It’s the period between the Cheltenham Festival finishing and the start of the Aintree Festival but there’s plenty to keep punters occupied this Saturday with racing going ahead in the UK and Ireland. Backers can also cast their net further afield in search of profits, wagering on the outcome of contests in France, Germany, South Africa, Dubai, USA and Canada. The time differences mean a bet is possible throughout the afternoon and evening. Here are our top March 23 horse racing betting tips.
There’s a reduced service on the football front this weekend and there will be no Premier League action due to the international fixtures. That should see an increased level of interest in domestic horse racing. There’s lots designed to catch your eye, with action taking place at Kempton, Lingfield, Newbury, Bangor, Kelso, Thurles, and plenty more besides.
The pick of the bunch sees graded racing go at Newbury where a seven-race card takes followers from 2.05pm to 5.30pm, the highlight being the mares national hunt novices’ series final, a Grade 2 limited handicap with an advertised start time of 3.15pm.
Let’s pick through the best the day has to offer, as well as the standout.
Mares Novices Chase – 1.50pm Kelso
A decent contest that’ll start the afternoon off on the right foot and there’s a few in the field that deserves our stake but the runner we’ll have is Kupatana. Unfortunately, bookmakers are thinking along the same lines and price her as the favourite with no more than Bet365’s 5/2 to be shot at. One for your multiples, perhaps.
All is Forgiven
The talented six-year-old mare represents the star-studded Paul Nicholls yard and you can guarantee he’s picked this race as one he believes she can gain vital winning experience from. The selection bay fell last time but we’re happy enough to forgive her that and if she stays on her feet, she will go close to scooping the prize money.
Handicap Chase – 2.05pm Newbury
Followers will remember Thomas Patrick won this 3m 1f race 12 months ago and bookies seem confident Strong Pursuit will do the business this year, although some firms are stronger in their stance than others. If you intend on going with the market leader be careful who you trust as some bookies are 11/2 on Strong Pursuit, while others give the same bet at 3/1. That’s quite a gap.
We’re resisting the urge to go with the money men, however, and will throw our support behind Calipso Collonges at 12/1, top price with Coral – other firms are 8/1 on our prediction. The experienced seven-year-old had won five of 14 previous starts, finishing runner-up on another occasion. He won at Uttoxeter in his penultimate outing but scored the second prize last time, ending behind Tommy Silver. We expect him to improve a place and rediscover the winning feeling.
Our Tip: Calipso Collonges – 12/1 at Coral
Handicap Hurdle – 2.25pm Kelso
Two miles lies in front of what’s expected to be a large field, with the current numbers set at 27. That will be whittled down between now and the off but we’re not expecting the final field to be bare and a competitive encounter will be the result. Keyboard Gangster won the race last year for Team Willans and the ante-post betting had Friend or Foe as favourite to wear the crown this time, with no more than Bet365’s 6/1 available.
A Tight Race
That’s a fine price for a favourite and shows just how tight traders expect this renewal to be, but we’re having our stake money down on Winston C who is 7/1 second favourite with Bet365. Henry Fry’s five-year-old gelding is chasing a hat-trick, having won at Wincanton in January and Sandown last month. This is a step up in class but we’re confident he’ll continue that winning run.
Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – 2.40pm Newbury
A Class 2 race over 2m 2f, there’s a whopping £25,000 promised to the winner and that will ensure we see a strong final field go to post on race day. Traders have Zefar priced as one to respect and those looking to follow can get a market best price 8/1 at Ladbrokes. That’s just a tad short for the risk involved, however, and we’ll prefer to take a punt on another.
Elysees makes more appeal at 8/1 with Ladbrokes and that’s an easy bet to have, not just because of the price. The Irish-bred star out of Alan King’s yard is confident on the flat or over jumps and has won two and placed twice in four goes on the latter. He was spotted ending third at Wolves in a 1m 5f handicap and lovers of the stats will know he hasn’t finished outside of the top-three in any of his last five. That’s the kind of form we’re after and those who agree should get a run for their money.
Mares Novice Hurdle Series Final – 3.15pm Newbury
The pick of the bunch and we have a Grade 2 limited handicap over 2m 4f with 16 runners in the programme at present. Roksana took gold last year under the ride of Bridget Andrews for Dan Skelton. Who will come to the fore this time? Bookies have She Mite Bite at the top of the charts and 5/1 is the most you’ll get. There are a few question marks hanging over the fav so we will, again, go for one with a bigger price tag attached.
Oh! So Lonely
Our tipsters are hot on the chances of So Lonely who leaps off the page at 12/1 with Ladbrokes. The five-year-old bay mare flies the flag for Dan Skelton and brings a CV reading six seconds and two thirds from 11 starts. She is yet to stick her head in front, but we think its only a matter of time and there’s a good chance that’ll come when it matters. So Lonely has finished in the top three in each of her last two and in six of seven. She’s been knocking on the door of late. Each-way backers will get 1/4 the odds a place 1-2-3.