ITV Racing Saturday Preview
WARWICK AND KEMPTON LIVE ON ITV RACING ON SATURDAY! Grade 2 racing from both tracks as well as the Lanzarote which looks typically competitive.
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ITV Racing Saturday Preview
1.18 Warwick Alder Demain & Akers PMS Oxford Edward Courage Cup Handicap Chase (Class 2) 2m
1.32 Kempton Coral “Fail-To-Finish” Free Bets Handicap Chase (Class 3) 2m41/2f
1.50 Warwick Wigley Group Hampton Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) 3m
2.05 Kempton Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) 2m41/2f
2.25 Warwick Ballymore Leamington Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) 2m5f
2.40 Kempton Coral Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) (Class 1) 2m5f
3.00 Warwick Agetur UK Ltd Classic Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) 3m5f
3.15 Kempton Coral Committed To Safer Gambling Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m
3.35 Warwick Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Hurdle Series Qualifier) (Class 2) 3m1f
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Brave Seasca is obviously going to take a lot of beating despite a further 9lb rise as he was impressive at Ascot and looks firmly on the upgrade. The issue is his price as he is very short against some talented horses. SKY PIRATE won this last year and while he is higher in the handicap this time around (12lb higher) it is hard to knock his form so far this season again running well when third to Shishkin at Kempton last month. I can see him travelling strongly into this and if the fav Brave Seasca and Not Available get racing too soon he will pick up the pieces.
Not Available also arrives on a hat-trick after impressing again at Ludlow showing a good attitude to prevail. He is up another 3lb though and has to defy a career-high mark now. He might help set it up for the selection. Fast Buck is the outsider of the four but he isn’t entirely out of it but has enough ground to make up with the favourite on that Ascot run last month.
Kap Auteuil bounced back from a poor run at Cheltenham to win well at Fontwell and has to be respected given he has now won 5 of his last 6 over fences. My worry is he is lugging a big weight again here and is up another 4lb in what looks a deeper race. He could run well but preference is for CHAMPAGNE COURT. The latter has some good form over fences and was back in the winners enclosure at Exeter last month. He is well handicapped back chasing off 130 (8lb lower than his last winning mark) and should go close.
The danger if Kap Auteuil struggles could be Fanzio for Richard Hobson. This horse was very much back on track when a close second at Doncaster last month and he should appreciate going back up in trip. Foxboro is also trading fairly prominently in the betting but his jumping can let him down at times and I’m not sure that Wincanton form is the strongest.
Paul Nicholls won this last year with Next Destination and he has another great shout this time around with the progressive THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE. He finished second on chase debut at Chepstow but hasn’t looked back since bringing up the hat-trick impressively at Doncaster last month. His jumping is improving and he looks a horse high on confidence at the moment. I think Adrian Heskin will bounce him out and it will be up to the others to beat him rather than the other way round. Once he is in a rhythm he is a hard horse to get out of his comfort zone.
The danger is probably Mint Condition off the back of that Haydock win. My concern with him is he is a horse that likes to roll his sleeves up and have a battle and with a lack of rain forecast I’m not sure this will be the sort of test he’d enjoy. That may well leave Doyen Breed as best of the rest as he is in good form and while this is tougher than what he has been facing he is consistent and should be in the mix at the finish.
There are enough doubts over the opposition to make ELDORADO ALLEN a strong play here. He is the only one of these to show his true form so far this season so looks the safest play. He stayed on strongly to beat Hitman in the Haldon Gold Cup in November and backed that up keeping on well when third to First Flow over this trip at Huntingdon last month. He is still lightly raced over fences for his age so there could be more to come yet and I’m happy to put him forward.
Rouge Vif is obviously interesting if stepping forward from that run in the Shloer but he did finish last and finished a tired horse. Nicholls has won the last two renewals of this with Frodon and Master Tommytucker but for me Rouge Vif has enough to prove. I think Mister Fisher is the most obvious danger even after pulling up in the King George. This is easier and he is a smart horse on his day.
This looks like a very good renewal with quite a few with bright futures ahead of them and SURREY QUEST is the stand out. He is 2 from 2 over hurdles and has won nicely on both starts. Some of these have run in better races but he clearly has the scope for the most improvement and is the one to beat.
Party Business is the main danger after he ran well in a Grade 1 before falling last time. He has some good form in the book and is a threat to all. Howdyalikemenow and Viva Lavilla should go well but might fall short at this level in a good race.
Strength in depth for this year’s renewal of the Lanzarote and as impressive as Marie’s Rock was over C&D last month she clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train and she is by no means a certainty to back that up hiked up 9lb. I’m going to oppose given she will be sent off favourite and I prefer the Venetia Williams-trained GREEN BOOK. Ned Fox rode him to success at Haydock last month and he gets the leg back up claiming a handy 10lb. He won again at Ludlow and his form looks progressive. He is up 8lb but is unexposed and looks sure to run a big race. That last run has already thrown up a couple of nice winners so I think he is still ahead of the handicapper.
The other horse I can see going well here is UP FOR PAROL for Jamie Snowden. He is definitely improving and I thought there was lots to like about the way he won at Haydock last month. He was going away at the finish and that wasn’t a bad field by any means. A 6lb rise looks perfectly reasonable and this longer trip could be a catalyst for further improvement given he won a point over 3 miles. His trainer sounds bullish and granted a clear round I think he’ll be right in the mix. Plenty of dangers as you’d imagine including Gelino Bello, Dans Le Vent and at a bigger price HIGHWAY ONE O TWO. The latter ended a losing run at Taunton and could be a threat if building on that up just 5lb.
We have a good size field once again for this handicap and it looks a deep race. GERICAULT ROQUE has been running so well in these types of races recently he has to be a player after his last run. He is unexposed up to this trip and the extra 6lb shouldn’t be a problem if he continues improving. He should be right in the mix based on his Newbury run last time out.
MINELLA ENCORE ran a much improved race at Ludlow last time out and if in similar form at this level he could be a tad overpriced at and is a good each way bet. The main danger to both is Corach Rambler who is on a hat-tick here after two good wins in novice handicap chases but does have to prove he is good enough to shoulder an 8lb penalty.
Caribean Boy is usually a really sound jumper so it was sad to see him crash out at the very first fence at Ascot four weeks ago. If his confidence hasn’t been knocked he should run a big race here down in class but he does have a bit to prove off the back of that. I prefer the chances of KITTY’S LIGHT for Christian Williams. He was pulled up in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury but he was always out the back and that turned into a gruelling test so I can forgive him that. He was back to form when fourth over C&D latest and down another 4lb looks to be back on a good mark.
The danger could be Smarty Wild who won on this card last year and was just stretched by the longer trip at Ludlow last time. He is only 1lb above his last winning mark so should run well under Tom O’Brien. Of the rest A Toi Phil should at least be sharper from that Cheltenham run but is a veteran now and this is a good renewal. Double Shuffle also deserves a mention as he won this last year and he could be rejuvenated by a return to this venue again.
A decent race to cap off ITV on Saturday and I like the chances of RIGGS for Dan and Harry Skelton. He is lightly raced for his age and was back in very good form when runner-up to Dans Le Vent at Haydock when last seen. The front pair pulled readily clear from Bass Rock who I regard as a decent yardstick and the front 3 came over 7 lengths clear from the rest. He is up 5lb but looks ahead of his mark if building on that and I think he’ll be fighting out the finish here. I think he is better when he is ridden quietly and held up off the speed but with a lack of pace on it will be interesting to see how they ride him.
The danger looks to be Third Wind who will find this easier than the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot last month where he finished last of 7. That just looked a race to get him straight for this and if it has left him spot on in this easier company he could run well. Alaphilippe is interesting now handicapping but an opening mark of 140 certainly isn’t a given and I do think he might have a bit to find.