By Tom Lee

Kerry Lee toying with Cheltenham Festival bid with exciting Ballybegg

By Tom Lee
Kerry Lee has an exciting horse on her hands with Ballybegg.
Kerry Lee has an exciting horse on her hands with Ballybegg.

Our resident columnist Tom Lee chats to Kerry Lee about her exciting horse Ballbegg, and also picks a bet for the weekend as well as at the Cheltenham Festival...

High Tide In Ascot

A glittering Saturday afternoon card awaits at Ascot, the crown jewels being the Grade 1 Ascot Chase (3.35pm) and Grade 2 Reynoldstown (1.50pm). Also attractive on an excellent seven race spread is the listed three-mile Swinley Chase, due off at 2.25pm. A total of 12 runners are declared to face the starter in this lucrative limited handicap, four of whom carry the green and gold silks of leading owner JP McManus. Of those, Jerrysback has gone very well at this venue on a number of occasions previously and has the assistance of former champion jockey Richard Johnson. However, the market has seen him coming and he could easily go off favourite, so at perhaps double his likely odds I'm going to suggest an each way play at big odds.

Step forward the Kim Bailey-trained Newtide. Bailey can do little wrong of late, going strong with 45 winners on the board already this campaign at a thumping 20% strike-rate, notably scoring with four of his last five representatives to visit the track. It makes sense then to pay attention to whatever he runs next, and in the promising Newtide he could very well supply us with the ammunition for a winner at something like 10/1 or 12/1. Fresh from a minor wind op, Newtide is two from four over fences and has the potential to improve. Only seen once this season when running well at Haydock pre-Christmas, he has low mileage and is a strong stayer, running eyecatchingly well for 80% of the race when fading late on in the marathon National Hunt Chase at last March's Cheltenham Festival. Pilot David Bass has never been more full of confidence than he is right now, and Newtide could be one to propel him even further. Indeed, Bass is two from two over fences on this eight-year-old Getaway gelding. He may be a generous price, but don't be surprised if Newtide delivers at Ascot. 

Beggars Can Be Choosers

Horseracing.net sponsor trainer Kerry Lee's Herefordshire-based stable, a compact operation close to the Welsh border which on Wednesday made the long journey north to Wetherby with a brace of runners. The first of those was talented novice hurdler Ballybegg, a Mahler gelding picked up last summer for £50,000 at the Goffs' Horse In Training sale. Previously trained by Warren Greatrex, for whom the now six-year-old ran well to be third in a bumper at Doncaster, Ballybegg's transfer fee is beginning to look like a bargain, as he knuckled down to make it two wins from three starts for Lee, fending off persistent runner up Papa Tango Charly to prevail by a head in the hands of Richard Patrick in the North Yorkshire venue's two miles and three furlongs novices' hurdle. Ballybegg had already come to the attention of plenty of observers when cruising to an 18 length victory on his previous outing at Hereford last month, but carrying a six pound penalty on this occasion he knuckled down to his task and kept finding more in adour battle. 

Speaking to Horseracing.net after the race, Lee, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday and also saddled the likeable and ultra-consistent Destined To Shine to be second on the same card, commented: "We enjoyed that. It was heart in mouth stuff all the way up the run-in, but I was quietly confident he'd build on what he showed us at Hereford. I'm chuffed for his connections who are the epitome of loyal and have supported the stable for many years.

"We'll take him home and see how he is for a day or two. He's had a tough enough race there, but we've got the option of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (at the Cheltenham Festival) which is obviously exciting and something I'll be giving serious consideration to. He enjoys some ease in the ground. I'll be consulting his owners before we make any concrete plans." The majority of firms offer Ballybegg at 66/1 for the aforementioned Festival contest. 

Cheltenham Festival Races

House Party

A ready victory for the Nicky Henderson inmate Chantry House meant favourites triumphed in the opening two races at Wetherby on Wednesday, with Nico De Boinville's sole ride on the card a winning one as he guided this son of Yeats to a smooth three and a quarter length success. 

Third in last year's Supreme Novices' Hurdle behind high class stablemate Shishkin, Chantry House could very well be heading back to Prestbury Park for next month's Marsh Novices' Chase, armed as he is now with a two from three record over the larger obstacles. In an antepost market dominated by odds on shot Envoi Allen, Chantry House is generally available between 10/1 and 16/1. 

All Or Nothing?

Bookmakers' relentless PR is designed to drum up trade, nothing new there, but this correspondent was perhaps a little surprised to see some decide to take the scissors to prices about Allmankind for next month's Arkle Novices' Chase, hot on the heels of his power packed but error prone display in the rescheduled Kingmaker at Warwick. Switched from Saturday to defy the cold snap, this quality Grade 2 undoubtedly went the way of a seriously talented horse, but an Arkle winner? I doubt it. 

Third in last year's Triumph Hurdle and already a Grade 1 scorer over both hurdles and fences, this lad has star quality, but mistakes like the one he made at the ninth at Warwick, plus the howler at the second last, will cost him dear if replicated next month.

He'll also have major competition to make the running, so it's a no from me where the 13/2 and 7/1 on offer is concerned.  

Cheltenham Festival Tips
Advert Disclaimer
Horseracing.net is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Horseracing.net accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

£20 Risk Free Bet Refunded In CASH On Losing Bets (APP Only)

#AD New customers only. Deposit £20 using card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. begambleaware.org.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
Welcome Offer
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Bet £10 Get £40 In Bonuses
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 on Horse Racing at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Bet £10 Get £30 + 30 Free Spins
#AD New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Get Up To £100 In Free Bets
#AD New customer offer. Place 5 x £10 or more bets to receive £20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Money back As A Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Racing Bet Loses + £10 Casino
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Racing 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 35x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Racing bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. #ad
Bet £10 Get £5 Or 50% Losses Back Up To £25
To activate your Sportsbook 50% Back Welcome Offer, simply deposit and bet on any Sportsbook markets of your choice at odds of evens (2.00) or greater. If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting (23:59), we'll refund 50% of your first day's losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (Minimum 3 bets required). If your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at minimum odds evens or greater. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org
£10 Welcome Offer
#AD UK & ROI customers only. 18+. Place your first bet on sports pools and if it loses we’ll refund your stake in cash. Max refund is £10. Qualifying bet is the first sports pool bet added to the betslip. Ten to Follow bets do not qualify. Totewin will be the qualifying bet when a Totewin and a Toteplace bet are struck at the same time. BeGambleaware.org T&Cs apply
Today's Most tipped
Add All Tips To Betslip
Latest racing results
Newcastle
20:30
1st Key Look
2nd Tamaska
3rd Tahonta
Dundalk
20:15
1st Impulsar
2nd Glinting
3rd Stay Thinking
Newcastle
20:00
1st Royal Invitation
2nd Qasaayed
3rd Nationwide
View All Today's Results