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11:40 Cheltenham
SCRIPTWRITER 3/1 generally – 1 POINT WIN
This is a cracking race in which you can make a case for the first 4 in the market. Joseph O’Brien brings over Comfort Zone from Ireland and he is the current favourite. I respect him but he is a horse who came from the flat rated 86 while our selection came from the flat rated 104, which tells me SCRIPTWRITER has the most potential over hurdles. With that in mind, Comfort Zone beat Dixon Cove at Chepstow last time out and although only a neck separated them, I feel Comfort Zone will once again confirm that form as he did much of the donkey work to set the race up for Dixon Cove, who still couldn’t get past. That rules out Dixon Cove. The other danger is the Gary Moore trained Jupiter De Guye who was a surprise 66/1 at Newbury. I just question if he could be so keen like he was last time out at Newbury, especially when you have to come up the hill at the end of the race but at the same time, maybe they have found another juvenile freak like Goshen…
Back to SCRIPTWRITER who is already a winner at Cheltenham, albeit on the Old Course but they still go up the same Cheltenham Hill. SCRIPTWRITER came from Aiden O’Brien and was rated a massive 102 on the flat, which is now 104 following a win at Wolverhampton giving huge amounts of weight to the field. I know it was on the flat but it was a top class effort. 
Back to the jumps and SCRIPTWRITER is 2 from 2 over hurdles which include an impressive win at Cheltenham in November, despite not jumping that well and wandering around up the hill. He still has so much progression and I have no doubt he will just keep on improving. He is trained by Milton Harris who I think is very much underrated as a trainer. I personally feel he would be favourite if trained by a ‘bigger trainer’ and I expect SCRIPTWRITER to go very close. WIN.
12:10 Cheltenham
STAGE STAR 5/1 generally – 1 POINT WIN
After going through the race in detail I am confident the race will be won by Fire Dancer or STAGE STAR. Nothing else even gives me an inkling that I would want to be on each way so we will keep it as a match bet between two. It could have gone either way but after thinking long and hard, I have chosen to go with the value in STAGE STAR. That is not to say I don’t think Fire Dancer can’t or won’t win, as Venetia William could quite well have one of the best handicapped horses in National Hunt Racing but their is a big difference to beating 105 rated horses at Ludlow to beating top class horses like STAGE STAR at Cheltenham. It was a great training performance by Venetia Williams to bring Fire Dancer back from 815 days off the track but he will have to improve massively again to beat some good horses here. He does get a huge 22lb from Stage Star but for me it is a guessing game and I would much rather go with STAGE STAR who I know has been there and can do it at the highest level.
Over hurdles STAGE STAR was a Grade 1 winner of the Tolworth Hurdle in December 2021. He didn’t follow it up afterwards but that day he showed everyone just how good a horse he is. He embarked on a chasing career this season, which started with an excellent win at Warwick where he jumped very well. He was then sent off a short priced favourite back in November for a Grade 2  Novice Chase but was put in his place by Sebastopol. In fairness Sebastopol is rated 147 over fences so it was not that bad a performance even though some may say it was a flop. 
STAGE STAR returned at Newbury 3 weeks later at the start of January to win at Plumpton, albeit only 2 runners, he did jump very well.
The Paul Nicholls horse is rated 142 and does have to give weight all around. I still think he could be nicely treated on that mark if we go on the basis that he was having an off day when 2nd to Sebastopol. 
He is an excellent jumper and if he is the Graded horse Paul Nicholls believes he is, then surely he has to be going close here. Yes the weight is a negative but you often find it doesn’t inconvenience the top class horses and besides you have to think he is a better horse than 142 going forward this year and into next year. WIN.
12:40 Cheltenham
DELTA WORK 5/2 generally – 1.5 POINTS WIN
If the real DELTA WORK turns up here, he will win this race with his head in his lap, no doubt about it. The reason he is such a big price and not odds on, is this is a handicap and he has to give weight away to the field. Even so I just think his class will win the race and he clearly loves it around the Cross Country Course as he beat Tiger Roll around the course at last season’s Cheltenham Festival with the pair pulling 21 lengths ahead of 3rd.
DELTA WORK is a horse who has won 5 Grade 1s in the past and was even 3rd in last year’s Grand National. 
His season started with a win in November at Punchestown in their version of the Cross Country and unless he is massively unfit, I don’t see how he doesn’t go close here. Rob James takes the ride and he claims a handy 7lb which brings his weight down to 11st 6lb.
Quietly confident DELTA WORK can make the 5/2 look huge. WIN.

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