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Free horse racing tips: Best Bets for Cheltenham and Doncaster on Saturday

Chris Day is back with four early fancies for Saturday's action at Cheltenham and Doncaster.

Racing betting tips: Saturday January 28

1pt e.w. Stolen Silver in 1.50 Cheltenham at 8/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4)

1pt win Rock My Way in 2.40 Doncaster at 6/1 (General)

1pt win Tea For Free in 3.15 Doncaster at 12/1 (Bet365)

1pt win Blenkinsop in 3.35 Cheltenham at 12/1 (Coral)

After a couple of quiet weekends due to the weather, racing looks like getting back to normal this Saturday with Cheltenham staging their Festival Trials’ Day meeting and the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster.

With the last two Sky Bet winners returning 40/1 it’s worth casting an eye all the way down the lists for horses with the ability to stay every yard down the long Doncaster straight.

Current favourite Into Overdrive has done nothing wrong this season, finding only L’Homme Presse too good in the Rehearsal Chase then returning to Wetherby to hold on from Sounds Russian in the latter stages of the Rowland Meyrick over Christmas.

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The main question is whether he can overcome another weights rise but both those two runs showed he’ll be in his element over this test although on a line through Sounds Russian it seems that Dusart is better treated if this is his chosen option over the weekend.

Nicky Henderson’s top novice has had a warm-up over hurdles and should prove better than this mark but is also entered in the Paddy Power Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham and a watching brief is advised until final declarations are made.

Both have strong chances but the one I really like is TEA FOR FREE, a fast improving young stayer from the Charlie Longsdon yard who were in cracking form before the recent cold-snap.

He won a strong looking novice handicap chase at Newbury last month, showing a resolute attitude under pressure after making all and staying on strongly to win by six-and-a-half lengths and I think he and Lily Pinchin will take some pegging back if getting into an early rhythm on Town Moor.

The preceding Albert Bartlett River Don Novices’ Hurdle will as ever be a searching test for young stayers with the Donald McCain-trained Maximilian looking to bounce back having bled from the nose at Sandown early last month.

He’d earlier shown decent form in compiling two early season victories but I was really taken by the run of Syd Hosie’s five-year-old ROCK MY WAY in the maiden hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

The eye was drawn to him as he cut through the field travelling strongly on the bridle before being outbattled by a more streetwise opponent in Weveallbeencaught, who had previously stayed on into third over shorter a shorter trip behind Hermes Allen. It looks strong form and I think this test will suit him better than his other Saturday entry.

At Cheltenham the big betting race is the Paddy Power Cheltenham Countdown Podcast Handicap Chase, the latest in the series of two-and-a-half mile handicap that punctuate the season at Prestbury Park.

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The form of the race won here by Amarillo Sky in November has been franked by both the winner and runner-up, Fugitif, easily winning their next starts. It's easy to see why the latter is chalked up favourite for this and he’s going to go well if taking up this engagement rather than one in the Sky Bet Chase.

I fancy this is a much weaker race than the one won by Midnight River here on New Year’s Day and for that reason I believe the runner-up there, STOLEN SILVER, should take plenty of beating from the same mark.

The Sam Thomas stable were also going very well at the turn of the year and this consistent type, who was still in with a chance when unseating in the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November, should go very well over a course and distance he clearly relishes.

There’s also a very interesting Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle, a trial for the big race back here in March.

Paul Nicholls has a stranglehold on the division with two Grade One victories in the Challow and Tolworth Hurdle either side of Christmas and his Henri The Second is evidently highly-regarded.

He’s already been backed for this though and is consequently short enough all things considered and I’d rather side with Henry Daly’s upgraded handicapper BLENKISOP. He was a facile winner at Newbury last time when the trainer said he’d been considering the Challow for his charge on the same card.

He keeps on winning in similar fashion, travelling well and quickening up when given the office and it’s hard to know how good horses with that running style are. He makes plenty of appeal given those circumstances for a stable who have been firing winners in with great regularity since the start of the season proper in October

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Published at 0830 GMT on 24/01/23

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