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

Shishkin is heavily fancied to prevail at Doncaster

"Shishkin doesn't look to have a serious rival to compete with. He has the potential to be one of the best horses around." Kevin Blake

With Cheltenham called off, our attention turns to Doncaster and Ireland, where the Racing Only...Bettor team provide us with their best weekend tips.

Despite a waterlogged track putting a hold on racing at Cheltenham, Doncaster is full steam ahead, as well racing over in Ireland.

Host Hugh Cahill was joined by Tony Calvin, Kevin Blake & Dan Barber on the Racing Only..Bettor Podcast to discuss the racing in more detail.

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

Outright Bets

Doncaster, Saturday

13:40 Novices' Chase (Grade 2) 2m½f

Kevin: Shishkin doesn't look to have a serious rival to compete with. He has the potential to be one of the best horses around. It's going to be a very straight forward spin around for him. We'll have to keep an eye on his jumping, mind you.

Tony: Betting without the favourite will be a popular market. The ground will be churned up and I like Fast Buck. He suffered a narrow handicap defeat last time out over course and distance, which gives him a chance without Shishkin.

Dan: Shishkin is the best horse in training if you ask me. The style he won in last year's Supreme Novices' Hurdle, edging out over Abracadabra when falling behind two out to have enough to come back and win was special. He's been very quick on the clock and it's all about getting him racing before the Festival.

2:10 Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle (Class 1) 2m½f

Kevin: The ground for Floressa isn't ideal, but it is fascinating that Nico de Boinville has chosen to ride her over Marie's Rock. Marie's Rock did plenty wrong before being messed about - she ran free and didn't jump well. Nico abandons, so I'm going with Miranda. Has been running in handicap hurdles of late but will enjoy the long stamina test and her form is right up there with the others. If she runs to her mark she will be bang there.

Tony: Floressa's one poor run was on soft ground, which is what she's getting on Saturday. But arguably there's more disappointment in Marie's Rock last run. She's had a wind op since, and the tongue tie is on for the first time. But was very impressive at Taunton last year. However, I've backed Irish Roe. Her best form has come over course and distance and she's a strong traveler when on song.

Dan: I'm going for Marie's Rock. I understand the negatives but the tongue strap and hood should help out this time round. She was hampered twice on her last run, so I can forgive her for that. She does need to settle better, but if it becomes a speed test, this is ideal for her. Marie's Rock has done it at Haydock on poor ground and she's worth chancing after just one poor run.

14:45 The Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle 3m½f


Dan: Ask A Honey Bee wants a thorough stamina test and this race should provide exactly that. Her Cheltenham run can be forgiven, due to the slow pace of the race. He's had a break now after a pretty jam-packed schedule. Flash Collenges is another I like, so I'd be going these two against the field.

Kevin: Fern Hill for me. His last two wins have come at Wetherby and both have impressed me and he's been stepping up in trip. He's a straight forward ride, and he won't be looking to lead in order to claim this. He will relish the conditions.

15:20 Handicap Chase (Class 1) 3m

Give Me A Copper.jpg

Tony: I tipped up Musical Slave earlier in the week and I'm sticking with him. The ground, which will be testing, plays into his favour. He finished third at Newbury last time out and that was remarkable, considering he belted the first and a few others, and was still in with a chance at the last when he bundled over that as well. Off a mark of 137, it could prove to be a gift. He needs to jump a lot better but the extra trip and slower ground could really play into his hands.

Dan: This is a quality race, I've got to say. But I'm the same as Tony here and I'm backing Musical Slave. I get the sense we haven't seen his big run yet which he clearly has the potential in him. He looks the 145 chaser in the making and it's a case of when he shows us the big run, not if.

Kevin: Give Me A Copper is my selection. This horse has a big old reputation. He hasn't always delivered but his comeback over course and distance six weeks ago was rather pleasing, especially after a year off. He should come on from that run and only off a three-pound higher marker he is the one for me.

Naas, Sunday

13:15 Limestone Lad Hurdle (Grade 3) 1m7f

Kevin: Bachasson should be favourite for me at these weights. He's stepping back to less than two miles for the first time in a while. His record over this distance is strong and if he's given a positive ride he's a rock solid selection.

Fairyhouse, Sunday

13:58 Mares Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m2f

Kevin: This is a proper good race. Gauloise has already beaten Mighty Blue and is a few pounds better off here, but her jumping is still getting there, and it seems a big ask still to reverse that form. Royal Khahala, as the betting suggests, will be Gauloise's main rival, and her last performance at Fairyhouse was very impressive.

Dan: Royal Kahala does set the standard on her last run but Gauloise looks to be an absolute natural. She won by over three lengths in her last race but it didn't tell the whole story and it could have been plenty more. I think Gauloise is potentially very, very good.

Tony: The one which caught my eye was La Chanteuse. She beat a Mullins odds-on favourite last time out on heavy ground, which is what it will be if the racing goes ahead.

Recommended bets

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