Saturday Racing Tips: Mack might just be the Man to stop Malaya

Aintree fence
Tony has a sweet tip for the Beecher Chase at Aintree

There's some top class racing on ITV on Saturday including the Grade 1 Betfair Tingle Creek Chase. Tony Calvin goes through the feature races and provides his betting tips...

"However, I think the chance is worth taking as I thought he won with a ton in hand at Warwick, despite looking a bit awkward, and hopefully a 7lb rise won't stop him here."

Back Mack The Man at 7.06/1 or bigger in 14:25 at Sandown

All eight in for Betfair Tingle Creek

It's a rarity for all five-day entries to stand their ground, but that is just what has happened in the Betfair Tingle Creek at 15:00.

Hopefully, the dead eight all get to the Sandown start-line on Saturday afternoon now, for all of the each-way wagon shunters - that reminds me, I haven't seen "The Couch" for ages - out there.

As you would expect, the favourite Defi Du Seuil has drifted out to around the 15/8 mark on the exchange now, and that looks perfectly fair.

He clearly has a fair bit to find with the 2016 winner (and last year's runner-up) Un De Sceaux and company, but the 6yo is the up-and-comer, all right.

His JLT defeat of Lostintranslation last season looks ever-stronger and he was impressive in beating Politologue in the Shloer on his reappearance, for all he was getting 3lb and "only" won by 1 ¼-lengths.

Defi Du Seui Lost In transaltion 1280 .jpg

To be honest with you, even with the eight in here, it doesn't get me excited from a betting point of view - favourite backers may also want to note that the Philip Hobbs yard was not exactly firing on all cylinders going into Friday's racing - and a lot could ride on how much more rain Sandown get from Friday afternoon into Saturday afternoon, if any.

So a great race in prospect, but no bet for me.

The same also applies to the seven-runner Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices' Chase at 13:50.

Paul Nicholls bids for a fifth win in the race in the last nine years with Grand Sancy but this looks a really trappy heat to call. I don't have a betting opinion, so I'm more than happy to pass on it.

Malaya will be tough to beat but Mack might just be the Man

The early 12s and 10s about Malaya in the 2m handicap hurdle at 14:25 are but a distant memory, and those who want to get with the Nicholls mare now have to take around 9/2.

She really does have an obvious chance, being just 4lb higher than when beating Monsieur Le Coq in the Imperial Cup over course and distance last season - the runner-up was clearly a very well handicapped horse that day - and that was despite a momentum-stopper 2 out.

She clearly didn't pull up any trees on her return to hurdles at Ascot last time, but it appears she suffered a nasty cut over fences at Market Rasen previously and "had 10 days on the easy list" afterwards, so maybe that run last time was much-needed.

If it was, expect her to go very close here.

The dilemma is, as should always be the case, all about her price now. The way I may play her is to make sure I don't lose if she wins - so, basically have a saver on her - but I have to look elsewhere for my main bet in the race.

I have finally given up on my 2019 Man Of Plenty mission - you know what happens next - so I am going to suggest a small bet on Mack The Man at 7.06/1 or bigger.

There is little doubt in my mind that he is the biggest potential improver in the field, given his profile, but there is a nagging doubt as to whether the 5yo is man enough for the job for this test over a stiff 2m in testing conditions. He certainly didn't look anywhere like the finished article last time.

However, I think the chance is worth taking as I thought he won with a ton in hand at Warwick, despite looking a bit awkward, and hopefully a 7lb rise won't stop him here.

Malaya might, though.

Santos can go one better than last year

Shanroe Santos is getting some of my cash at 13.012/1 or bigger in the Betfair London National at 15:35. He was beaten 14 lengths when a 3/1 favourite in this race last year but hopefully he gets a lot closer here.

He is 5lb lower, which helps, and I thought he shaped like a horse who needed it pretty badly on his return at Fontwell last month - he looked like being tailed off at one point - which was also his first run after a wind op.

He came on a good deal for his reappearance run when winning by 5 lengths at Fontwell last season (off the same mark as this) and Brian Hughes is back on board for the first time since winning on the dour stayer at Carlisle in February 2018 on heavy ground.

Candy can make lite of Beecher rivals

First up on ITV at Aintree is the Becher Chase at 13:30, where a lot of the established old boys (and two past winners) take on two 7yos of note in Mulcahys Hill and Kimberlite Candy.

I reckon both are set to run big races but the latter interests me most and is worth a modest bet, in admittedly a hugely competitive 18-runner handicap, at 11.010/1 or bigger.

I won't be going mad on the stakes front but he is undeniably interesting.

He was also in the Grand Sefton at the five-day stage but it appears the plan was always go to down this route, and that is not surprising for a horse who is a half-brother to a 3m5f Warwick Classic Chase winner in Hawkes Point and who went off at 5/1 for the 4m Eider back in February (and 4-1 for the Tommy Whittle).

He ran well enough in fifth at Newcastle but his trainer is of the opinion that extreme stamina test came too early for his charge, and his youngster could be a different proposition 10 months on.

He was dropped 2lb for that Eider run and he previously shaped really well off this mark when third to Classic Ben over 3m at Sandown - with the Badger Ales winner Give Me A Copper 10 lengths away in fourth - where it looked as if this extra 2f wouldn't go amiss.

He certainly finished off his race powerfully when winning over 3m in heavy ground at Ayr on his reappearance last season, and his record suggests he goes very well when fresh, and he won't mind the forecast Friday rain turning the ground soft.

Although Tom Lacey doesn't have a great record when applying first-time cheek pieces (1 from 8 since 2017), the headgear could help his horse progress - he has sometimes looked a bit awkward, too - and the trainer himself has had three recent winners, too, including at Sandown on Friday.

Throw it all into the mix, and he is worth a little nibble.

A flyer taken on Berbas at a big price

Nothing doing for me in the fillies' juvenile hurdle at 14:05 and the four-runner Many Clouds Chase at 14:40 featuring Native River, Might Bite and Black Corton is your classic watch-only race.

The Grand Sefton at 15:15 is most definitely a betting heat though, and my 16/1 each way ante-post selection from Tuesday, Kayf Adventure, has thankfully got to the race and will at least give me a run for my money.

Flying Angel is the right favourite and Killaro Boy looks solid enough at around 9/1 - and I can fully see the case for Wishfull Dreaming and Federici at bigger prices, too - but I am going to take a flier on what appears to be the worst handicapped horse in the race.

Step forward Gwencily Berbas at 25/1 each way, four places, with the Betfair Sportsbook.

It is a strange old world where Little Rory Mac can get dropped 2lb for a Warwick run where his rider got 10 days, and the UK handicapper saddles my selection with 8lb more than his Irish chase mark after not being sighted by the judge in his last three starts.

Aintree - Fences - 1280.jpg

Quite what the reasoning was in both cases I am not so sure, but perhaps a handicap mark is not as important around the Grand National fences as elsewhere, and I am hoping Gwencily Berbas takes to them.

If he does, then he could just outrun his odds.

He was a 151-rated hurdler at his peak in Ireland a few years ago, when he won a Grade 2 novice under today's jockey in 2015, and his recent chase starts have given a hint that he could still retain enough ability to be competitive off his inflated UK mark of 133 (he is 125 in Ireland).

He was brought down on the flat last time but it is his earlier fourth in the Munster National that interests me most.

Sure, he was beaten 25 lengths in the end but he ran a lot better than that margin of defeat suggests before his stamina over 3m ran out, and the step back in trip (he has won over 3m1f but his best efforts have come over 2m and 2m4f) on ground he will relish is a big plus in my book.

He is worth a go at the odds. Best of luck.

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