#8PointsToPlay Saturday Tipping Challenge | Jumps Season | Week One

Saturday’s #8PointstoPlay Tipping Challenge returns and will operate from now until the Jumps Season finale (1st May 2021). Each listed player (below) will give their best Saturday tips and stake 8 points weekly in a bid to become the 2020/2021 #8PointstoPlay Saturday Tipping Champion. Running totals will calculated and updated weekly illustrating player form / profit and loss tallies. Week one sees Horse Racing action from Haydock Park, Ascot, Naas and more.

If you are joining the fun, please be disciplined, stick to your staking system and only stake what you can afford to lose. Understand and please be aware !

Ronan Groome

2:25 Haydock – Third Win (6/1) 2 Pts each-way

Hughie Morrison’s hurdler ran a huge race in the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham last March, staying on nicely when beaten by three very well handicapped Irish horses. His comeback run was encouraging and he remains a lightly raced horse with plenty of scope to improve. Soft ground will be no hindrance either.

1:37 Naas – Barnaviddaun (11/2) 1 Pt each-way

Tom Mullins has won the Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle for the last two years and he could win it again today. This six-year-old ran a cracker on his last start, staying on from out of the pack to finish a closing-in second to Funky Dady in the final of the Red Mills series. He is another young and improving horse and the likely strong pace on today should play into his hands.

2:47 Naas – Fag An Bealach (6/1) 1 Pt each-way

Arthur Moore’s six-year-old got off the mark over fences at the first time of asking at Downpatrick and finished a good fourth then on his handicap debut at Clonmel. That race was over two miles, as opposed to the two miles three furlongs he won over in the north, and a return to the intermediate trip today should suit him well.


Andrew Blair-White

3.22 Naas – Cedarwood Road (9/4) 4 Pts Win

This is a strong beginners chase and one that any number of horses could take a lot of stopping. However, I have been waiting for Cedarwood Road to reappear for the whole of the this year and I can’t wait to see this horse jump a fence. After a good performance on Stephens Day to land a usually strong maiden, he beat Beacon Edge in a listed race – form that has been well franked since. I really hope he takes to the larger obstacles and puts himself down as a serious horse for Gearoid O’Loughlin.

12.10 Haydock – Do Your Job (9/4) 4 Pts Win

I am looking to stamp down my early claims on this year’s 8 Points to Play title and will be looking to get one on the board early in the form of Michael Scudamore’s promising youngster. Do Your Job does what the name suggests – he gallops, jumps and does his job. His win at Ayr last time was extremely facile given the second, Cadzand, has come out to win impressively since. His main rival, Flic Ou Voyou, has been collecting very winnable races at prohibitive odds recently and will have his work cut out to get the better of Do Your Job. Ridden by Brendan Powell, he is likely to go out in front and hope not to be passed, just like myself in this year’s tipping competition.


Mike Vince

2.05 Ascot – Imperial Aura (7/4) 4 Pts Win

Cheltenham Festival winner who impressed in Carlisle return and fancy him to go win the race where Cyrname beat Altior last year.

12.15 Huntingdon – Comprond (5/2) 4 Pts Win

French import for JP McManus with form there and interesting in what looks the stronger division. 


Thomas Coyle

2.47 Naas – Clash of The Titans (9/1) 2 Pts each-way

Won at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival nearly two years ago but has had his problems since. He put in a satisfactory return in Limerick the last day and is 7lbs lower over fences. Had a few options this weekend and this is where he shows up. Might be worth noting.

3.35 Haydock – Don Poli (7/2) 2 Pts Win

Thrown in on old form off 130. Showed some spark the last time at Aintree and this marathon trip could be right up his street.

3.17 Ascot – Abbey Magic (9/2) 2 Pts Win

Won a decent chase in Cork the last day. Looks an uncomplicated ride and has the assistance of the Saturday lady in Bryony Frost.


Barry Doyle

2.25 Haydock – The Jam Man (6/1) 2 Pts each way

Highly impressive Troytown Chase winner reverts back over hurdles here off 2Ibs lower mark. Maxine O’Sullivan has built a nice relationship with connections in recent weeks and will take a further 5Ibs off. Leading player and shouldn’t be out of the picture.

1.15 Haydock – Dashel Drasher (7/2) 2 Pts win

Will surely end up a better chaser than his 145 mark over hurdles. Gave RSA winner Champ a decent race twice at Newbury last season before picking up a minor injury. Looked a model for the Ladbroke Trophy next weekend but interesting connections have opted go here instead. Talented sort !

1.50 Haydock – Shakem Up’Arry (11/2) 1 Pts each-way

Lightly raced 6yo who finished well beaten behind Shishkin and Envoi Allen in his last two starts last season. Got off the mark over hurdles on reappearance at Fflos Las two weeks ago and a mark of 130 looks workable. Step up in trip will suit and soft ground will help.


The Champion

1.15 Haydock – Good Boy Bobby (3/1) 4 Pts Win

Showed he was in fine fettle on his return at Bangor a few weeks ago. Step up in trip shouldn’t be a problem and I can’t see this guy out of the mix.

2.40 Ascot – Song For Someone (5/2) 4 Pts Win

Simply put there is major question marks about Laurina. She’s been consistently on the slide since around this time last year and has been an expensive horse for punters to follow since. Willie has been a master handler of race mares over the years. I’m not sure I would see Nicholls in the same regard in that particular facet.

The yard switch doesn’t enamour me, albeit fresh surroundings and a change in routine might make a difference. Call me Lord never really ascended the ladder like many people hoped he ultimately would and was a well beat 4th on return. Song for someone albeit unspectacular form has consistency on his side. He has ran well before at Ascot when 2nd to Thomas Derby. He is the outsider of the 3 and I just think with Laurina short and vulnerable at the prices, I want to pick an alternative and I have most faith in Song for Someone.