ITV Racing TV tips – Saturday’s best TV bets at Ascot, Haydock and Taunton
Saturday ITV Racing best bets
The ITV Racing cameras are back in action on Saturday with an eight-race line-up and we’ve got our ITV Racing TV tips for all the day’s televised action.
ITV Racing returns to our TV screens on Saturday with an eight-race card of classy jumps racing action taking in racing from three of the day’s fixtures.
The feature race of the day of course comes from Ascot where the Grade One Clarence House Chase is the main event of Saturday; but there’s plenty of quality support with Grade Two action also at the Berkshire track with the Warfield Hurdle.
Meanwhile, assuming Haydock passes a Saturday morning inspection then the return of dual-Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’air in the feature The New One Unibet Hurdle will garner plenty of attention on a card that also includes the competitive Peter Marsh Chase.
And Taunton don’t miss out either with their Portman Cup Chase on the agenda with Ed Chamberlain and the team bringing armchair punters their usual expert racing tips, insights and post-race analysis. Our tipsters have also looked over the Saturday televised racing and pick out their ITV Racing TV tips for all eight races.
SATURDAY ITV RACING TV TIPS – BEST TV BETS AT ASCOT, HAYDOCK & TAUNTON
1:15 Ascot – Matchbook Betting Podcast Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Warfield) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f
Magic Of Light has won this contest for the past two years but Jessica Harrington’s charge might have to give way to ROKSANA who bids to get back on the winning trail having lost no caste in defeat behind Paisley Park and Thyme Hill on her last outing in the Long Walk Hurdle.
Dan Skelton’s classy mare had won the time before at Wetherby when beating Next Destination in the Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle and she was strong contention when last seen, jumping the last hurdle in a close second but unable to match the effort of the eventual front pair and she weakened late on into third.
Still unexposed over this three miles trip her record at the distance reads 2213 and back among her own sex she ought to prove a tough nut to crack if at her best where she’s clear on official ratings.
1:30 Haydock – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f
MINELLA DRAMA was attempting to give reopposing Llandinabo Lad 5lbs when the pair met on their respective hurdling debuts at Bangor back in October; both have improved since but Donald McCain’s charge gets the vote now receiving 5lbs from the same rival.
The Flemensfirth gelding has won both his subsequent starts, scoring with authority at Sedgefield and back at Bangor latest when running out a twelve lengths’ victor over Ballybegg impressively although he hinted at signs of temperament by flashing his tail.
While his reopposing rival has the better form in the book having contested a Grade Two last time and finishing runner-up there could be more in the tank to come from the McCain runner who can exact revenge on his previous conquerer where he’s 10lbs better off from their last meeting.
1:50 Ascot – Matchbook Better Way To Bet Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m3½f
It could be worth chancing DANNY KIRWAN to bounce back to form having possibly been stretched by three miles when contesting the Bristol Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last month where he faded from two out and finished tired.
Paul Nicholls’ charge had won the time before over this course and distance to shed his maiden tag over hurdles, beating Time Flies By by almost four lengths where he made all and ran out an impressive winner.
The Scorpion gelding might do better now he drops back to a more suitable yardage and proven in these conditions over course and distance he could be the way to go from a workable handicap mark and representing an in-form yard.
2:10 Taunton – Weatherbys Portman Cup Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m4½f
YALA ENKI won this twelve months ago and ought to go well but he had a hard race under top weight in the Welsh National just two weeks ago and that might have taken the edge off him.
Paul Nicholls’ Nickname gelding however could prove hard to stop given most of his rivals have something to prove at present and he looks the most solid option to get back on the scoresheet.
He’s been running well this term, runner-up at Cheltenham on his reappearance when denied a short-head by Ramses De Teillee and his subsequent fall at Aintree came over the Grand National fences. That mishap didn’t stop him turning in a very solid effort at Chepstow a fortnight ago where he finished three lengths’ third to the handicap blot Secret Reprieve where he carried 11st 12lbs.
On ratings he has a minimum 3lbs to spare over this field but gets 4lbs from the next-best rated rival and meets the others on level weights; while on form he is a clear pick assuming this doesn’t come too soon just a fortnight later.
2:40 Haydock – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (A Limited Handicap) (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m1½f
Royale Pagaille could be very smart but this is a tougher test he faces as he chases a hat-trick upped in trip and 16lbs higher than when scoring at Kempton last time.
It might be worth siding with POTTERS LEGEND as an alternative with Lucy Wadham’s charge proven over course and distance and the veteran Midnight Legend gelding made a winning reappearance following wind surgery at Warwick back in November before chasing home Storm Control in a Grade Three handicap contest at Cheltenham the following month.
Far from disgraced subsequently when finishing fifth in a veterans’ event at Sandown behind Seeyouatmidnight he has to race from 2lbs out of the weights in this classy contest and he might have finished closer at the Esher track had he not been badly hampered on the turn racing towards the Pond Fence.
Heavy ground may not be entirely ideal but he handles soft ground well enough and while he does need to raise his game a notch he could post a big run nonetheless.
3:00 Ascot – bet365 Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 2m5f
ESPOIR DE GUYE might have found three miles too much of a test when disappointing here last time out, but Venetia Williams’ charge can bounce back returned to this more suitable yardage and the Khalkevi gelding is given another chance.
The seven-year old is still relatively unexposed over fences having had just six starts in this field, but he won two of his first three which included a handicap over this course last campaign before contesting the Cheltenham Festival where he disappointed and was pulled up.
Having struck back over course and distance on his seasonal debut and following wind surgery he is now fitted with a tongue-tie as he bids to atone for his poor run last time out and the combination of the shorter trip and the headgear could have a positive effect so he is chanced to get back on track.
3:15 Haydock – The New One Unibet Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The Champion Hurdle Trial Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f
Assuming all is well with former two-time Champion Hurdle winner BUVEUR D’AIR then the Crillon gelding should get back to winning ways and stamp his return to the Cheltenham Festival.
Nicky Henderson’s charge was a faller when bidding for a third win in that race and he was subsequently beaten at Aintree before bouncing back to winning form at Punchestown. He then met with defeat on his return last term in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle when denied by a short-head by Cornerstone Lad although he was subsequently found to be lame.
A splinter was found to have pierced a hoof and it has been a long journey back for the multiple-Grade One winner who steps out following 420 days on the sidelines and he does so in a contest where he receives weight from both rivals despite being rated at least 6lbs superior to both.
He won his only previous course and distance start and has plenty of heavy ground form to call upon so if fully wound up ahead of his return then he ought to take plenty of beating.
3:35 Ascot – Matchbook Betting Exchange Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m1f
Defi Du Seuil won this twelve months ago but has a question to answer following a couple of lacklustre efforts at the Cheltenham Festival and on his reappearance where he pulled up; while reigning Champion chaser Politologue ought to go close on the back of his Tingle Creek success.
However it might be worth siding with Ruth Jefferson’s WAITING PATIENTLY who was unbeaten in six starts over fences including the Ascot Chase here a couple of seasons ago although things haven’t gone to plan since with the ten-year old whose career since has been blighted by niggling injuries and setbacks.
However he still showed he was capable of high-class form when making it to the races and the Flemensfirth gelding has shown plenty of versatility, finishing one length third to Defi Du Seuil over this trip in last season’s Tingle Creek Chase and then returning from more than a year off to finish a gallant runner-up in the recent King George VI Chase behind Frodon.
Softer ground has certainly been no issue in the past and the strong-travelling sort will be suited by there being some pace to this contest with trail-blazing First Flow in opposition likely to take them along although Politologue isn’t one to hang about either.
He has the speed to be effective at this trip and a truly run race will bring his stamina into play so it would be no surprise to see him going close if building on his very promising Kempton reappearance.