ITV Racing Saturday Tips and Previews
BETFAIR CHASE TAKES CENTRE STAGE FROM HAYDOCK! Also live racing on ITV from Ascot where we could see Constitution Hill in the Coral Hurdle.
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ITV Racing Saturday Schedule
1.50 Haydock Get Daily Rewards With Betfair Graduation Chase (Class 2) 2m51/2f
2.05 Ascot Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase (Grade 2) 2m5f
2.25 Haydock Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle 3m1/2f
2.40 Ascot Coral Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m31/2f
3.00 Haydock Betfair Chase (Grade 1) 3m11/2f
3.15 Ascot Jim Barry Wines Hurst Park Handicap Chase (Class 2) 2m1f
3.35 Haydock Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m11/2f
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It is very hard to oppose HITMAN here following that close second in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month. He missed out by just a head at the line and it couldn’t have been much more of a pleasing return without winning. He will come on for that and I don’t see anything in the same class able to get him off the bridle here. I’ll be very surprised if he is beaten so while he is short in the betting he looks the one to beat.
Minella Drama is an enthusiastic type who didn’t shape badly when fourth to Beauport on reappearance. He can be awkward but I don’t doubt he has plenty of ability and he should be in for a good season again. Itchy Feet was a Grade 1 winning novice over fences but he has to prove he is still in love with the game. He has had a wind op but is best watched. Erne River still has potential but connections will be pleased with a clean round of jumping.
This race is usually won by a Grade 1 type and L’HOMME PRESSE will certainly be running at the top level for the rest of the season. Venetia Williams’ star may need the run here but is likely to only face two rivals with Do Your Job running here on Friday and Hitman’s preference Haydock. He can likely be at 80% and still win this on the form of last season. He won here over course and distance before going on to take the Brown Advisory at Cheltenham in impressive fashion and will be hard to beat here.
Saint Calvados is the main danger if Hitman doesn’t switch to here (very unlikely) but he is a solid Grade 2 winner and will need to run his best race to beat the classy selection. Coole Cody is a legend in this sphere but is known for his hardiness around Cheltenham and has a fair bit to find at the grand old age of 11.
This is definitely one of the more competitive races of the day so I’ve taken two against the field. I still really like GOOD RISK AT ALL as a horse and especially at Ascot. His win when he beat Christopher Wood here by 9 lengths was mightily impressive and he returned better than ever to win going away at Carlisle last month. He steps up to 3 miles and still has untapped potential so looks worth chancing.
At a double-figure price I also like the chances of BRINKLEY for David Pipe. This likeable grey won fresh last season albeit over fences but had some strong form previously over hurdles and the yard are going well. Plenty of dangers obviously and likely headed by Might I who beat all bar Three Stripe Life in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree when last seen. Others to note include Cesarewitch winner Run For Oscar back over hurdles and at a bigger price Get A Tonic who should have more to come.
You would hope that we have had enough rain this week to get Nicky Henderson to run superstar hurdler CONSTITUTION HILL. He is 3 from 3 over hurdles winning by a combined 48 lengths in those 3 runs which included a rout in the Supreme at Cheltenham over stablemate Jonbon. At the time of writing he is the horse that looks as though he can put it up to Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle and should take this on the way to bigger races.
The rest of the field all have questions to answer at this level with most likely danger Brewin’upastorm pulling up and unseating on his last 2 runs. At his best form he will be dangerous but has over a stone to find on ratings with the selection. Goshen has the world at his feet but seems a hard horse to train and place and after running a stinker here last month over fences can’t be trusted.
Emphatic Gold Cup winner A PLUS TARD will no doubt attract a large crowd to Haydock on Saturday. It is a shame we are only seeing 5 head to post but he is undoubtedly the one to beat. He won this fresh by 22 lengths last year and I don’t really see why he is slightly weak in the betting. The rain seems to have eased off so the ground won’t be as bad as it was first feared in the week and he should have all the answers.
Protektorat was third behind the selection in the Gold Cup but then failed to fire in the Betway Bowl at Aintree. He goes well fresh so is probably the danger but I think the favourite will have him covered at the business end. The loveable Bristol De Mai lines up again in a race he has won 3 times in the past. He will likely go well for a long way but hard to see him holding them off 11 years young. Eldorado Allen and Frodon are both hugely talented but again this is a tough enough ask.
I really fancied Edwardstone last weekend but he will now start his season here. He has to give a lot of weight away to some useful rivals which isn’t ideal on his first run of the season. He has the class to do it but I think he is an opposable favourite. I am actually siding with SO SCOTTISH at the foot of the weights. Emmet Mullins is a great target trainer and his gelding has been winning a shade cosily on each of his last 3 runs. He looks like has a lot more to come and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has been laid out for this race and will run a big one.
There are 3 or 4 lively dangers outside of Edwardstone as well with Boothill, Thyme White and Third Time Lucki all capable of running big races. This will likely be a race that throws up quite a few future winners as the second and third favourites both have a lot of potential so will be worth watching back a few times no doubt.
Despite making a bad mistake 2 out at Carlisle HOUSTON TEXAS ran on strongly to win by a short head and built on that again to bring up a hat-trick of wins on reappearance at that venue last month. He is improving all the time and while this is his toughest task to date he is a chaser I want to keep on side. He did it with swagger last time so a 6lb rise might prove lenient given how progressive he has looked.
Good Boy Bobby seemed to need the run at Ascot 3 weeks ago and might emerge as the danger if stepping forward from that. He beat Lord Du Mesnil in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby last season so that rival is unlikely to be too far away either. Fontaine Collonges won 2 of her last 3 last season but Venetia Williams is yet to get going this season and that would have to be concerning.
It is a shame about the field sizes on Saturday but we still have some really top quality racing to look forward to. I’ve decided to back this Win Trixie. Let me know what you think on Twitter @GetYourTipsOut. Pays 150/1!