Paul Callaghan’s Horse Racing Tips – Saturday 5th December

Ex-jockey turned broadcaster Paul Callaghan previews Saturday’s feature races at Sandown and Aintree.


1.50 Sandown – Henry VII Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) over 2 miles.
I’m going to take a chance on the Paul Nicholls trained Hitman, the mount of Harry Cobden. Paul Nicholls has wasted no time sending this French recruit over fences and he made a winning chase and UK debut at Ffos Las on the 8th of November.

I think the pace is going to be quite frantic. Allmankind will go forward and Ga Law likes to be on the front end as well. So this race could set up nicely for one dropped in. Hitman was quite keen at Ffos Las but with only 6 runners, I’d imagine Harry Cobden will sit near last, get him settled and could just be staying on best near the finish.

2.25 Sandown – Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) over 2 miles.
Taking absolutely nothing away from the current 2 mile champion Politologue, I cannot see passed Altior, who I think is a worthy favourite.

Connections are going the tried and tested route to Cheltenham this year. Reports have been very positive from Seven Barrows and I would love to see him charging up the Sandown hill, in front, shortly after 2.25 on Saturday afternoon.

He’s the one they have to beat.

3.00 Sandown – London National Handicap Chase over the extended 3 miles 4 furlongs.
Doing Fine gets my vote, trained by Neil Mulholland and partnered by Millie Wonnacott. Doing Fine is rated 130, he’s won off 129 in the past. Over this marathon distance, he’s got a handy weight with Millie Wonnacott claiming 7 lbs off 10 st 11 lbs, which should see him competitive.

3.35 Sandown – Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) over 2 miles.
Mister Coffey is a fascinating contender here and could take a bit of beating, that being said I’m looking to take him on.

I like the look of the Dr Richard Newland trained Benson, ridden by Gavin Sheehan. He was thought good enough to line up in a Grade 2 at Kempton last February.

That proved a little out of his dept but he’s won his last two and I find it interesting that connections have opted not to claim, indicating that his current handicap mark of 127, should see him competitive here.


1.30 Aintree – Becher Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (GBB Race) over 3 miles 2 furlongs. (Grand National Course)
I’m a huge fan of Walk In The Mill, who is bidding for a record third success in the race. Trained by Robert Walford and ridden by James Best, Walk In The Mill, won the 2018 renewal off a 12 lbs lower mark, he was a good winner of the race last year, having been badly hampered at the first fence.

Last year’s second, Kimberlite Candy takes his chance once again but he meets the selection on 8lbs worse terms.

Walk In The Mill had a nice prep at Ascot, finishing seventh of fourteen, in a race won by Regal Encore.

That run at Ascot should leave him spot on for this.

2.40 Aintree – Many Clouds Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) over the extended 3 miles.
Santini is looking to lay down his marker on Gold Cup at the festival in March. Cheek pieces applied once again and his first start of the season, it could be the time to catch him.

Will Frodon run a similar race to the one which saw him win bravely at Cheltenham in October? I’m not so sure.

I’m going to side with last year’s winner of the race, Native River. Despite this being his first start since February , I don’t think fitness will be an issue. It will not be easy but one thing is certain,

Native River won’t go down without a fight.

3.15 Aintree – Grand Sefton Handicap Chase (GBB Race) over 2 miles 5 furlongs. (Grand National Course).
Sametegal gets the vote here. Running off a handicap mark of 142, he was third in this race last year off 144, and was only beaten 7 lengths by the winner, having made a bad mistake at the second last fence when hampered. I think jockey, Bryony Frost is in for a real thrill over the national fences.