New Year's Day ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Cheltenham, Musselburgh and Tramore

ITV are showing eight races live on New Year's Day and we've got them all nicely covered with the latest odds, tips and racecards - not to mention some free bets!

Let's begin with those free bets which could prove essential if you're considering a punt or two and work like this...

Get up to £20 back as a free bet if your horse finishes second and is beaten by half a length or less - applies to ALL LIVE ITV RACES!

Now on to our selections, given with a little more confidence thanks to that offer, and you can head straight to Planet Sport Bet to place your bets by clicking on the horse's names below.

Selections:

The Glancing Queen (13.25 Cheltenham)

Kavanaghs Cross - (13.40 Mussleburgh)

Galahad Quest - (14.00 Cheltenham)

Fiveandtwenty - (14.10 Musselburgh)

Al Boum Photo - (14.20 Tramore)

Pileon - (14.35 Cheltenham)

Gold Des Bois - (14.50 Musselburgh)

Stormy Ireland - (15.10 Cheltenham)

13.25 Cheltenham - The Glancing Queen

It'll be a surprise if the winner of this Grade 2 Novices' Chase doesn't come from the first three in the betting given they all look exciting prospects and have won five times over fences between them already this season, with a narrow vote going to The Glancing Queen in receipt of the mares' allowance.

The Glancing Queen is taken to maintain her unbeaten record over fences

She has long been the apple of Alan King's eye and has now won seven times - a point, a bumper, two hurdles and twice over fences this season in emphatic style - so she looks ready for this step up to graded company.

Her connections are eyeing up the Mares' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and she will be just about favourite for that if maintaining her unbeaten record at the possible main expense of the equally exciting L'Homme Presse, who jumped left when winning at Ascot last month.

The presence of Millers Bank, so impressive when winning on his chase debut at Huntingdon and still in front when unseating his rider at Newbury last time, makes for an even more compelling contest.

13.40 Musselburgh - Kavanaghs Cross

Geronimo only narrowly failed to complete a four-timer at Doncaster last time out and he has every right to be favourite for this 2m4f handicap hurdle, for all he's now running off a career-high mark.

However, preference at the odds is for Iain Jardine's Kavanaghs Cross, who was getting off the mark over hurdles at the tenth attempt when dropped into maiden company at Kelso last month.

That will have done his confidence plenty of good and the seven-year-old, who has run well on all four of his British starts since coming over from Ireland, including when finishing a cracking third (of 18) in a Cheltenham handicap two outings ago, is handicapped to go in again.

Given his lowly mark of 114 and the presence of 5lb claimer Angus Cheleda on his back, he is getting stacks of weight from his main rivals - Geronimo has to concede him two stone - and today's extra half mile is ideal for him.

14.00 Cheltenham - Galahad Quest

Coole Cody loves it around here and looked as good ever when galloping his rivals into submission in last month's Racing Post Gold Cup, which like today's contest was run on the stiffer New Course.

That form looks rock-solid and his backers are assured a run for their money, albeit he's now on a career-high mark at the age of 11 and the runner-up in the December race, Zanza, enjoys a small pull at the weights.

Alnadam might want an even stiffer test to be seen to best effect, while Funambule Sivola needs to prove he stays this far and might want better ground too.

Click here to view the racecard for the Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase.

Outside of that quartet, a case of sorts can be made for several but the one that appeals most is the Nick Williams-trained Galahad Quest, who is the youngest horse in the race at six and surely has his best days ahead of him.

That he is coming off a fall at Aintree is not ideal - still going comfortably at the time - but he caught the eye on his first two starts of this season; finishing a close up third on his Wetherby reappearance when in need of the run, followed by a staying-on fifth in the ultra competitive Paddy Power Gold Cup won by Midnight Shadow.

That latter race was run on the tighter New Course on good ground and he simply found things happening a bit too quickly for him before rallying, whereas conditions this afternoon should be perfect for him.

When you add in his lovely racing weight of 10st 5lb - he's getting almost a stone from Coole Cody - and that his small stable is operating a near 1-3 strike rate this season (last runner won at 11/2), he looks a cracking bet at round the 8/1 mark.

14.10 Musselburgh - Fiveandtwenty

Tommy's Oscar is hugely respected on his hat-trick bid in this 2m handicap hurdle with the return to a right-handed track very much in his favour, but a further 3lb rise leaves him top weight, even taking into account his conditional rider's claim.

He's also without the services of Brian Hughes, who steered him to victory last time out, and the champion jockey's mount, the Donald McCain-trained Fiveandtwenty, looks worth chancing at the odds.

The five-year-old mare needs to put a couple of disappointing runs behind her, but she's had wind surgery since the last of those and is returning to a track where she rattled off a hat-trick in the space of two months last season - with Flat included, she's unbeaten in four outings here.

Her subsequent third in a Grade 1 at Aintree behind Monmiral and Adagio is by far the best form on offer and if returning to anything close to her best, she's going to take plenty of beating off a mark of 128 and with just 10st 4lb on her back.

14.20 Tramore - Al Boum Photo

Willie Mullins field five of the six runners for the Savills New Year's Day Chase - the exception being Gordon Elliott's Hardline - and all eyes will be on Al Boum Photo as he bids to win this Grade 3 contest for the fourth time in a row.

Al Boum Photo is bidding to win this Tramore Grade 3 for the fourth time

The now ten-year-old was last seen finishing second in April's Punchestown Gold Cup behind Clan Des Obeax and that race, along with the Cheltenham Gold Cup he won in 2020, will be his spring targets.

But Mullins is sure to have him fit and ready for this annual assignment and it'll be a surprise if he can't justify odds-on favouritism once again.

14.35 Cheltenham - Pileon

A wide open 3m handicap hurdle and the current favourite Tamar Bridge is opposable considering he's up 6lb in the weights for winning by a short head at Aintree and has his stamina to prove. His stable is struggling for winners too.

Art Approval won a competitive 2m5f handicap run at a decent gallop at the November meeting here and the second and fourth have won since to boost. Aa a fragile type it remains to be seen whether he can back that up this afternoon.

Pileon on the other hand looks to have plenty going for him, having won his first handicap on his first try over 3m at Sandown last month with plenty in hand under today's rider Ben Jones.

The handicapper has raised the Philip Hobbs-trained seven-year-old 6lb for that, but there is surely still some leeway in his current mark of 137 given that he was rated 139 in 2020 and finished a short head second in that year's Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival off 1lb lower.

He's a hard horse to get fit apparently, so would have needed his comeback run at Aintree in November - still ran a creditable fourth - and there should be more to come from him as he's relatively lightly-raced for his age.

Furthermore, his stable is ticking along nicely with four winners from 20 runners in the last fortnight - all of which makes him a solid bet at around the 11/2 mark.

14.50 Musselburgh - Gold Des Bois

The five runners for this 2m4f handicap chase are headed by Paul Nicholls' Amour De Nuit, the mount of Bryony Frost and the form horse on his third at Newbury last time out.

However, the suspicion is that he's best caught fresh and as the oldest horse in the field at ten, he might struggle to give weight to the younger Gold Des Bois, who has been knocking on the door over fences over shorter.

A dual winner in Ireland for Gordon Elliott and Denise Foster, he ran a cracking second on his British debut in a class 2 at Kelso in October, despite being 8lb out of the handicap, and has finished runner-up twice more since then.

He gave it a good go from the front on his latest outing at this track, only to be headed approaching the last, and he looks sure to win a race or two in the north based on those efforts.

He won't get many better opportunities than today's with the extra half mile perhaps the key to him getting his head in front.

15.10 Cheltenham - Stormy Ireland

Brewin'upastorm made a hugely impressive return to the track when giving weight and a convincing beating to his five rivals at Aintree in November, showing the apparent benefit of wind surgery, and Olly Murphy's charge is deserving of favouritism for this Grade 2 contest over an extended 2m4f, a trip that suits him ideally.

But the nine-year-old can throw in the odd bad race and when you factor in his stable form - just 1-30 in the last fortnight - he makes very little appeal at the current best price of 11/8. We can let him win at that price.

Paul Nicholls' McFabulous is next in the betting and he too has had wind surgery since disappointing on his final start of last season. If that has worked and he is fit enough on his return to action - the betting will be the best guide to that - he may well prove good enough here, although his future lies over fences.

Stormy Ireland, who represents the bang-in-form pairing of Willie and Danny Mullins, is most likely to stick to hurdles and she's going to make some broodmare, but there is surely another nice pot in her over hurdles and today could be the day.

Stormy Ireland impressed Willie Mullins with her Grade 1 win at Punchestown

After failing to win a race for Nicholls in four tries, she has taken her form to another level since rejoining Mullins, winning back-to-back graded races in the spring, including a Grade 1 at Punchestown against her own sex over today's trip, in which her jumping was electric.

She set too strong a gallop when returning to action in November's Grade 1 Hatton's Grace Hurdle won easily by Honeysuckle, understandably weakening quickly two out, and this looks a far more winnable contest in receipt of the mares' allowance from her six rivals.

She's a nice price too. Good luck and Happy New Year all!

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