ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Saturday Racing Tips: Jetz can handle step up in trip at Thurles

Irish race horses jump a fence
Tony is backing Jetz at Thurles on Saturday

"Jetz is better known as a chaser, having finished third in a Drinmore, but he ran well enough when put back to hurdles when second over 2m2f at Leopardstown last time and the step up in trip will not be an issue."

Racing is still going ahead in Ireland and Tony Calvin is here to talk us through the card at Thurles on Saturday. Can our man find a bet to recommend?

I'm not sure how long it will last - or indeed whether it should even be taking place in the current climate - but Irish racing continues behind closed doors and ITV4 are showing five races from Thurles on Saturday.

I'd be lying if I said Irish National Hunt racing was my specialist subject, but I keep my eye in for my work on Racing TV - I turned down the opportunity to tip on the all-weather at Dundalk on Friday, as that is definitely not my bag - so hopefully we can hold our own on the tipping front.

Arthurian Flame the obvious alternative to top two

I don't think there is that much to hold though, unfortunately. The first betting I saw for the 2m maiden hurdle at 13:40 had Politesse installed as the evens favourite, Fakiera at 11/8, Arthurian Flame at 5/1 and 12s and bigger the rest.

So a good each-way shape, shall we say.

I don't think anyone is going to take issue with the position of the top two in the market, as Politesse has looked a fair tool in bumpers, winning here last time, and Fakiera is probably the hurdling form choice on his brace of seconds.

But it's not a straight match, as Arthurian Fame is a big player if putting a poor display over 2m3f at Clonmel last month behind him.

Presumably something was amiss there as the trip alone in heavy ground was not enough to explain away that effort - he was a good middle-distance horse on the Flat, rated as high as 100 in that sphere last year - and if he comes back to the form of his debut second at Cork in particular then he could be a major player.

As the betting suggests, he is the obvious each-way alternative to the top two, but this is probably a race best left alone given that lack-lustre performance last time.

Jetz looks a fair price

The 14:10 looks a pretty nasty 2m6f conditions hurdle and it comes as no surprise that it is 3/1 the field if you shop around.

The obvious, in-form horses are priced accordingly, but there are some in here, such as Cartwright, who could play a leading role should they deign to recapture something like their best.

As ever, I am led by price and Jetz looked a very fair price at 5/1 each way with the Betfair Sportsbook, however trappy the race is.

Unfortunately someone else thought so too, as just before I went to file that as a tip just before 3pm, the price changed to 15/4.

He is better known as a chaser, having finished third in a Drinmore, but he ran well enough when put back to hurdles when second over 2m2f at Leopardstown last time and the step up in trip will not be an issue.

With the 5s disappearing I was going to sulk and advise no bet, but he is probably still a minimum stakes win-only punt at 5.04/1 or bigger still, on a very quiet day of betting.

There seems to be very little pace in the 2m6f handicap hurdle at 14:40 and it is pretty modest fare too, being a 0-95.

Goulane Jessie, runner-up at Fairyhouse last time, is the obvious jolly in a race where solid recent form is at a premium but Railway Tommy caught my eye at 33/1+.

He is getting on a bit as a 12yo and is not in the best of nick - and the trainer hasn't had a winner in donkeys' years - but he has tumbled down the weights from a career-high of 119 in 2015 down to his current lowly mark of 84 and he didn't run that badly (in the context of this race) when fifth over 3m at Clonmel last time, for which he was dropped another 3lb.


Given the lack of pace in here, I wonder whether they will try to go from the front with him - he has forced it in the past - but the more I looked at the race the more I kept thinking "swerve this and move on."

I may have a little nibble on Railway Tommy myself nearer the off, but it's a real speculative punt, and probably not worthy of a tipping recommendation.

Highlight of the card yields no bet

The 2m2f novices' chase at 15:10 is the class highlight of the card but unfortunately I couldn't get a bet out of it and the 2m4f handicap chase at 15:40 is much more of my betting bag.

Or so I thought.

Wishmoor was in Saturday's abandoned veterans' chase final at Newbury and he has a fair shout in this after a fair second at Navan last time but the one I probably liked most was Crazyheart at 9/1+.

He has a 6lb pull for the two-and-three-quarter he was beaten by Kavanaghs Corner over 2m5f here last time and has more of a solid profile than most, but I would be lying if I said he was an outstanding bet, so I can't recommend him.

So just Jetz at 4s win-only for me on Saturday, and a low-stakes bet at that, too.

Good luck

Recommended bets

New on Betting.Betfair – Betslip

You can now bet without leaving Betting.Betfair with our brand new on-site betslip for Exchange markets. You'll see the Exchange back and lay prices at the end of articles - simply login and place your bets as you would do on the main Exchange site


New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £40 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

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