Value Scope: Horse racing tips from Steve Jones for Saturday's two ITV meetings

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Steve Jones has four selections for Saturday, January 7
Steve Jones has four selections for Saturday, January 7

Make it third time lucky in the Unibet Veterans’ Chase Final for SIR IVAN (3.00) who has finished third in this popular Sandown contest in each of the last two years.

He travelled really smoothly in this race 12 months ago but the heavy ground just found him out in the final climb to the line when unable to cope with Prime Venture’s finishing surge.

The ground shouldn’t be quite as testing this time and he arrives for a third crack at this valuable prize having run two sound races this season.

He’s much lower in the weights compared with his two placed efforts in this race and he gets on well with young jockey Lorcan Murtagh. Have 2pts each-way at 12-1. Several bookies are paying out on six places.

The big race of the day is Sandown’s Grade 1 Unibet Tolworth Hurdle where BLOW YOUR WAD (2.25) looks overpriced.

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He might have beaten Tahmuras in a Wincanton bumper last March if he hadn’t run around in the closing stages and Paul Nicholls’ hope could go off favourite for this race.

Blow Your Wad, trained by Tom Lacey, has taken well to hurdling. After chasing home useful Leave Of Absence at Aintree, he was a nice winner at Kempton.

The way he moves through his races suggests he should be able to hold his own in this higher grade and the cheekpieces he wears for the first time could easily help him improve. Have 1pt each-way at 40-1.

HARDY DU SEUIL (3.35) did well over fences last season. He’s much better handicapped over hurdles and he will appreciate the return to 2m, especially on the softer ground, having finished a creditable third over 2m4f at Wetherby in November. Have 1pt each-way at 8-1. Plenty of bookies are paying out on four places.

SIRWILLIAMWALLACE (1.23) looks the best bet on Newcastle’s card. He is generally consistent when racing over distances around today’s 2m4f trip and the soft ground suits him well.

It’s not worth worrying about his pulled up effort at Haydock over Christmas as he was almost wiped out at the first fence. His jockey Ryan Mania sensibly called it a day two fences later.

With Borders trainer Sandy Thomson in top form he is worth supporting. Have 1pt each-way at 8-1.

Steve Jones

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation