Saturday TV Racing best bets – ITV Racing tips at Sandown, Musselburgh and Leopardstown
Saturday ITV Racing tips 6 February
With a bumper crop of nine TV races to take in on Saturday we’ve picked out our TV racing best bets on a top-class afternoon featuring action from Sandown, Leopardstown and Musselburgh.
Punters looking for a couple of potential Cheltenham Festival clues over the weekend would do well to pay particular attention to Saturday’s live ITV racing action which features nine top-class races from three of the afternoon’s fixtures across the UK and Ireland.
Sandown accounts for five of the day’s races including the rearranged Grade Two Cotswold Chase joining a stellar card at the Esher track which also includes the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase; while it is Cheltenham Trials day at Musselburgh with the card north of the border featuring the Scottish County Hurdle and the Edinburgh National.
The cameras also pay a visit to Ireland and the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown for two races including the Irish Champion Hurdle.
Ed Chamberlain and the team will have all their usual expert racing tips, insights and post-race analysis for every live race and we’ve picked out our TV Racing best bets on what promises to be a top-class afternoon of televised racing action.
SATURDAY TV RACING BEST BETS – ITV RACING TIPS AT SANDOWN, LEOPARDSTOWN & MUSSELBURGH
1:15 Sandown – Virgin Bet Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 1m7½f
CARIBEAN BOY is given another chance despite turning in a tame effort when last seen at Ascot back in December where Nicky Henderson’s charge finished last of three runners behind Dashel Drasher.
The Myboycharlie gelding had been a fair hurdler in France prior to joining this yard but he took his form up a notch switched to chasing by his top yard, getting off the mark at the second attempt with an impressive defeat of The Big Bite at Haydock.
Back from nine months off he repeated the dose with another facile victory at Newbury, this time over the smart Fiddlerontheroof who has since placed in a pair of Grade Two contests. For whatever reason he failed to deliver last time he could be worth forgiving the run seeing the winner has struck again and a mark of 154 switching to handicaps might not prove too prohibitive.
Assuming the drop to two miles doesn’t present its’ own challenges then he can bounce back following a short break to resume winning ways in a competitive TV opener.
1:35 Leopardstown – Ladbrokes Dublin Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 2m1½f
CHACUN POUR SOI won this race twelve months ago before an aborted attempt at the Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival where the Policy Maker gelding was a late withdrawal.
Willie Mullins treads the same path again with his rising star who has only once tasted defeat over fences since joining this yard and had the reopposing Min almost four lengths in arrears when taking this prize last campaign.
2-2 this term, scoring at Cork on his return prior to beating Notebook – another of today’s rivals – readily in a Grade One here over Christmas he should take plenty of beating in this latest contest which ought to cement his place at the top of the Champion Chase betting.
1:50 Sandown – Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4f
SHAN BLUE has looked a chaser to keep on the right side of this term, winning all three starts which most recently saw him collect the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton where he turned in an exhibition round of jumping to beat The Big Breakaway by four lengths.
Dan Skelton’s charge is a heavy ground winner over hurdles from last campaign and he showed good form in defeat following his Southwell victory which include behind the likes of Shishkin and Envoi Allen at the Cheltenham Festival.
Fences though has really seen him take his form up a level and he was good value for his Kempton success where he was always racing prominently before sealing the deal with a good jump at the last. Perhaps that wasn’t the strongest of renewals but he did the job nicely and there’s surely better to come from the Shantou gelding who should have no trouble with the ground or the drop back to this intermediate distance.
This is his toughest test to date but he can come through the examination with flying colours to maintain his perfect record over the larger obstacles and collect a second Grade One prize.
2:05 Musselburgh – bet365 Scottish County Hurdle (A Handicap) (GBB Race) Cl2 (4yo+) 1m7½f
LOCKER ROOM TALK was progressive over hurdles and fences for Nigel Twiston-Davies, winning twice over the smaller obstacles at Huntingdon and Kempton in 2019 and registering chase wins last campaign at Taunton and Sandown prior to posting a good third here in the Scottish Champion Chase.
The Beneficial gelding struck on his final outing for that yard when successful at Kempton back in October over fences, beating Crooks Peak and he has since joined Stuart Coltherd who returns the eight-year old to hurdles for this latest outing which is his first in almost four months.
He could have scope for better to come back over timber where he turns out from the same mark as when making that winning reappearance and he’s proven himself well suited by sharp tracks in the past so a return to this venue will hold no fears.
While he has to prove he’s as effective over hurdles as he is over fences, he might be worth chancing off this mark to deliver a big run and with a decent record fresh he can go close here with his rider taking off a handy 3lbs.
2:20 Sandown – Virgin Bet Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m
NATIVE RIVER can get back to winning ways and give the Colin Tizzard camp a shot in the arm after a barren spell that saw the Dorset handler fail to saddle a winner for more than one month until getting one on the board at Wincanton during the week.
The classy veteran shows no sign of his powers waning and the 2018 Gold Cup hero certainly wouldn’t have been best served by the way the race developed on his return in the Many Clouds Chase which developed into something of a sprint with several fences omitted from the contest.
The King’s Theatre gelding did quite well in the circumstanced to finish third and he’ll be sharper with that under his belt despite not being seen out since. However he has stamina assured as a Welsh Grand National winner in the past and he handles softer ground so these conditions will hold no fears.
A winner of two of his last three starts he should continue to make his presence felt in this contest and while most of his form has come on left-handed tracks he’s won going this way round in the past and ought to go close if all is well and the yard has turned a corner.
2:55 Sandown – Virgin Bet Warriors Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m4f
Progressive chaser EVANDER can get back to winning ways here having lost no caste in defeat behind Capeland when last seen at Wincanton earlier in the month.
An Irish point-to-point winner and dual-winning hurdler last term the Arcadio gelding has taken well to chasing this campaign, getting off the mark at the third attempt with a wide margin victory over Captain Blackpearl at Doncaster in December.
Making all that day he jumped well from the front for a ready success and he was arguably unlucky at Wincanton latest where he stumbled and lost his position in the race before rallying well late although the winner had already gone and he couldn’t get back in the contest to muster a serious challenge.
Still relatively unexposed as a chaser he can progress again despite that defeat last time and only 1lb higher in the weights he takes a slight ease in class into a Class 3 contest, while the application of a tongue-tie could yield some further improvement so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him in the mix at the business end of a competitive contest.
3:15 Leopardstown – Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) 2m
HONEYSUCKLE made slightly hard work of remaining unbeaten when outbattling Ronald Pump in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle but Henry de Bromhead’s charge can continue her winning run and can extend her perfect record to ten from ten.
The Sulamani mare has answered every call put to her, winning this race twelve months ago before downing red-hot Benie Des Dieux at the Cheltenham Festival and she would have been entitled to have needed the run on her reappearance at Fairyhouse back in November where she ground out a half-length victory.
That form has taken a couple of knocks but she remains the one to beat here where she gets 7lbs from her rival through the mares’ allowance and no surprise if she collects back-to-back wins in this contest.
3:30 Sandown – Virgin Bet Masters Handicap Chase (GBB Race) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m
Progressive ASK ME EARLY arrives here chasing a hat-trick of successes and the Ask gelding can collect with further improvement on the cards.
Harry Fry’s lightly-raced charge won a point-to-point in Ireland prior to joining this yard and after a couple of spins over hurdles he’s won both his chase starts this campaign at Chepstow in soft and heavy ground.
Latterly he beat Hold That Taught by two lengths, making all the running and jumping well in front and he only needed to be ridden out to register a comfortable victory that saw the front two pull a long way clear.
He’s up 7lbs for that and stepping into stronger company, but he’s one who is clearly progressing well and going the right way and with further improvement anticipated he can make it 3-3 over fences in this contest.
3:45 Musselburgh – bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 4m1f
CLASSIC ESCAPE could be worth chancing to reverse Borders National form with reopposing Dino Boy and the Golan gelding can come out on top here.
Dr Richard Newland’s charge is lightly-raced and still unexposed as a chaser having had just five starts in this sphere since joining from Denis Hogan, finishing runner-up at Sedgefield in November prior to running out a wide margin victor over Manofthemoment at Southwell next time where he overcame a couple of late mistakes to score readily.
Jumping again cost him late on at Kelso on his latest outing with his momentum halted by a mistake two out when staying on and he was left second at the last although no match for the eventual winner who was running from out of the weights.
The pair meet with the selection 8lbs better off now and this flatter, sharper track could play more to the strengths of Richard Newlands’ charge who can give a good account of himself in this marathon contest.