Home / News / Tipster Blogs / Matthew Sutcliffe’s Value Pointers and Punts – Saturday, 4th November

Tipster Blogs

Matthew Sutcliffe’s Value Pointers and Punts – Saturday, 4th November

Matthew Sutcliffe has an eye for finding value in races and gives an in-depth look at the horses to take out of last weekends action, before giving his fancies for Saturday’s action.

Having tipped up Wayfinder (33/1 third) each-way at Cheltenham last week, he gives his tips for this weekends action, including one he’s keen on in the Listed Mares’ Hurdle at Wetherby.

Published: 4pm 1st November (Odds correct at time of publication)

Updated: 12:50pm 3rd November (Haafapiece, Eldorado Allen + Zhiguli selections added)

Bookmakers not found
Claim Bonus Signup Offer Get £40 in Free Bets When You Bet £10
Claim Bonus
10 Our Score
Excellent Review

Last Week’s Pointers


1:35 Cheltenham Castel Gandolfo (4/18) – Dark Angel x Capulet Monteque (Camacho) – Trainer: Fergal O’Brien.

The well backed winner Our Champ will likely take all the plaudits for his seven length route in the opener of Cheltenham’s showcase meeting this year, but he was fairly flattered on the front end having a very easy time of things, and there were some positives to take out of those in behind him. Castel Gandolfo’s three career wins have come in spring, so it’s worth noting whenever he runs above expectations outside of that time of year. He replicated his 4th in this contest last season with another fourth this year recording a 4lbs higher RPR, catching the eye running on strongly from the rear having initially been caught widest of all on the turn. Likely to be dropped a pound or two, he’s one to note for your trackers in order to remember backing him in the spring.

2:45 Cheltenham Mel Monroe (2/9) – Walk In The Park x Laciarash (Stowaway) – Trainer: Gordon Elliott.

Encanto Bruno was another snug winner who was given an excellent ride from Keith Donoghue, coming in between horses at the last before going onto win in a canter. Mel Monroe raced mainly in tandem with the eventual winner and may have paid the price for coming wide on the turn as opposed to following Encanto Bruno up the inner. A traditionally well built son of Walk In The Park, he didn’t give his hurdles too much respect throughout and was headed on the run in by Tag Man, but he found an extra gear and got back up for second. Gordon Elliot has had several runners in this contest beaten in recent years, particular future chasers. Visually, Mel Monroe looks a wasted sort over hurdles already to my eye, and his pedigree backs that up given he’s by WITP out of a Stowaway mare who’s a half-sister to some smart types, including Askanna (G3 Mares Chase winner, dam of Minella Cocooner) and 3x chase winner Abolitionist (including Leinster National). I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Elliott utilise his handicap mark for something like the Coral Cup in March, but I’m (wishfully) hoping connections bypass hurdling altogether and send him novice chasing.

3:55 Cheltenham Kamsinas (2/8) – Kamsin x Louvadeus Has (Poliglote) – Trainer: Fergal O’Brien.

It paid to race on the front end in the G2 Sharp Novices’ Hurdle last Friday, with the 1st, 3rd and 4th noted to have either ‘made all’, ‘raced in second’, or ‘in touch with leaders’. Kamsinas may not have been favoured by racing ‘towards rear of midfield’, but he certainly gave an excellent account of himself regardless on his 2nd start over hurdles. Despite losing his left hind shoe, Kamsinas travelled strongly into the contest and stayed on nicely, but couldn’t quite match the pace of the promising Lookaway, who was favoured by racing on the front end. The winner looks set for graded contests, but I imagine they’ll make use of Kamsinas’ mark in handicaps next time out, and he should make a nice chaser in the future for connections.

4:30 Cheltenham Strictlyadancer (4/19) – Yeats x Female Dancer (Supreme Leader) – Trainer: Christian Williams.

Once again I find myself writing about an eye-catching effort from Strictlyadancer. He was a selection for the column when it went live on Wednesday, but a subsequent combination of the Twitter curse and a stark late drift on the Betfajr exchange put the mockers on our chances. Regardless, it was an excellent run from the horse on his second start from a 637 day lay off, as there is always the issue of the bounce factor with these types. Gina Andrews had him held up right at the back throughout before making stealthy headway in to midfield. I’m sure plenty will say Gina Andrews left it too late, but he might’ve wanted a stronger pace throughout, His visually strong finish was backed up by the clock as only the winner was quicker than him throughout the last four furlong’s, and given ran to his 2nd best RPR (125) for the 3rd time, I’d say he’s still got some improvement within this season. He’ll surely pop up at the Amateur’s race in the November meeting.


1:15 Cheltenham – Not Long Till May (4/11) – Malinas x Tara Croft (Kayf Tara) – Trainer: Laura Morgan.

Last seasons’ Turner’s 2nd proved it was no fluke with a solid reappearance off top-weight in a traditionally competitive 2m handicap. Having stayed on well over the 2m4f Turners Trip, 2m on reappearance was always going to be on the short side and he was outpaced once the leaders quickened up. He caught the eye staying on strongly, and that run should set him up nicely for a tilt at the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap next month, where he’s a general 14/1 shot for.

1:50 Cheltenham – Jilaijone (2/7) – Walzertakt x Alauda (Great Pretender) – Trainer: David Pipe. 

The Masterson Holdings Hurdle has been won by some some smart types in recent years, notably Pied Piper, I Like To Move It and Sceau Royal. On paper, it looked a penalty kick for Blueing D’Oroux who was officially rated 9lbs higher than any other horse in the field, and he somewhat cosily obliged. Jilaijone is the one to take from the race however, as he was the only one to pose any sort of threat to the winner despite having 20lbs on ratings to find with him. Unlike the winner, he doesn’t hold a Greatwood entry but I’d fancy him to take up an entry in the Betfair Exchange Trophy at Ascot in December, following the same path at Tritonic who won that contest after finishing 2nd in the Masterson in 2021.

1:29 Kelso – Highland Hunter (2/6) – Subtle Power x Laughing Sparkle (Beneficial) – Trainer: Fergal O’Brien.

A Fergal O’Brien trained mount makes this list for the 3rd time this week, any more and I’ll be accused of sponsoring him! But Highland Hunter made an impressive comeback from a 630 day layoff on yard debut in the Edinburgh Gin Castle Handicap which saw the Grand National winner Coach Rambler beaten 23L. The ex Paul Nicholls in mate was subject to late market support, and very nearly justified it as the three greys battled out the finish. As mentioned above with Strictlyadancer, the bounce factor is always a worry with these types but Fergal O’Brien is an excellent handler and knows how to nurse one back. Now back on his last winning mark, it’ll be no surprise should we see him aimed towards the London National, which he won in 2021 off this mark.

2:10 Doncaster – God’s Window (3/7) – Dubawi x Perfect Clarity (Nathaniel) – Trainer: John & Thady Gosden.

While we could only manage 3rd with God’s Window last week, his performance in the G1 Futurity was still pleasing enough and he features once again as a pointer. We can upgrade his staying on 3rd on the basis of several factors. Firstly, he was the least exposed with just the one run under his belt. It clearly paid to be prominent with the only other horse noted to have been ‘held’ up was beaten 10L, while the winner was up with the van throughout. God’s Window was slowly away and I’m not entirely sure what Kieran Shoemark was looking around for in the early stages, but he was on the back foot throughout and never settled off a slow pace. Despite those unfavourable circumstances, he still travelled well enough and came home strongly, clocking the quickest final furlong of the race and he should have a big future. The Futurity often opens up talk about next years Derby, and while God’s Window shaped like he wants further, I’ve always been skeptical about Dubawi progeny over that trip at the top level. He’s bred to come in to his own next year, and this Irish 2000 Guineas is one for the flat fans to look forward to. 

3:00 Cheltenham – Dubrovnik Harry (4/20) – Yeats x Kashmir Lady (Rock Of Gibraltar) – Trainer: Harry Fry.

Dubrovnik Harry looked something out of the ordinary when bolting up by 25L in January 2022. He was disappointing next time out, though ran well when 3rd in a G3 Handicap at Sandown behind the now 152r Complete Unknown. Harry Fry’s mount had been fairly disappointing in three runs later, beaten 13L when favourite on chase debut, pulling up in the Lanzarote then beaten 16L in a Pertemps Qualifier at Chepstow in February. It was a different story on Saturday however, as he ran right back to form when an eye-catching staying on 4th in another Pertemps Qualifier off a mark of 125. He was held up throughout and raced widest of all, covering more ground than any, but Jonathan Burke carried out the likely instructions too aplomb as he got up for fourth in the last half furlong, meaning he qualified for the Pertemps in March next year. Interestingly, the 4th in this contest last season (Salvador Ziggy) was subsequently beaten 3L (2nd) in the Pertemps, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him tucked away and trained for that contest now. 

Bookmakers not found
Claim Bonus Signup Offer Get £40 in Free Bets When You Bet £10
Claim Bonus
10 Our Score
Excellent Review

Weekend Punts


1:30 Ascot – Underwriting Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) (4yo+)

TIGHTENOURBELTS (0.5pt E/W – 16/1 generally) *NOT DECLARED*

I’ve halved the stakes here as like a few of these, Tightenourbelts is also entered in a novice chase at Carlisle on Sunday (not currently jocked up for either), but should he turn up at Ascot then it’s hard to envisage him going off higher than 10s at least. Emma Lavelle had a seriously underwhelming season by her standards last year, but that was largely due to a bug in her yard and as a result, she’s plenty of well handicapped horses. Tightenourbelts is no doubt well handicapped, but he was one of just three winners for Lavelle in March from 31 runs, and given she only had 1 winner from 26 in December, his 1L 2nd at Taunton can be marked up too, as can his 1/2L 2nd in February, though Lavelle was 6/32 in that month.

By Mahler from the family of Mister McGoldrick, Tightenourbelts was aways going to come into his own over fences. The selection began his career in a Dromahane P2P, 7L behind the now 135r Weveallbeencaught who was 3L behind Flooring Porter at Cheltenham last weekend. Tightenourbelts was then behind promising Paul Nicholls horses in three spins over hurdles, 6L behind the now 133r Makin’yourmindup, 1L behind 132r Timeforatune, and 1/2L behind 132r Hugos New Horse. He finally opened his account with a facile 18L canter over a 111r rival at Ludlow, with Lavelle noting afterwards “we’ve always thought a lot of…he’s a chaser but he’s a horse who deserved to go win a hurdles race”. Evidently, chasing is his game so along with the switch to this discipline, the aforementioned form, and the fact he was outrunning the odds of Lavelle’s horses around that time, I’d fancy him to have at least 15lbs in hand now going handicapping over fences.

Any signs of a bug have clearly vanished at Emma Lavelle has hit the ground running strongly this season operating at a 25% strike rate, with her chasers reading 47-10-21.

1:50 Wetherby – bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

STAINSBY GIRL (1.5pt win – 6/1 Bet365, 5/1 generally)

Frustratingly, we could’ve had almost treble the odds on Stainsby Girl had this column come out yesterday (Tuesday), but her price has taken an almighty crash. That said, the opening price was a mockery and while she’s probably priced accordingly now, she rates a confident pick in here. My immediate thought was to take on Kateira who I suspect was flattered by her 3L 2nd to Irish Point in the G1 Mersey at Aintree. Aintree was somewhat of a write off for those who raced at Cheltenham, with Hermes Allen, Letsbeclearaboutit and G1 Mares Novice winner (re-opposes here) You Wear It Well all behind Kateira, who picked off the tired horses up the straight. Then we have You Wear It Well, who despite being a dual G2 winner, will be 1lbs worse off at the weights with Stainsby Girl, whose highest accolade is a class two handicap win. Luccia (if turning up) will likely have this as a prep race for the Greatwood Hurdle where she currently resides as 2nd favourite for, and while she is likely better than a mark of 136, giving her a tough race on Saturday on likely very soft ground and going up in the weights if winning, surely wouldn’t be an ideal prep race. I had toyed with the idea of playing Game On For Glory and Wadham had the 2nd in here last season, but off such a long layoff and no obvious guarantee she line up when decs come out tomorrow, I’ve rather unwillingly deserted her.

The one that jumped off the page is Stainsby Girl. Despite this being a listed contest littered with with previous listed winners and other bringing group form, Stainsby Girl is joint best off at the weights in here with the favourite Kateira, who I’ve already swept aside as discussed. The selection is suited by fields of under 9 runners as she’s able to dictate proceedings and make all, which bar You Wear it Well, she should be able to do on Saturday. She’s a relentless galloper who revels in the mud, with her record on heavy going reading 2212151, presuming the forecast rain turns the ground that way. Her record fresh/off a break reads 1321441, and she’s 211 in the month of November. Interestingly, she’s only ever won once when favourite and that was at 2/7f, so she’s often overlooked in the market and while she’s significantly shortened since opening, she may be overlooked once more.

bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (Listed Race) (GBB Race)

2:05 Ascot – Byrne Group Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

SAINT SEGAL (1.5pt win – 6/1 generally)

Another of my top ten to follow runs here, and he’s the one I’m most excited for. Having been incredibly certain he would win the Grand Annual last year, you can imagine to sheer sense of sadness I felt when he was only just balloted out. I’ve no doubt that race will be the target this season, and connections know they’ll need to win a race to see his mark go up to ensure he’s entered. I noted in my ten to follow that “he’s a scopey son of Saint Des Saints who’ll undoubtedly improve physically this year, and he’s well handicapped off a mark of 137”, so it was pleasing to hear Jane Williams confirm that he’s strengthened up over the summer, and herself suggesting he’s very well handicapped. 

He showed a tremendous attitude for a four year old chaser last season, coasting to success on chasing debut against one now rated 11lbs. He then cosily beat Christopher Wood, before going down 1/2L to Malystic in a typically competitive 2m handicap at Doncaster. He was somewhat of an unlucky loser there as he’d have won in a couple more strides, and Malystic subsequently went on to finish three lengths behind the 170r Greanteen in the G2 Game Spirit before taking a G3 handicap chase at Ayr off 147 carrying top weight. 

Whatever he did as a four year old last season was always going to be a bonus, and he’s undoubtedly well handicapped off 137 this Saturday. He’s capable of going well fresh, he’s unbeaten (2-2) in the month of November and his record under David Noonan reads 1124. With a good gallop likely to be on, he’ll settle nicely and hopefully pick them off, en-route to winning the Grand Annual!

Byrne Group Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)

3:30 Wetherby – Never Ordinary At bet365 Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-130)

HAAFAPIECE (1pt E/W – 8/1 generally)

The spanner in the works here is Alavniy for Paul Byrne and Willie Mullins, who could still be anything despite his poor performance at Newton Abbott, beaten 7L at 1/3F last time out. He’s likely to be well backed again, and I’m sure that’s why Haafapiece is as big as 10/1 in here. 

The selection likes it at Wetherby with his record here reading 42313184, and he’s 2/4 over C&D, including when winning this race off a 6lbs higher mark in 2021 (races off the same weight). That came first time up that season, and he’s bound to be primed for another tilt this time around. He’s winless since beating Ballyandy in January 2022 (rated 12lbs higher now) but he’s dropped 11lbs in the process and the form of his last three races have worked out very well. He was 2nd at Fakenham three starts ago in the Norfolk Grand Pris when 3L behind Irish Hill, with all bar one of the field winning since and the winner is rated 11lbs higher. He was then beaten four lengths into t4th over course and distance, but the winner has gone in three times since now rated 15lbs higher, the 2nd has gone in four times since (3 over fences rated 123, once over hurdles rated 120), the 3rd went in next time out now rated 5lbs higher, and the 7th is also rated 11lbs higher having gone in twice since. Haafapiece was then beaten 15L into 3rd at Fakenham in the Silver Cup, but the 13L winner is clearly smart and he was only 2L behind the 3nd who has gone in twice since, rated 8lbs higher.

While it seems as is Haafapiece has regressed since his last win, it’s rather a case of he’s bumped into several very well handicapped horses along the way. So given his mark has dropped down to a very workable one (won 3x off higher marks), I’d be surprised should be not be going close on Saturday. The only slight worry would be the soft/heavy ground, likely becoming the latter. Though 5/6 have come with soft in the going, just one has come on genuine ‘soft’, thought that was over C&D. However, he’s unraced on heavy ground and hasn’t been pulled on it either, but his dam placed twice on it and is related to a winner on it.

Never Ordinary At bet365 Handicap Hurdle

3:45 Ascot – Sodexo Live! Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (4yo+)

ELDORADO ALLEN (1pt win – 7/1 generally) + ZHIGULI (0.5pt E/W four places – 16/1 generally)

Ultima 3rd Monbeg Genius will prove popular with punters as he’s objectively well handicapped on that form with only the Punchestown Gold Cup winner and Grand National winner ahead of him. However, I fear he’ll need the run as he did last year, and he’s 0-2 going right handed. 

Several of the recent winners of this contest were previously beaten at either the Cheltenham Festival or its April meeting, which brings in the two fancies I have in here. The first is Eldorado Allen, who has his first race at Ascot in his excellent 26 race career. The selection was 3L behind Bravemansgame on reappearance in the Charlie Hall last season, before finishing 2nd to Protektorat in the Betfair Chase. He disappointed in three runs later, before a mark of 158 was seen reasonable enough to drop into handicap company, where he was beaten twice off top weight, though still posted smart RPR’s of 158, which if he posted that rating in Saturdays contest, it would’ve seen classy enough to win seven of the last ten renewals. 

He’s dropped to a mark of 154 now, rated the lowest since beaten Hitman in the Haldon Gold Cup off 151. Although he’s weighted to carry top-weight, the talented Freddie Gingell takes 7lbs off and I’m hoping he’ll give the grey a brave front running ride in one of the weakest contests he’s been in. His record when fresh reads 2121212 and he’s a winner on heavy ground, which can’t be said for many in here. My only niggling concern, is that while he’s shown smart form over 3 miles in top graded company, he’s winless over the distance and I just wonder whether 3 miles on heavy ground might stretch him, but being able to dictate a slow pace might help in that regard.

My other selection in here is Gary Moore’s Zhiguli, whose handler has won this contest three times in the last ten years, twice with one off bottom weight. David Noonan hasn’t rode a winner for Gary Moore in 19 attempts which tempers enthusiasm somewhat, but the fact he’s willing to drop to his lowest riding weight in the last twelve months may be a telling feature. As mentioned, Gary Moore has won this race twice with horses carrying bottom weight which will aid Zhiguli’s cause on this ground. His record on ground ranging from heavy-soft reads 693121711313 as opposed to 6749PU5PU, so he’ll (unlike plenty others) relish conditions. He’s up in class here but he’s 2-2 when racing over 2m7-3m1f on soft going, and can pick up the pieces of those who may struggle in the conditions.

Sodexo Live! Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)

4:08 Wetherby – bet365 Handicap Chase (Go North Red Rum Series Qualifier) (Class 4) (4yo+ 0-120)

O’CONNELL (1pt E/W – 11/1 generally)

I’ve emphasised in recent columns that when any of Sue Smith’s horses show promise around this time of year, it’s worth marking up their performance as her string doesn’t often come good till the other side of Christmas. While her overall strike rate of local track Wetherby isn’t exceptional, last season her record in course handicap chases read a healthy 18-4-10 (£14+), and it’s worth chancing O’Connell who was a rarely well backed horse for the yard last time out at Hexham.  

Like many of the yards runners, The Westerner gelding was always going to make a better chaser having won a Kirkistown point-to-point this time last year, and we can draw a line through the bare form of his three runs over hurdles though he showed some promise in each of them. Jumping errors saw him beaten 22L on chasing debut in April, but he clearly improved over the summer when a 5L 3rd in this grade behind Hidden Commander and Without Conviction. From a handicapping perspective, that form holds up given that pair were only separated by a neck when meeting each other in September, and they are both somewhat experienced chasers so it’s reasonable to suggest O’Connell will prove to be much better than a mark of 103. The selection was staying on nicely there, grabbing 3rd from Breaking The Ice who won that contest last season, and should benefit from the step up to three miles on Saturday in a race that Sue Smith has had the 3rd and 2nd in recent years. Currently he needs four runners to come out to see him sneak in at the bottom of the weights but I’m confident that’ll happen, and he should be very competitive off a low weight on that ground.

bet365 Handicap Chase (Go North Red Rum Series Qualifier)
Bookmakers not found
Claim Bonus Signup Offer Get £40 in Free Bets When You Bet £10
Claim Bonus
10 Our Score
Excellent Review

Matt Sutcliffe’s Weekend Bets


1.30 Ascot – TIGHTENYOURBELTS (0.5pt E/W – 16/1 generally) *NOT DECLARED*

1.50 Wetherby – STAINSBY GIRL (1.5pt win – 6/1 Bet365, 5/1 generally)

2.05 Ascot – SAINT SEGAL (1.5pt win – 6/1 generally)

3.30 Wetherby – HAAFAPIECE (1pt E/W – 8/1 generally)

3.45 Ascot – ELDORADO ALLEN (1pt win – 7/1 generally) + ZHIGULI (0.5pt E/W four places – 16/1 generally)

4.08 Wetherby – O’CONNELL (1pt E/W – 11/1 generally)

Our tip
Place bet

Looking For More Racing Info? Check Out Our Racecards & Top Tips Sections

Today’s Racecards

Today’s Top Tips

Make sure you’re following us on all our social media platforms to keep up to date with all the latest horse racing news and the best tips.