Paul Callaghan racing

Paul Callaghan’s Saturday Racing Tips

After the excitement of the Cheltenham Festival, Paul Callaghan takes a look at Saturday’s racing action and gives his tips and predictions.


2.40 Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle over 2m 5f

I’m all over the Suzy Smith trained Debestyman, who is the mount of Tom O’Brien. His latest effort was disappointing when he only managed to beat three home in a Listed hurdle at Cheltenham last November.

If you look back through his form though, it’s hard to believe that this son of Mahler is only one victory from eleven starts under rules.

Debestyman had the Lanzarote Hurdle at his mercy last season, only to unseat his rider at the final hurdle. He finished second at Cheltenham’s Showcase meeting last October off a handicap mark of 122, he runs here off 124 and I think the ground conditions will be ideal.


1.50 Handicap Hurdle over 3m.

I like Huntsmans Jog for trainer Fergal O’Brien and jockey Paddy Brennan. He didn’t stay the 3m 2f trip at Warwick last time out, he was on the premises at the 3m marker, so the return to today’s distance should see him more at home. He can hit a flat spot in his races but it can be a long way home up the Uttoxeter straight. It’s a competitive handicap hurdle but Huntsmans Jog should be thereabouts come the business end of things.

3.00 Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f.

Thibault looks a gelding going in the right direction, and despite the 4lbs rise following his second place at Ascot last month in a similar contest, he ought be on the premises once again.

He has a handy weight of 10st 8lbs, and it’s worth a mention that jockey Daryl Jacob’s lowest riding weight in the last 12 months was 10st 7lbs.

Under current restrictions saunas are not in use at the racecourses, so at almost his minimum riding weight, Daryl will have to be fairly strict in the 48 hours leading into this race. He would love to be rewarded with a winner, so all things considered, the vote goes to Thibault.

3.35 Midlands Grand National (An Open Handicap Chase) (Listed Race) over 4m 2f.

Plenty of each way value to be had here at BoyleSports in this competitive handicap and the one that I’m leaning towards is Captain Drake for the trainer, jockey combination of Harry Fry and Bryan Carver.

He finished second in this race last year off a handicap mark of 138, he runs off 140 in this year’s renewal and he showed a welcome return to form on his last run, when he finished fourth in the Welsh equivalent in early January. If he can build or even a close reproduction of that run, on what is only his only his ninth start over fences, should see him play a part in the finish.