The countdown to the Spring festivals continues as Cheltenham swings open its doors for Trials Day and Doncaster plays host to the SkyBet Chase on a thrilling Saturday of jumps racing.
Horse racing tips are aplenty with the action so good, so we’ve thrown some fancies into the mix and put together a 339/1 acca using selections advised in this week’s edition of the Racing Post Weekender.
Santini (2:25 Cheltenham – Saturday)
Nicky Henderson had eight winners last week and Santini seems set to continue that fine form in Saturday’s Paddy Power Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham.
A lively contender for the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, Santini has had only eight starts, but has done little wrong.
He was third in the Albert Bartlett two years ago before finishing second in last season’s RSA. The handsome eight-year-old probably did not do himself justice that day as his preparation was held up by his flu jab and then a foot problem.
Things have not been that smooth this term either, be he did get the job done at Sandown in November and caught the eye when working nicely on Friday.
Being patient is likely to pay off with this strapping sort, who copes with testing ground, jumps accurately and handles Cheltenham. He has always been held in the highest regard.
Lady Buttons (2:40 Doncaster – Saturday)
At Doncaster, Lady Buttons – Philip Kirby’s stable star – is reportedly in very good form and is fancied to win the Grade Two Yorkshire Rose Mares Hurdle for the second year in succession.
She showed a tremendous attitude to make it four wins from five starts at the South Yorkshire venue when winning a Listed chase last time out and this versatile sort won’t be phased by either the drop in trip or the return to hurdles.
Chidswell (3:15 Doncaster – Saturday)
Chidswell lost his way before a summer break but a three-mile, two-furlong win on his only previous visit to Doncaster last March was a career-best display and he wasn’t far off that level when returning from a 182-day layoff over two miles, six-and-a-half furlongs at Kelso last month.
Nicky Richards eleven-year-old couldn’t quite get to grips with Claud And Goldie that day but he plugged on gamely for second.
This slightly longer trip and stiffer track can help him pull out more.
If The Caps Fit (3:35 Cheltenham – Saturday)
It’s crunch time for If The Cap Fits at Cheltenham on Saturday as Harry Fry’s stable star faces current Stayers’ Hurdle champion Paisley Park in a pre-festival showdown.
The pair are due to lock horns in the Grade Two galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle on Trials day at Prestbury Park where the drying ground should be in his favour.
They were due to clash in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot just before Christmas but missed that engagement – If The Cap Fits had a minor issue and Paisley Park came out on account of the testing conditions.
Fry’s charge gave the impression there was plenty more to come when winning over two miles, three-and-a-half furlongs trip well short of his best two months ago around Ascot, beating Call Me Lord who has franked the form since.