Horse Racing Tips: Paul Jacobs’ 4 value plays across the UK & Irish tracks on Sunday

Our resident form fancier is on the hunt for returns again.


* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Naas 13:35 – Arahecan

At first glance this was a race I wanted to have nothing to do with, but when I dug a wee bit deeper I saw this two mile handicap had with very little strength in depth and I especially wanted to oppose the likes of the well weighted Benefit Run (fourth in this race 12 months ago) and Gevrey who looks a pretty difficult ride.

The key piece of form when assessing this contest involves the top and bottom weight here on their run at Fairyhouse on December 11th when Arahecan beat Fighting Fit by five lengths on tacky ground. The last named is fully 5lbs better off for that beating, but the way the selection moved mid race into that race, making smooth headway from four out leads me to believe that he has every chance of confirming that form with his younger rival.

However, after re watching the race several times, I was convinced the margin of victory would have been a lot less had the green n gold been asked to take closer order earlier. That second ended a run of very moderate efforts, but his feather weight on this deep ground will count for plenty and the youngster is set to open his account over fences at the fifth time of asking.


Naas 14:10 – Whatdeawant

This looks an absolutely fabulous renewal of this famous novice event and the winner will have a lot to live up when they join the roll call of previous heroes including Monksland, Grand National hero Rule The World, Next Destination, Envoi Allen and of course last year’s winner Bob Olinger. Gordon Elliot has set us a real head scratcher by declaring both Ginto and likely short priced favourite Hollow Games.

The former is two from two over timber and was hugely impressive when beating subsequent Grade Two winner Eric Bloodaxe in the Navan Novice Hurdle last month. I suspect that the two and a half mile trip will turn out to be his best distance and if they go an all out gallop then his next door neighbour may well have his measure.

The further Hollow Games has gone the better he has looked and following wins in his maiden at Down Royal and the Grade Two Monskfield Novice Hurdle at Navan he is a general second favourite for the Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He looks the strongest stayer in the field, but the two Elliot runners have been covered in the market and the value could lie with the Willie Mullins’ charge Whatdeawant.

The six-year-old has always been highly rated by WP, but has been given plenty of time by his brilliant handler. It was only a maiden he won over this trip at Navan first time up, but it produced a fair time figure and once the bay gelding was given his head he fairly bolter clear under minimal pressure to score by two and a quarter lengths.

Of course he will need to take another major step forward here to trouble the Elliot brigade, but it is worth remembering that he beat Ginto in a bumper last year and his slick jumping will be a huge asset in what looks sure to be a well run race.

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Plumpton 14:20 – Seaston Spirit

With more rain forecast at the track this is sure to be a really deep test of stamina as it was last year and I strongly fancy Seaston Spirit to successfully defend his crown in what has quite obviously been the aim since then.

Following an early mistake at the second fence last year Coleman rode a beautifully judged race that day allowing his mount plenty to time to recover before making stealthy headway on the final circuit before hitting the front between the final two obstacles.

The cream on the cake is that the nine-year-old is slightly lower in the weights and this represents a big drop in grade after running down the field in the London National at Sandown Park. There are several notable rivals worth a mention and course specialist I See You Well and Salty Boy head that list.

The last named looked all stamina when bounding up the Fontwell hill when landing the Southern National. He also ran in the aforementioned race at Sandown, finishing fifth, beaten 11 lengths, and is a pound lower in the weights and feared greatly and could well be worth a saver.


Ayr 14:30 – Storm Nelson

The pivotal stayer in this race is obviously the massively in form Wakool who keeps on defying the handicapper having first won off a mark of 103 and is set race off 122 here. However, the manner of his success at Musselburgh last time out suggests that he could still be ahead of the handicapper and the main question mark could surround his ability to handle this deeper surface.

With that in mind I think the value is some way further down the betting list and I am astounded that Storm Nelson is midway down the quotes. Like the market leader he had a purple patch last year when recording a hat-trick of wins taking him from 99 to 128 in the ratings.

He returned to action this season in a red hot staying handicap hurdle at Aintree and although he was well beaten to the tune of 36 lengths, the selection had every chance at the second last before lack of condition told. Allowed to come home in his own time that day, that kindness is set to be repaid with interest off a 3lbs lower mark and the fact he is a course and distance winner is a plus to boot.

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Paul Jacobs Horse Racing Tips

Naas 13:35 – Arahecan
Naas 14:10 – Whatdeawant
Plumpton 14:20 – Seaston Spirit
Ayr 14:30 – Storm Nelson

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