Free race previews and betting tips for each race shown live on Channel 4 from Haydock and Kempton.
Considering the highs we have seen on Channel 4 recently, with two Nationals and the high class start to the flat season, as well as the up coming jumps finale from Sandown next week, one could be forgiven for seeing this Saturday as something of a damp squib. Undoubtedly, whilst it is lacking a little in outright class, there is no shortage of competitive action from both Haydock and Kempton.
This big field 3m chase looks wide open with any number of the runners in with a chance to enter the winner’s enclosure.
Cloudy Too (9/1 bet365) was last seen at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup when running well to a point. He has progressed well this season and although this handicap mark is still workable he has struggled in the past when encountering ground this quick.
BOLD CHIEF (4/1 William Hill) returned from his winter hiatus at Uttoxeter last time with a bang, turning what had looked a competitive handicap beforehand into a procession. He needs quicker ground to be seen to best effect and looks open to further improvement. The only blot on his copybook came last summer when hold up tactics were applied, so expect him to be close to the pace here.
Our Mick (7/1 Coral) is handicapped to go close having run his best race for quite some time at Aintree a fortnight ago with a bold show from the front. He has been dropped another 3lbs and, with a similar effort, should go well.
2.05 Betting Tip – BOLD CHIEF (WIN) (4/1 William Hill)
Another tricky handicap next up over seven furlongs on the all weather, a 0-105 contest with a competitive field.
Ayaar (4/1 SkyBet) closed out his 2013 campaign with a win at Newmarket when stepped down to seven furlongs having been campaigned over a mile. He is still very fairly handicapped on his best and, with all his career wins over this trip, is one to watch in the market.
Glen Moss (4/1 William Hill) is interesting for new connections who start his season in the same contest he finished runner-up in last year. He picked up two competitive handicaps last season and may have further improvement to come.
CHILWORTH ICON (8/1 bet365) has returned in good heart this season running on late at Lingfield before having no luck in running at Thirsk last weekend. He is due a change of fortune and looks handicapped to be in the mix.
Rocksilla (7/1 Ladbrokes) should continue to improve this year having won three of her four starts last year, including on her reappearance. The form of her most recent win at Yarmouth is working out well, with four of the six behind her successful since, and despite this being a marked step up in class she needs to be respected.
2.20 Betting Tip – CHILWORTH ICON (WIN) (8/1 bet365)
The hurdles final of the two and a half mile Grassroots series looks another in the same competitive vein with plenty of in-form rivals squaring off.
No No Mac (11/1 Coral) was a little disappointing on his handicap debut at Sandown in December but has shown improved form stepped up in trip in novice company on his last two starts. This does leave him on a higher mark than when beaten but the trip should compensate for that.
HEATH HUNTER (6/1 Ladbrokes) was sent off favourite for his handicap debut last time tanking to the front four out before fading in the home straight. If ridden with a little more restraint on this easier track, there is good enough reason to believe he can find the requisite improvement needed to go close.
Generous Ransom (9/1 Betfred) has looked a different horse since going handicapping taking an 8lb rise for an Exeter win in his stride at Wincanton last time. He is up a further 7lbs here in a tougher race but he is moving in the right direction.
Maurice Linehan gets on well with Carlton Jack (20/1 bet365) who has looked in the need of the run in recent starts returning from a winter break. The form of both his Autumn wins has worked out nicely with winners in behind and, although this is a more difficult contest, he is an interesting runner.
2.40 Betting Tip – HEATH HUNTER (WIN) (6/1 Ladbrokes)
The Snowdrop Fillies Stakes is a good quality Listed contest which looks to have a much smaller short list than some other races today.
Zurigha (9/4 Betfred) looks to have plenty going for her with a perfect two from two record when fresh with both of those wins on the Kempton Polytrack. She sprang something of a surprise when winning last Autumn at Newmarket but that turf effort was a rare good showing on grass so back on the all weather she should feel right at home.
Having begun last season rattling off a hat trick of triumphs, Auction (8/1 Coral) saw her form tail off in the summer and she's been absent since July. She has won on the Polytrack at Lingfield so the surface holds no fears and although having a little to find on the ratings this time of year might be the time to catch her.
Ribbons (6/1 Ladbrokes) lost her unbeaten record at Yarmouth last September when taking an age to hit top gear. The winner very much had the run of the race that day but the drop down to a sharpish mile might not be in her favour and she might be one for the notebook for later in the season if able to finish close.
ZIBELINA (2/1 bet365) was a rapid improver as a three year old, thrashing a Newcastle maiden field before taking steps up to Listed and then Group 3 grade in style. The form of her Sandown defeat has worked out well with winner, Integral placing in a Group 1 and third placed Shuruq winning a Maydan Group 2 in January. Zibelina's wins came at the right time to escape a penalty and, although unproven on the surface, she should prove the one to beat.
2.55 Betting Tip – ZIBELINA (WIN) (2/1 bet365)
Another big field handicap here over 2m6f on quicker ground, characteristics which make this race somewhat of a unique test.
King Massini (15/2 Betfred) fell early on at Cheltenham last time on his return from an absence. He showed a good attitude when going up the handicap sharply at the back end of 2013.
Tiptoeaway (25/1 Ladbrokes) is dangerously well handicapped on what he achieved two years ago, 5lbs below his latest winning mark. He showed a little more last time and, although it wasn't enough to consider him a likely winner, he may well outrun his price.
It would be hard to believe that BINCOMBE (7/1 William Hill) wouldn't be able to better his current mark of 119 so rapidly is the six year-old improving. He won over shorter here last time on similar ground with a 7lb rise unlikely to be enough to stop him.
Frontier Spirit (33/1 Coral) has slipped to a tempting mark with excellent conditional Ryan Hatch taking a further 7lbs off. He has his own mind about the game but hasn't run as badly recently as his placings would appear to suggest.
3.15 Betting Tip – BINCOMBE (WIN) (7/1 William Hill)
Another race in the London Mile series up next as summer’s big all weather series continues.
Loving Spirit (15/2 Coral) deserves to pick up a big prize after his consistency in some big handicaps last season, including when third in the final of this series. He continues to sneak up the weights but should still be involved at the finish.
Tigers Tale (6/1 Betfred) won the opening contest of this series the last time the Channel 4 cameras were at Kempton. Despite Oisin Murphy taking off the 3lbs he was put up the handicap for that victory, this is a stone better contest.
LOYALTY (16/1 SkyBet) is interesting returned to a shorter trip having been running poorly over further of late. Both of his most recent wins have come at Kempton on marks 1lb either side of his current rating. He has a habit of popping up out of nowhere and is worth an each-way tickle in an open race.
Frasers Hill (9/2 bet365) hasn't been seen for almost a year but looks fairly handicapped on his only all weather start when having a nigh on impossible task at the weights. The absence isn't a major concern as he runs well when fresh but, as a five year-old with just three career runs, he has evidently been plagued by problems.
3.30 Betting Tip – LOYALTY (E/W) (16/1 SkyBet)
A small field to finish the coverage with this long distance chase. Given the plethora of similar type races this time of year it's not a surprise to see it not so well supported.
Fentara (11/4 Coral) finally got rewarded for her consistency when a wide margin winner at Kelso on her most recent start. She has run well on good ground before but would probably want it a little softer in an ideal world. It is not however a great race for the grade and she deserves respect.
Red Rocco (9/2 Ladbrokes) would appreciate the heavens opening having already run a pair of solid races over C&D this season off similar marks. This looks considerably easier than either of those races and, if able to get the lead, would be dangerous.
BENNYS WELL (11/4 Coral) has been improving steadily this season only finishing out of the first two once in his last nine starts. He is arguably best suited here to the underfoot conditions and, despite this being a step up in class, he is taken to continue improving.
3.50 Betting Tip – BENNYS WELL (WIN) (11/4 Coral)