Paddy Power and horse racing trader Niall O’Reilly have identified their best bets ahead of this weekend’s action.
Speaking on the latest episode of our twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, the pair glanced over Saturday’s cards at Wetherby, Ascot and Down Royal while also taking a look at Sunday’s offerings before plumping for these two picks.
This one wasn’t originally going to be my best bet – it was going to be my Next Best – but Niall was so effusive in his agreement with me that I have changed my mind, so WHOLESTONE is worth a right few quid each-way.
The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last year was a funny race with Lisnagar Oscar winning at 50/1. It’s early in the season but that horse will be quite highly tried all year. Next Destination is interesting after a change of stable from Willie Mullins, but hasn’t run for about 20 years it’s probably a watching brief at this stage!
So I’m going to go for Wholestone for the Twiston-Davies yard, who is pretty consistent and seems made for these races – he’s never really out of the frame. He was novice chasing last year but is back hurdling now and could be one that is fitter than some of the others and is therefore a bit of value.
I’m going for WHATMORE in the 3.40pm at Ascot. I’m very keen on this horse of Henry Daly’s, who has started the season quite well. Whatmore shaped well in a few decent novice chases last year prior to running really well in a strong Kempton handicap in February won by Mister Malarky. He probably could have gone closer to winning with a better ride, in my opinion. He ran at Cheltenham in the novice handicap chase when he was fourth, shaping really well but looking like the trip was just on the short side.
He steps up the three miles here and is definitely on a good mark, carrying just 10st 3lbs. One worry I do have is the higher-rated horses have been winning these races of late – we’ve seen what Frodon did at Cheltenham – but this race looks a bit of an exception. Seven of the last 10 winners carried 11st or less so it bodes well for Whatmore. I’m very keen on this and it is one of my strongest fancies of the day.
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Paddy and Niall’s best bets of the weekend
2.45pm, Wetherby (Saturday) – Wholestone
3.40pm, Ascot (Saturday) – Whatmore
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