On this week's What A Shout, host Dave Orton is joined by owner Max McNeill, Racing Post tipster Paul Kealy and bet365’s Pat Cooney, as they preview the racing from Doncaster, Kelso and Newbury this weekend.
We've picked out some highlights from this week's edition of What A Shout in association with bet365.
The bet365 Morebattle Hurdle is one of the feature races at Kelso on Saturday at 1.50. If any horse wins this race and then goes on to prevail at the Cheltenham Festival, they pick up a £100,000 bonus.
Trained by Irishman Emmet Mullins, Mctigue is the 4/1 favourite. He has entries in four races at the Festival later this month.
Paul Kealy has been scratching his head over the horse, but he came to the decision that he is worth taking on.
He said: “I am not sure if this horse should be the 3/1 favourite or a 20/1 shot. He has been beaten 100+ lengths on his last two starts, but his Irish handicap mark makes him the third highest-rated juvenile in Britain or Ireland.
“If he wins, he will almost certainly be the best juvenile around ahead of the Triumph. If you are trying to get a handicap mark, I am not sure why you’d be running him in graded races. He is a head-scratcher, as I am not sure he is as good as his marks suggests.”
He said: “Dan Skelton has finished third in this race in the last two seasons. This year he enters L’Eau Du Sud who has been eye-catching on his two starts since joining his yard. He has probably been earmarked for this.
“Luttrell Lad has moved to Tom Lacey’s yard. He is a decent horse who has been disappointing recently. He has some decent form behind some good horses. He also goes well fresh. With a handicap mark of 131, he appeals to me.”
Zanza is the 11/4 favourite for the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday at 2.45. Kealy is ignoring the horses at the top end of the market and is backing the two outsiders in the field, Espoir Du Guye (10/1) and The Big Bite (16/1).
He said: “The Big Bite goes in first-time cheekpieces here. After a mid-season break last year, he came back on better ground and finished second to Funambule Sivola at Doncaster, who finished second in the Champion Chase. He is now rated 9lb lower than when he went into that race.
“Paul Nicholls has won this race nine times and he saddles Espoir De Guye this year. It is interesting that Nicholls is running him on this ground. He joins his new yard after losing his way for Venetia Williams. He has had a wind-op and his form figures following that procedure are 2-1-1. The two wins have come off a mark of 144 and 145. He is now back down to a mark of 144.”
The Grimthorpe Handicap Chase is the feature contest at Doncaster at 3.15pm on Saturday. It takes place over 3m2f.
He said: “Does He Know was not disgraced last time out at Newbury when beaten by Zanza. He was not far away from Hitman in that race. Zanza loves it around that course, so I don’t think that is bad form. The handicapper has dropped him 1lb for the run, which seems generous to me.
“If you can win with 12 stone on your back at Cheltenham, you can do the same at Doncaster. He is a tough and game horse. I think he is the one to beat in this race.”
The panel gave their best bets of the weekend at the end of the show and Kealy put up Give Me A Moment in the 2.10 at Newbury on Saturday.
Richard Bandey’s runner is 10/1 in the seniors’ handicap hurdle, and Kealy believes he is an excellent bet.
He said: “He has won six of his last nine starts. Unfortunately, he went wrong on his handicap hurdles debut and was pulled up at Worcester. At the age of eight, he is unexposed for this sort of race. He is rated 10lb higher over fences, so this could be a lenient mark for him over hurdles.”