Saturday Racing Tips: Tony Calvin's trio of fresh tips at Kempton and Newcastle

Betfair tipster Tony Calvin
TC has a trio of fresh tips to go with his two excellent antepost positions

Tony Calvin has a further three tips for Saturday's ITV Racing action to go with his two antepost tips from earlier in the week...

  • TC very happy with his two antepost positions

  • 50/151.00 and 7/18.00 tips added at Kempton

  • Tony's backing a 15/28.50 chance in the Eider at Newcastle

  • We're now NRMB on all 28 Cheltenham Festival races

  • Free Racing Multiple Every Weekend Until Cheltenham

  • Paul Nicholls Superboost

    If you fancy Paul's Panjari to run well in the 15:00 at Kempton today then you can back the horse to finish in the top three at the super-boosted price of 1/12.00 (from 4/71.57).

    Panjari to finish Top 3 in the 15:00 at Kempton @ 1/12.00

    Bet here

    Kempton - 15:37: Bowtogreatness (Antepost)

    I'll deal with the most valuable race of the day in the UK first, Kempton's Coral Trophy at 15:37 - my generation still call it the old Racing Post Chase, no doubt - and not least because I have already expressed a firm betting opinion on the race.

    Bowtogreatness had the option of running at Ascot last Saturday, but presumably the in-form Ben Pauling (11 from 35 this month going into Thursday's racing, having had the same number of winners in January) deliberately kept him back for this £150k pot.

    I hope he did anyway, as I put him up at 16s on Monday as a strong ante-post selection. By Tuesday evening he was a top-priced 9s anywhere, and he was a general 7/18.00 chance first thing on Thursday morning.

    I thought the case for him was compelling (at any double-figure odds, let alone the 16s, as I said on Monday), even if I was worried about the ground getting too deep for him given a pretty wet week was forecast.

    It hadn't been too bad up until today - it is now soft, heavy in places - but 20mm+ could well fall at Kempton throughout Thursday (they have already had 15mm as at 4.13pm) and that is not ideal. I'm about 10 miles from the course and it is currently persisting it down.

    Anyway, I can't change the weather, so on to his form claims.

    The horse is just 1lb higher than when an excellent second to Midnight River over 3m1f at Aintree last year - he looked like winning going to the last, trading at 1.251/4 in running, and that was a much deeper race than this - and he ran a better race over an extended 2m4f at Cheltenham last time, for which he was dropped 2lb.

    Granted, he was beaten a fair distance in the end but he went well for a long way (he was also very weak in the market beforehand) and it was a big step up on his poor reappearance effort at Newbury, though to be fair Pauling said before that race he would badly need that return. And he did, being pulled up.

    The horse had a setback earlier in the season, knocking a splint, so they could easily have been patient with him, building up to this very prize and beyond.

    Maybe, the horse would prefer a touch better ground than is likely on Saturday - that remains a concern - but he is a heavy and soft ground winner, so maybe I am being unnecessarily nervous. And Timeform called it soft when he was a short-head second at Exeter last season.

    The step back up in trip will surely suit this National Hunt Chase entry, and the only question I had to answer is whether to press up at his current odds.

    That Aintree run really is very strong form in the context of this race.

    He pulled 4 ½ lengths clear of a next-time-out winner in third that day, with this season's Cheltenham winner (and stablemate) Shakem Up'Harry a further 2 lengths back in fourth, with the runaway Welsh National victor Nassalam in seventh.

    A reproduction of that run in Class 1 handicap company would see him going very close indeed here, but I do think he has hit his price now at the current odds - the Sportsbook are lowest at 13/27.50 - so I am not pressing up. We only lost two at the overnight stage (Kitty's Light and Solo) and the ground does worry me to an extent.

    I'll leave him as my sole bet in the race, though.

    Kempton 13:15: Back Sea Invasion

    No doubt fearing small fields for the Grade 2s, ITV added the 2m5f handicap hurdle at 13:15 to their schedule on Tuesday (full marks to them) and they have been rewarded with a competitive 15-runner race.

    Well, probably 13 as Up For Parol and In From The Cold's first preference is at Chepstow on Saturday (no Rule 4s, though).

    One horse leapt out at me, so I was little disappointed when the first firm up only made Sea Invasion a 13/27.50 chance.

    However, bigger prices soon emerged, and the Sportsbook went 10/111.00. But then the 10/111.00 became 15/28.50 and then, to add insult to injury, 15/28.50 became 7s.

    I very nearly sulked and pulled the tip but, as I can see him going off favourite, I am sticking with him win-only at 7s with the Sportsbook. He is 8.27/1 on the exchange as this goes live.

    He is 1lb out of the handicap, but that is where the negatives end for me (aside from the shortening price....).

    Chris Gordon's stable has finally struck form in the past month or so, and this horse followed up his third to Jeriko Du Reponet at Newbury with a very promising fourth here over 2m last time on Boxing Day.

    He wasn't given a hard time there (his third qualifying run for a handicap mark), and the form has been advertised by wins for the second and third since.

    Given his pedigree - he is by a Leger third out of a 1m7f winner on the Flat - this step up to 2m5f should really suit him, and he also finished a 2-length second to a certain Slade Steel in his only point in 2022.

    Gordon won this race in 2022 with a well-backed 7/24.50 jolly (he had a double on the card) and Sea Invasion could prove very well handicapped here, even if 1lb wrong.

    Back Sea Invasion to Win in 13:15 Kempton @ 7/18.00

    Bet here

    Kempton 13:50: No Bet

    The Adonis at 13:50 has gone from eight to six at the overnight stage, with the good news for the race that Captain Marvellous and Givemefive come here instead of going for the Dovecote.

    I suspect that Paul Nicholls will have a Triumph Hurdle decision to make if and when his Kalif Du Berlais defies a 5lb penalty here - he said after the horse's impressive win here last time he does not regard him as Cheltenham material this year - as this looks a decent race in its own right.

    He is much the likeliest winner from what I saw from him last time but 5/61.84 is clearly no gift against similarly unexposed horses, four of which also won last time out, under that 5lb burden (I was not entirely sure why he is carrying a 5lb penalty, and not 3lb, but his win in France for unraced 3yos is being viewed a Class 1 because of its value).

    No bet.

    Kempton - 14:27: No Bet

    The Pendil at 14:27 lost three of its nine entries on Thursday morning, and Nickle Back, who ranged from 6/42.50 to 2/13.00 in the ante-post betting, was a shock withdrawal, along with Bourbali and Golden Son.

    I was very surprised to see Arclight available at 6/17.00 in three places when the revised prices came out early on Thursday - and the 6s has stayed there too. as this column goes live. That price simply looks bang wrong, so do what you have to do there.

    The Sportsbook are just 7/24.50 and that was much nearer the mark. My mark, at least.

    I do fear Blow Your Wad if he can put his poor Cheltenham run behind him (though 11/43.75 looks a very defensive price about him) but Arclight gets a lot of weight from all her rivals, and is an improving course winner who showed she handled 2m4f and soft ground well at Wincanton last time (form franked by the second following up at Uttoxeter, and at Thurles on Thursday).

    At around 5.59/2 or bigger on the exchange, I'd say she is a very fair price, but I would personally want to see how much rain they got on Thursday, as she is thought better on a decent surface.

    So see how the land lies on Friday morning for her when the course update the going. The less rain, the better, for her chance.

    Kempton - 15:00: Back Fasol

    It is hard to see anything coming out of the two Grade 2 hurdles on the card and making much of a dent in the Cheltenham markets - unless the favourite wins the Adonis and they have a change of heart - and the 130-rated Lump Sum is the best horse on official figures going into the Dovecote at 15:00.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was to be a shock in this, and the Sportsbook have dangled a big carrot with the 50/151.00 about Paul Nicholls' second string Fasol.

    This is very much a Hail Mary for the horse, as I imagine the logic is to throw him in the deep end and if he loses his maiden/novice status in a 34k-to-the-winner Grade 2, then so be it.

    And while that would appear unlikely after his opening fourth at Newbury, when sent off a 6/42.50 chance, he did run okay there before getting very tired on the run-in and you certainly wouldn't dismiss him on his excellent staying efforts in Group company on the Flat in France.

    In fact, talent-wise, he put up three performances in France that none of his rivals here could have matched. This rain won't have done him any harm either, given some of his best form on the level came on deep ground and it would have made this more of a stamina test.

    Look, it's a guess-up, but back him to small stakes at 50/151.00 win-only with the Sportsbook. Any 33s would be okay, too.

    Back Fasol to Win 15:00 Kempton @ 50/151.00

    Bet here

    Newcastle - 14:08: Back Flower Of Scotland (Rath An Iuir advised Antepost)

    In addition to Bowtogreatness at Kempton, I also stuck up Rath An Iuir at 20s on Monday for the Eider Chase at Newcastle at 14:08.

    It is currently heavy (soft in places) at Newcastle, and that is despite the fact that the course got far less rain than expected during the week. The forecast looks largely dry at the moment, too.

    We only lost three from the race on Thursday morning, so the numbers have held up well. However, Git Maker, very prominent in the ante-post betting at around 5s, was a no-show, as was Your Own Story, nibbled at in the market at 12s on Tuesday afternoon.

    My ante-post selection ran dismally at Catterick last month but it could be that a brutally hard win over 3m2f at Kelso the time before had left its mark, even though he was given a 26-day break in between.

    I appreciate this will come just 31 days after that decidedly underwhelming Catterick outing, but at least he wasn't bottomed there (or at least I hope he wasn't), as he probably had been at Kelso previously.

    We know he has a decent history in this race off higher marks - sixth off 131 in 2022, and fifth off 118 last year, albeit being soundly beaten on each occasion - and I think he has a hand to play off 115 in a weaker renewal here. He went off at 9s in 2022, and 14s in 2023.

    So, as one of the most likely stayers in the field, and a course winner, with a record of three from three on heavy ground over fences, I thought he was overpriced at 20s, even off the back of a poor run.

    The stable won this race with Rocking Blues in 2016 and it was good to see them having a winner at Musselburgh on Sunday, their first since December.

    I'm very happy with the ante-post position, but do I go in again at the Sportsbook's 10/111.00?

    The answer is no - he is 14s elsewhere - especially as I want Flower Of Scotland onside, even if the market has cottoned on to her in the last 48 hours or so. She was 14s and 12s on Wednesday morning before attracting money.

    Back her at 15/28.50 each way, four places, with the Sportsbook.

    The reason I want to back her each way is that so few in here are proven at the trip. Granted, we haven't seen her since she disappointed at Carlisle in November, so she has blow-out potential too, but if she runs her race then I think she will be hard to kick out of the first four.

    The form of the Sandy Thomson yard is a big part of the argument , as it has belatedly struck form in February, with seven winners from 28, with a further nine placed.

    His mare won the Scottish Borders National by 6 lengths over an extended 4m on soft ground last season and she again looked all stamina when staying into third in the Edinburgh National afterwards.

    Just 6lb higher than for the Kelso win, she can hopefully reward each way money at the very least. The 10s in the marketplace was taken on Thursday, and 15/28.50 is a very fair price with the extra place.

    By the way, Sidi Ismael is in at Exeter on Friday, but he is a 40s chance, so no Rule 4 issues there.

    Back Flower Of Scotland, E/W, 4 Places, in 14:08 Newcastle @ 15/28.50

    Bet here

    Southwell - 15:20: No Bet

    We also have two Southwell races on ITV, though I can't recall the last time I had a bet at the course.

    I was surprised to see the Gosdens have a respectable 21% strike rate (7 from 33, with 14 placed) at the track. Furthermore, Dad Gozza had an even more impressive 34% strike rate at Southwell on his own before letting The Real Slim Thady on the books.

    At the start of the week the stable had Lion's Pride and Lord North vying for favouritism at around 2s in the ante-post market for the Winter Derby at 15:20, but the former went walkies on the exchange (and the fixed-odds markets followed suit) in midweek, so I wasn't at all surprised that he hasn't turned up.

    Of course, this year the race is run at Southwell and not Lingfield, so last year's winner and 6/42.50 favourite Lord North, with four Group 1 successes to his name, is a virgin here, as is Eydon, Forest Of Dean and Tyrrhenian Sea. Claymore has run once at the track, finishing last of six.

    I am not going to bore with you with a few paragraphs then a predictable "no bet" summary, so I will leave it there.

    However, the market probably has it right in making this between Lord North and Military Order (who ran well here last month, and hails from a stable with five winners from their last six runners in the UK) though I will be very interested to see how 5s poke Eydon gets on here, on his first start for Andrew Balding, having not been seen since April 2022.

    Southwell - 14:45: No Bet

    Clarendon House will take the world of beating in the Hever Sprint Stakes at 14:45 and I am in no rush to take him on, even at just evens with the Sportsbook.

    I'd much rather be a backer than a layer at that price, which is not something I say too often at his kind of price. It wouldn't surprise me if he developed into a Group 1 tool over 5f this season.

    Gelding seems to have been the making of him, and he had the clock-watchers drooling into their Horlicks when winning in a very quick time over course and distance in December, off a mark of 105, and he travelled like a dream in Group 2 company last time before getting tired late on to finish fourth.

    There are six forward-goers in here, which should set it up nicely for his class to come to the fore in the final furlong or so.

    It will be very disappointing if he can't put these away, even if it is less than a month since that trip to Dubai. I guess that is the one potential negative for me.

    Anyway, good luck.

    I'm off a mini-break from Thursday night onwards, so they'll be no ante-post piece or Weighed In for me on Monday, and I'll be back this time next week.

    Please check out the betting.betfair site for the column and the podcast links, though.

    Go well.

    Now read more Racing tips and previews here.

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PROFIT AND LOSS (Nov 1 onwards; 2023-24 NH season):

RETURN: 118.8
P/L: +47.8


(April 16-Oct 31; 2023 Flat season)

STAKED:  202
RETURNS: 168.9
P AND L:  -33.1

*Exchange bets settled at Betfair SP for fairness


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