Ante-Post

Tony Calvin Antepost Tips: Ones to watch at Newbury and Kelso on Saturday

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
TC is holding fire with his bets but will be back before the weekend

Never one to force a bet Tony Calvin advises patience and highlights the horses you will want to keep an eye on between now and Saturday at Newbury and Kelso...


We may have a big day on the Flat at the Curragh in Ireland and the Dubai World Cup meeting in Meydan, but it is about as low-key a weekend as we get in the domestic racing calendar with seven ITV races from Newbury and Kelso.

However, at least all the terrestrial action are handicaps, and they have attracted very decent numbers at the five-day stage the (the smallest races have 14 entries, and the biggest a whopping 31).

Very impressive in the current climate, in fact.

Wet weather ahead

Newbury is currently good, good to soft in places (though they haven't updated on Tuesday yet) with a wet week in store it seems so we are probably looking at soft there for the start of their two-day meeting on Friday.

Kelso also looks pretty damp, though small amounts are due at the moment, and it is currently good to soft, soft in places, there.

To be perfectly honest, given the field sizes, I can see most horses trading at a similar price come Saturday, and with extra places thrown in, so I make no apologies for not going overboard on the attractiveness of the weekend betting fare as it stands.

Best to be honest in this game.

And, with running plans not known and big fields the order of the day, most firms tend to price up very defensively, if at all.

Felice form gives her a chance

In one respect, I was a little surprised to see Sunday's Chepstow runner-up Felicie Du Maquis entered for the Grade 2 mares' 2m4f handicap hurdle at Newbury at 14:40, but, in another way, not at all, as she ran an absolute screamer at the weekend.

She isn't the kind of horse you can tip or back ante-post in these circumstances, as I imagine connections will wait to see how she has taken that race a bit later in the week. But she'd have a big chance on the Chepstow run if rocking up.

The ex-pointer went into that Chepstow contest having finished first or second in all her seven starts, and on a hat-trick after hurdles wins at Lingfield and Warwick. I loved the way she knuckled down to finish second on Sunday, having looked to be on the retreat from two out.

She bumped into a well-backed, progressive winner there, with fellow market leaders in third and fourth, and I'd be all over her (the Sportsbook are 10/1, and she is even bigger elsewhere) if I knew she'd turn around quickly for Newbury as she remains a nicely handicapped mare off 123.

But I don't, so no bet.

Newbury fence 1280x720.956x538.jpg

If you shop around, this handicap is currently 8/1 the field and they may even get a maximum field of 18 on the day (with enhanced place terms), so you are probably better off waiting regardless.

Inneston a worthy favourite

There are 31 in the opening 2m3f novices' handicap hurdle , so you would have to expect a full field of 16 on Saturday. Again that means similar odds and better place terms come the weekend (the Sportsbook are the only firm currently betting on the race and they offer three places as it stands).

You need a compelling reason to get stuck in here now, though it was no surprise to see Inneston heading the Sportsbook betting at around 6/1 (alongside Accidental Rebel) after he broke a few hearts at Sandown last time, finishing second after trading at 1.192/11 in-running.

He was raised 7lb for that though, to add official insult to punting injury.

The other ITV race at Newbury is the 2m3f187yd handicap chase at 14:05, which has attracted 20 entries, and all bookmakers are betting to three places. It is not a race I am punting in, so let's move up to Kelso and hope that the four ITV contests there yield an ante-post bet.

No dice at Kelso for now

In the 13:50, We'll Go Again caught the eye at Sedgefield last time, when certainly not persevered with in a first-time tongue-tie after disappointing when made favourite at Catterick previously. The handicapper saw it too, and refused to drop him even a pound for being beaten 34 lengths.

I wasn't in the least surprised to see him nibbled from 20s to 12s on Tuesday morning, though.

I was eagerly waiting on the prices to come through for the 3m2f handicap hurdle at 14:25 on Monday afternoon - well, I was waiting anyway - as surely Party Business, pulled out because of the heavy ground at Uttoxeter on Saturday, is now handicapped to go close again.

However, I was expecting much bigger than 6/1 about a horse beaten 20 and 26 lengths in his two starts this season, for all he is now just 5lb higher than for his Aintree win last April. And maybe Liverpool is the D-Day plan again for him, too.

The Sportsbook are expecting the 14-strong 2m handicap hurdle at 15:00 to cut up as they are betting two places on the race (as is the case for the 15:35, as well) but that is largely irrelevant anyway as nothing stood out at all at the prices.

In fact, at the time of filing, the Sportsbook, along with their sister company, are alone in pricing up some of these weekend races.

Fair play to them but I couldn't find a bet anywhere and I am never one to force a selection.

It's an oft-trotted out phrase, but the most important weapon a punter has in their armoury is to walk away and say no dice, and tipsters should always do a Kevin Pullen if they are not betting themselves, anyway.

Right, I am off to look at the Meydan card for Saturday, because a certain Betfair Ambassador Ryan Moore column returns this week, so a rare bit of Dubai prep for me before I call him.

Back later in the week for the Saturday bets.

Profit and Loss (from March 26)

Staked: 394 Returns: 572 P/L: +178 Previous (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022) P/L: + 183.1 All exchange bets are settled at Betfair SP for sake of fairness

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