Drop in Grade could be the difference for Wetherby’s Saturday NAP


It’s a real mixed bag on offer on Channel 4 this Saturday with action from Warwick, Wetherby and Chelmsford all set to be shown live in a busy afternoon of racing.

As always, with any race broadcast live on the channel you are covered for those near misses.

If your horse finishes second, Ladbrokes will give you your money back as a Free Bet up to £25 (click here for all T&Cs). No more frustrations for getting chinned on the line!

For our best bets of the day though we are focusing on the action over the obstacles with a trio of runners to invest your cash in to hopefully lift those January blues.

Here’s who we fancy…

NAP – Sir Valentino – Wetherby 14:05

Prior to being pitched into Grade 2 company against Sprinter Sacre and co at Kempton Tom George’s gelding had racked up a hat-trick of victories over the obstacles.

He performed as well as can be expected that race on December 27, coming up against horses rated upwards of 19lbs superior.

Back down into a Class 2 handicap, a grade he was successful at on his penultimate run, off a mark of just four pounds higher, he must be in with a massive shout.

His record on soft or heavy ground over hurdles and fences reads 2F2F5111, so as long as he stays on his feet, a big run must be expected.

NB – Emily Gray – Warwick 13:50

Willie Mullins’ record at Warwick (four winners from six runners in the last five years) means Black Hercules is likely to be very popular, but siding with Kim Bailey’s mare might offer stronger value.

The eight-year-old hasn’t been out of the first two in her five chase starts to date with the very useful Ma Filleule, Highland Retreat and Vroum Vroum Mag the only horses to beat her.

She got the better of Mullins’ Gitane Du Berlais in a Listed Chase at Carlisle on her penultimate start, so is capable of lowering the colours of another Closutton inmate.

Her breeding suggests three miles will be fine, and in receipt of weight from all but one of her rivals, on ground she handles, she looks a very fair price indeed.

Lively Longshot – Russe Blanc – Warwick 15:35

After claiming the Welsh National with Mountainous, Kerry Lee seeks more big race glory in the Grade 3 Classic Chase.

Her representative faces a hike in grade here, but looks to have conditions in his favour at Warwick.

The furthest her eye-catching grey has raced before is three-miles-two-furlongs, but he won one and was runner-up in those two outings, so a step up in trip is an encouraging move.

Nine of the 13 occasions that he has made the frame in races have come when the ground was soft or worse, so the slog should suit.

Lee, herself, is in fine form with seven of her 10 runners in the past fortnight winning or placing and although her charge here is a big price, he could outrun his odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.