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Saturday horse racing tips: Special Rate can make it a hat-trick with Kelso victory

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It is a busy Saturday of racing action, with Special Rate eyeing a third victory on the bounce and Nube Negra bidding to turn back the clock.

Our tipster Paul O'Brien offers up his horse racings tips for the day...

Special Rate (Kelso, 4pm @ 3/1)

Seven-year-old gelding Special Rate is seeking his third win in a row, and an incredible eighth victory in nine starts. Remarkably he is still on the same handicap rating as his last race on February 16 at Kelso. That race ended up being a match race but he still beat Imperial Merlin well, who fell when under pressure two furlongs out when trying to keep up with the increasing pace.

Prior to that on January 14 the tactics were very different with rebooked jockey Ross Chapman putting in a patient ride towards the back of the seven runner field before picking them off one by one to lead in the last furlong. Second place in that race has won since which further cements Special Rate's outstanding form. Trainer Philip Kirby has done a brilliant job with this horse to deliver back to back wins in what has been a phenomenal twelve months. It's hard to see how any of the field today at Kelso will match him.

Nube Negra (Doncaster, 2.35pm @ 10/3)

Ten-year-old gelding Nube Negra is a three time Grade 2 winner but admittedly his best form is probably behind him now and the 2020/21 jumps season were his halcyon days. His last win was on November 13, 2022, and that was only when Cheltenham Festival winner Edwardstone was pulled out late leaving him a pretty easy set of runners to defeat.

However recently he has shown glimpses of his previous form with a good second on his penultimate start in a similar race at Kempton Park on December 27 last year. A disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham last time out on January 27, but in this Class 2 race he's a realistic target for a win.

Gowareagle (Wolverhampton, 5pm @ 5/1)

This three year old gelding was sired by 2015 Royal Ascot winner Gleneagles, and was third on his debut at Lingfield on February 11, coming just behind Kento, who is also racing today. It was a valiant performance chasing the leaders and not quite able to quicken enough inside the final furlong to take the victory.

Gowareagle should learn a lot from that race and can use the experience to reverse the form with Kento. Jockey Benoit De La Sayette is in the saddle for the selection so expect him to be prominent just in behind the leader and look to hit the front inside the final furlong and force the others to come by. Well worth a punt and should be pretty good value.