Horse Racing Tips: Superstar Saturday

Shishkin, Energuemene, Jonbon & Royal Pagaille are the star attractions on a terrific days racing this Saturday. We have plenty of selections to chose from and hope to have found plenty of value for readers

The quality of some of the horses on show this Saturday should make for a special day of racing. The eyes of the jumps world will be on the highly anticipated clash between Shishkin and Energumene in the Clarence House at Ascot (15:35). It has the air of the time when Moscow Flyer, Well Chief and Azertyuiop would clash on regular basis. It’s a shame epic clashes like this don’t happen more often prior to Cheltenham these days.

From a betting perspective, there’s not a lot of value to be had in that race. Aside from the Ascot card there’s jumps action from Haydock, Taunton and Navan while Lingfield and Wolverhampton host all-weather flat meetings. In the second race at Haydock we get to see Supreme Novice Hurdle favourite (and brother to Douvan) Jonbon run for what’s likely the final time before Cheltenham.

Normally for this column, whether myself or Gary do the write-up, we will suggest a double or treble. Given the volume and quality of racing, I actually fancy quite a few over the jumps meetings. With this in mind, I will post up the reason I think the horse has a good chance (and the price at the time of writing). We’ll leave it to you to then decide how to bet them. Personally, I only back to win so take it that all selections are chosen to win.

Didero Vallis – Ascot 13:10 – SBK Handicap Chase

This is very much a race of exposed versus the unexposed and the latter head the market in this 3 mile chase. The selection ran a fantastic race last time out at Ludlow. All the more impressive given that rider Charlie Deutsch appeared to ride a lot of the course with a broken reign. He races off the same mark here and has Lucy Turner’s 7lb claim to lighten the load.

A side note to this race: if the likely favourite Cat Tiger happens to bolt up, the 14/1 about Kalooki in the Peter Marsh will be worth a small punt if you are quick enough.

Macs Charm – Navan 14:15 – Ardmulchan Handicap Hurdle

Macs Charm steps into handicap company after an excellent second last time out at Wexford. He was beaten by an truly excellent ride by Hugh Morgan that’s well worth checking out if you have access to replays. Macs Charm looks on a good mark here as I’d personally have him 6 or 7lbs higher which would put him out of this race. Colm Murphy looks to have found an ideal spot to get the horse into the winners enclosure. He’s entered again at Gowran next Thursday and it’s not uncommon for a trainer to try win two races in a week and take the extra 6lbs before the handicapper has time to reassess the mark.

Indiana Jones – Navan 14:50 – Wilkinstown Beginners Chase

Normally I’m not a fan of backing horses that fell last time out but there was a lot to like about Indiana Jones previous run. The horse will be far better suited to this 3m trip as I’d put the distance down as the main reason for the fall at Naas. You couldn’t fault the horses gameness to try and compete even though most of those around him were better suited to the 2m 3f trip. It’s interesting that his owner also runs the favourite Aint That A Shame but I wouldn’t put that as negative towards the selection.

Reserve Tank – Taunton 14:43 – BioWaveGo Blocks Pain Seniors’ Handicap Hurdle

In a race made up prominently of failed chasers, the selection was by far the better of these at his peak over hurdles. A dual Grade 1 novice hurdler, he never really got going over fences after a relatively bright start. He was pitched in at very high targets (Stayers at Cheltenham) when switching back to hurdles initially but the distances selected didn’t suit at all. His last spin over the smaller obstacles at Stratford reads very well in the context of this race and repeat should see him there or thereabouts. Colin Tizzard only has runners at Taunton this Saturday so Brendan Powell in the plate is a massive positive.

Golden Whisky – Ascot 14:55 – bet365 Handicap Chase

Outside of the big clash earlier in the column, this could be the race of the day. Fanion D’estruval will attempt to give 10lbs to the field (17lb officially but claimer takes off 7lb) which is an indication of what Venetia Williams thinks of his ability. Palmers Hill is a horse in form and a win in this would probably put paid to running in future handicaps. Another Williams entry, albeit this time from the inform Evan, catches the eye towards the bottom of the handicap. Golden Whisky jumped superbly to win at Chepstow over Christmas. Given the depth of talent in this race being such a clean jumper will be a great advantage and he’s my selection here.

SRD Selections

Didero Vallis – Ascot 13:10 @ 4/1 

Macs Charm – Navan 14:15 @ 5/1

Indiana Jones – Navan 14:50 @ 15/4

Reserve Tank – Taunton 14:43 @ 9/1

Golden Whisky – Ascot 14:55 @ 10/1