Saturday live TV tips – ITV Racing best bets at Newbury and Newcastle
The ITV Racing cameras are back in action on Saturday with six races going to post featuring Grade One action at Newcastle as well as the pick of day two of the Newbury Winter Festival. We pick out our Saturday live TV tips for the day’s televised racing.
TV punters have plenty of classy horse racing action to look forward to on Saturday with six races being shown live on ITV Racing from the cards at Newcastle and Newbury.
The Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle is the feature race of the day at Newcastle where some Cheltenham Festival contenders for the Champion Hurdle could head to post; while the competitive Grade Three Ladbrokes Trophy Chase spearheads the Newbury racecard.
Ed Chamberlain and the team will be on hand again to offer up their usual expert racing tips, insights and post-race analysis, and we’ve picked out our Saturday live TV tips for the day’s coverage.
SATURDAY LIVE TV TIPS – ITV RACING BEST BETS AT NEWBURY & NEWCASTLE
1:50 Newbury – Get Your Ladbrokes £1 Free Bet Today Handicap Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 2m4½f
FLASH THE STEEEL found only the reopposing Tea Clipper too strong when finishing runner-up in the Chepstow Silver Trophy but Dan Skelton’s charge might be able to reverse that form on these better terms and if none the worse for his spill at Haydock last Saturday.
The Craigsteel gelding had won the 2019 renewal of the Chepstow Silver Trophy and subsequently wasn’t disgraced in the Martin Pipe Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on his final start of the campaign.
Possibly given too much to do at Chepstow on his return he was an early casualty last week at Haydock but is chanced to quickly bounce back here where he’s 4lbs better off with Tea Clipper from their Chepstow encounter for little over two lengths and it might prove enough to see him turning the tables.
2:05 Newcastle – Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m
EPATANTE is 5-6 over hurdles where her sole blip came when disappointing in the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March; Nicky Henderson’s charge though bounced back in no uncertain terms last term culminating in an impressive Champion Hurdle win.
The No Risk At All mare always travelled well in that contest and despite making a mistake three hurdles from home she ran out a ready winner over Sharjah although there’s perhaps a question mark over the strength of the field.
Nevertheless she could do no more than win and she did so impressively while giving the impression that she hadn’t reached the end of her improvement. She can continue her progress this campaign and she looks hard to oppose in making a winning reappearance in this Grade One contest.
2:25 Newbury – Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Intermediate Hurdle (Listed Race) (A Limited Handicap) Cl1 (4yo+ 0-155) 2m½f
Unbeaten MARIE’S ROCK makes her seasonal reappearance and if fully tuned up for her return to action then the Milan mare could well prove tough to beat.
Nicky Henderson’s charge is 3-3 in her career, easily winning a Listed mares’ contest at Taunton eleven months ago when last seen out. She tanked her way through that contest, eventually winning by an easy eight lengths over Midnight’s Gift despite a good deal of the hurdles not being jumped due to low sun.
It was a very impressive performance however and she could well prove to be a Graded performer this term given she is open to plenty of improvement and progress. She makes her return in a handicap where a mark of 141 might underestimate her potential and having had wind surgery in the interim she can take another step forward to extend her winning run to a perfect four from four.
3:00 Newbury – Ladbrokes Trophy Chase (Handicap) (Grade 3) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m2f
TWO FOR GOLD progressed well over fences last term, winning three times which included the Grade Two Hampton Court Chase at Warwick prior to proving no match for reopposing Copperhead at Ascot on his final start of the season.
Kim Bailey’s runners were out of sorts at that time of year however, but that complaint certainly can’t be utilised this term with the yard in good form currently and the Gold Well gelding shaped well over an inadequate trip at Wetherby latest when making his return in a Listed chase contest.
He did little wrong on that occasion despite being beaten five lengths, headed jumping the last and keeping on but not able to match the winner for speed late on and he’ll be more appreciative of this stiffer test of stamina going back up in trip where he’s sure to prove sharper for that return to action.
Jockey David Bass prefers the yard’s Vinndication over the Gold Well gelding, but the selection looks to hold solid claims nonetheless given he’s still relatively unexposed as a staying chaser and he has a low weight to carry in this competitive contest.
With the better ground unlikely to faze him he can deliver a big run under Ciaran Gethings and every chance he can make his presence felt.
3:15 Newcastle – Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m7½f
Definitely Red would go close if at his best but his powers might be on the decline if his lacklustre run in the Charlie Hall Chase is any indication; but THE BUTCHER SAID ran better than the bare result in a good contest at Cheltenham when last seen and Olly Murphy’s charge can get back on the winning trail.
A four-time winner over hurdles during 2019 he has taken quite well to chasing this season, winning twice over the larger obstacles with successes at Southwell and Bangor prior to finishing third of five runners behind The Big Breakaway at Cheltenahm two weeks ago.
His jumping rather fell apart late on in that contest but he had largely travelled well and there could be more to come from him still as a chaser.
The Robin Des Champs gelding appears to face an easier task now and if this outing doesn’t come too soon then he could post a big run stepping into a handicap where a rating of 139 looks workable and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him deliver a big run under Aidan Coleman.
3:35 Newbury – Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Handicap Chase (For The Jim Joel Memorial Trophy) Cl2 (4yo+ 0-150) 2m½f
Despite the burden of top-weight it might be worth chancing MOONLIGHTER to get back to winning ways having run a screamer on his reappearance in the recent Haldon Gold Cup.
Nick Williams’ charge proved steadily progressive over fences last term despite his jumping giving some cause for concern as he unseated his rider in two of his first three starts over the larger obstacles. However he made no mistake with a course and distance win in January before taking a step up in class in starts at Warwick and Stratford.
He made Greaneteen pull out all the stops at Exeter on his return, going down by only a neck having battled really well from the front although he did show a tendency to jump left and so should be suited going back this way.
Only run down late in that Exeter contest he could go one better here having likely been sharpened up by that run and this is easier so every chance he can collect with a return to the winners’ enclosure.