Horse Racing Tips: A 7/1 play leads the way in our trader’s Saturday Racing Picks

Top trader and all round good guy Joe Logue reckons Fugitif (13:50) has what it takes to deliver in the feature race at Prestbury Park.

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Joe Logue’s ITV Racing Tips

13:15 Cheltenham – In Excelsis Deo
13:50 Cheltenham – Fugitif (each way)
14:25 Cheltenham – Protektorat
14:40 Doncaster – Rare Edition
15:00 Cheltenham – Destroytheevidence
15:15 Doncaster – Whistleinthedark (each way)
15:35 Cheltenham – Martha Divine

*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.

13:15 Cheltenham – In Excelsis Deo

We can eliminate a few of this eight-runner field pretty quickly. Funambule Sivola is on a comeback mission he’s been well beaten in two recent starts. The one that stands out is In Excelsis Deo who ran a cracker on seasonal return at Cheltenham on the Old Course and the switch to the New Course now should really help him. He was badly hampered three fences out when Modara fell (who reopposes again) and had to swerve around him, but flew up the hill to be only beaten two and a half lengths behind Dancing On My Own. The five-year-old has the scope to improve off a mark of 132 now. Triple Trade was second that day and went on to beat another of today’s runners Calico next time out, with the Skelton runner picking up 4lbs for that effort and races now off a 143 rating.

13:50 Cheltenham – Fugitif (each-way)

This is a very competitive heat and we can make a case for plenty but I don’t overly like Thunder Rock. He has good form is smaller fields and ran well behind subsequent Newbury winner Datsalrightgino at the end of last year and finished third to The Real Whacker and Monmeriel in the Dipper Chase last season. His jumping lets him down at times so I’m keen to take him on in a big-race field where they’ll be plenty of pace on.

Fugitif looks solid in these types of competitive handicaps as he’s very consistent and has plenty of experience. He was fourth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at the November meeting that Stage Star won and although Il Ridoto was well ahead of him, he made a few tired jumps towards the end as it was his seasonal debut and was giving an easy time of it then to finish fourth. He doesn’t usually need the run off a break but he definitely improves for his second run back. He was dropped 2lb in the ratings but in a less classier contest I’d be confident he can hit the places at least and go close to winning.

14:25 Cheltenham – Protektorat

He isn’t the greatest 3m chaser we’ll ever see at Grade One level but he’s been competitive over the last few years and his price looks big for a former Betfair Chase winner having his first run in a handicap. He blew out on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock in this season’s Betfair Chase, but the Skelton yard were quiet then and their runners definitely needed their first outing.

They’re in much better form now and even though Protektorat shoulders top weight, he is more than capable of doing so to a field like this. There is a huge class difference between horses rated in the 160’s and 140’s horses and they can usually give weight awayin most cases. I’ll be hoping Protektorat can do so here. As an alternative Broadway Boy has a mark of 146 after dotting up at Cheltenham last time beating We’veallbeencaught by 20 lengths. This is a much tougher ask in open company but he’s obviously improving after just three starts and hasn’t reached his ceiling yet off a mark of 146.

14:40 Doncaster – Rare Edition

Charlie Longsdon’s runner Rare Edition has a great record over hurdles and beat Rubaud at Kempton last year on St Stephen’s Day by seven lengths. He fell short of Grade 1 level last year in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and at Ascot but that’s fine in this context as he’s running off 136 on his handicap debut. He should be well capable of going very well off that mark in these calmer waters.

15:00 Cheltenham – Destroytheevidence

Shanagh Bob will likely head the market and was bought for €200k after his point-to-point win and Nicky Henderson trains him for Joe Donnelly. He won easily at Plumpton at 2/9 fav and despite his jumping being a little patchy he’s going to improve for that run. He’s not one I’m interested in at the prices though. Destroytheevidence has a lot more experience running twice in bumpers and five times over hurdles winning three of them. He’s rated 129 and probably is what he is, but I’d expect him to improve a lot more even if he’s vulnerable if there’s a really good one in here.

The form of his hurdles’ runs are all fairly solid and he beat Della Casa Lunga by six lengths last time and even though he hasn’t won since moving to England, he had a good run behind Sandor Clegane (who’d be miles better than anything in this contest) at Punchestown last season. That gives us something to work off at least.

15:15 Doncaster – Whistleinthedark (each-way)

I’m taking a chance here as this is a hard race to get a handle on but Whistleinthedark has improved massively since going over fences and is now rated 142 from a hurdles rating of 130. He was four wins from four starts over fences last season before finishing eighth on seasonal debut in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last time after a huge mistake four fences out. That meant it was race over but he travelled well and jumped well prior to that mistake. He’s entitled to strip fitter for that run and the step up to three miles should really suit also. He has an each-way chance.

15:35 Cheltenham – Martha Divine

Martha Divine was formerly with Paul Nolan in Ireland but now makes his stable debut for Harry Fry off a mark of 120 as opposed to 115 in Ireland. He has good back-form and won a decent Punchestown maiden hurdle in Feb 2022 and had form behind Sir Bob and Corbetts Cross before losing her way a little bit. The change of scene may help her get back to form and I’ll be hoping she can do the job on her stable and UK debut.

Joe Logue’s Horse Racing Tips

13:15 Cheltenham – In Excelsis Deo
13:50 Cheltenham – Fugitif (each-way)
14:25 Cheltenham – Protektorat
14:40 Doncaster – Rare Edition
15:00 Cheltenham – Destroytheevidence
15:15 Doncaster – Whistleinthedark (each-way)
15:35 Cheltenham – Martha Divine

*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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