Talking Horses: Best Saturday bets for Musselburgh and Haydock

Chris Cook
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">A number of big-field handicaps at Haydock could bring great rewards for any winning punters.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Tim Goode/PA</span>
A number of big-field handicaps at Haydock could bring great rewards for any winning punters. Photograph: Tim Goode/PA

Today’s ITV4 races

If today’s action is any guide, Easter Saturday threatens to become one of the most competitive day’s racing in the calendar and one of the trickiest for punters. A series of big-field handicaps at Musselburgh and Haydock make up the TV offering and the odds of reward will be excellent for any punters who manage to dig out a winner, but the net result will surely be a significant boost for bookmakers and the sport’s levy income.

Sindarban (3.35) is one to be interested in, at the very least, and could be the answer to the 14-runner puzzle which is Musselburgh’s Queen’s Cup. The chestnut looked all class in cruising through the pack to win the Cumberland Plate last summer, at which point he had not long joined Keith Dalgleish from Donald McCain.

He didn’t win again in four subsequent outings, though he ran well enough when third at Ayr in the autumn to suggest that nothing had particularly gone wrong with him. Fresh from a six-month break might be the right time to catch him, especially with the yard going so well, and odds of 14-1 look generous. Isharah is the likely favourite after a prolific winter on the all-weather but he looks in the handicapper’s grasp.

1.50 Musselburgh Having hit form last summer, when she won twice from her three most recent starts, Ionization should have plenty more to offer. She looks well treated on a mark 7lb higher than for her latest success.

2.05 Haydock A frustrating sort, Some Buckle came good once more at Stratford a fortnight ago. This is much tougher but he remains well treated on the pick of his form and this dry surface helps him a lot.

2.25 Musselburgh Purely in terms of ability, Monsieur Joe ought to be the one here. The question is whether he can be sharp enough as a 10-year-old having his first start since July but he ran to a high level on his reappearance a year ago.

2.40 Haydock Four from 10 since joining Lucy Wadham from Ireland, Shanroe Santos has not been winning by far but looks one to keep onside since cheekpieces have been fitted. Another 3lb should not stop him showing up well again.

3.00 Musselburgh The step into handicaps did wonders for Rashford’s Double in the autumn and he remains unbeaten in that sphere. Now that Richard Fahey’s string appears to be hitting form, he can again go well.

3.15 Haydock The better for his second place last month on his first start since early autumn, Brotherly Company can resume the gradual progress he has shown for Harry Fry, who got him from Germany a year ago. He didn’t go on from his first handicap success in May but was only four at the time and looks more like the finished article now.

Tips for all Saturday races

Carlisle 1.45 Officer Hoolihan 2.15 Wolf Sword 2.50 Princess Mononoke 3.25 Lord Ballim4.00 Total Assets 4.30 Tommy O’Dwyer 5.00 The Vocalist

Musselburgh 1.50 Ionization 2.25 Monsieur Joe 3.00 Rashford’s Double 3.35 Sindarban (nb)4.05 Washeek 4.40 What’s The Story 5.10Reckless Serenade

Newton Abbot 1.55 African Tiger (nb) 2.30 Ruby Russet 3.05 Abidjan 3.40 Amour De Nuit 4.10Cucklington 4.45 Waterloo Warrior 5.15Pantxoa

Kempton 2.00 Plunger 2.35 A Momentofmadness 3.10 Solar Flair 3.45 Laugh Aloud 4.15Blending 4.50 Executive Force 5.25Velvet Revolution (nap)

Haydock 2.05 Some Buckle 2.40 Shanroe Santos 3.15 Brotherly Company 3.50 Late Night Lily 4.20 Sam Red 4.55 Conquer Gold 5.30Bertie Bori

Brighton 4.35 Jumira Bridge 5.05 Endeavour 5.35 King Of Paris 6.05 Aldeburgh 6.35Onehelluvatouch 7.05 Il Sicario 7.35Essaka

Stratford 5.20 Calling Des Blins 5.50 Ashoka 6.20 Walkami 6.50 Spader 7.20 Goonjim7.50 Monsieur Arkadin

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