Free ITV Racing tips from Simon Holt for Saturday's action at Newbury and Kelso

Top tipster Simon Holt guides you through Saturday's ITV action from Newbury and Kelso.

Racing betting tips: Saturday March 25

1pt win Numitor in 2.05 Newbury at 14/1 (bet365, BetVictor, Coral, Betfred)

1pt win Flower Of Scotland in 2.25 Kelso at 17/2 (General)

1pt win Half Shot in 3.35 Kelso at 11/2 (General)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

ITV4 selections: Inneston 1.30 Newbury, Maillot Blanc 1.50 Kelso, NUMITOR 2.05 Newbury, FLOWER OF SCOTLAND 2.25 Kelso, Moviddy 2.40 Newbury, Autumn Return 3.00 Kelso, Lord North 3.10 Meydan, HALF SHOT 3.35 Kelso, Equinox 4.00 Meydan, Country Grammer 4.35 Meydan


HALF SHOT was a near-misser for followers of this column at Kelso earlier in the month and is fancied to appreciate a step up in distance and gain consolation in Saturday's Make Your Best Bet At BetVictor Handicap Chase on the same course.

The nine-year-old has been in terrific form all season at distances short of three miles but he was rallying all the way to the line in a ding-dong battle with Bill Baxter, a horse who has won all three of his completed starts this season, that day and extra ground may unlock further improvement off bottom weight.

A half brother to the useful Nicky Henderson-trained Colonial Dreams (who stayed three miles), Half Shot has made great progress since winning at Sedgefield and Musselburgh earlier in the season, and his two efforts at Musselburgh before being touched off last time make sweet reading.

On New Years Day, Iain Jardine's Irish import was beaten just over seven lengths into third behind Minella Drama and Coopers Cross who have both franked the form (the latter in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster) while, on his next appearance, he was hardly disgraced in trying to chase down Notlongtillmay who ran a superb race at Cheltenham last week when second to Stage Star in the Turners Novices' Chase.

Half Shot seems to be taking his racing well and can return to winning ways under Conor O'Farrell.


Earlier, the Scottish Borders National winner FLOWER OF SCOTLAND looks potentially well handicapped returning to the smaller obstacles in the Schloss Roxburghe Hotel Handicap Hurdle.

After a promising reappearance at Carlisle in October, this grey mare was well fancied to lift the staying test on this course in early December and did so in impressive style.

She didn't look nearly as comfortable next time in the Edinburgh National round the flatter and right handed Musselburgh but stayed on gamely to take third behind Magna Sam without ever looking likely to get there.

Kelso seems to suit Flower Of Scotland a lot better as she is unbeaten in three course visits over hurdles and fences, and running off a 5lb lower mark here than her current chase rating, she ought to be really competitive again in the hands of Ryan Mania.

In addition to four races at Kelso, ITV4 will show three at Newbury and three hugely valuable contests on the Dubai World Cup card including the latter race at 4.35 in which Frankie Dettori bids to repeat last year's win on Country Grammer.

Bob Baffert's top-notch dirt horse was beaten three-quarters of a length by his re-opposing Japanese-trained rival Panthalassa in last month's Saudi Cup but stayed on well all the way to the line, and the extra furlong here looks sure to be in his favour.

The Dubai World Cup can invariably be a gruelling race over the mile-and-a-quarter at Meydan and Frankie was superb on this horse 12 months ago when concentrating on keeping his mount balanced before out-staying some tired rivals.

Earlier, Lord North (Dettori) must have a good chance of landing a third Dubai Turf (he dead-heated with Panthalassa last year), especially after winning his prep race convincingly at Lingfield, and there will be other high hopes of British success in the Dubai Sheema Classic with Mostahdaf, Rebel's Romance and Westover.

However, they could all be up against something special in Equinox who looked a wonderful horse when winning the Arima Kinen at Nakayama on Christmas Day.

Newbury 2.40 Saturday

At Newbury, it might be worth taking a chance on NUMITOR in the Run For Your Money At BetVictor Handicap Chase.

This is a race full of last-time-out winners but Heather Main's gelding appeared on the way back when third to an on-song Galahad Quest and Iron Bridge (beaten a head since) at Warwick last month when he jumped well out in front before being outpaced by the winner on ground quick enough for him.

That was a solid effort - Numitor's first since a wind operation - and he ran a terrific race at Newbury last season when splitting Il Ridoto and Frero Banbou with Grey Diamond back in fourth.

Down 7lb this term, a reproduction of that course effort would see the big grey go close under the excellent Adam Wedge.

Published at 1400 GMT on 24/03/23

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