Saturday Racing Tips – 25th January 2020

The Cheltenham Festival looms large over pretty much all of the jumps racing taking place at this time of the year. That’s never truer than in relation to the action this weekend when Cheltenham hosts its Trials Day for the imminent Festival.

Some horses who have already been well backed to win in March are in action on Saturday including Paisley Park who is the ante post favourite for the Stayers’ Hurdle. Each of the four races taking place at Cheltenham should provide pointers for the Festival whilst there are important clues to be found during Sky Bet Chase day at Doncaster. We have sifted through the action on both cards to pick out our best Saturday racing tips.


Cheltenham RacecourseTrials Day at Cheltenham has produced many winners of the Cheltenham Festival, which takes place just a matter of weeks later.

Punters will certainly be on the lookout for any tips and hints they can grab ahead of the 2020 Festival during Saturday’s quality card at Prestbury Park.

1:50pm Paddy Power 45 Sleeps To Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase

The name of the first ITV race of the day makes it clear that today’s racing is not just about the immediate results. A strong run in the 2m4½f, Grade 3 Paddy Power 45 Sleeps To Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase could be all connections need to convince them that their horse has a chance of making an impact at the Cheltenham Festival.

Lalor’s trainer, Kayley Woollacott is particularly hopeful that their charge will head into the Festival in good form after he disappointed last year. Preference for this race goes to Jerrysback though at 10/1 with bet365. Philip Hobbs’ eight year old looked much better on his second run of the season in December compared to his first. Further improvement could well bring about a big win.

2:25pm Cotswold Chase

The Cotswold Chase is traditionally viewed as the Cheltenham Gold Cup trial on Trials Day. It’s rare for a horse to do as Master Oats did in 1995 and win this before going on to win the Gold Cup, however, and it is unlikely that any of those in the field for this year’s renewal will do the double.

The bookies rate Santini as the Cotswold Chase horse with the best chance of winning big at the Festival. However, the eight year old may well find it tough even in this trial. His sole performance of the year was far from convincing which opens the door for Bristol De Mai. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ nine year old is the highest rated horse in the race and can prove his class by bouncing back from his defeat in the Betfair Chase by winning at 2/1 with Ladbrokes.

3:00pm Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle

Of all the races at Trials day there is perhaps most on the line in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. The young, relatively inexperienced horses in the field are still finding their feet over hurdles and most are making their first appearance at Cheltenham.

Whilst there is always a certain amount of unpredictability in this race, the bookies have had no trouble pricing up King Roland as the 6/4 favourite. Harry Fry’s six year old certainly has a good chance of winning but at the odds you would have to favour Protektorat. This improving five year old has run well on each start this season and can secure his second win in a row at 11/4 with Betfair.

3:35pm Cleeve Hurdle

Of all the horses competing at Trials Day, Paisley Park is probably the most likely to go on and win at the Cheltenham Festival. Emma Lavelle’s eight year old is the current bookies’ favourite to win the Stayer’s Hurdle for the second year in a row and he should head to the Festival on the back of a second straight win in the Cleeve Hurdle.

Paisley Park went into last year’s Cleeve Hurdle as the odds-on favourite with the bookies and should oblige his backers once again. The quality of his performance when seeing off the challenge of Thistlecrack in the Ladbrokes Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury showed that he has lost none of his vim, vigour or stamina over the winter so expect Paisley Park to go in at 8/13 with Coral.


Doncaster RacecourseDoncaster hosts the Sky Bet Chase Day on Saturday. The whole card is named after the feature race of the day but it is by no means the only contest worth getting excited about.

Indeed, this is a two day meeting which usually draws big crowds to Doncaster. Those who come through the gates on Saturday or who are simply watching at home will be treated to three quality races.

2:05pm Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle

Just five runners will compete in the Grade 2 Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle. Whilst the organisers would clearly have like a bigger field to turn up, there remains enough quality to make this a tricky proposition for punters. Boss Man Fred and Champagne Well share favouritism at a general 9/4 but Thomas Macdonagh may well get the better of them both.

The seven year old has already run four times this season but when a horse finds winners as easy to come by as Thomas Macdonagh it is little surprise that Jamie Snowden is keeping his charge busy. He completed a hat-trick of wins last time out and can take another step forward by winning at Doncaster at 7/2 with Betfair.

2:40pm Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle

The hope ahead of the Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle was that both Lady Buttons and Floressa would be declared to face off against each other. Thankfully for racing fans the battle is on. Lady Buttons narrowly leads the way in the betting after a win in the Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase last time out. Winning form at Doncaster is obviously a plus as she returns to the track but that win came over fences and there is an opportunity for her younger rival to claim a big win over hurdles.

At just five years of age, Floressa has the best days of her career firmly ahead of her. Given how well she has looked in her few performances to date, the future looks to be very bright for Nicky Henderson’s mare. She’s been kept fresh for the Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle having not run since an impressive win in a Listed novices’ hurdle last time out. It is a big step up to graded company but one that Floressa is ready to make so back her to win at 2/1 with Ladbrokes.

3:15pm Sky Bet Chase

This is the race that the racegoers have really come to see. The Sky Bet Chase has always been a very competitive race which has provided winners from throughout the betting markets. We have another field packed full of quality for the 2020 running which means plenty of opportunities to profit and hopefully a thrilling finish.

The market expects Dingo Dollar to be heavily involved in that finish. Alan King’s charge is the current favourite at 11/2 with bet365 and does have all the attributes required to make it three wins in five renewals of the Sky Bet Chase for King. Those who should make life tough for the favourite include Good Man Pat (12/ with BetVictor) who is another strong King runner and Quarenta (12/1 with Coral) who heads into the race in very good shape. The favourite is being well supported for good reason though and can justify his support.