ITV Races - Tony Calvin

Saturday Racing Tips: Tony Calvin feels positive about Current Mood at 11/1

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
TC is backing four more at Newbury

Tony Calvin discusses his plans for Betfair Fighting Fifth day at Newcastle and recommends four to back at Newbury...

  • Constitution Hill can hit heights in Betfair Fighting Fifth

  • Favourite worth opposing in Betfair Exchange Rehearsal

  • Current Mood cannot go unbacked

  • Three more bets at Newbury

  • Read and follow our daily World Cup Live Blog

  • Sign up for our World Cup Newsletter here

Thank god Constitution Hill is running in Newcastle's Grade 1 Betfair Fighting Fifth at 14:10.

No, it isn't because I am salivating at the prospect of watching racing's next big superstar, it is because I don't have to tip Not So Sleepy again now.

Not So Sleepy can follow home Constitution Hill

Joking aside, I genuinely do hope that Nicky Henderson's Supreme Hurdle winner (pictured below) does something special again here. And I do actually give Not So Sleepy a fair chance of following him home.

He would have beaten fellow dead-heater Epatante outright in this race last season had he jumped either of the last two flights with more aplomb, and he is probably the call in the Without Favourite market after an excellent third in the Cesarewitch, but I can leave the race alone on such a busy Saturday.

If you can get any 3/1 or bigger without Constitution Hill - the Sportsbook's first price was 7/2 - that would be very fair, though.

The five-runner novices' handicap chase at 13:35 isn't for me either, although the form of the Ben Pauling yard would certainly lead you to give Malinello a chance after his break.

Presumably he has had his fair share of problems since we last saw him in January 2021, but this half-brother to the smart chaser Cogry is undeniably interesting off 127 on his fencing bow.

Pauling is having a great season and he has an amazing strike rate of 41 per cent with his chasers (28 winners from 68 runners) going into Friday's racing.

Some going that.

He opened up at 15/2 in a place on Thursday, but that blatantly over-generous offer was soon snapped up and he now trades at just over 3s on the Betfair Exchange.

Oppose favourite in Betfair Exchange Rehearsal

The Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Chase at 15:25 is a cracking little 2m7f91yd handicap chase and I would be pretty keen to oppose L'Homme Presse first time up off a mark of 164.

The across-the-board 11/8 on Thursday seemed very short to me, and he makes the market for the rest.

The problem is I couldn't really narrow down the other eight into a manageable betting list, not least because this race promises to be very tactical as all of them like to go forward or have been ridden prominently in the past.

That is another potential negative for the favourite, and he arguably would want it deeper than the current watered good to soft (though we don't know how much they have out on there).

Constitution Hill 1280 x 851.png

Dingo Dollar, third to Aye Right in this race last season, probably came closest to a bet at 8/1 each way after a good win in a veterans' race at Aintree last time. But this is tougher and he is 5lb higher, though that was a fair rise for his clear-cut win, to be fair.

I will probably just look to lay L'Homme Presse at sub-6/4 and have the field running for me.

Over to Newbury for our bets then.

Champagne tempting but keep your powder dry

I nearly kicked off with Champagne Court at 12/1 each way, four places, in the 2m6f handicap chase at 13:30.

He comes here after a handicap hurdle win over 3m at this track last time, and a chase mark of 130 is workable. That is only 5lb higher than when winning over fences at Perth in September and he has actually been rated as high as 143 in the past.

The only off-putting aspects are that his jumping can be a touch laboured and his best form has come in smaller fields, and he was also well beaten in this race when fifth to Cap Du Nord (we also have two-time winner Kapcorse in here, too) , so I will keep the 'ole powder dry.

Reasons to feel good about Current Mood

The 2m4f118yd handicap hurdle at 13:55 looks as though it could be a red-hot affair with Walking On Air and West Balboa unexposed and well-regarded types from big yards in here, as well as a Grade 1 winner in Porticello and improvers like Malakhana at a price (though the latter horse has been well found from a market-high of 22/1 now).

However, there is no way on this earth that I am letting Current Mood go unbacked after doing my ante-post money on her in cold blood in the Greatwood Hurdle - she was taken out on the day because they thought the ground was too quick (the times actually suggested it was on the easy side of good) - and she is a bet at 12.011/1 or bigger.

She is 9/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook if you want to play her win-only there, and 9s+ anywhere is fine.

Pretty much everything I said about her at Cheltenham then stands here.

I appreciate this is over 2m4f, and not the 2m of the Greatwood, but her best run came over 2m5f on good ground when third to Blazing Khal and Gelino Bello in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham and let's just say you'd have had to have been playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey if not seeing the promise of her third on her return at Ffos Las.

If you were blindfolded, it was an eye-popper all right, trust me. A mark of 127 underestimates her ability by a fair margin I feel and, while 3lb claimer Isabel Williams splits opinion, she at least knows the mare well and I won't let her booking put me off. She did me a good turn on Dans Le Vent at Haydock last season, too.

Back Current Mood 13:55 Newbury @


First Street to make amends

The betting complexion of the Gerry Feilden at 14:30 changed dramatically when Venetia Williams declined to run the 7/4 ante-post favourite Djelo under a 6lb penalty for his ridiculously easy Exeter win last Sunday.

I'd be pretty confident that First Street can take advantage in Djelo's absence. Back First Street at 4.03/1 or bigger.

He also owes me one after running inexplicably badly in a Grade 1 at Aintree on his final start last season but he had a busy time of it since making his debut in May 2021, so it is easily forgiven.

Third in a Betfair Hurdle here, and just 4lb higher than when running into a then-141-rated State Man in the County Hurdle (the winner is now third favourite for the Champion Hurdle and rated 164), he has to be considered a very well handicapped horse.

And, apparently a big unit, humping 12 stone shouldn't be an issue.

Back First Street 14:30 Newbury @


Happy with antepost bets

I put up Busselton at 12s and Lord Accord at 17s win-only for the Coral Gold Cup ante-post on Tuesday and I am very happy with those positions, not least because the ground looks like it is going to be decent.

It is currently good after another 8mm on Thursday and they are watering on Friday night (despite some suggesting 5mm of rain tomorrow), so I am working on the basis of good to soft. We still don't know how much they have watered all week, by the way, but the times of Friday will tell us.

I won't put up either ante-post bets afresh here, but you can read the case for them.

Add Remastered to the mix

The only decision I had to make was to whether add Remastered to my betting interests on the race. I was really impressed with him on his return when winning a handicap hurdle (albeit off a generous mark of 132), his first run back after his fourth wind op, and a chase mark of 142 gives him a big chance.

That is 4lb lower than when he fell four out in this race last season (when trading 2/1 in running at the time) and I'd have him as my favourite.

I don't want to lose if he wins, so I am going to suggest you back him win-only at 9.89/1 or bigger on the Betfair Exchange.

Back Remastered 15:05 Newbury @


He would definitely want it more good to soft than good though, and that is the only slight concern I have. Well, that and all those breathing tweaks too, I suppose.

He could drift if the ground is seen to be riding genuinely good come Saturday afternoon but I'll take my chances.

Handicapper gives Hatcher boost

I was very surprised by two prices when the Sportsbook went up with their opening show on the 2m handicap chase at 15:40 at Newbury on Thursday morning. He is a top-priced 8s with the Sportsbook, five places.

One surprise was that Amarillo Sky was a mere 11/8 - I wouldn't back him at 2/1 myself - and the other was that Hatcher was the 33/1 outsider.

The latter price has gone but he is still a bet at 21.020/1 or bigger on the Betfair Exchange, or 20/1 with the Betfair Sportsbook, and that may be the place to back him win-only.

Back Hatcher 15:40 Newbury @


He looks the stable second string here - or maybe he is not - but that does not bother me.

He was bizarrely dropped 3lb for a fall 2 out at Ayr on his final start last term, a strange move considering he was certainly not beaten when toppling over there. He hit a low of 2.64 that day.

That makes him 8lb lower than when a 6 ½ length third to Before Midnight and Sky Pirate in a valuable Cheltenham handicap last season, and 2m on decent ground are this horse's optimum conditions.

He was fourth in this race in 2020 and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he went at least a place better here, and hopefully three. The handicapper has certainly given him every chance.

Good luck.

Watch this week's Racing... Only Bettor

BIG action at Newcastle. Weekend Briefing. Episode 3...

Recommended bets

Profit and Loss (from March 26)

Staked: 278 Returns: 365.5pts P/L: +87.5 Previous (April 14 2021 to March 25 2022) P/L: + 183.1

Get the best of our tips every day of Qatar 2022

Sign up for our World Cup Newsletter here and you will receive a daily email with the pick of our bets on every day of action in Qatar.


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.