Horse Racing Tips

Horse Racing Tips: Weekend bets from the Racing Only...Bettor team

Yana Enki
Tony Calvin believes Yana Enki will be tough to beat at Taunton

"I can definitely see Yana Enki winning. He won it last year but this year he’s coming from a two-week turnaround. He’s still very much the best horse in the race." Tony Calvin

Get the top betting tips from our Racing Only...Bettor podcast experts on a weekend that looks like delivering some fascinating encounters...

As we head into the penultimate weekend of racing in January, Ascot, Haydock, Taunton and Thurles are all put under the microscope by our racing experts, featuring the Clarence House and Peter Marsh Chase.

Host Hugh Cahill was joined by Tony Calvin, Kevin Blake & Dan Barber on the Racing Only..Bettor Podcast to discuss another quality weekend of racing.

Below is a summary of their best bets but listen to the show to find out more.

Outright Bets

Ascot, Saturday

13:15 Matchbook Betting Podcast Mares' Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m7f

Dan: Magic Of Light looks as good as ever at Newbury, and she'll have another good crack at it but she meets a formable opponent in Roksana this time. She's much more of a hurdler than Magic Of Light.

Kevin: Roksana looks as good as ever this year. This represents a nice drop in class and she should come out on top here.

13:50 Matchbook Better Way To Bet Holloway's Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m3f

Kevin: I K Brunel's drop in trip is a good factor here. He's previously won over 3m, but this seems to be the right trip for him. It's worth noting Olly Murphy has been firing in the winners for a while now.

Tony: Janika runs off a mark of 147, 13lb lower over hurdles, and so his handicap mark is there to exploit, if he's ready. He's had a wind op and it's worth noting he won over course and distance in 2018.

Another I like is I K Brunel. He travelled well last time out before fading but his best efforts have come on soft ground.

Dan: Janika is absolutely lurking off 147. The wind op, the Ascot factor and his connections say he's fit and ready to do. It's a tricky race, but plenty to like here.

15:00 bet365 Handicap Chase 2m5f

Dan: I like Acting Lass here. He's previously won this race in 2018 and he's recently had a wind op. Off a mark of 149, it's definitely of interest. Harry Fry's stable has also been in better heart of late.

Tony: Domaine De L'Isle won this last year, and the 20/1 price has unsurprisingly gone in to 10/1. He's back on the same mark when beating Benny's King last year. What is interesting to note is that Sean Curran has added blinkers, and four out of seven winners he's had on the flat of late have won in blinkers. The shedload of pace will play into his hands here.

Kevin: I fancy Jerrysback. We haven't seen him in over a year but he just needs to put things together. He's had two spins at Ascot and has gone very well before. He stays three miles, and the drop back might suit him in these conditions. Any market support is worth noting.

15:35 Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) 2m

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Tony: When Politologue gets to the front he's very hard to pass. If he does this, the 11/8 will be odds on very quickly in running. He stays a lot further than this, and the ground with play into his favour.

Dan: Defi Du Seuil flopped in the Champion Chase and I have too many worries about him at the moment. There's one horse which doesn't have anything to prove in Politologue. His run at Sandown was cracking and we've never seen him better. If he does what he does the last twice that's enough.

Kevin: Defi Du Seuil is priced up temptingly. He's the best horse in the race for me. You have to forgive his last run, early signs weren't good - he often makes a mess of the first and overjumps. His connections have been making plenty of positive noises around him at the moment. It's a tricky race, but a tempting price nevertheless. Gun to my head, it's Defi De Seuil for me.

Haydock, Saturday

13:30 Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) 1m7f

Kevin: It's Nada To Prada for me. She may need further than this but it'll be really testing if they are to race at Haydock this weekend. This mare is proven to like this ground and course. She may need further but with this ground it will ride a bit further and play into her favour.

Dan: The favourite, Llandinabo Lad, is a hard horse to beat here. There's plenty of last time out winners in this field but the favourite will be too strong.

14:40 Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (Grade 2) 3m1f

Tony: Royale Pagaille is the right favourite here after a very impressive at Kempton last time out. Both second and third that day have performed well since, but at a short price I can't get involved.

Kevin: I might take the chance with Sam Brown. His jumping last season was quite inconsistent, and his final start was disappointing but his comeback at Carlisle was a lot to like - good round of jumping over fences, freshened up (12 weeks) with tongue tie now on. At the prices I'm inclined to take him.

Dan: It's not often you see a horse go up 16lbs and you think it's still a good bet in Royale Pagaille. He did something breath taking at Kempton last time out to me. It looked a serious piece of form. He's come back looking a completely different horse since his return to action.

15:15 The Champion Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) 1m7f

Buveur D'Air 956.jpg

Dan: Buveur D'Air at 70-80% would take care of Ballyandy. This is one for the purists, and then we can discuss him in the Champion Hurdle if he wins this.

Tony: If you listen to Nicky Henderson last time out you'd be backing him, but I think they will be happy with any win on the board here. Do you really want to take 4/7 on this ground? He has won on this kind of ground but they aren't going to bottom the horse in this kind of race.

Taunton, Saturday

14:10 Weatherby's Portman Cup Chase (Class 2) 3m4f

Dan: It's a quick turnaround for Yana Enki, and a different way round. The Mighty Don might outrun his price, and is an out and out stayer. He might find 5/6lbs in improvement. Each way without the favourite might be the play here.

Tony: I can definitely see Yana Enki winning. He won it last year but this year he's coming from a two-week turnaround. He's still very much the best horse in the race. If The Cap Fits step up trip works then he can have a say but there was nothing to like about his last run.

Thurles, Sunday

13:30 Irish EBF Mares Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f

Kevin: Colreevy won the Grade 1 Limerick over the Christmas period and that was a very hearty performance. She seems to be relaxing better over fences and will take a fair bit of beating.

Tony: Colreevy's price won't surprise anyone. She did really well to bounce back from a bad mistake two out last time out but is the one to beat in the field.

14:00 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f

Tony: Balco Des Flos was 100/1 last time out and having backed him, I was half excited about four furlongs out before fading. I saw enough last time out to suggest something is there. The step down in trip will suit. If I can get 20/1 plus I might back him, as well as without Allaho.

Kevin: Battleoverdoyen was disappointing last time out but previously won well at Down Royal, beating the likes of Samcro. Mid-range trips may suit Alloha better and I can see why he's favourite, but it's too short to back.

15:00 W.T. O'Grady Memorial Irish EBF Novice Hurdle 2m7f

Kevin: There was a fair bit of buzz about Gentlemansgame last time out. He looks very talented and you have to like the style he did it, especially with his time on the clock. I don't like the substantial step up in trip. He didn't look slow over two miles, and he's won a point to point, but just shy over three miles is a big step up in trip.

Tony: I loved Gentlemansgame when he won last time out. I wasn't expecting the step up in trip, as he won in a good time last time out but even with the stamina doubt, he should be the favourite here.

Recommended bets

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.