Horse Racing Tips: Rory Delargy’s best bets for ITV Racing on Saturday

Rory reckons he's found some value plays on New Year's Eve.

Rory Delargy Cheltenham generic

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*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

Rory Delargy’s ITV Racing Tips:

Newbury 13:15 – Gallic Geordie
Warwick 13:35 – Sporting Ace
Newbury 13:50 – Blenkinsop
Newbury 14:25 – Grumpy Charley
Lingfield 14:40 – Morgan Fairy
Newbury 15:00 – Moka de Vassy
Newbury 15:35 – Malinello

Newbury 13:15 – Gallic Geordie

Gallic Geordie is higher in the weights than when winning this corresponding event 12 months ago, but he has progressed again in the meantime despite failing to win. He tends to travel strongly held up, and should have the race run to suit, with Kauto The King and Capitaine likely to ensure a strong pace.

Gallic Geordie was improving in third place when slithering on landing at Lingfield last time, and would have gone very close to winning had he stood up. He handles testing ground very well, and it’s easy to see ground conditions deteriorating quite badly at Newbury with heavy rain forecast. He’s a very solid each-way chance.

Warwick 13:35 – Sporting Ace

Sporting Ace is out of a full-sister to top-class chaser Our Vic, and he did well to win in bumpers given his stamina-laden pedigree. He showed himself suited by this sort of test by winning here on his hurdles debut, and improved when second of 7 to Docpickedme in a 3m handicap at Southwell last time. He looked a dour stayer again on that occasion, and the likely softer ground as much as the extra quarter mile will play to his strengths here. He would be a more confident shout if trainer Neil King was in better form, but is sure to win handicaps off his current mark.

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Newbury 13:50 – Blenkinsop

The ground will probably go against the likeable Nina The Terrier here, which is a shame, as I’m sure there is a good race to be won with her, and preference is for the progressive Blenkinsop, who merits this rise in grade having won all three starts in handicaps since resuming in November. He has impressed both with his jumping and with how strongly he’s travelled on soft ground for his last two wins, and this galloping track should be right up his street. Stamina is no concern given he won over further at Exeter last time, and the more of a slog this is, the more it will suit him and hamper some of his main rivals.

The main danger on the expected ground is Martello Sky, who relishes ease underfoot and is best at this trip. She has Eddie Edge taking a valuable 10lb off her back, and that takes her weight to an eye-catching 10st 13lb. Given her class, she should not be far away with a bit of good fortune.

Newbury 14:25 – Grumpy Charley

Grumpy Charley is a talented chaser who looks overpriced in ideal conditions having been well beaten on his return behind Le Milos at Bangor before missing a run in the Welsh Grand National Trial. He was a useful novice over hurdles and was an impressive winner of a novices’ handicap chase at this fixture last year, beating Fern Hill off a mark of 137 on soft ground before running into Bravemansgame on his next outing.

Grumpy Charley has been below form in subsequent starts, but his yard has been under a cloud, and it’s encouraging that Chris Honour’s recent runners have fared much better with both yard representatives in the last ten days finishing second in competitive races. That suggests that the horses are back in good form, and Grumpy Charley will relish any easing of the ground. This track clearly suits, and while his win came over 2m6½f here, he promises to be well suited by a stiffer test.

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Lingfield 14:40 – Morgan Fairy

Morgan Fairy was only seventh when last seen at Newmarket but that was trying 1m2f for the first time and things didn’t quite pan out her way prior to that. She was beaten 1½l in a good handicap at Kempton off a mark of 86 in September and she races off the same mark here. You look through the field and not that many are convincing from a handicapping point of view.

Newbury 15:00 – Moka De Vassy

Moka De Vassy is an interesting runner at a big price, having a very similar profile to 2009 winner Reve de Sivola. Jane Williams is now in charge of the George Nympton yard from which husband Nick sent out Reve de Sivola to beat Finian’s Rainbow in this contest after the four-year-old had failed to win in Grade company as a juvenile.

Moka de Vassy, like ‘Reve’ before him, ran well in defeat in the Grade 2 at Cheltenham on Trials’ Day last January, finishing second to Pied Piper (Reve was runner-up behind Walkon) but unable to build on that on his final outing. Moka de Vassy looks to have stamina in abundance, so the step up in trip will suit, and he’s the type to improve considerably in his second season. It will tough for him to win this on his return to competitive action, but he looks vastly overpriced.

Newbury 15:35 – Malinello

Malinello didn’t win by far on his chase debut at Newcastle, but he impressed with his jumping and won with more in hand than the bare margin. That came on good ground but his best effort over hurdles came when beating a pair of subsequent winners on heavy ground at Market Rasen. He ran into a handicap blot on his final start, and was returning from a lengthy break at Newcastle.

Still lightly raced at the age of seven, I’d expect Malinello to progress further and his adjusted mark still give him plenty of scope, particularly in light of how his hurdles runs have worked out.

Rory Delargy’s ITV Racing Tips:

Newbury 13:15 – Gallic Geordie
Warwick 13:35 – Sporting Ace
Newbury 13:50 – Blenkinsop
Newbury 14:25 – Grumpy Charley
Lingfield 14:40 – Morgan Fairy
Newbury 15:00 – Moka de Vassy
Newbury 15:35 – Malinello

*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

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