Horse Racing Tips

Saturday Racing Tips: Kate Tracey thinks you're a Braveman to back against Senor

Kate Tracey thinks Ahoy Senor can uphold his Aintree win against Bravemansgame

It's the return of the jumps properly on Saturday and Kate Tracey has taken a look at the action at Wetherby and Ascot where she has plenty of plays including a strong opinion in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase...

  • Five selections from our tipster this Saturday
  • Ahoy Senor can confirm his superiority over Bravemansgame in the Charlie Hall
  • Tea Clipper can put his fitness to good use at Ascot

Williams to return with a bang at Ascot

The jumps is well and truly back where there is an entire national hunt takeover on terrestrial television on Saturday. The idea of assessing Ascot handicap chases is once again fuelling my anticipation for the not-so-gloomy winter months ahead.

The first race I've taken a look at therefore, is the Byrne Group Handicap Chase over 2m167y at 14:40. This contest is now recognised as a 'Premier Handicap' with the new naming system on full display at Ascot this weekend.

This is a wide-open contest as expected but I'm keen to take on the current market leader, Before Midnight at his current price of 5.04/1. I'm siding with two against Sam Thomas's representative starting with Frero Banbou.

This gelding will be one of Venetia Williams's first runners for a while on Saturday so I'm hoping he will still take his chance even if the ground is on the sounder side.

I think this seven-year-old has plenty more to offer still off this mark of 142 as he continues to strengthen and improve. He was well beaten in this race last year when sent off as favourite and could only finish fourth but promoted to third, beaten 19l, due to the disqualification of Amoola Gold who was first past the post.

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This race was a huge shock to his system last year where he jumped off handy in what was a messy race for those up with the pace and he ended up dropping away and becoming detached. His jumping simply couldn't withstand the frenetic gallop and he was given a very smart ride by Charlie Deutsch once it was apparent his chance of winning had gone.

It was quite remarkable, even with the unseat of Editeur Du Gite, that he finished fourth past the post rather than pulling up. He was able to reap the rewards for being looked after that day throughout the remainder of the season.

Frero Banbou bounced back to better form in his subsequent outings last season. He gained a decisive win at Lingfield in January in deep ground which are certainly conditions we know runners from this yard excel in.

I'm hoping that if the conditions are too quick, Williams will make the correct call and elect to save him for another day rather than running him on unsuitable ground.

There looks to be plenty more mileage off this mark which remains the same as when posting a disappointing effort on his final start of last season when never travelling at Aintree but a freshen up should see him in a better light.

The other runner I like in this race is the outsider of the field, Daly Tiger at 21.020/1 who makes his stable debut for Laura Morgan who is a trainer, I along with many others, have an awful lot of time for.

Now a nine-year-old, Daly Tiger had previously sported the maroon and white Gigginstown silks when trained by Noel Meade. He was purchased for £40,000 which is potentially a smart bit of business for new connections.

It has become a cliché in itself nowadays that Laura Morgan can revitalise new recruits no matter what level they were running at before which will be the hope again with this gelding.

He was last seen finishing down the field in the Galway Plate, a run for which he was dropped 4lb by the handicapper. This mark of 150 is very feasible for him to overcome provided the switch of yards has refreshed him.

Side with two in Premier Handicap Chase

The following race at Ascot is another compelling Premier Handicap Chase, this time in the form of the Bateaux London Gold Cup over 3m at 15:15.

There are plenty of runners in this contest who will have further targets down the line but this is still, a very valuable pot to try and pick up. One horse who is undoubtedly being aimed at this race is the 14, rising 15-year-old Regal Encore who may well be having his final hurrah in his favourite race.

Anthony Honeyball's stalwart won this contest in 2020 and finished third in it last year and you can bet he has been primed to perfection for another tilt. I hope the veteran goes well because nothing else would quite sound the return of the jumps than a story like that.

However, thinking with my tipping hat on again and putting sentiment to one side, I'm chancing two who I think are both fair prices.

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The first being Tea Clipper who should be spot on for this race on the back of his second last time out at Chepstow. He bumped into Peregrine Run on that latest outing who made the most of his fitness in a British handicap.

Tom Lacey's talented performer ran a solid race where he was only narrowly denied and has incurred a 3lb rise for his efforts.

He finished fourth in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival off this mark of 145 and again, ran a similar race when signing off last season with another fourth at Aintree in a Grade 3 Handicap Chase.

Tea Clipper is fit, consistent and is a solid play at 7.06/1.

I cannot resist the price about Up The Straight at 21.020/1 as the outsider of the field.

He may not have the class of many of his rivals here but he does remain well treated all the same and again, ticks plenty of boxes.

He too, comes into this race on the back of a fair reappearance run when second at Fontwell last time out. I can understand the market dismissing him here by the fact it was merely a three-runner handicap chase run on good ground at Fontwell however, it is dangerous to make such a sweeping judgment.

He bumped into a revitalised Milton Harris horse on that latest occasion who collared him on the run in after he idled when hitting the front too soon.

He was able to sign off last season when a gutsy win in a Class 2 Novices' Handicap Chase at Sandown in April where he fended off a good field of classy types.

Jacamar finished second and had already had a very solid campaign, winning twice and running plenty of fair races. Beakstown was in third who looked the winner three out in the Grade 2 Old Roan Chase on his reappearance. Flic Ou Voyou was the beaten favourite and won on his seasonal debut in impressive style. Presentandcounting finished sixth that day and has since won four times.

The form of his Sandown success is strong so off just a 5lb higher mark here and this step up in trip likely to suit, he must be given respect.

You'd have to be a Braveman to let Ahoy Senor go unbacked

The final race I'm taking aim at is the feature on Saturday in the form of the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase over 3m at Wetherby at 15:35. .

We get the big clash between Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor Mark.4. Again, this is what the national hunt game is all about, rivalries such as these and divisions of opinion on who will come out on top this time.

The pair first met at the Grand National meeting 2021 at Aintree in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle where Bravemansgame was the hot pot but, lo and behold, a future star should appear on the scene at 66/1 in the form of Ahoy Senor who romped to victory.

There was much debate as to whether that was a fluke of a success, given his big price and was it perhaps too good to be true, given his demolition job.

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The racing world held its breath to see what the big, scopey son of Dylan Thomas could do over a fence. Eventually, he got his desired ground and was sent to the highly regarded by all, Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle. A race which often showcases the best of the new British talent to the chasing ranks.

Despite unseating, Ahoy Senor displayed plenty to put to rest any doubts that he was a talented horse. That was again showcased at Newbury where he trounced three rivals. Each of which admittedly, had some sort of significant question to have to answer but weren't in the same stratosphere as Ahoy Senor.

The rematch was on between Paul Nicholls's unbeaten chaser and Lucinda Russell's rough diamond at Kempton. Bravemansgame jumped Kempton's fences beautifully, showing a real brain far advanced of most novice chasers. Unlike Ahoy Senor who despite being sent on by Derek Fox, could never establish any sort of rhythm.

He hit fence after fence and showed just what an engine he possesses to even finish second despite taking half the birch around with him.

It was round three at Aintree where Bravemansgame was well-backed to uphold his Kempton form against Ahoy Senor but that was reversed in no uncertain terms. Finally, the true brilliance of Ahoy Senor came together perfectly on that day where no rival could even begin to land a blow. He had been a work in progress throughout his season and all came right back at Aintree.

Despite Ahoy Senor's tendency to jump to his right, he goes so well at lefthanded tracks. The theory behind this is that lefthanded tracks allow him the space to his right to set his own stride correctly so he meets his fences spot on.

Whereas if he was to go to a righthanded track, he doesn't have the luxury of any room on his inside to adjust his stride hence why he can uproot an obstacle.

Therefore, this lefthanded track at Wetherby should once again play to all Ahoy Senor's strengths and the scariest part is, Aintree left the feeling we were only just seeing the extent of his true brilliance. There should be a lot more to come from Ahoy Senor and he can confirm placings with his old rival in a truly brilliant match-up.

Recommended bets

Kate's P/L

Staked: 5pts Returns: +2pts Overall: -3pts


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