ITV Racing tips Saturday 21 December – Live TV tips for Haydock and Ascot

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

Brian Healy gives his live TV tips for Saturday's televised ITV Racing coverage of the meetings from Ascot and Haydock, including the Long Walk Hurdle.

The ITV Racing cameras are back in action on Saturday with six live races from two of the day’s fixtures, covering the best of the action from Ascot and Haydock.

At the former venue, the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle dominates proceedings where Stayers’ Hurdle champion Paisley Park will bid for back-to-back wins in the race; while over at Haydock the latest renewal of the competitive Tommy Whittle Chase is the feature race of the day on Merseyside.

1:50 Ascot – Plymouth Gin Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 2m3f
2:25 Ascot – Marsh Hurdle (Registered As The Long Walk Hurdle) (Grade 1) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m½f
2:40 Haydock – Betway Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 3m1½f
3:00 Ascot – Dave Dawes Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m
3:15 Haydock – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (3yo+) 2m3f
3:35 Ascot – Betfair Exchange Trophy (A Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f

Ed Chamberlain and the team will be on hand as usual to offer viewers their expert tips, insights and post-race analysis on all of Saturday’s racing action, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race TV tips for all six of the day’s classy and competitive contests.

1:50 Ascot – Plymouth Gin Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 2m3f

FIRST FLOW (9/2, Coral) hacked up in a straightforward assignment at Hereford last weekend, and while that outing didn’t reveal a great deal more about the Primary gelding’s ability over fences, he could be worth chancing to follow up in a more competitive contest.

Kim Bailey’s charge won here over hurdles in January 2018 in similar conditions, beating Midnight Shadow to claim the Rossington Main Hurdle and land the third leg of a winning hat-trick following earlier successes at Lingfield and Newbury.

Subsequent outings were a shade disappointing, but he has taken well to chasing with back-to-back runner-up efforts behind Summerville Boy and Angels Breath respectively prior to landing what was essentially a penalty kick latest where he coasted to a twenty lengths’ success.

This is much tougher stepping into the handicap ranks, but he could have mor e to offer from a mark of 140 which looks workable judging on his hurdles form, and well-suited by a testing surface he can post a big effort here.

2:25 Ascot – Marsh Hurdle (Registered As The Long Walk Hurdle) (Grade 1) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m½f

Defending champion PAISLEY PARK (1/4, Coral) faces a possible five rivals as he bids for back-to-back wins in the race, and Emma Lavelle’s charge ought to prove a very tough nut to crack where it would be a surprise if he failed to deliver successive titles in this contest for connections.

He carried all before him last term, winning all five starts culminating in his Cheltenham Festival win, and he made a pleasing return at Newbury when grinding out a win on his reappearance, beating Thistlecrack.

He also had The Words End behind when winning that Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury recently, and he should confirm that form with Tom George’s charge who looks set to battle out the runner-up spot with the returning L’Ami Serge who has well-being to prove after a lengthy layoff.

With Agrapart out of sorts, and both Papagana and Tobefair taking big hikes in grade, this looks a relatively poor renewal of this Grade One prize and it would be disappointing – and something of a shock – if Emma Lavelle’s Stayers’ Hurdle champion doesn’t mount a successful defence here.

Aidan Coleman salutes the stands as he guides Paisley Park to victory in the Stayers' Hurdle.

Paisley Park can win a second successive Long Walk Hurdle.

2:40 Haydock – Betway Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 3m1½f

THE HOLLOW GINGE (9/2, BetVictor) could prove the answer to a competitive renewal of the Tommy Whittle Chase, and Nigel Twiston-Davies’ improving chaser can land a valuable prize for connections.

A useful hurdler, he comes here on the back of just three previous runs over fences, which includes a win at Worcester in September. However, he was perhaps inconvenienced by a sharper test at this venue last month, and the Oscar gelding should appreciate this stiffer test of his stamina.

He is proven over this trip, having gone close the time before at Aintree, while he has winniing form on heavy ground here over hurdles so underfoot conditions ought not to present an issue.

With the potential for better to come over fences having shown some useful hurdling ability, he could be worth chancing despite his relative chasing inexperience to find further progress and he can go close for his yard which continues in the winners.

3:00 Ascot – Dave Dawes Silver Cup Handicap Chase (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m

JERRYSBACK (7/1, BetVictor) may have needed his first run back following nine months off the track when beating only four rivals home behind Bennys King at Newbury last month, and Philip Hobbs’ charge can improve for that outing to do better here.

The Jeremy gelding was a point-to-point winner in Ireland for Colin Bowe prior to joining this yard, and he won both starts over hurdles following his switch to this yard which included in heavy ground. He was subsequently absent for 633 days following his second win at Wetherby, and he stepped up on his reppearance at Cheltenham to score at Bangor last December with a defeat of Mulcahys Hill.

Back-to-back silver medals followed, including here in the Noel Novices’ Chase behind Vinndication, and at Haydock behind Castafiore; and he ran well in defeat behind Le Breuil in the National Hunt Chase where he finished third in that attritional contest.

Sure to prove sharper for his reappearance, he ought to prove a different proposition now and he’s 2lbs lower in the weights than for his reappearance so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him post a bold bid on his second outing of the season.

Jerrysback can get back on the winning trail at Ascot on Saturday.

3:15 Haydock – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (3yo+) 2m3f

CAPTAIN MOIRETTE (5/1, Ladbrokes) could be worth chancing switching back to hurdling having run well on both starts over fences this campaign, and Sue Smith’s charge can resume winning ways.

The Kap Rock gelding won twice last term over hurdles, scoring at Catterick in February before following up in soft ground over two miles at this venue, and he was probably flying too high in the Scottish Champion Hurdle on his next start.

Following a break, he returned to action with a solid third over timber at Wetherby behind Antunes before shaping with promise switched to chasing in starts at Uttoxeter and Catterick, finding only one too good when last seen.

He is back over hurdle here where he could be fairly treated off his 130 rating, and likely to handle these heavy conditions he can get back on the scoresheet to give his yard a much-needed shot in the arm.

3:35 Ascot – Betfair Exchange Trophy (A Handicap Hurdle) (Grade 3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f

This trip is perhaps on the short side for UMBRIGADO (15/2, Coral), but his stamina could prove crucial in a race that may turn into a slog and David Pipe’s charge can get back on the scoresheet.

The Stowaway gelding won a Uttoxeter bumper prior to scoring at the first attempt over hurdles when beating Khage at Southwell last December. He subsequently landed his hat-trick at Exeter in February, beating Ask Dillon, and the subsequent step up to Grade One company was probably too big of a step despite being beaten less than ten lengths behind Reserve Tank.

He went well for a long way on his return behind Stoney Mountain at Haydock last month which was his first run for eight months and following wind surgery, and he should strip fitter for that return to action. That run came over three miles, but he takes a marked drop back in trip here and if the sharper test doesn’t prove against him he ought to go well with stamina assured.

Still lightly raced, he remains with scope for considerably better to come and no surprise to see a big run where he can resume winning ways.

David Pipe

David Pipe can saddle a TV winner on Saturday.


1:50 Ascot – FIRST FLOW (9/2, Coral)
2:25 Ascot – PAISLEY PARK (1/4, Coral)
2:40 Haydock – THE HOLLOW GINGE (9/2, BetVictor)
3:00 Ascot – JERRYSBACK (7/1, BetVictor)
3:15 Haydock – CAPTAIN MOIRETTE (5/1, Ladbrokes)
3:35 Ascot – UMBRIGADO (15/2, Coral)