ITV Racing Tips on Saturday, April 2nd
The cards at Ayr and Newbury make up the live ITV action, we have scoured through these to provide our ITV tips for all eight scheduled races. Check these out below, with our top tips providing extra selections on what promises to be an unmissable day of racing.
Malystic (1.15 Ayr, Scotty Brand Handicap Chase) 5/1
Sebastopol was impressive at Kempton a fortnight ago but that looked a weak race in truth and his profile suggests that he is no good thing to back that showing up. Dubai Days would be interesting if taking up this quick turnaround, but preference instead goes to MALYSTIC, who strikes as the type to have been earmarked for this contest by his shrewd stable.
Brian Hughes’ mount was in fine fettle last season, bumping into the likes of Protektorat and Proschema before finding only the fellow Skelton gelding Allmankind too strong in the Grade 2 Future Champions Novices’ Chase on this card.
There was a suspicion that an extended 2m4f stretched Malystic’s stamina reserves that day, so dropping back to the minimum looks a good move, and although an unseat on his only start this campaign isn’t ideal he had looked an assured jumper prior to then and Brian Hughes has form figures of 21132 when aboard, so his return to the saddle is a welcome one.
Mot A Mot (1.35 Newbury, Play Pick 6 At BetVictor Novices’ Handicap Hurdle) 10/1
Reasons to oppose many towards the top of the market for this 2m3f handicap hurdle, with favourite Royaume Uni currently 0-5 above Class 3 level, Punctuation expected to prefer softer ground, and the likes of Frere D’Armes, Rainyday Woman and Surrey Quest all needing to bounce back from below-par last time out showings.
Preference, therefore, tilts in favour of MOT A MOT, who claimed the scalp of the now 137-rated Anyharminasking (best known for beating Constitution Hill in a point) on hurdles debut at Worcester in November.
The Dai Walters owned 6yo has failed to go on from that run in two subsequent showings yet his most recent effort came in Listed company, so dropping back down to this level looks a notable plus. Mot A Mot has received wind surgery since last seen and has a first-time tongue-tie applied, which suggests that connections aren’t travelling here for a fact-finding exercise on debut for the emerging Sam Thomas stable.
Dusart (1.50 Ayr, CPMS Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase) 3/1
Nicky Henderson has done well with his raids at this meeting down the years, with the likes of Theinval making the long trip north worthwhile. He will be hoping that DUSART can follow in that horse’s footsteps with a victory on Saturday afternoon.
Dusart has always held a fairly lofty profile being a half-brother to the stable’s top-class Simonsig and connections wasted very little time hurdling with this gelding, opting to switch to the large obstacles after just two timber outings and seeing that decision vindicated with odds-on victories at Leicester and Exeter.
Dusart could only finish mid-field in the Grade 1 Brown Advisory at last month’s Cheltenham Festival, yet that was far from a poor run for one so inexperienced and the ground would likely have proven a little softer than ideal for Dusart.
Back on a quicker surface here dropped into handicaps for the first time Dusart looks a big player, and it’s worth noting that this is his Lambourn handler’s only runner on the Saturday card, with Nico de Boinville travelling north to take the ride.
Bermeo (2.10 Newbury, Download The BetVictor App Cond’ Jockeys’ Veterans’ Handicap Chase) 13/2
A devilishly tricky veterans’ handicap chase here. The front three in the market all come into this on the back of victories, but it could pay instead to chance the out of form BERMEO, who looks incredibly well-handicapped on debut for the Harry Fry stable.
This 11yo Definite Article gelding was a seven-time winner for Johnny Farrelly and ended life with that stable finishing third at Cheltenham off a mark of 124.
Three subsequent runs for Tim Vaughan have resulted in two non-completions and an 81l fourth, which admittedly don’t scream imminent winner, yet Bermeo has switched to Harry Fry’s yard since last seen and he makes his debut with the yard in scintillating form, having sent out five winners from their last ten runners.
Bermeo has gone well fresh previously and tends to come alive this time of year, so off a mark of 107, which is a huge 17lb lower than this time last year and just 3lb above Bermeo’s last winning mark, there’s enough in his favour to put him up here.
Onemorefortheroad (2.25 Ayr, Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle) 7/2
A strong renewal of the Scottish Champion Hurdle is in prospect here, but it is difficult to get away from the claims of ONEMOREFORTHEROAD, who won his first three starts this season and has since gone on to finish placed in valuable Grade 3 handicap hurdles at Ascot and Sandown.
A second to the classy Tritonic at Ascot was followed by a fourth in the Imperial Cup, where the soft ground conditions wouldn’t have played to the strengths of Onemorefortheroad.
He has somewhat kindly been dropped a pound for that run and will appreciate the better surface in prospect, so rates the one to beat. Donald McCain’s Barrichello rates the chief threat to the selection having found the winning habit this season.
Tweed Skirt (2.45 Newbury, British EBF BetVictor racingtohelpukraine.uk “NH” Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle) 20/1
Speech Bubble will obviously be popular having chased home subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Love Envoi at Sandown last time. Whether she’ll be quite as effective on this quicker surface is a concern, however, whilst the unbeaten second favourite Corey’s Courage saw her form take a notable hit with the performance of My Girl Lollipop (9th of 10 runners beaten 32l) at Uttoxeter earlier this week.
The question marks surrounding the top two in the market make this look a wide-open affair, and as a result, it looks worth taking a chance on 20/1 TWEED SKIRT.
Nicky Henderson’s charge has had a very in and out profile in her career up to now, but she wasn’t beaten far into third in a Listed bumper at Sandown last season and she’s weighted to reverse form with Speech Bubble on that running.
Tweed Skirt saw off the classy Go Dante at Ascot earlier this season, and although she has failed to better that showing in two subsequent runs she was set a tough task at the Cheltenham Festival latest and can be forgiven that.
This looks like a more realistic assignment for Tweed Skirt and getting back on some decent ground is also expected to suit. Jockey James Bowen is in absolutely flying form at present and Nicky Henderson is no stranger to victory with an outsider in this event, having sent out the 25/1 winner Polly Peachum in 2013.
Minella Drama (3.00 Ayr, Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices’ Chase) 5/2
Donald McCain has long held MINELLA DRAMA in the highest regard, and the gelding has gone some way to living up to that reputation since sent chasing this season, recording a 150 RPR in three of his five starts.
Minella Drama wasn’t quite at his best when sent off the favourite for the Grade 2 Pendil at Kempton last time, but Saturday’s Future Champion Novices’ Chase rates a weaker assignment and if managing to brush off the attentions of fellow front-runner Kiltealy Briggs (who is beginning to look a little tripless) he could burn these rivals off from the front end.
Do Your Job rates as the main danger to the selection, having won easily on his only previous visit to Ayr.
Kitty’s Light (3.35 Ayr, Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase) 5/1
The rare prospect of a Scottish Grand National being run before the English equivalent has arguably diluted the quality of this year’s renewal a little, and in truth, it would be a little disappointing if KITTY’S LIGHT wasn’t bang there pitching at the business end.
Christian Williams’ charge remains a 6yo yet has had 13 starts over the large obstacles thus far, failing to complete only once, when pulled up in November’s Ladbrokes Trophy.
Kitty’s Light looked desperately unlucky not to land the valuable bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown last year, and he put up his best performance since then when chasing home stablemate Cap Du Nord at Kempton in February. Kitty’s Light went up 3lb for that showing but he remains on a workable mark on the pick of his form and these good ground conditions should play to his strengths.
Streets Of Doyen was out of his depth at the Cheltenham Festival last time but he was third in last year’s Albert Bartlett and looks interesting off a chase mark of 139 if back to that level of form.