Saturday Racing Tips: Greatrex recruit can provide a Tranquil afternoon of betting

Can Warren Greatrex get a win from Tranquil Sea on Saturday?
Can Warren Greatrex get a win from Tranquil Sea on Saturday?

Tony Calvin goes in search of more big price winners on a exciting day's racing on Saturday, but he is avoiding the ultra-competitive Welsh National this time around. Ready Tony's excellent views here...

Recommended Bets

Back Tranquil Sea @ 12.011/1 or better - Chepstow 15:10

Back Restless Harry @ 10.09/1 or better - Newbury 15:15


I was just settling down to write this column when Timeform's excellent Dan Barber, an opinionated and refreshingly bullshit-free zone, popped up on ATR analysing the weekend's big races.

So, naturally, I tuned in to try and nick some of his wisdom and pass it off as my own here.

And what was really illuminating is that he appeared to give half the field fair claims in the Welsh National at Chepstow.

But this was none of the usual bland "give them all a chance" analysis that you occasionally get from an all-weather pundit on that channel. It was well-reasoned common sense.

And it hammered home to me just what an absolute minefield this race is for backers, and why I am happy to give it a betting swerve.

If you missed Barber's chat with "Yee-hohoho" Matt Chapman, the Timeform man rated the chances of Merry King, Teaforthree and Vintage Star among others, while acknowledging that Tidal Bay has also been given a huge chance by the handicapper.

Throw in the fact that you also have to give Well Refreshed a favourite's chance and the red-hot Paul Nicholls expects a very decent show from Hawkes Point as well as his top weight, and my short-list was in danger of including half of the 20-runner field.

I know most people feel obliged to bet in any race with National in the title - and if pressed I would side with last season's runner-up Teaforthree - but "if in doubt, move on" is my motto.

Elsewhere on the Chepstow card, the Juvenile Hurdle is a very interesting race but doesn't have a good betting shape to my eye, though one of the other two races there on Channel 4 does.


15:10 Chepstow - Tranquil Sea

I am going to give Tranquil Sea a chance on his first start for Warren Greatrex in the 15:10.

Greatrex is enjoying a great season with 22 winners at a superb strike rate of around 22%, and he could have inherited a ridiculously well-handicapped horse from Edward O'Grady in Tranquil Sea.

Obviously, he is no longer the Grade 1 performer he was in his pomp - he won the John Durkan in 2010 - but a mark of 139 seriously underplays his raw talent. And it isn't just ability from the dim and distant past either.

Indeed, he races off a 5lb lower mark than when second of 15 at Punchestown just three starts ago, conditions should suit here, and it worth taking a chance that Greatrex has freshened him up.

Back him at odds of 12.011/1 or bigger, and it wouldn't surprise me were he significantly backed, as a few of the stable's runner have been this season.

I am not having another bet at Chepstow but Awaywiththegreys came close to being a selection in the 13:30.

If you are watching RTE in Ireland on Saturday then I detect a lot of stable confidence in Unioniste in the Lexus, though he needs to improve well over a stone if the big guns turn up with their A game.


13:15 Newbury - Restless Harry

No, for my other bet I go to Newbury and Restless Harry in the 13:15, and he has a lot going for him.
Firstly, it is the fact that he goes so well at Newbury.

In just three starts at the track, he split Reve De Sivola and Finian's Rainbow in the 2009 Challow, finished third to Big Buck's in the rescheduled Long Walk in 2010, and then won a graduation chase by 11 lengths last December.

He clearly hasn't gone on from there but as a result he now races off a very attractive chase mark of 122 - I am staggered that he has come down the weights so quickly to be honest - and there was definitely more promise in his midfield effort in a very competitive Fixed Brush Hurdles at Haydock last time.

Back over fences on a very tempting mark on his favourite track, he is definitely worth support at odds of 109/1 or better.


Recommended Bets

Back Tranquil Sea @ 12.011/1 or better - Chepstow 15:10
Back Restless Harry @ 10.09/1 or better - Newbury 15:15


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