Big-race verdict: 33-1 & 14-1 tips for the New Year’s Day Handicap Chase 📅

We usher in 2022 with some exciting racing from across the country, notably Cheltenham. The Home of Jump’s Racing hosts a card headlined by a pair of Grade 2 races, the Dipper Chase and Relkeel Hurdle. There’s also ITV action from Musselburgh and Tramore, with Al Boum Photo making his return in the latter.

We’ll have horse racing tips for all the action, including a NAP of the Day, which is in scintillating form at present. The feature handicap of the day is the Grade 3 New Year’s Day Handicap Chase and our top tipsters have shared their thoughts on the big race. See Matt Newman and Owen Goulding’s selections below.

“New headgear could be the difference”

He’s far from the most consistent of commodities, but Magic Saint is classy on his day and it would be no surprise to see him pop up. He went very close in a course and distance Grade 2 handicap back in April, with the winner ultimately getting first run. Two runs this year have been below-par, but I’m willing to forgive those.

He’s now eight pounds below the mark of that Grade 2 handicap second and today’s softer ground could really suit him, based on his French form. A return to 2m 4f is definitely in his favour and the fitting of the cheekpieces could be the difference. Tom Buckley takes off a valuable five pounds and I think he holds excellent claims. – Owen Goulding

“That should set him up perfectly for this”

We agreed on Achille at 33/1 when he was placed in the Welsh National on Monday and Magic Saint was on the shortlist. That said, i’ve gone with an old timer in Kauto Riko. He relishes soft ground, five of his six career wins have come on soft or heavy ground. These conditions are going to suit him well.

A stiff track is required at this trip, showing that he stays three miles at Doncaster on his return to action. He chased home a decent yardstick in Two For Gold that day and that should set him him up perfectly for this. Connections fit cheekpieces for the first time and that can allow him to travel better than is sometimes the case over this distance – Matt Newman 

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