The Racing Week Ahead…

With John Burke on holiday this week, the estimable Andy Newton has stepped-in to give us his take on the week ahead. His is a detailed, interesting read, from a different perspective.


With last weekend’s Cheltenham November Meeting behind us, it’s fair to say……jump racing is back!

It’s the hedgehoppers all the way now for the next six months or so, with a bit of AW flat action thrown into the mix as well.

It’s pretty average fare during the midweek, but things ramp-up several notches as we head into the weekend with Ascot, and Haydock, the main meetings this coming Saturday 24th.

At Ascot, the Coral Hurdle and the Christy 1965 Chase are the main events, while at Haydock all eyes will be on the Grade One Betfair Chase – one of the leading staying chases of the season.

Let’s take a look at what’s on over the week.

Monday 19th November

Unfortunately, we’ve already lost the Leicester jumps card, but we’ve still got National Hunt action from Plumpton and Hereford, while Kempton provides the AW racing, with the first race there getting underway at 4pm.

Plumpton – always look out for any Gary Moore-trained runners. The local trainer has a decent 24% record with his chasers there, and rarely a meeting goes by without the yard having a winner. The Alan King camp is another to note, having achieved a stonking overall 30% strike-rate with their runners at the venue.

Hereford – another track the Alan King yard have done well at, with two winners from their last 8 runners (25%). Warren Greatrex (29%) and Tom George (21%) are other stables to note.

Kempton – the up-and-coming Archie Watson team are always worth looking out for here, with an overall 22% strike-rate; while with only 6 winners from their last 251 (6%), the John Bridger yard might be best avoided.

Tuesday 20th November

Another average day with two jumps cards at Southwell and Fakenham, while Lingfield provide AW racing fans with their fix.

Southwell – the Tom George stable are also worth noting here, with a 30% overall record (21-71) in recent seasons, plus also note any Peter Bowen-trained chasers, as they boast an impressive 44% record.

Fakenham – the popular Olly Murphy yard often do well with their runners here (30%), so are always worth noting – especially over fences, as this increases to 38%. With 25% strike rates, the Oliver Sherwood and Dan Skelton are other stables to note.

Lingfield – in recent years the Archie Watson team have built-up a decent 24% record at the track, and that increases to 35% with their 2 year-olds. Seamus Durack is another yard to have on your radar, with an overall 23% record at the Surrey venue.

Wednesday 21st November

A bit more going on Wednesday, with jumping cards at Warwick, Hexham and Chepstow, plus two AW fixtures from Kempton and Wolverhampton.

Warwick – the champion trainer, Nicky Henderson, is always worth following here with a 30% strike-rate, and that increases to a stonking 57% over fences (4 from 7). Gary Moore (30%), Paul Nicholls (24%), and Dan Skelton (23%) are other yards to keep on-side.

Hexham – Keith Dalgleish (29%), Graeme McPherson (27%), Mark Walford (20%) & James Ewart (20%) are yards to note, but with only 3 winners from 63 (5%), the Rose Dobbin team don’t have the best of records here.

Chepstow – some big yards are likely to be on show at the Welsh track, but pay special attention to any Paul Nicholls (24%) and Tom George (24%) runners, especially if the pair have any runners in NH Flat races, as this record then increases to 46% (Nicholls) and 50% (George).

Thursday 22nd November 

Another busy day with jumping cards at Market Rasen and Wincanton, plus AW action from Newcastle and Wolverhampton.

Market Rasen – trainer Dan Skelton always does well with runners here (27%), plus look for any Nigel Twiston-Davies hurdlers at the track, as they boast an impressive 30% strike-rate. Stuart Edmund’s runners over fences are 2 from 4 (50%) as well, while with only 2 winners from 46, be wary of Ben Case-trained runners.

Wincanton – Paul Nicholls rarely leaves empty-handed here. He has a cracking 33% overall record in recent years, and that increases to 38% with just his hurdlers. Alan King (20%), and Emma Lavelle (20%), are other yards to note, while the up-and-coming Jack Barber team are already 2 from 7 here.

Newcastle – the powerful John Gosden (38%), William Haggas (37%), and Charlie Appleby (42%) yards are not afraid to send runners up north to this track, and with cracking strike-rates the entries from all three should be respected.

Friday 23rd November 

A top jumping card at Ascot this Friday for the first of their two-day meeting. Ffos Las and Catterick also race over the sticks, and Kempton provide the AW action.

Ascot – a 25% record with his chasers at the track, the powerful Nicky Henderson team should be followed. The Robert Walford (2 from 4), and Oliver Sherwood (3 from 9) camps, also do well with their chasers at the Berkshire venue. Harry Fry is another yard to look for as they boast a decent 26% overall record here, but pay special attention to their hurdlers (37%). Finally, it’s not been a lucky track for Dan Skelton so far, just 3 from 50!

Ffos Las – trainers Ben Pauling (27%), Warren Greatrex (23%) and Philip Hobbs (21%) should be given a second glance here, note that Pauling is also 2 from 3 (67%) with his chasers here. Also note any Rebecca Curtis-trained runners (25%), and especially their chasers, as they are 37% over fences at this track.

Catterick – if Jamie Snowden has any runners here this week then take note. He’s got a decent 40% record, and is actually 2-from-2 with his chasers at the course.

Saturday 24th November

The LIVE ITV racing comes from Ascot and Haydock this Saturday, with two cracking jumps cards to take in. At Ascot, the Coral Hurdle and the Christy 1965 Chase are the main events, while at Haydock the Betfair Chase is their feature contest.

The supporting cards on the day are Huntingdon, Lingfield and Wolverhampton.

Back to Haydock and the Betfair Chase…
At this stage of the week we could be in for a race to savour. Gold Cup winner, Native River, and the runner-up Might Bite are currently entered, while King George hero, Thistlecrack, and also last year’s Betfair Chase winner, Bristol de Mai, could head for the race. Bristol De Mai routed a good field in the race 12 months ago, and if the ground turns up soft, he would be a big player. He looks to emulate the likes of Cue Card and Kauto Star by winning this race more than once. His form figures at Haydock read 1-1-1 so he’s yet to taste defeat at the Lancashire venue, so even if he might be taking on the Gold Cup first and second, he seems to be a better horse at Haydock and looks set to run a big race.

Recent Betfair Chase Winners

2017 – BRISTOL DE MAI (11/10 fav)
2016 – CUE CARD (15/8 fav)
2015 – CUE CARD (7/4)
2014 – SILVINIACO CONTI (10/3)
2013 – CUE CARD (9/1)
2011 – KAUTO STAR (6/1)
2010 – IMPERIAL COMMANDER (10/11 fav)
2009 – KAUTO STAR (4/6 fav)
2008 – SNOOPY LOOPY (33/1)
2007 – KAUTO STAR (4/5 fav)
2006 – KAUTO STAR (11/10 fav)
2005 – KINGSCLIFF (8/1)

Key Betfair Chase Betting Trends

13 Previous runnings
11/13 – Won over at least 3m (fences) previously
11/13 – Raced within the last 4 weeks
10/13 – Officially rating of 168 or higher
10/13 – Won by and Irish (3) or French (7) bred horse
10/13 – Placed in the top three in their last race
10/13 – Won a Grade One chase previously
9/13 – Raced at Haydock previously
9/13 – Favourites placed
8/13 – Aged 8 or older
7/13 – Raced at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall last time out
7/13 – Winning distance – 2 ½ lengths or less
6/13 – Won by a previous winner of the race
6/13 – Winning favourites
5/13 – Won their latest race
3/13 – Raced at Aintree last time out

The average winning price in the last 11 runnings is 11/2. The Paul Nicholls yard has won the prize in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2014. Ruby Walsh has ridden the winner in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012.

Have a great racing week.

All the best,
Andy Newton
for The Race Advisor

Andy Newton

Andy is a member of the Horse Writers’ Association and an established horse racing expert and tipster. He's been featured in Gambling Online magazine, and as an expert in the Official Wetherbys Cheltenham Festival betting guide since 2011 as well as other leading publications . Andy also has regular columns on, and and specializes in big race trends and stats.
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