It’s time for the Saturday 12th Jan horse racing betting tips and predictions. Another busy weekend of British and Irish horse racing and another round of fixtures we aim to help you make a profit from. Saturday’s schedule is headlined by the action at Warwick where a seven-race card goes on the turf, taking backers from the opener at 12.40pm through to 4.05pm when an NH Flat Race brings the curtain down.
As ever, there’s plenty of value to be had with odds-makers offering quotes in both the ante-post markets and on the day. If you are keen on a particular selection, it’s always worth jumping the queue and getting your money down early and often you’ll find a better price available the earlier you get involved before the money of casual backers begins to pile on the favourites.
Warwick’s card is headlined by the Grade 2 Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle while the Grade 3 Classic Handicap Chase acts as a fine back-up. Our team of horse racing experts have skipped through the runners and riders, returning with their take on the current betting and what has caught their eye when targeting a value play.
Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle
Run over two miles and five furlongs, this is a fairly new race to the schedule with the first running taking place in 2002 when won by Classified for Tony McCoy and Martin Pipe. In more recent outings we’ve seen a mixed bag of results, Mr Whipped claiming the prize money under the ride of Nico de Boinville and Nicky Henderson 12 months ago.
There are no obvious trends to be taken from this contest; however, bookmakers have had no trouble pinning their colours to the mast and fly up support for ante-post favourite Birchdale. The five-year-old gelding, owned by JP McManus was entrusted to the capable hands of decorated trainer Nicky Henderson and despite lacking plenty in experience the bay got off to the perfect start when scoring at this track on debut midway through December.
Handlers picked out a Maiden Hurdle over track and trip to launch this horse and it proved to be a shrewd move with the gamble paying off; Birchdale won off an SP 9/4 favourite, coming home an eye-catching four lengths ahead of stablemate Clarendon Street. Another touch for the yard and punters who read the race properly and had their money down were cheering all the way to the bank.
This represents a step up in class, and then some, with some lively opponents in the mix; however, backers can take heart from the fact a wise bunch of connections wouldn’t risk him unless they were confident he was going to go extremely close to landing two on the bounce. We wouldn’t be in a rush to put anyone off having a bet on him, for that reason, but his experience and price go down as negatives and we’ll happily look elsewhere for our interest.
Stoney Mountain Looks Solid Value
The one that’ll carry our stake money on race day, if he goes, will be Stoney Mountain who is currently available at a punter friendly price, making him more attractive than the jolly. It’s not just the 7/1 available at Bet365 that caught our eye, he’s a contender who brings real form to the course and more than enough ability to cause an upset.
Stoney Mountain got no closer than fifth on debut; however, it didn’t take long for the penny to drop with this horse and he was a second time out winner. He claimed victory over a couple of miles at this track in an intermediate NH flat race, doing the business with an 11/4 price tag attached, finishing at least a length ahead of a modest-looking field.
There was better to come, as everyone connected to the prospect knew; they were shown to be shrewd when Stoney Mountain raged to a run of form that saw him win three and finish runner-up in four starts. The spare was a silver medal when finding only Doux Pretender too good at Ascot in the Molton Brown Novices’ Hurdle, a head the difference between him and the victor. No disgrace.
A quick-fire return to winning ways saw him book a place in the winner’s enclosure at Southwell last time out, banking a National Hunt Novices Hurdle over 2m 4f. He was 1/3 fav that day and lived up to the price when hammering nearest rival Golden Whisky by 11 lengths. That proved there’s plenty more to come from Henry Daly’s pride and joy. Each-way backers will see the use in taking him for a place at 7/1 with 1/5 the odds a place 1-2-3.
Others Worth a Mention
Others in the field at this stage worth a mention are Tidal Flow who is 7/2 second fav with Bet365, ahead of Rockpoint 7/1 (Ladbrokes), Moonlighter 10/1 (Bet365), Beakstown 10/1 with 888Sport and, at a bigger price, Champagne Court 16/1 when betting with Bet365.
Classic Handicap Chase
Next on the card, due off at 3.00pm, we have a Grade 3 Handicap Chase run over the extended trip of 3m 5f. With a chunky £42,712 going to the winner, this race has attracted some of the biggest names in the industry and there’s no lack of talented runners looking to add to their already impressive medal haul.
There’s lots of value to be had here with bookmakers seemingly at a loss to nail down their favourite. The market leader is Calett Mad, but he’s far from a convincing jolly with as much as 8/1 going. That gives a fair reflection of just how competitive this one should be.
We’re more than happy to take advantage and will take a pop at Milansbar who can be backed at 10/1 – top price with Unibet. The experienced 12-year-old has won six times from a 28-race career, placing on another 10 occasions. We’ll need to see him roll back the years but anything near his best will be good enough to, at least, land a place.