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ITV 7 horse racing tips and previews: Saturday's best best from Musselburgh and Haydock


On another bumper Saturday of racing action, Tipstrr racing pundit Jake Russell has shared his best bets from the Musselburgh and Haydock races that make up the ITV 7

By @ Jake Russell

1.50pm Musselburgh

It is nice to see some turf flat racing again, although it is expected to be on some quite testing conditions up in Scotland, which could mean a few surprises in store at Musselburgh on Saturday. 

The first ITV contest is full of 3yo's pretty much making their seasonal debut, after only a handful of efforts last season when in their first season of training. The thing that stands out to me in this contest mainly is one yard in particular clearly target this contest, with Individualism coming from the Charlie Johnston yard, who have won this contest on four different occasions in the past (including the last 3 renewals). 

Their runner Individualism ran five times as a 2yo last season, placing three times before ending it with a decent fifth in a pretty hot Newmarket novice, which was also in heavy conditions. He will appreciate the ground, the step up to 1-mile should be no issues, and the yard’s form in the contest is there for all to see, so could win nicely in this before maybe progressing as the season goes on.

  • Selection - Individualism 11/8

2.05pm Haydock

The more rain the better seemingly for Brentford Hope, who has shown on a few previous hurdling efforts that he is a smart prospect over obstacles, as well not minding a little cut in the ground at all. 

He has mainly been operating at Newbury this season since going over hurdles for Harry Derham, and he is looking a bit of a star for the young trainer, winning on four of his seven hurdling attempts. 

He has only had one run at Haydock previously, which was in a red-hot handicap hurdle (The Swinton) where he came sixth, beaten by 11 lengths, but he was still learning his job over hurdles then, and since that effort he has gone up in the ratings by 17, with a new BHA hurdle mark of 140, which probably does equate to his best mark on flat and jumps (He was a once smart flat horse with Richard Hughes, where connections had Derby aspirations for him), so he does have the career high mark to deal with here. 

However, his performance at Newcastle last time does suggest there is quite a bit more to come from Brentford Hope, as he made all, jumped very well and soon forged clear in the closing stages, winning going away in the end. The way he travelled around the home bend was a thing of beauty, and he soon put the race to bed with the last few hurdles, plus the manner in which he ran through the line suggests there is a whole lot more to come from this very smart hurdler.

  • Selection - Brentford Hope 9/4

2.25pm Musselburgh      

The 7yo Gweedore is certainly a little stable star for Katie Scott and the team, and he has won this race the last two times, including a 2¾-length make-all victory last season off the mark of 90. The one slight concern with this horse is he is yet to win off a triple-figure rating (currently rated 100), and is now a 7yo coming up against some younger legs, although he has shown before, especially in this race, that he can win early on in the season. 

That is obviously the best time to catch this horse, as he has some pretty decent form fresh, which obviously includes wins in this race back in 2022 and 2023. He ran quite a bit last season, winning on three separate occasions as well as placing five times, and his wins did include this race last season, a dead-heat success in a class 3 at Doncaster, as well as a half-length win at Newmarket off the mark of 97, which earned him his current new mark of 100. 

He ran a few times at the back end of the season off this mark, and did come 3rd in a very competitive 22-runner field at York, as well as a 4th at Newcastle in another demanding field. As mentioned earlier on, this is the best time of year to catch him, and given his form in this race and at Musselburgh in general, he might be a little underestimated in the betting once again, although I fully expect him to shorten before the race commences. 

If you haven't already, check out Katie Scott on X, as she posted a picture of Gweedore looking in very good shape the other day. 

  • Selection - Gweedore 9/2

2.40pm Haydock   

This is an incredibly competitive race, and one I do not really have much of a view on. However, for the purposes of this article, if I had to come down to one, it would be Judicial Law for the Jonjo O'Neill's. 

Having to carry top weight around the mud in Haydock is probably not ideal, but I just feel this horse is better than the rest (and a little tactic of mine is in a handicap of this nature, the top weights tend to run well as they are ultimately the best horse in the field) so that is the tactic I will be employing here for this. 

A winner at Kelso in September with cheekpieces on, he hasn't won since but did place behind Hyland in a 3-mile hurdle at Cheltenham on softer going, which is ultimately decent enough form for this sort of race. 

He probably ran a little better than the finishing position stated at Newbury last time when coming 5th in a 3-mile hurdle, and given the cheekpieces are back on today, that could see him back to winning effect once again (cheekpieces haven't been on since the Kelso win in September). Almost trading at double-figure odds at this stage is enticing, therefore he would be the selection for me. 

  • Selection -  Judicial Law 8/1

3.00pm Musselburgh 

Another pretty competitive affair for us to sink our teeth into, and with that being said, I am siding with the potential market leader for this. The theme for this weekend, and this meeting especially is previous winners of the contests, and like Charlie Johnston and Gweedore (who both won races on this card last year) Silky Wilkie could be back to some sort of mark that is winnable for him and land this contest in back to back years. 

He was a pretty wide-margin winner of this contest last season, where he beat Vintage Clarets by just under 5 lengths, which was subsequently off the mark of 99, so he is now currently a 97-rated horse, therefore 2lbs lower in the weights. 

However, one slight concern, like with any horse that runs I suppose, is his form on the all-weather this season. Having run three times already since the turn of the year, he has finished no better than 4th, and dropped from a mark of 105 to his current mark of 97, which is more than winnable for him should he want to put his head in front. 

I just think it has taken him a little time to get where he wants to be, and given he is a 5yo now, he might just not be as good as he once was, when rated almost 110 at his very peak a season or two back. 

Sam Feilden takes off a very valuable 7lbs in this, which technically means he is now running off the mark of 90, way below his previous winning mark, which just so happens to be in this race last year. 

If Silky Wilkie was to want to get his head in front here, then he could easily do so and produce another nice display in this race like this time last year.

  • Selection - Silky Wilkie 9/4       

3.15pm Haydock

The ship has unfortunately sailed for poor Sean Bowen, who was well clear in the Jump Jockey Championship when unfortunately getting an injury over the Xmas period, which allowed plenty of time for Harry Cobden to ride enough winners in his absence to seemingly steal the Jumps Jockey title from him. 

With all that being said, it is the ride of Sean Bowen that I very much like here, as he rides Numitor for Heather Main. The horse ran very well last time out when coming off the back of a 11-month absence, when coming 4th at Exeter just 11 days ago, that should set him very much in good stead here ready for a tilt at this contest. 

Once rated in the 140's, he has since dropped down to a pretty attractive mark of 129 here, which could see him find the winning thread once again, despite not having done so since back in March 2022. 

He is a nice horse on his day, however, and should there be any market confidence for him leading up to the contest, then that will be a very good sign for this horse, as we can then gauge what the vibes are at home for him.

  • Selection - Numitor 11/2 

3.35pm Musselburgh  

Another very competitive field here, but I am all over Struth in this for Charlie Johnston (the yard won this contest back in 2019 with Austrian School and 2020 with Themaxwecan), therefore this is another race they like to target with their runners. 

I feel like this is a meeting at which they do pretty well, and Struth could potentially continue the upward trend of the yard by landing this, the feature contest of the day at Musselburgh. 

The one main thing I very much like with this horse is his form when fresh, which at this time of year is very valuable, as we are unsure on what horses could be fit and ready to go, or might need the run. Horses with previous winning form first time out in the season is something to look out for. 

Struth won on his racecourse debut at Nottingham back in August 2022, as well as winning at Chester over 1m4f last May, which was also his first run of that season. He has only ever run at 1m6f on two previous occasions, coming 2nd and 3rd on each one, and although that was on better ground, he does also have some placed form on softer going or worse. 

He ended last season with a very decent 2nd in a class 2 handicap at Newcastle, which was on the all-weather, but I feel if he can transfer that run from the all-weather to turf here on Saturday, he could defy the mark of 96 and go in here.

I really fancy this horse's chances, and the fact that Jason Hart has been booked to ride makes me fancy him even more. I really like Jason as a rider, especially when riding one for the Johnstons, so my confidence was elevated slightly when I saw he was booked up to ride. 

I think there is much more to come from this horse, and given he is one of the youngsters in the field, he could still be improving.

  • Selection - Struth 15/2    

Selection Summary:

  • 1.50 Musselburgh: Individualism 11/8
  • 2.05 Haydock: Brentford Hope 9/4
  • 2.25 Musselburgh: Gweedore 9/2
  • 2.40 Haydock: Judicial Law 8/1
  • 3.00 Musselburgh: Silky Wilkie 9/4
  • 3.15 Haydock: Numitor 11/2
  • 3.35 Musselburgh: Struth 15/2


All prices are from Planet Sport Bet and are subject to change

 All previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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