ITV Racing tips Saturday 28 December – Live TV selections for Newbury, Leicester & Lingfield

Saturday ITV Racing tips for Newmarket and Newcastle.Saturday ITV Racing tips for Newmarket and Newcastle.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for Saturday's live TV racing action from Newbury, Leicester and Lingfield.

After two excellent days’ racing at Kempton for their Christmas Festival meeting, as well as a visit to Chepstow for the Welsh Grand National, the ITV Racing cameras make their way to Newbury on Saturday for the Grade One Challow Hurdle which dominates the day’s live TV racing where seven races will be shown live from three of the day’s meetings.

In addition to Newbury, the cameras will also have action from Leicester where there will be two races shown live, as well as from Lingfield for their feature race of the day on the all-weather.

1:50 Newbury – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f
2:10 Lingfield – Betway Casino Handicap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-85) 1m4f
2:25 Newbury – Betway Mandarin Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 3m2f
2:40 Leicester – Leicestershire Silver Fox Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m4f
3:00 Newbury – Betway Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f
3:15 Leicester – Leicestershire Bronze Fox Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-130) 1m7½f
3:35 Newbury – Betway Novices’ Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+) 2m6½f

Ed Chamberlain and the team will have all their usual expert tips, insights and post-race analysis for all seven of Saturday’s live races, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race TV tips for the day’s ITV Racing coverage.

1:50 Newbury – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f

SEVARANO (5/1, William Hill) has returned to action this term in very good heart, winning both starts at Chepstow and here over this distance, and Oliver Sherwood’s charge can continue his progression to land the hat-trick.

The Shantou gelding boasted smart bumper form ahead of his switch to timber, and he ran well on all four starts last term in novice and maiden company, including finishing runner-up twice and also landing a bronze medal finish behind the smart Reserve Tank on his final outing last campaign.

2-2 this term, he latterly struck by two lengths over It Sure Is over course and distance which looks fair form, and the performance he posted there suggested he could be up to defying the 4lbs rise in the weights he has ahead of this assignment.

Likely capable of better, he can continue his improvement to land a three-timer of wins here.

Oliver Sherwood can saddle an ITV Racing winner on Saturday with Sevarano.

2:10 Lingfield – Betway Casino Handicap Cl4 (3yo+ 0-85) 1m4f

PETIT PALAIS (11/1, Coral) is a very interesting contender in this contest representing Tom George, and the Champs Elysees gelding could be worth siding with on his return to the flat.

A winner over this trip on the Wolverhampton tapeta last September when trained by John Gosden, he has shown useful form over hurdles for his current yard and he struck in two of his first three outings at Ludlow and Stratford respectively having failed to cut the mustard in the Adonis Hurdle inbetween those successes.

Possibly amiss on his next outing, he hasn’t set the heather alight in his two starts this term over timber; but he’ll certainly be fit ahead of his return to the level where a mark of 80 could prove to be very workable, and still unexposed in this discipline he could go well if handling polytrack.

Tom George doesn’t send many into battle on the level, so the presence of the Champs Elysees gelding in this field is noteworthy, and he looks on a decent mark so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a big effort from him here.

2:25 Newbury – Betway Mandarin Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 3m2f

COBOLOBO (7/2, Coral) faced a couple of stiff tasks when switched to chasing, but Jonjo O’Neill’s charge acquitted himself well in defeat when making the frame behind Kilbricken Storm and Reikers Island respectively, and he was still travelling well when unseating his rider in the Devon National back in February.

The Maresca Sorrento gelding was fair over hurdles, scoring here in heavy ground back in January 2017, but his time over timber ended on a low note with a pair of pulled up efforts; and he also pulled up on his seasonal debut over the larger obstacles back in October when contesting an amateur riders’ contest at Cheltenham.

That run might have been needed, and he latterly ran out a four lengths’ winner on his next outing at Haydock earlier in the month where he beat The Ogle Gogle Man readily. He’s been hit with a 7lbs rise as a consequence, but he handles these conditions well and could have more to come as a chaser so might be worth chancing despite his climb in the ratings to follow up that win.

2:40 Leicester – Leicestershire Silver Fox Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m4f

This is tougher than the race GLANCE BACK (4/1, William Hill) won last time, but the Passing Glance gelding is proven in the conditions and might be able to follow up here.

A winner here last February over two miles, he got back to winning ways following a couple of mixed efforts when successful at Bangor last December, and he made the frame in four of his next five outings where he showed progressive form with every start.

He probably needed his return at Hereford in November where he beat only two home, and he showed the benefit of the run to strike at Southwell when tried over this longer trip, running out an impressive wide margin winner over Oregon Gold.

That form might only be ordinary, but he made a very good impression and likely has more to offer over this longer trip where an 8lbs rise in the weights might not prove enough of an anchor preventing a follow up.

Thyme Hill can the Challow Hurdle for Philip Hobbs.

3:00 Newbury – Betway Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m4½f

Persian War Hurdle winner THYME HILL (Evens, Coral) followed up that success in impressive fashion when taking the Hyde Novices’ Hurdle last month, and Philip Hobbs’ charge can land a three-timer here with the potential for better still to come.

The Kayf Tara gelding ran out a three lengths’ winner in that latest success, staying on well up the hill to score a shader readily, and the form looks very useful with both the runner-up and third horses home since filling the same positions in subsequent starts in Grade Two outings at Cheltenham and Sandown respectively.

A line through the third in that last success suggests there likely won’t be much between him and Enrilo, who beat the third at Sandown, and Paul Nicholls’ charge opposes here; but he did look a very smart performer in that latest win and he is the top-rated performer in this field.

He surely has better to come, so he looks worth siding with here to land his hat-trick with ability to handle these conditions proven.

3:15 Leicester – Leicestershire Bronze Fox Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-130) 1m7½f

MASTERS APPRENTICE (7/2, Ladbrokes) has taken well to hurdling since switching from the flat, and the Mastercraftsman gelding can continue to show progress on just his fourth start in this sphere.

Only a moderate sort on the flat for Sylvester Kirk, has has shown an aptitude for this game since joining Mark Walford, scoring on his first attempt over hurdles at Uttoxeter and then finding only Minella Trump too strong on his next outing having also bagged a silver medal on the flat at Catterick inbetween. He then got back to winning ways with a ready success over Jackson Hill at Sedgefield latest where he ran out a seven lengths’ winner, rallying well having been outpaced.

The runner-up has done the form no harm with a good effort in defeat on Boxing Day, and while the handicapper hasn’t missed him with an 8lbs rise in the weights, he remains unexposed and could have better still to come.

Both his wins have come on soft ground, and while he has to prove as effective in even more testing conditions he could be worth chancing to follow up his latest win here despite his hike up the ratings.

3:35 Newbury – Betway Novices’ Handicap Chase Cl3 (4yo+) 2m6½f

KATESON (6/1, Ladbrokes) was only run down late in the day on his chase debut at Exeter earlier in the month, but that experience surely won’t be lost on Tom Lacey’s charge who can progress for the outing to go one place better here.

The Black Sam Bellamy gelding boasts very useful bumper and hurdles form, although he probably hit his ceiling in the latter discipline following a pair of wins and a fine third in last season’s Challow Hurdle on this card behind Champ.

One of those successes came here, and he stepped up on his reappearance over hurdles to post that very good chase introduction where he wasn’t beaten far behind Earlofthecotswolds and just unable to hold off that rival’s challenge.

Now switching to the handicap ranks for his second outing over fences, he looks fairly treated on his previous hurdles form and can make his presence felt in this contest where he is unexposed as a chaser and proven in the ground.

Kateson (centre) can round off Saturday’s ITV Racing coverage with a win.


1:50 – SEVARANO (5/1, William Hill)
2:10 – PETIT PALAIS (11/1, Coral)
2:25 – COBOLOBO (7/2, Coral)
2:40 – GLANCE BACK (4/1, William Hill)
3:00 – THYME HILL (Evens, Coral)
3:15 – MASTERS APPRENTICE (7/2, Ladbrokes)
3:35 – KATESON (6/1, Ladbrokes)