Horse racing tips for each race shown live as part of the Channel 4 racing coverage.
Saturday sees the final day of the jumps season as Sandown hosts the Bet365 Gold Cup, the last in the long line of recent staying chases.
A very competitive juvenile handicap hurdle kick things off, a tough opener to what is sure to be a massive Scoop 6 this week.
Raven's Tower (8/1 SkyBet) has already proved himself in handicaps this season, following up an excellent 6th in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival with a romp at Ascot the time after. A 6lb increase doesn't look too harsh given the impression he made that day while runner up, The Green Ogre, didn't do the form any harm when filling the same position at Plumpton in the Sussex Champion Hurdle.
BARADARI (8/1 Ladbrokes) was just in front of Raven's Tower at Cheltenham and finds himself better off at the weights now. He fell too early at Aintree the time after in a Grade 1 to know what he could have done but the way he romped up the hill at Cheltenham would suggest Sandown will suit. The Friday rain would also look in his favour and he appears to represent a spot of value.
Keltus (9/2 Coral) was just in front of the aforementioned pair in the Cheltenham race having finished off well up the hill. He opened his campaign in taking fashion at Chepstow in October, looking more of a contender for the Triumph Hurdle at that stage. His defeat at the hands of Fergall in December reads well now, but his form in France on ground with cut in it raises doubts.
Ronaldinho (8/1 Ladbrokes) benefitted from the refitting of blinkers behind Raven's Tower at Ascot recently with his best run for a while. The downside was they lit him up a bit too much and, if the same happens here with the stiffer uphill finish, it will be a struggle for him to get home.
2.05 Betting Tip – BARADARI (E/W) (8/1 Ladbrokes)
The first flat offering of the day on Channel 4 is a trappy 0-105 handicap over 7f with some Group and Listed form on offer amongst the runners
Bertiewhittle (12/1 Coral) has been keeping himself ticking over during the winter on the all weather both at home and in Dubai, but is equally as effective on turf. He has gone well for inexperienced riders in the past and if Jack Garrity's claim is taken into consideration he would be very well handicapped.
Dont Bother Me (10/1 bet365) is a fascinating contender on his debut for Marco Botti having been prepared for a tilt at the 2000 Guineas just 12 months ago. He has run respectfully in Group races since and a market move would be significant now handicapping.
Newstead Abbey (11/1 SkyBet) will benefit from the step back up in trip having got a little tapped for toe over six furlongs last time. His run at the course last May was his strongest effort and off just 1lb higher mark, he must be strongly considered.
Consign (14/1 Ladbrokes) has started the season in disappointing fashion after an excellent three year-old campaign. Given connections, it is likely that he will find the requisite improvement for this mark this season with fitness not an issue here.
FORT BASTION (16/1 Ladbrokes) is becoming dangerously well handicapped and showed more at Thirsk in his return than he had done in the past two years. He is the type that this stable does well with and with a further 2lb reduction in the weight he looks well worth supporting.
2.20 Betting Tip – FORT BASTION (E/W) (16/1 Ladbrokes)
A new addition to the card here with an inbetween trip of 2m6f an interesting quandary.
MENORAH (5/2 Betfred) looks well weighted on his Cheltenham effort last April when a excellent runner-up off an 8lb higher mark. He ran with credit in the Betfred Bowl at Aintree last time and looks primed for a big run.
Rolling Aces (11/4 William Hill) ran a stormer at Aintree when only giving best to a resurgent Boston Bob. He acts well with cut in the ground and the trip shouldn't be a problem to him but he has looked like a weak finisher in the past and was comfortably out pointed on his last visit here.
Hunt Ball (5/2 bet365) looked more like his old self at Cheltenham before struggling in the Grand National. The weight allowance he receives from his two main rivals is handy but the Aintree race may have left a mark.
Gullinbursti (8/1 Ladbrokes) has been running well lately but like Rolling Aces has a tendency to look a shade weak in the finish. A climb to the line might not be ideal but the slight step down in trip might help his overall cause.
2.40 Betting Tip – MENORAH (WIN) (5/2 Betfred)
A race that revolves around the Champion Chase winner – Sire De Grugy who looks set to conclude his campaign with a win in the Celebration Chase.
Claret Cloak (10/1 bet365) has run a couple of mighty races at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals in very competitive handicaps. This seven year-old still has room to grow but will need to do so to do better than a place here.
French Opera (16/1 SkyBet) has been a grand old servant to connections, winning this race in 2012 and running some smart races in defeat this season. Conditions should be ideal for him but he hides nothing from the handicapper these days and he should be fighting for a place at best.
SIRE DE GRUGY (2/5 Betfred) has proved himself easily the best two miler in the country this season in the absence of Sprinter Sacre. He will be glad of the recent rain and is impossible to oppose with chunks in hand on all his rivals.
Special Tiara (12/1 Ladbrokes) is second best in at the weights, keeping good company throughout the season. He was well held in the Champion Chase and his chance probably lies in not being hassled too much by Kauto Stone (33/1 William Hill) for the lead.
3.15 Betting Tip – SIRE DE GRUGY (WIN) (2/5 Betfred)
Another very competitive 0-105 handicap back on the flat with 2m to cover in Yorkshire.
Mubaraza (6/1 Betfred) returns from a long absence having been last seen when runner up in the Northumberland Plate in June. That was a career best effort but he has no great record fresh so may prove best watched with future engagements in mind.
Esteaming (7/1 Coral) and Angel Gabrial (12/1 William Hill) both have something to prove with regards to trip but arrive in good form. The former progressed well last year over a mile and a half with a mile and a quarter proving no obstacle to begin this year at Newcastle. The latter did well stepped up to a quarter mile shy of this at Musselburgh on his most recent start. He possibly went too soon on that occasion and can do better if held onto for a little longer.
Chocala (10/1 SkyBet) hasn’t really taken to hurdles this winter so will likely prove happier back on the flat. He improved over long distances last year and while he could easily improve further he could go with a drop of rain.
BAYAN (10/3 Betfred) has to be respected on connections alone raiding these shores for Gordon Elliot. This mark looks well within his compass on his flat efforts whilst it looks rather lenient on what he has accomplished over jumps. His Coral Cup running behind Whisper is the peak of his runs with a mark of 142 over hurdles suggesting 81 is more than feasible.
3.30 Betting Tip – BAYAN (WIN) (10/3 Betfred)
The final major race of the 2013/14 jumps season is the bet365 Gold Cup Chase.
It would take an excellent performance to win with top weight but Houblon Des Obeaux (20/1 Coral) has earned the welter burden with some excellent performances this season. The recent rain is a plus and he looks as if he would have the requisite stamina for this test.
Bury Parade (12/1 bet365) is quirky but talented and has showed both sides of his character this season. This would be the toughest race he has run in but he travels well in his races and has taken well to the fitting of a hood.
Spring Heeled (14/1 Betfred) finally fulfilled his potential at the Cheltenham Festival last time with the first two pulling well clear in that race. The runner-up did nothing for the form in the Irish National last time however, and this horse also didn't look to get home the last time he tried a trip this far.
Hadrian's Approach (12/1 William Hill) did well considering his tender years in this race last year when finishing fifth, just tiring out of it in the straight. He is a 1lb lower now but didn't run well at the Festival last time so needs to bounce back.
Opening Batsman (33/1 SkyBet) has been massively disappointing this season having been so progressive last year. He has found himself back down to his latest winning mark and would be very dangerous if able to recapture his form.
Another who finds himself on his most recent winning mark is SAME DIFFERENCE (10/1 William Hill) who was runner up in this race last year when 7lbs heavier. He ran well enough at Cheltenham when last seen to suggest that he is dangerous here.
ARDKILLY WITNESS (10/1 William Hill) has been a progressive novice this season, finding this trip too sharp at Kempton off the same mark. This sort of trip looks as if it will suit with the recent rain a plus, as despite a win on good last time, he primarily shows his best form on softer ground.
3.50 Betting Tips – SAME DIFFERENCE (E/W) (10/1 William Hill)
– ARDKILLY WITNESS (E/W) (10/1 William Hill)