Weekend Horse Racing Betting Tips – October 12th/13th

Chepstow (Friday) – Unibet Persian War Novice Hurdle – Grade 2 – 2m 4f

Thyme Hill (6/1) was a staying-on third in the Champion Bumper when last seen and if the Philip Hobbs trained 5-year-old were to make his hurdling debut here (this is one of 5 entries this week) then he would be the one to beat. The Hobbs team have started the season in flying form with 5 winners and 8 placed horses from their last 17 runners.

Another who could be having his first start over timber in this is Fiddlerontheroof (6/1). The Stowaway gelding won a bumper at Navan on his final start for John J Walsh in Ireland and has been well backed this week to make a winning stable debut for Colin Tizzard.

It took 2018 Aintree bumper 3rd Haramble (4/1) five attempts to get off the mark over hurdles but he progressed from that maiden victory to win again and then finish second in the valuable Novices Final at Sandown behind Getaway Trump. That was a graded race in all but name and reproduction of that form will see him go close in this.

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Newmarket (Friday) – bet365 Fillies Mile – Group 1 – 1m

Jessica Harrington’s 2-year-olds have been a force to behold this season and the pick of the bunch could be Cayenne Pepper(11/4). She brought her form to a new level when beating the ever consistent, and Group 1 winner, Love (7/2) in a Group 3 at the Curragh last time out and she is entitled to be a short price for her first step into Group 1 company.

The filly who could put it up to her is the current favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas, Quadrilateral (15/8). The Khalid Abdullah owned Frankel filly won narrowly on debut but could not have been more impressive on her second start, bolting up by 9 lengths. That was only a conditions race, however, and she may have to raise her game again in this Group 1.

Love (7/2) has it to do to turn the tables on Cayenne Pepper (11/4), but she is ultra-consistent and you would expect her to fill one of the placings at least.

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Chepstow (Saturday) Listed Novice Chase – 2m 4f

This is historically one of the best early-season novice chases and at the entry stage, it looks set to be just that. Trainer Colin Tizzard has run stable stars Native River, Thistlecrack and Elegant Escape in this in recent years and is set to unleash dual Grade 1 winning hurdler Reserve Tank this weekend. The 5-year-old Jeremy gelding progressed steadily in his novice hurdling season and looks to have the size and scope to improve for chasing.

Wholestone was disappointing last season over hurdles and came home alone when his only other rival fell on his chasing debut at Perth. A three-time Grade 2 winner over hurdles, if he was to come back to his best form of a few seasons ago then he could feature with fitness on his side.

The one who could give Reserve Tank most to think about is Lisnagar Oscar. Fifth in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and third behind Champ at Aintree, Rebecca Curtis’s

representative looks the type to take to chasing and could give Reserve Tank something to think about on his chasing debut.

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Chepstow (Saturday) – Native River Handicap Chase – 3m

A really competitive handicap chase with some old favourites set to line up. 2017 Hennessy runner up Whisper has switched to the Sam Thomas yard and makes his seasonal debut, but you would expect him to come on for the run.

Ballyoptic has gone well when fresh before and has won around Chepstow. He is an interesting contender with the Nigel Twiston-Davies team in good form.

The selection, however, is Rock The Kasbah. The Phillip Hobbs trained, Diana Whateley owned gelding has a fantastic record around Chepstow with 3 wins and 2 seconds from 6 runs, including victory in this race in 2017. He has also performed well when fresh with 4 wins when coming back after a break of more than 50 days. His rating of 150 is high and he will have to be at his best to win but he won at Cheltenham last November off a mark of 147 so this is within his scale.

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Chepstow (Saturday) – Silver Trophy Handicap – Grade 3 – 2m 4f

Notoriously one of the most competitive early-season handicaps, this year’s renewal looks set to be no different. Unexposed horses shape the market at the entry stage and they are headed by Imperial Aura (5/1). Kim Bailey’s runner has clearly been difficult to train as he has had long breaks between all of his four runs and has not been seen on the track since February. The form of two of those runs stacks up, especially his victory over subsequent Galway hurdle fifth Sole Pretender. A mark of 133 is steep enough for his handicap debut however and he could be worth taking on.

Seasoned handicappers with proven big race form are normally where to look in these types of races and two that stand out are Point Of Principle (25/1) and Coolanly (10/1). The latter is trained by Fergal O’Brien and won his bumper at this course. He was highly tried at the start of last season and although only winning once he was 5th in the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham. That form gives him a great chance in this.

Point Of Principle (25/1) was second in this race last year before finishing second again at the Aintree festival in April. His jumping can let him down on occasion but there is no doubt that he will have been aimed at this by in form Welsh trainer Tim Vaughan.

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Newmarket (Saturday) – Darley Dewhurst Stakes – Group 1 – 7f

This is all about Pinatubo (1/3), who is officially the highest-rated 2-year-old in the past 25 years, even 2 pounds higher than the mighty Frankel. His electric performances this season have

lit up the juvenile sphere and there is every reason to believe that he can make it a perfect 6 out of 6 with victory in the Darley sponsored Dewhurst.

Wichita (9/2) won a Group 3 over this course and distance by an impressive 7 lengths last time out and could give the favourite most to think about. The son of No Nay Never had to be supplemented for this at a cost of £75,000 which would lead you to think that he has improved beyond the expectations of champion trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Arizona (16/1) has been put in his place by both Pinatubo (1/3) and Middle Park winner, Earthlight, this season but is consistent enough to be a place prospect.

The Clive Cox saddled Positive (12/1) has shown signs of greenness in all of his three starts to date but looks one who could keep progressing. He was beaten 5 lengths by Pinatubo however, in the Vintage Stakes, and is set to play another supporting role.

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