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Saturday horse racing tips: Four best bets from Dave Nevison

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Sat 3 Dec 2022

Our pundit and resident website tipster has put up Oliver's Island (5-1), Dollar Bae (5-4), Corrigeen Rock (9-4) and Hugos New Horse (13-8) in recent days and takes aim at a super Saturday. Enjoy all the action live on Racing TV!

2.05 Aintree: Dr Kananga

This is as competitive a renewal of the Becher Chase I can remember. It would be easy to narrow the field down to 10 fancies and still not be confident!

Dr Kananga is from the family of 1996 Grand National runner-up Encore Un Peu and it feels like his whole career has been about getting him to Aintree. He is one of the few here who still looks to have the potential for a good amount of improvement to come and he is the one I eventually came down on.

While an eight-year-old, he has only run eight times under Rules and he won three chases last season with his bold fluent jumping being a feature in those successes – indeed, he has never fallen including in his several point-to-point outings. He stays this trip well, is well suited by the prevailing soft ground and has established a good relationship with Ben Jones who rides once again.

Dr Kananga goes from the front but is not a tearaway, a running style that I feel suits Aintree very well. He showed in defeat last year that he battles on when headed so I strongly feel that a good run for our money looks very likely.

2.40 Aintree: Elvis Mail

Nick Alexander has won the last two runnings of this race and Clan Legend bids for the hat trick now. It would be a real feat if he managed it, but it looks to me as though Elvis Mail may be set to show what he is capable of over fences this season and might well scupper his stablemate’s chances.

Elvis Mail was highly tried after an impressive chase debut just over two years ago, running well in the main but perhaps just losing his confidence a little after falling in a Grade One race at Aintree on his final start of that campaign. He went back hurdling last season and again ran consistently well without winning.

Elvis Mail won over fences on his reappearance at Ayr last time under this conditional rider and the eight-year-old will enjoy coming off what is certain to be a very fast pace. I think he could prove to be a smart performer this winter and his yard is in excellent form currently.

3.15 Aintree: Benson

The presence of a short-priced, lightly raced Nicky Henderson runner in this closing handicap makes me want to find one to back each-way against Walking On Air and Benson looks booked for a place at least judged on his efforts so far this season.

He lost his form for Dr Newland last season and has consequently dropped down the weights to below his latest winning mark.

Now with Sandy Thomson, Benson has been runner-up on both starts for the yard so far and neither went perfectly for him as he hit a flat spot and gave himself too much to do to get back into contention despite late rallies.

The booking of Brian Hughes really takes the eye and hopefully the champion jockey can keep him in the race at the crucial point - and then we can see if Benson’s resolution is strong enough to get him home.

3.30 Sandown: Revels Hill

He looks to be just about the only horse in this race who still has a future in front of him and it will be a real disappointment if he cannot beat these very much exposed staying chasers.

It looks as though this ‘National’ has been his pre-Christmas target and he ran a cracking second in a competitive 2½ mile race at Ascot to warm him up for this assignment.

This test will be much more up his street and he looks Saturday’s strongest handicap bet.

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