improved to win next time out, leading a decent field home in the 1m 2f Walters UK Handicap.
Best effort to date at Ffos Las came when taking the Bulmers Cider Handicap in the summer of 2014 with Khee Society ½ a length behind the closest he had for company. That familiarity and winning form at track is sure to win favour with a few on the day.