ANOTHER big Saturday in the run up to the Cheltenham festival and I have picked out three with a great chance who all happen to be trained by Paul Nicholls. That’s no bad thing because there are few trainers better at producing big Saturday winners than Nicholls. 

1.50 Ascot

BLACK CORTON is really consistent and keeps producing race after race. He is a good bit better than these and Mon Parfais is the only one who can get close. Black Corton should be odds on so the 6/5  seems like very good value to me. It’s not often I have a bet on one at shorter odds but i’m willing to make an exception here.

3.15 Haydock

This Grand National trial is a competitive race with Blaklion an obvious favourite along with Wild West Wind, The Dutchman and Three Faces West near the top of the market. Now that the Grand National weights have been announced those horses with an entry can do what they like without fear of their handicap mark jumping up before the big dance.  Those four all have a decent chance but there isn’t any value at the prices. The one I have an eye on is SILSOL who I backed each way in the Welsh National for a reasonable return at a big price. He has gone down a little in the weights for that run and I think he still has plenty of potential as a chaser having primarily been a hurdler. He jumped really well in the Welsh National and Paul Nicholls will have him in tip top shape so I’m taking him each way against the shorter priced ones.

3.35 Ascot

A really hot race in prospect here despite just the 7 runners.  I tipped FRODON for the Ryanair Chase at the festival in my Festival Early Bird Special series last week because I think he will go really close in this race.  You can imagine my delight then when I see the prices on offer for Frodon here. He is rated exactly the same as the top two in the market, is in great form and has a top young jockey on board (Bryony Frost). He might not win but he should be nowhere near 14/1. He looks like a cracking bet to me at that price.


  • 1.50 Ascot – Black Corton – 4 points win at 6-5 with William Hill
  • 3.15 Haydock – Silsol – 2pt each way at 12-1 with Bet365
  • 3.35 Ascot – Frodon – 2pt each way at 14-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair



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