Betfred Saturday Horse Racing Tips: Matt Hulmes picks his favourites

 | February 16 | 

8 mins read

nemean lion

With the deluges of rain the country has suffered recently, most of the tracks will be offering up heavy ground this weekend.

This adds another thought train into the process of picking winners for the final few trials before the festival. Will connections want to bottom the runners and leave their Cheltenham behind this weekend?

A winner is a winner though, so let’s try and hunt some down.

Saturday Horse Racing Tips

  • 13:50 Ascot - Brave Kingdom @ 10/3
  • 14:05 Wincanton - Nemean Lion @ 5/2
  • 14:25 Ascot - Rare Edition @ 11/2
  • 14:40 Haydock - Butch @ 9/4
  • 15:00 Ascot - Torn And Frayed @ 16/1
  • 15:15 Haydock - Iwilldoit @ 6/1
  • 15:36 Ascot - L'Homme Presse @ 8/11

Prices can fluctuate between now and post-time.

13:50 Ascot - Brave Kingdom @ 10/3

A small but select field for this year’s Reynoldstown and Apple Away will be all the rage in receipt of the weight from the boys.

A Grade 1 winning hurdler, she slammed subsequent winner Makin’yourmindup at Leicester and has finished a respectable distance behind Grey Dawning the last twice. She should go well while Kilbeg King was behind Il Est Francais in the Kauto Star but would have appealed more if tackling the handicap on the card he was entered in.

However, he turns up here and I think they all may find BRAVE KINGDOM too strong. He returned from a near two-year absence to win a hot little heat at Plumpton, before building on that to win at Newbury just before Christmas. His jumping is an asset and he can give Paul Nicholls a fourth victory in the race.

14:05 Wincanton - Nemean Lion @ 5/2

With serious doubts about the ground surrounding Rubaud, who looked a tired horse at Cheltenham on Trials Day, this looks best left to Colonel Mustard and NEMEAN LION to battle it out.

Colonel Mustard comes out best at the weights and was mixing it with the likes of State Man last season, but he has run slightly below par in two chase starts this term and needs to recapture his form.

Preference therefore is for NEMEAN LION who looks to graduate from handicaps. Already a grade 2 winner as a novice, he claimed the Welsh Champion Hurdle and was a respectable fifth in the red-hot Greatwood at Cheltenham in November, form that is constantly being franked. He went down fighting under a big weight in the Lanzarote Hurdle five weeks ago and had deep ground form in France, although heavy ground is never a concern for a Kerry Lee runner.

Goshen will forever be remembered for that final flight fall in the Triumph Hurdle, and if on best behaviour, he will have a chance on his favoured soft ground in his bid to reclaim his crown having won this in 2022 under Jamie Moore, who announced his retirement on Thursday.

14:25 Ascot - Rare Edition @ 11/2

A wide open looking handicap but a good chance for RARE EDITION to follow up his Kempton win five weeks ago.

He made up into a decent novice last campaign, but disappointed when pulled up in the Supreme and again well beaten at Aintree. All the flights in the home straight were omitted at Doncaster on his return which may have hindered him when a close third, but won quite cosily at Kempton, and a 3lb rise looks lenient. He slammed Rubaud on Boxing Day last season and a strict view of that form still makes him a very well handicapped horse.

Bad has been placed in two course handicaps this season and if the wind op, application of cheekpieces and step up in trip have the desired effect, he shouldn’t be far away either, while Irish Hill is effectively 8lb lower with Freddie Gingell’s claim when victorious in this race 12 months ago.

Rambo T needs to find more off this 9lb higher mark then his Newbury win last time and while plenty others will have claims ready preference is for RARE EDITION.

14:40 Haydock - Butch @ 9/4


Only six go to post for the Rendlesham as Botox Has returns to the scene of one of his biggest wins, and another of Jamie Moore’s regular mounts. He will have major claims on his favoured conditions, but preference is for the unexposed BUTCH.

His only defeat on soft ground came in a bumper at the hands of Stayers Hurdle fancy Crambo, and showed he was all about stamina when winning at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. The second and third have let the form down, suggesting it was a hard race, but the fourth has gone close and he will be only having a ninth career start.

Sean Bowen is also two-from-two on board the 7yo and he can come out on top.

Red Risk is weighted to finish alongside Botox Has on their Wetherby running earlier in the campaign while Sounds Russian finished runner-up on all of his three hurdles starts but has improved significantly as a chaser, but should improve for the run after 11 months off.

15:00 Ascot - Torn And Frayed @ 16/1


10 runners here and plenty hold good claims.

Victtorino will appreciate a return to Ascot after his two track and trip wins earlier this season having not enjoyed Cheltenham on Trials Day.

Threeunderthrufive has shown some consistency with a pair of fair runs this campaign, but the handicapper has taken note while Shan Blue ran a cracker here two months ago, and is dangerously treated on his form of two years ago if that sparked a comeback.

Revels Hill was third in this race last year and has a chance on his seasonal debut, while Do Your Job and Larry come here on the back of last-time-out successes, with the latter a regular in these course and distance contests.

I am going to take a chance though on TORN AND FRAYED for team Twiston-Davies who won this race with Ballyoptic in 2020.

He was just starting to weaken in the Paddy Power when falling two out, and again ran well back there in December when a fair sixth behind Fugitif. He was 8lb wrong in the weights when well beaten on desperate ground on New Year’s Day and that run is best forgotten.

He is now just 1lb higher than when impressively winning a hot novice handicap on Trials Day in 2022, and has only had those three starts since. The step up in trip should suit and he won’t mind if rain does arrive. He is worth each-way interest.

15:15 Haydock - Iwilldoit @ 6/1


The Grand National Trial will be attritional. Three-and-a-half miles on Haydock heavy ground will not be for the faint-hearted, but we know it is conditions that bring out the best in IWILLDOIT and he is back feasibly handicapped.

Since winning the 2021 Welsh National, he has won a Classic Chase, fifth in a Midlands National, runner-up over hurdles, distant third in this seasons Welsh National and a respectable third behind L’Homme Presse.

It all means that, with his excellent jockey’s claim, he is just 4lb higher than the Welsh National victory and 3lb lower that the Warwick win - that must give him every chance.

He is very closely-matched with Iron Bridge on the December meeting at Chepstow (same weights for a length difference), but his experience edges the vote.

Iron Bridge has had seven weeks to recover from those Welsh National exertions and victory here could see him earn a place in the Aintree spectacular.

Famous Bridge, carrying the same iconic Trevor Hemmings silks, has an enviable course record, unbeaten in both visits here but needs to leave his Great Yorkshire run well behind when never going a yard.

Credo also likes it at Haydock and may well reverse Classic Chase form with My Silver Lining, but IWILLDOIT has done it on many occasions, and we hope today is another.

15:36 Ascot - L'Homme Presse @ 8/11


He maybe odds-on, but L’HOMME PRESSE really should be landing the Ascot chase on route to the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month.

He had been off the track since a final fence spill in the 2022 King George but showed he retained a chunk of his ability when always holding Protektorat at Lingfield last month.

A Grade 1 winning novice, he carried a big weight to victory in a Rehearsal Chase to show his versatility and not many ride this chase course better than his pilot Charlie Deutsch. He is an admirable type who will probably give Britain it’s best chance of denying the Irish stranglehold on the Gold Cup.

This is Pic D’Orhy’s speciality, two-and-a-half miles on right-handed track, but he was put in his place by Shishkin in this race last year and denied in a great battle by Banbridge at Kempton recently. L’Homme Presse maybe better than both of those, is certainly comparable and I can’t see him being denied under an uncomplicated front running ride I expect.

Check out the rest of our Horse Racing Tips here.

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