Saturday marks the start of a new year, and 2022 is welcomed by great racing from Cheltenham! The card has a pair of Grade 2 races, the Dipper Chase and Relkeel Hurdle, with the competitive Grade 3 New Year’s Day Handicap also on the agenda. We’ll have horse racing tips for all the ITV action, including races from Musselburgh and Tramore.
After a topsy-turvy year, both in terms of tipping and in the wider sense, I’m hoping to usher 2022 in with some outsider victories. These horses have surely been overlooked in their respective races at prices of 33-1 and 20-1, and you can find all my analysis below.
2.00 Cheltenham – Paddy Power New Year’s Day Handicap Chase
Paul Nicholls has two in this field and I’m going to side with the bigger price of the two, Magic Saint (33-1). His form in 2021 has been a shade disappointing, but there have been excuses, and I’m not quite sure what he’s done to warrant such an enormous price.
He had some very strong form last year, including a two-mile victory at Cheltenham in November 2020. A career-best was posted on his final start of the campaign, finishing second in a Grade 2 handicap off a rating of 157. He was always likely to need the run on return at Wetherby and two miles was too sharp last time.
Off a mark of 149 today, with a further five pounds claimed by Tom Buckley, he has to enter the argument, especially with the cheekpieces enlisted back up in trip.
2.35 Cheltenham – Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle
I’m more than happy to see Whatsupwithyou (20-1) back over hurdles, as I think he’s got unfinished business in this sphere. Despite failing to score last season, he ran some great races in defeat, including a fourth-place finish in the Martin Pipe.
He ran very flat on return at Ascot in October on seasonal/chasing debut, but 2m 3f against some very smart handicappers ultimately proved too much. Fontwell didn’t suit either last time, making mistakes and he was never ultimately able to land a blow despite staying on late.
This stiff test back at Cheltenham over hurdles will really help matters. He’s totally ground versatile and that fourth in the Martin Pipe came off six pounds higher, so he’s evidently well-treated. Three miles could unlock further improvement and at 20-1, he’s been totally missed in the market.
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