2023 Racing League tips: Wednesday selections for Southwell
We’re concluding our 2023 Racing League tips with seven selections from PA Media’s Nick Grant for Wednesday’s Southwell card, all covered by ITV4.
This year’s Racing League is set for a fascinating finale after Wales & The West just about maintained top spot from Ireland last week.
Jamie Osborne’s defending champions have been blazing a trail throughout, but the Kevin Blake-managed Irish outfit enjoyed another good night at Wolverhampton on Thursday.
Wales & The West led by 568 points to 496 heading into the fifth week at Dunstall Park, but by the end of play that was down to just two points (666 to 664). They remain the clear favourites at 1/2 for back-to-back titles in Coral’s Racing League betting odds, while Ireland are their closest challengers at 7/4 ahead of London & The South at 14/1.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Wales & The West, under Jamie Osborne’s management, have once again been the team to beat in the Racing League, and although they lead Ireland by only two points, Osborne has two jokers left to play, and that could prove decisive at Southwell.”
After solid placed efforts in the opening few races, Ireland hit the jackpot last week with the Billy Loughnane-ridden, George Boughey-trained Koy Koy in race four – a win that also put crack apprentice Loughnane on 94 career winners, just one away from losing his claim.
Race five looked like going to Ireland, too, as Naxos and Dylan Browne McMonagle went for home, only to be swamped by Freddy Larson aboard Rebecca Menzies’ Painters Palette (pictured below) for Mick Quinn’s North team.
Blake’s confidence seemed to be riding high for race six, as he played a joker but the well-fancied 9/4 favourite Belgoprince and Loughnane had to settle for fourth place, one in front of another Irish runner, Percy Jones.
But while the points were still doubled for a positive Irish outcome that took them to the summit, Blake did admit to being disappointed the joker did not pay a better dividend, especially as he has no more left to play.
“We had a big chance to stick a nail in Osborne this evening, I feel we’ve only done half a job. When you play a joker you want better than that, so I’m disappointed,” he told Sky Sports Racing.
“Osborne with his two jokers will be tough next week, I don’t think we’ll be much weaker next week – I’ve got a good feeling about next week, I’ve got a bunch of trainers ringing and wanting spots which is exactly what you want.
“If Osborne nails his two jokers, we’re all in trouble, but if he scuffs one…”
Osborne the one to watch
When it comes to Racing League tips this week, it is probably worth looking to see what Saffie Osborne is riding given her record in the competition.
One that sticks out like a sore thumb is King Of Scotia, trained by her father, Jamie, having his first run for 109 days.
Osborne senior recently stated he had a few aces up his sleeve for the final night and this could be one in the William Hill Enhanced Odds Every Day Racing League Race 37 Handicap.
Osborne later rides Zain Nights for Harry and Roger Charlton and he is another worth close consideration.
It might just be that James Tate’s Regal Empire can defy a 5lb rise for winning a good prize at Ascot last time out in the William Hill Epic Value Racing League Race 42 Handicap.