ITV Racing tips Saturday 14 December – Live TV tips for Cheltenham and Doncaster

ITV Racing tips for Saturday.ITV Racing tips for Saturday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for Saturday's ITV Racing coverage of the meetings from Doncaster and Cheltenham.

A cracking afternoon of live TV horse racing action awaits armchair punters on Saturday where the ITV Racing cameras will be in action once again with a seven-race broadcast featuring the pick of the Saturday racing from day two of the International Meeting at Cheltenham, as well as from Doncaster where there are two Grade Two races on the agenda at Town Moor.

1:55 Cheltenham – Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f
2:10 Doncaster – bet365 December Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m
2:30 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Bristol Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m
2:45 Doncaster – bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (3yo) 2m½f
3:05 Cheltenham – Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m1f
3:20 Doncaster – bet365 Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 3m
3:40 Cheltenham – Park Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f

Ed Chamberlain and the team will be on hand once more to offer up their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis on all of Saturday’s racing action, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for the day’s TV racing.

1:55 Cheltenham – Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f

Paul Nicholls has a very good record in this contest, and while Brelan D’as can go well for the Ditcheat handler, it could be worth chancing on his other runner SECRET INVESTOR (6/1, Ladbrokes) who could still have plenty of scope for better to come over fences having had only six starts in this sphere.

A Grade Two winner over hurdles, the Kayf Tara gelding took a little time to warm to the task of jumping fences, but he rounded off last campaign with back-to-back wins at Wincanton and Ayr respectively, the latter of which came in the Grade Two Future Champions’ Novices’ Chase.

Subsequently far from disgraced behind Real Steel in the Daily Mirror Chase at Down Royal last month, he’ll come on a bundle for that effort having looked in need of the run while his jumping wasn’t always foot-perfect in the borderline heavy ground.

A mark of 150 switching to a handicap is certainly no gimmie in what looks a very competitive field, while the prospect of rain causes some concern given that he has done his winning on a better surface so he wouldn’t want too much rain.

However, he could be worth chancing given he still remains unexposed over fences and he should come on for his recent reappearance. Assuming the ground doesn’t deteriorate too much then he can post a big run off this mark if his jumping holds up in this big field.

Trainer Paul Nicholls has a good Caspian Caviar Gold Cup record.

2:10 Doncaster – bet365 December Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m

Only three runners go to post for this Grade Two prize, and while Sam Spinner has the class to win this judging on his hurdles form he hasn’t been the most fluent over fences despite winning both his starts and Jedd O’Keefe’s charge could find this more of a test in that department.

In a race likely to develop into a match, it might be worth chancing on Brian Ellison’s WINDSOR AVENUE (Evens, William Hill) to halt the hat-trick attempt of the Grade One winner, and the Winged Love gelding is unbeaten himself over fences where his jumping has been solid in wins at Sedgefield and Carlisle latterly.

Smart over hurdles although not in the same league as his main rival, he has taken his form up a level since being switched to chasing, latterly beating Ballymoy by twelve lengths readily where he made all to score readily, and there likely is better to come from him in this discipline.

Strictly on ratings he has 6lbs to find with Jedd O’Keeffe’s charge, but of the pair he has looked a more assured jumper over fences and this contest is likely to come down to who might prove the better in that department.

He has looked a very smart prospect in his two wins do date, and he can continue his progression to take this contest despite it being a higher grade than either of his successes thus far.

2:30 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Bristol Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m

Valtor had Redford Road behind when getting off the mark over hurdles at Ascot last time, but the latter-named stablemate’s MOSSY FEN (7/1, Ladbrokes) comes into the race defending an unbeaten record and the Milan gelding can extend his sequence.

One of two runners in the field for Nigel Twiston-Davies, he was a winner between the flags for Donnchadh Doyle prior to joining this yard, and following on from a win at Worcester on his debut over hurdles and first run for this yard he stepped up to score readily over a shorter trip at Aintree last month, beating Keep Wondering by four lengths.

He looked a useful prospect in that success, making all the running and staying on stoutly to beat a field which included a next-time winner. This is a tougher test of his credentials, but he could have more still to offer and he’ll appreciate the return to three miles for this latest outing.

His earlier Worcester success showed he didn’t need to make the running, and he remains an exciting prospect who can continue to run well so every chance he can land the hat-trick here.

Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies can get amongst the winners at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon.

2:45 Doncaster – bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (3yo) 2m½f

NAVAJO PASS (9/2, Bet365) looked a potentially smart performer when routing two rivals by twenty lengths at Bangor on his hurdles debut, and while that form looks ordinary Donald McCain’s charge stepped up on the performance at Newcastle last month where he possibly bumped into one in Tavus where he was denied only by a head.

The front pair pulled clear of the rest, and he was only caught in the dying strides having set out to make all the running; he could continue his progress here where another big effort might be in the offing despite taking a hefty rise in grade.

The Nathaniel gelding may face less testing ground than has been the case in both hurdles starts to date, but he handled quicker conditions when proving a fair performer on the flat over the summer; and with the potential for better still over hurdles he could be worth chancing to take the rise in grade in his stride where he can prove himself to be a smart hurdling prospect who may yet do better.

3:05 Cheltenham – Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m1f

PENTLAND HILLS (7/4, Unibet) is undefeated in three starts over hurdles, of which two have come at Grade One level, and Nicky Henderson’s Triumph Hurdle winner ought to be hard to beat on his reappearance if arriving fully wound up.

The Motivator gelding followed up his win here in March by adding the Grade One 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle where he scored a shade readily over Fakir D’oudairies, and he ought to have more to offer this term where he can cement his claims as a Champion Hurdle contender.

This is his first step into open company, but the race looks relatively weak for the grade and he’s one who is likely this term to be firmly on the upgrade. He looks sure to progress, and while he gives up race-fitness to a few of these he handles this ground and can make a winning reappearance assuming his top-yard has him back ready to go.

He’s a very exciting prospect this term as he steps out of juvenile company, and he could go far this season given his likelihood for further improvement.

Pentland Hills can win Saturday’s International Hurdle.

3:20 Doncaster – bet365 Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 3m

CLOTH CAP (11/10, Bet365) is still relatively unexposed as a chaser after just six starts, and Jonjo O’Neill’s charge has shown a decent level of form where he has won twice as well as make the frame in last season’s Scottish Grand National.

The Beneficial gelding scored wins at Stratford and Catterick, and he was only beaten four lengths behind Takingrisks at Ayr in April on his return from almost five months off the track. Having subsequently been off another six months, he made a promising return to action behind Ballyoptic at Chepstow in October, and he stepped up on that effort to finish third at Ascot latest behind Militarian.

He made a mistake at a crucial point in the race, challenging over the last but landing awkwardly and losing sufficient momentum he couldn’t quite recover from; but he can build again on that effort from the same mark, and every chance he can get back to winning ways now in what looks a decent opportunity for him to do so.

3:40 Cheltenham – Park Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f

MEGA YEATS (14/1, Paddy Power) ran really well in a Listed bumper here last November when finding only The Glancing Queen too strog, and Ruth Jefferson’s charge duly built on that promise when switched to hurdling where the Yeats mare won two of her three outings.

Her defeat came in a Listed contest at Haydock, but she struck wins either side at Wetherby and Market Rasen, and she looked in need of the run when set a very stiff task back at Haydock on her recent reappearance behind Stoney Mountain where she eventually finished seventh.

Three miles possibly just stretched her on that occasion, and she could do better back at this intermediate distance with that run under her belt which ought to leave her sharper as a consequence.

This looks a more suitable assignment in which to test her credentials, and a mark of 131 looks workable so she could run a big race back at this venue, and if stepping up on her reappearance then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see her get competitve.

Ruth Jefferson can saddle a Cheltenham winner on Saturday.


1:55 Cheltenham – SECRET INVESTOR (6/1, Ladbrokes)
2:10 Doncaster – WINDSOR AVENUE (Evens, William Hill)
2:30 Cheltenham – MOSSY FEN (7/1, Ladbrokes)
2:45 Doncaster – NAVAJO PASS (9/2, Bet365)
3:05 Cheltenham – PENTLAND HILLS (7/4, Unibet)
3:20 Doncaster – CLOTH CAP (11/10, Bet365)
3:40 Cheltenham – MEGA YEATS (14/1, Paddy Power)