ITV Racing tips Saturday 18 January – Live TV tips for Haydock and Ascot

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for Saturday's live TV coverage of Ascot and Haydock.

The ITV Racing cameras are back in action on Saturday with live TV racing coverage of two of the day’s six UK and Irish fixtures.

The cameras will be in action at Ascot where the Grade One Clarence House Chase takes centre stage, where a rematch between Defi Du Seuil and Un De Sceaux following their recent Tingle Creek Chase clash is the highlight of the card.

There is also action at Haydock with the Grade Two Peter Marsh Chase, and also the Grade Two Champion Hurdle Trial on a quality racecard on Merseyside.

1:50 Ascot – bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The Warfield) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f
2:05 Haydock – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f
2:25 Ascot – Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m3½f
2:40 Haydock – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m1½f
3:00 Ascot – bet365 Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+) 2m5f
3:15 Haydock – The New One Unibet Hurdle (Registered As The Champion Hurdle Trial Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f
3:35 Ascot – Matchbook Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m1f

Ed Chamberlain and the team will be on hand again to offer viewers their regular expert tips, insights and post-race analysis; while Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections throughout Saturday’s TV racing action.

1:50 Ascot – bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The Warfield) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f

MAGIC OF LIGHT (11/4, William Hill) won this race twelve months ago, and Jessica Harrington’s charge would be a very interesting contender if returning to defend her crown.

The Flemensfirth mare is perhaps better know as a chaser, and she had won over fences at Newbury prior to taking this prize last year; and she rounded off last campaign back over fences where despite failing to add to her tally she did finish runner-up in the Aintree Grand National behind Tiger Roll.

The Irish raider has had two starts this term, possibly not suited by the shorter trip on her reappearance at Navan behind Bacardys; but she treaded a familiar path next time to win at Newbury with a defeat of old rival Drinks Interval – she beat the same rival in the corresponding race twelve months previous – and she could well repeat her actions of last campaign by reverting to hurdles with another success.

She is still relatively unexposed over hurdles, but she has proven a high-class chaser and every chance she can successfully defend her crown here.

1:50 Ascot – bet365 Mares’ Hurdle (Registered As The Warfield) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f

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MAGIC OF LIGHT 11 /4
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Magic Of Light can defend her Warfield Hurdle crown on Saturday.

2:05 Haydock – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f

Thebannerkingrebel is going from strength to strength, and the Arakan gelding won a heavy-ground bumper earlier in his career. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Jamie Snowden’s charge post another big run, but he’s been raised 14lbs in the ratings and may struggle to concede 5lbs to Nigel Twiston-Davies’ STOLEN SILVER (5/1, William Hill) who features on the same handicap mark, and the Lord Du Sud gelding could be worth siding with to get back on the scoresheet in receipt of weight.

An impressive soft ground winner at Ffos Las in November, scoring by some 17 lengths from College Oak, he ran really well in defeat behind Chantry House next time out at Cheltenham, and that race has since thrown up a subsequent winner.

This is certainly a tougher test upped considerably in class, but his form with Chantry House last time – who beat one of today’s rivals in Edwardstone in a bumper – suggests he wouldn’t need to improve too much to play a big part at the business end of the race.

He looked very well suited by soft ground at Ffos Las two runs ago, and the ground at Cheltenham may just have been a shade lively for him latest; but now faced with much more testing conditions he could bounce back from his recent defeat to regain the winning thread.

2:05 Haydock – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f

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STOLEN SILVER 5 /1
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2:25 Ascot – Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m3½f

Thomas Darby could go well back over hurdles, with his Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runner-up finish the best piece of form on offer, and Olly Murphy’s charge returns to the smaller obstacles having failed to cut the mustard over fences in two runs this term.

He may not want ground this testing however, and SONG FOR SOMEONE (8/1, Bet365) could be the one to side with having proven himself already in the conditions, and Tom Symonds’ progressive charge can find another jolt of improvement here.

The Medicean gelding won twice over hurdles last term at Newbury and Warwick prior to finishing a creditable sixth behind Pentland Hills at Aintree. Following a successful reappearance at Fontwell in November he subsequently was far from disgraced when taking in a competitive Listed contest at Sandown where he finished third behind Mack The Man.

The step up in trip here looks a good move on that evidence, and with still relatively unexposed he could take another forward step here to get back on the scoresheet under his good value 5lbs claimer.

2:25 Ascot – Matchbook Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m3½f

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SONG FOR SOMEONE 8 /1
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Trainer Tom Symonds can saddle an Ascot winner on Saturday.

2:40 Haydock – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m1½f

Assuming his recent battle with Regal Encore for the recent Ascot Silver Cup hasn’t left a mark, ACTING LASS (11/2, Bet365) could be the one to side with given she is proven in the conditions, and the King’s Theatre gelding can get back on the scoresheet.

Harry Fry has been relatively quiet of late, but there are signs the yard is coming back into form and the nine-year old remains relatively unexposed as a chaser where he has won four of his eight starts over the larger obstacles.

He had won the time before in soft ground at Chepstow earlier in December, beating Another Venture and battling strongly to the line in first-time cheekpieces. The headgear had a positive effect again latest where he was beaten less than one length behind Regal Encore, keeping on well but just unable to match the winner.

This longer trip should be within his range, and with conditions no problem then he could post a big effort here if the headgear continues to draw improvement out of him.

2:40 Haydock – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m1½f

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ACTING LASS 11 /2
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3:00 Ascot – bet365 Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+) 2m5f

Espoir De Guye and DOMAINE DE L’ISLE (11/2, Unibet) are both on a hat-trick coming into this race, but the former is 14lbs higher in the weights than when posting his last success and might struggle under his new mark, so Sean Curran’s charge gets a narrow vote to come out on top.

The Network gelding is a lightly-raced sort, having had just four runs for his current handler since arriving from France where he was a fairly useful sort. He made his debut for Curran over hurdles at Kempton last May, and having looked in need of his reappearance and chase debut at Newbury in October he has gone on to register successes at Chepstow and Newcastle respectively.

The latter saw him run out an impressive winner over three miles, beating Sam’s Adventure by almost six lengths; but he had been a good winner the time before with a ten lengths’ victory over Indian Brave.

He certainly has more on his plate here with a 10lbs rise in the weights forcing a step up in grade; but there is a suspicion that he has more to offer given his lightly-raced profile, and he handled heavy ground in France so these conditions shouldn’t present an issue.

Open to further improvement he looks worth chancing to take this step up in class in his stride with the drop in trip no issue, and he can land the three-timer.

3:00 Ascot – bet365 Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+) 2m5f

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DOMAINE DE L'ISLE 11 /2
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3:15 Haydock – The New One Unibet Hurdle (Registered As The Champion Hurdle Trial Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f

DARASSO (10/3, Unibet) is 2-2 over hurdles since being dropped to the minimum trip, and while Joseph O’Brien’s charge concedes race-fitness to his three rivals the Konig Turf gelding could be worth chancing to make a winning reapperance.

A smart sort over hurdles and fences in France for Guy Cherel, he faced some stiff tasks on his first couple of outings for his current handler having been bought from France by JP McManus.

He chased home the high-class Bachasson at Punchestown on his debut for O’Brien prior to finishing fifth in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park behind Presenting Percy although he shaped like an non-stayer over the longer trip.

However, dropped to two miles he has since won a Grade Three over hurdles at Gowran Park with an impressive defeat of Forge Meadow; that form is working out well with the third, fourth and fifth horses all winning since. He then transitioned to chasing where he beat subsequent Topham Chase winner Cadmium in the Webster Cup with the pair pulling clear of the rest.

Back over hurdles on his reapperance, he is thoroughly unexposed still and could have more to offer; while these conditions will hold no fears, and the yards’s runners rarely lack for fitness first time up. The decision to come here speaks volumes, and every chance he can post a big run on his return.

3:15 Haydock – The New One Unibet Hurdle (Registered As The Champion Hurdle Trial Hurdle) (Grade 2) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f

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DARASSO 10 /3
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Un De Sceaux can gain revenge on Defi Du Seuil and win a fourth Clarence House Chase title.

3:35 Ascot – Matchbook Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m1f

Defi Du Seuil and UN DE SCEAUX (6/4, Unibet) renew rivalry having finished 1-2 in the recent Tingle Creek Chase; but Willie Mullins’ charge is taken to reverse Sandown form here and collect a fourth Clarence House Chase title.

The Denham Red gelding has shown no sign of his powers waning despite being a twelve-year old now, rounding off last season with a Grade One win at the Punchestown Festival, and he was conceding race-fitness to Philip Hobbs’ star when making his return at Sandown.

Despite looking beaten jumping the last, with Defi Du Seuil pulling clear of him, he rallied really well to be closing again at the line and he’ll be a lot fitter this time around with that outing under his belt.

Philip Hobbs’ star handles soft ground well but he has yet to encounter properly heavy ground in his career, whereas the conditions can’t be too soft for Willie Mullins’ star who will relish the underfoot conditions, and he gets the vote to come out on top here now he’s had a run to sharpen him up where he could be better suited to the conditions and is 2-2 at the Berkshire venue.

3:35 Ascot – Matchbook Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m1f

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UN DE SCEAUX 6 /4
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