Saturday ITV Racing best bets – Live TV tips at Sandown and Ayr
Saturday live TV best bets on 2 January
With seven races live on TV we pick out our Saturday ITV Racing best bets for Sandown and Ayr.
The ITV Racing cameras are back in action on Saturday with hopefully a full broadcast after Exeter’s planned UK meeting was lost alongside Cheltenham on New Years’ Day.
Saturday’s ITV Racing action sees jumps racing action coming from Sandown where the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle is the feature race of the day; while further racing action comes from north of the border at Ayr and seven races in all will go to post on the day’s broadcast.
We’ve looked through the day’s televised horse racing action to pick out our Saturday ITV racing best bets, while Ed Chamberlain and the team will have their usual expert racing tips, insights and analysis for each of the day’s contests.
SATURDAY ITV RACING BEST BETS – LIVE TV TIPS AT SANDOWN & AYR
1:50 Sandown – Unibet 3 Uniboosts A Day Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+ 0-145) 1m7½f
IBLEO boasts some solid chase form since switching to the larger obstacles, winning his first two outings in testing ground at Wincanton and Huntingdon and rattling the crossbar on all three starts since either side of a seasonal break.
Beaten only a short-head on his return in a Listed contest at Ascot he wasn’t disgraced in a valuable contest at Cheltenham when last seen and Venetia Williams’ charge can get back to winning ways here having been raised only 3lbs.
Trip and ground are fine and the yard is in decent fettle so a big run is expected from the Dick Turpin gelding who can get back on track.
2:05 Ayr – Ayrshire Cancer Support Patient Transport Journeys Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m4½f
EVANDER hacked up at the third attempt over fences when beating three other rivals at Doncaster last month and while Oliver Greenall’s charge has been hit with a 9lbs rise it may not be enough of a burden to prevent a repeat.
The Arcadio gelding won between the flags prior to joining this yard and he went on to win two of five runs over hurdles, both in soft ground at Sedgefield. He’s bettered each of his runs over fences and latterly ran out a wide margin winner over Captain Blackpearl where he made all and jumped well for an easy success and he looks a smart chasing prospect who could improve further.
A repeat of that effort ought to see him firmly in the mix again and likely to have better to come still over the larger obstacles he can follow up here.
2:25 Sandown – Unibet Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m
Original fancy Adrimel misses out so it could be worth sticking with GALICE MACALO who found another jolt of progress despite meeting with defeat last time over course and distance and the Saddler Maker mare could go one better to get back to winning ways.
Jane Williams’ charge has been progressive this term, winning back-to-back races at Warwick and Stratford prior to tackling a Listed contest last time where she possibly just went too soon and was caught on the run-in by a similarly progressive type.
That run came in heavy ground where she was always prominent and she travelled strongly into the race where she jumped the last in front before being run out of things by the eventual winner with the pair pulling clear.
This is tougher and will demand significant improvement as she steps up in grade; but the 7lbs she gets from her rivals could make the difference and the lightly-raced sort could improve again to take the prize.
2:40 Ayr – Support The Injured Jockeys Fund Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 3m½f
BABY TICKER has won three of her last six starts, two of which have been in heavy ground and two over this course albeit over shorter distances.
The Endoli mare has won three times in all at the Scottish venue, latterly running out a three-parts of a length victor over Unohu latest over 2m 4f here in December.
She was outpaced turning into the straight on that occasion before rallying strongly to get up close home and the front two pulled well clear of the third. There’s a suspicion she’ll be suited by this step up to three miles and while she’s up 5lbs in a stronger contest she could make her presence felt again and no surprise to see her go well here.
3:00 Sandown – Unibet Veterans’ Handicap Chase (The Final Of The 2020 Veterans’ Chase Series) Cl2 (10yo+) 3m
Crosspark deserves to win one of these having finished runner-up for the third time in a row here last month; but it might be worth chancing former classy chaser SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT to bounce back to form with the Midnight Legend gelding likely to be sharper for his recent return at Haydock.
Sandy Thompson’s charge is a former Grade Two winner and finished third in the 2016 Scottish grand National. He’s largely acquitted himself creditably since and he showed he was no back number when getting back to winning ways at Carlisle in March on just his second run for almost 700 days.
He pulled up behind the reopposing Late Romantic at Haydock when last seen out last month, but he often needs a run to bring him on and he can do better now with that under his belt where trip and ground will hold no fears.
He’s certainly not as good as he was but he has a decent record at this level and if stripping fitter for that Haydock return then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him doing better from just 1lb higher in the weights than when last successful.
3:15 Ayr – Retraining Of Racehorses (RoR) Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 3m
Three-time course winner TAKINGRISKS has to give weight away all round to this field but the Golden Tornado gelding could be tough to beat nonetheless if coming back to his best.
Nicky Richards’ charge won the 2019 Scottish National but his only win since has been at Newcastle when taking the Rehearsal Chase last term and he’s not been at his best in recent runs. He was however entitled to need his reappearance here over hurdles despite pulling up and he shaped better back over fences latest when contesting the Rehearsal Chase again which was his first run following wind surgery.
Only the eventual winner went off at a bigger price and the veteran showed he retained plenty of ability in finishing fourth on ground probably quick enough for him and these more testing conditions are sure to suit.
His last two chase wins have come in heavy ground and he’ll be suited by the thorough test of stamina; while he’s been eased 1lb in the ratings and this looks an easier contest so he could get back to winning ways.
3:35 Sandown – Unibet Casino Deposit £10 Get £40 Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 2m
HIGHWAY ONE O TWO failed to complete in both starts this term over fences, but Chris Gordon’s charge is unbeaten over hurdles and the Shirocco gelding could get back on track reverting to the smaller obstacles.
Twice a winner on testing ground at Plumpton last term he also won the Grade Two Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle on his final start; but he’s fallen over fences at Ffos Las and unseated his rider at Carlisle when travelling well and he has to be of plenty of interest returning to hurdles where this rating might not prove beyond him given he remains progressive in this sphere.
This is a decent contest to close out the Saturday TV coverage but he handles this ground well and can bounce back from his chasing mishaps to make his presence felt.