Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips Dave Stevos
Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips
We didn’t have the best of days on Wednesday but we at least nicked a winner. Beaufort West was well supported but never got into the race. Max Flamingo ran an absolute cracker. Only for the dolled off fences, he definitely would have placed instead of missing out by a neck. Dashel Drasher did what Dashel Drasher does and led from pillar to post. Sweet Street ran a stinker and Gringo D’aubrelle wasn’t good enough. Let’s hope we can get 2022 off to a flier. Check out Dave Stevos Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday tips below.
1.25 Cheltenham – Dipper Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)
L’Homme Presse heads the market for the Grade 2 Dipper at odds of 15/8. Venetia Williams’ son of Diamond Bay has looked an exciting prospect this season. He first landed a handicap off 128 by 6L and then a conditions chase at Ascot last time (21f gd/sft). That was his third win in the UK. However, they have all come on ground with good in the description. It’s going to be soft at Cheltenham on Saturday and while he has placed on soft in France, that form is well below what he has achieved on better ground.
Oscar Elite has disappointed on both his chase starts this season. He was placed in Grade 1 hurdles at Cheltenham and Aintree last season and he looked a promising recruit to chasing. However, he fell on his chase debut and then he faded late after racing prominently last time out at Huntingdon. Those two runs came on proper good ground though. This horse should definitely appreciate the return to softer conditions.
Both his hurdle wins came on testing ground and this will be the first time he has got something like his favourite conditions over fences. His sole run at Cheltenham was a blinding effort in the Potato Race last season. If he could repeat that level of form over these bigger obstacles, he is well capable of placing at least in this Grade 2. His only previous start at 20f resulted in an easy win and at odds of 12/1, Oscar Elite is the each way selection.
Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips: Oscar Elite e/w @ 12/1
1.40 Musselburgh – Hair of The Dog Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)
We backed Aurora Thunder last time at Aintree and she ran no sort of race. I think she was simply outclassed in that Class 2 contest and back in Class 3 company, she is worth giving one more chance to. Lucinda Russell’s 8yo ran well on her last visit to this track on her penultimate start in October. It looked like the 24f trip just stretched her stamina late on but she held on well for a decent 2nd off 119, 4L behind the winner Marraman.
Both her career wins have come over 20f on soft ground at Ayr. The last one came off a mark of 116 in a handicap hurdle in November 2020 and she is racing off 117 today. Blair Campbell claimed 3lbs the day she won but Conner McCann takes off 10lbs so Aurora Thunder is effectively in off 6lbs lower today. She is basically racing off just 107 this afternoon. A repeat of either of her previous Musselburgh placed efforts (off 119/117) would surely see her go close in this. Good to soft ground is fine and at odds of 20/1, Aurora Thunder is the each way selection.
Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips: Aurora Thunder e/w @ 20/1 NB
2.00 Cheltenham – New Year’s Day Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
We backed Deyrann De Carjac last time out e/w for five places and he just about landed place money. He looked like he might challenge for the win at the second last but he just ran out of puff in the last couple of furlongs. In the end he finished 13.5L behind Coole Cody and 9L off the first four. However, it was his second encouraging run in a row and it looks like he is getting his confidence back. The handicapper has given him a real chance now, dropping him to 131. Back on a softer surface, I don’t see why he can’t hit the frame again and maybe even improve on his finish from last time.
At this meeting in 2020 Deyrann De Carjac ran a massive race in the Dipper (20.5f sft), finishing just 3L behind Midnight Shadow off levels. His previous Novice Chase runs were crackers too and he looked like he was capable of winning a big handicap chase at some stage. Things didn’t go to plan last season for him but his two runs this term suggest he is on his way back.
Brendan Powell had a sighter on him the last day and he retains the ride. If he can repeat the form of his Dipper run in identical conditions, he looks extremely well handicapped off 131. At odds of 20/1, Deyrann De Carjac is the each way selection.
Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips: Deyrann De Carjac e/w @ 20/1 nap (5 places)
2.10 Musselburgh – Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
Tommy’s Oscar is back in action in this Class 2 handicap hurdle. He got a 3lb hike for his last win and with Tom Midgley’s claim, he is effectively racing off 4lbs lower than at Doncaster. As I have said on numerous occasions, I firmly believe this fella is a Graded hurdler. He has all the necessary credentials. His jumping is low and slick, he has a turn of foot and he clearly has a serious engine.
The son of Oscar comes into this on the back of successive wins and if he was mine, I wouldn’t be wasting my time in these handicaps. However, the Hamiltons rarely follow the conventional route and it looks like they want to hoover up all these valuable northern races. He’ll probably head to the Morebattle after this and then if he can win that, hopefully we get to see him in Graded company at Aintree. I am happy enough to just watch Tommy’s Oscar today and with just seven runners, I don’t fancy taking him on with anything at a price. No bet.
Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips: No Bet
2.20 Tramore – Savills New Year’s Day Chase (Grade 3)
Six will go to post In a race that will surely be renamed the Al Boum Photo Chase in the future. The former Gold Cup winner has used this as a prep run for the last three seasons, winning easily every time. He is back to try and make it four in a row and he is 4/11 to do exactly that. The only slight worry is the ground. It was soft for the last three seasons but this year it will be bottomless. He has won on soft to heavy before but that was over 20f. Over 22f on this ground, is he worth taking on?
I think so and at the odds, Acapella Bourgeois is the one that could put it up to him. He has finished runner up behind Al Boum Photo in this for the last two seasons. The son of Network is best when it is like a swamp and tomorrow’s ground will be right up his alley. Jack Foley is an interesting booking (4/23 for Mullins) and this horse should handle the conditions better than a few of his stablemates. At odds of 14/1, Acapella Bourgeois is worth chancing e/w for small stakes.
Tramore Saturday Tips: Acapella Bourgeois e/w @ 14/1
2.35 Cheltenham – Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)
Off a mark of 130, Whatsupwithyou has solid e/w claims in this 24f handicap hurdle. Trained by in-form Ben Pauling, this 7yo son of Shantou is back over timber after a couple of chase outings. He ran a nice race last time out behind Kap Auteuil, finishing 3rd off 129. He is only rated 1lb higher over hurdles and he is in off 6lbs lower than when finishing a fine 4th behind Galopin Des Champs in the Martin Pipe back in March (21f gd/sft). Luca Morgan always had him up with the pace that day and in the end he did well to hang on for 4th.
That was this fella’s third run at Cheltenham and he has run well in all previous visits. Last season in October he finished 7th, beat just 4.75L behind Captain Tom Cat off 132 (21f gd/sft). A month later he was beat just 2.75L behind Stimulating Song off the same mark (21f sft). In that first race, he stayed on very well up the hill but just couldn’t reach the leaders. In the second one, Luca Morgan went way too soon and got collared close to home.
Kielan Woods takes over in the plate tomorrow and he is no stranger to winning at Cheltenham. I think the step up to 24f could really suit this horse, once he is ridden with a bit of restraint. He has won over the trip in a point to point and it looked like 3 miles around here would suit the day he was 7th behind Captain Tom Cat. He is related to a couple of 3-mile winners too so he is bred for the distance. Whatsupwithyou is lurking on a dangerous mark and at odds of 22/1, he is the each way pick.
Cheltenham and Musselburgh Saturday Tips: Whatsupwithyou e/w @ 22/1 (4 Places)
3.10 Cheltenham – Relkeel Hurdle (Grade 2)
With just five runners the previous handicap at Musselburgh made no appeal as a betting heat. To be honest, the same sentiment applies here. Brewin’upastorm is the favourite for Coleman and Murphy. He has won three of his last four, including a Grade 2 at Fontwell. However, a record of F4U at Cheltenham does not inspire confidence and he seems to save his best for flatter, sharper tracks. McFabulous is another one who has shown his best on those types of tracks. He ran a stinker on his only previous visit to Cheltenham and odds of 11/4 are not too tempting.
Guard Your Dreams was a gutsy winner over 17f here last time. That was his second Cheltenham win of the season after a handicap victory off 140. The importance of previous course form can’t be underestimated and if I was having a bet, I’d probably take the 5/1 about the Twiston-Davies’ horse. However, with just six runners and two places on offer, I’m happy just to watch and keep my powder dry. No Bet.