Cal’s Weekend Betting Tips – 21/02/2024

Estimated read time 6 min read

Weekend Betting Tips

It’s good to be back and we have a couple of tidy races over at Kempton! I’d like to get straight into the action in this blog as the rest of the racing isn’t great over the weekend so let’s start with my NAP of the weekend.

Now I don’t NAP all that often which makes it a very strong fancy when I do. It comes in the 13:50 KEMPTON – CORAL ADONIS JUVENILE HURDLE and it is Paul Nicholls KALIF DU BERLAIS 11/10 here. This lad looked very special through my eyes on his stable debut for the team at Ditcheat. It was a debut that made you wowed really. He was very professional throughout the entire race and jumped with aplomb all the way around.

Coming up the home straight, Cobden pushed him out and he kept finding and pulling away from the danger in behind. I think with that run under his belt and will have likely improved a tonne for the run and is already a course and distance winner which in these juvenile races can sometimes be the difference. 11/10 is really good value here for a horse who won’t be bet this weekend.

He will go off a lot shorter than this on the day, the yard are flying, have your house on this it simply doesn’t lose.

14:27 KEMPTON is the CORAL PENDIL NOVICES CHASE (GRADE 2) and NICKLE BACK is the worthy favourite here at 6/4 however I do think that is plenty short and I would prefer to take a stab at one at a slightly bigger price in TAHMURAS 13/2 ew.

I was really pleased with his performance on the last day after been touched off just before the line by the progressive CREBILLY who has finished within a few lengths of GINNY’S DESTINY & GREY DAWNING. He was desperately unlucky not to win there and I think had the ground have been on the softer side then he could have gone one closer and beaten CREBILLY.

He was a very good hurdler and as we all know when Nicholls’ horses take the switch over the sticks they improve considerably for it. He is very lightly raced this season and despite not winning, his run on the last day would give you optimism he can improve a good few pounds off 143. NICKLE BACK will be a tough nut to crack, PEMBROKE is a decent handicapper at best, LE PATRON… not for me. I think TAHMURAS has a solid chance here and could upset the favourite.

15:00 KEMPTON we have the CORAL DOVECOTE NOVICES HURDLE (GRADE 2) LUMP SUM is a fairly nice prospect for Sam Thomas and he sits at the top of the market here at 5/2. Ben Pauling has being in incredible form lately and he brings FIERCLEY PROUD 9/2 here and I think he has a solid chance of turning the form around with LUMP SUM. Both last seen finishing behind JERIKO DU REPONET and FIERCLEY PROUD just ¾ of a length behind LUMP SUM.

Now I am hoping to see Kielan Woods jocked up here and he is getting the best tune out of this horse, Brian Hughes is a great jockey and well respected within the industry but sometimes can give a really tame effort in the saddle. He looked like the winner and was traveling better than JERIKO DU REPONET 2 out and even down to the last he looked like the most likely winner in my opinion but then did fall off and LUMP SUM came from the clouds with a momentum built run up the straight whereas FIERCLEY PROUD was constantly digging in and doing very well to plug on there. I think he could go one better to reverse the form with LUMP SUM for the inform Ben Pauling yard.

I also like John McConnels runner INTENSE APPROACH who was running a good race until falling 2 out after weakening in quite a sudden fashion. If he is back and revved for this he could go well at 8/1.


With Cheltenham only 3 weeks away it’s time to start getting in our final ANTEPOST SELECTIONS in this mini-series. I will be releasing a blog covering each day at the festival very soon, but I am adding 1 possibly 2 more selections to my armoury. Starting off with my only selection for this week’s blog.

With the news of FACT TO FILE likely heading to the Turners, it gives a huge path for my selection to assert himself at the top of the market. Now the likes of GAELIC WARRIOR, FACILE VEGA & IROKO all looking nailed on to run here, I do believe that the British hold the best chance of the winner here. GINNY’S DESTINY 5/2 is my antepost selection for this week. Now I was going to put up BLOOD DESTINY for this at 40/1 but have opted against that as I think his likely target will be the Arkle and he appealed to me as he remains very unexposed and was too disappointing to be true on the last day, but I have stuck to my guns and GINNY’S DESTINY is my idea of the Turners winner this year.

This lad just does the job and does it well. He has being campaigned in a very similar vein to that of STAGE STAR’s campaign last year before going on to win this race last year. He is a very similar profile to STAGE STAR, and I am sure that is what Nicholls is trying to replicate here. 4 runs at Cheltenham this season with 3 wins on the bounce and each time looking like a better display. He can travel well on the bridle, he can battle down to the line with his very close encounter with GREY DAWNING showcasing that to a solid standard and in fairness if this lad was coming down to the last fence with either FACILE VEGA or GAELIC WARRIOR battling away with him, you can only picture him coming out on top of that scenario.

I think he is just a proper solid horse and with this race looking rather weak now and lots of questions marks around some of the other runners in this field such as FACILE VEGA, GAELIC WARRIOR and IROKO who has being missing for God knows how long, this highly consistent, always improving Paul Nicholls chaser looks a strong play in this year’s Turners Chase.

That just about wraps up the blog for this week ladies and gents, keep an eye out on The Finishing Line’s website as I do intend to have another antepost selection coming this week in one of the handicaps… stay tuned!

Best of luck,


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