Horse Racing


April 2024

By Nick Robson

Lion’s Pride is taken to give weight and a beating to some smart rivals in the Virgin Bet Every Saturday Money Back Magnolia Stakes at Kempton on Monday.

Trained by John and Thady Gosden, he has been brought along steadily in his career to date but this is the time he can really take off.

While official figures suggest he has it all to do giving 3lb to William Haggas’ Dubai Honour, who is rated 11lb his superior, that one is on the road to recovery following a setback and he has bigger targets further afield in the coming months.

Lion’s Pride looked to have his limitations exposed when only third in two Listed races, having got off the mark at Kempton in July, but his last race promised plenty.

Back on the all-weather, he comfortably accounted for Charlie Appleby’s Measured Time, who was sent off the 4-9 favourite after three previous wins.

The fact Measured Time has since gone out to Dubai and won a Group Two before claiming the prestigious Group One Jebel Hatta and then finishing a fine fourth in the Dubai Turf, suggests Lion’s Pride is a bit better than a Listed horse.

Tom Clover’s Al Barez caught the eye last time out and can go well in the Virgin Bet Best Odds Daily Handicap.

Well bred, being by Dark Angel out of the Irish 1000 Guineas winner Jet Setting, the feeling is we have yet to see Al Barez reach his full potential.

He did win three of his first four races but then had wind surgery and missed a whole year. Since then, he has not quite hit the same heights but he was not knocked about last time out at Wolverhampton.

Clive Cox’s Vultar has won his last two at this track and while he only just about held on last time, the suggestion was he was only doing enough.

He can bring up his hat-trick in the Virgin Bet Daily Extra Places Handicap.

Twelfth Knight won the Market Cross Jewellers Handicap at Redcar last season, admittedly off a much lower mark, but might repeat the trick first time out again.

He was a real success story for Ruth Carr, so it was surprising he was moved to Paul Midgley in August but a win at Ripon on just his second start for his new trainer suggested it had done him no harm.

There might be more to come from the five-year-old this year.

Rocking Tree scored first time out for George Boughey having been with Ger Lyons in Ireland previously.

He has a 5lb rise to overcome in the Get Raceday Ready Handicap at Wolverhampton but it might not be enough to stop him.

Ballee looks capable of defying a double penalty for Philip Hobbs and Johnson White in the Betting.Bet Horse Racing Tips Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow.

Donald McCain’s Camarrate can go one better than last time at Kelso when he goes to Fakenham for the Fisher Electrical Contractors Juvenile Maiden Hurdle, while Bourbali is a solid pick in the Bob Champion Cancer Trust Sussex Champion Handicap Chase at Plumpton.

It is Boylesports Irish Grand National day at Fairyhouse, where it is impossible to get away from the claims of the favourite, Willie Mullins’ novice Nick Rockett.

Kept fresh and away from Cheltenham, he appears to have been leniently treated by the handicapper.

Here are your tips:

CHEPSTOW: 2.35 Idefix De Ciergues, 3.10 Trapista, 3.45 Ballee, 4.18 Calico, 4.55 One Eye On Vegas, 5.30 Stellar Stream, 6.00 Woodland Park.

CORK: 1.48 Lough Owel, 2.23 The Banger Doyle, 2.58 Donacheady Gale, 3.33 Design Flaw, 4.08 Ryehill, 4.43 Break The Boundary, 5.18 Backmersackme, 5.51 Air Of Entitlement.

FAIRYHOUSE: 2.05 Catena Zapata, 2.40 Bottler’secret, 3.15 O’Moore Park, 3.50 Zarak The Brave, 4.20 Saint Sam, 5.00 Nick Rockett, 5.40 Better Times Ahead, 6.10 Coco Masterpiece.

FAKENHAM: 1.27 Camarrate, 1.57 Glance At Me, 2.32 Jerrash, 3.07 Sambezi, 3.42 Steal My Sunshine, 4.16 Red Panda.

HUNTINGDON: 12.35 Moon Eagle, 1.05 Rock House, 1.35 Shengai Enki, 2.10 Copernic Du Mazet, 2.45 Mixedwave, 3.20 Blue Bikini, 3.55 Wreckless Eric, 4.30 The Hardest Geezer.

KEMPTON: 1.45 Majestic Heights, 2.20 Educate, 2.55 LION’S PRIDE (NAP), 3.30 Cello, 4.05 Al Barez, 4.40 Vultar, 5.15 Intercessor.

PLUMPTON: 2.25 Bourbali, 3.00 Always Busy, 3.35 Furkash, 4.10 Kaituna River, 4.45 Mi Sueno, 5.20 Aggagio, 5.55 Ken Roy.

REDCAR: 1.54 Stay In The Game, 2.29 Happy Helen, 3.04 Arkenstaar, 3.39 Look Back Smiling, 4.14 Twelfth Knight, 4.49 Big Blue Boy, 5.24 Captain Dandy.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.40 Major Major, 2.15 Pappano, 2.53 Lady Dorchester, 3.28 Coast, 4.03 Rocking Tree, 4.38 A Pint Of Bear, 5.13 Theotherside, 5.48 Crimson Angel.

DOUBLE: Lion’s Pride and Al Barez

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