Saturday TV racing best bets – ITV Racing tips for Kempton, Chepstow and Wincanton
Saturday ITV Racing best bets
The ITV Racing cameras return to action on Saturday with a bumper crop of ten televised contests assuming the weather doesn’t play a part in forcing any abandonments. We’ve picked out our Saturday TV racing best bets and tips for the day’s action.
The cold snap continues, threatening the cards at Wincanton and Chepstow which form part of Saturday’s ITV Racing line-up along with Kempton. If all goes to plan and there are no abandonments then there will be ten live races for punters to take in.
Kempton is the day’s main fixture and accounts for five of the day’s televised races including the competitive Lanzarote Hurdle and also a pair of Grade Two contests with the rearranged Relkeel Hurdle joining the Silviniaco Conti Chase on the agenda at the Sunbury venue.
Meanwhile Chepstow will stage the rearranged Welsh Grand National which was washed away over the festive period and the card at the Welsh track also features Grade One action with the Finale Juvenile Hurdle which could yield a Cheltenham Festival pointer towards the Triumph Hurdle.
Completing the Saturday line-up is Wincanton which sees three races live from the Somerset track featuring the rearranged Dipper Novices’ Chase as the feature event on the card. We’ve looked over all the day’s televised racing action to pick out our Saturday TV Racing best bets and tips for the day’s racing.
SATURDAY TV RACING BEST BETS – ITV RACING TIPS FOR KEMPTON, CHEPSTOW & WINCANTON
1:10 Kempton – Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-140) 2m4½f
Erick Le Rouge won this race twelve months ago but his two runs this term offer little encouragement of a repeat and SMARTY WILD could prove the answer to a tricky TV opener.
Philip Hobbs’ charge boasts a good strike rate over the smaller obstacles but his three runs over fences has seen him held back by his jumping and he was again sticky at a few when finishing third behind Bennys King at Ascot last month.
Despite not being altogether fluent at his obstacles he was only beaten a shade over six lengths having been held up and he would surely have finished closer had he jumped better than he did.
He can race off the same mark here however and the better ground will prove no issue; he remains with scope for better over fences and ought to give a good account with further progress anticipated after just three starts.
1:25 Chepstow – Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo) 2m
Houx Gris is interesting immediately thrust into a Grade One by Paul Nicholls on his first start since arriving in France but it might be worthwhile siding with ADAGIO who is 2-3 since joining David Pipe and the Wiener Walzer gelding can go close.
A winner on the flat in France previously he got off the mark at the first attempt over hurdles at Warwick in November after which he found only the very smart Duffle Coat too strong in a Cheltenham Grade Two contest.
He quickly got back on track however when beating Historic Heart back at Cheltenham in December and there’s likely plenty more to come from him. He should continue to remain competitive despite probably needing a little more on balance but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him firmly in the mix here.
1:45 Kempton – Ladbrokes Committed To Safer Gambling Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 3m
TWO FOR GOLD possibly found the test of the Ladbrokes Trophy too much for him but back in calmer waters Kim Bailey’s charge could get back on the winning trail.
A three-time winner last term over fences which included the Hampton Novices’ Chase he rounded off last term with a very good second behind Copperhead at Ascot although no match for the winner.
The Gold Well gelding ran well in defeat on his reappearance at Wetherby over a trip arguably too sharp for him where he was beaten five lengths by Huntsman’s Son; but he travelled well for a long way at Newbury when last seen before weakening and pulled up.
He remains with potential for better as a chaser and this is an easier assignment than he faced at Newbury last time dropping back in grade so every chance he can bounce back with a better effort.
2:05 Wincanton – Paddy Power Dipper Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4f
Messire Des Obeaux was impressive back over fences over this course and distance last month following a lengthy absence but PROTEKTORAT has made a perfect start to life over the larger obstacles and Dan Skelton’s charge can extend his perfect record over fences.
The Saint Des Saints gelding was a very decent hurdler last term without managing to get his head in front; but he did make the frame in four of his five starts which included finishing third at Cheltenham in a Grade Two contest.
He’s struck wins this term over fenes at Carlisle and Cheltenham respectively, scoring at the latter by 17 lengths when last seen in November and the third from that contest went on to win next time.
There’s sure to be more to come and he’s jumped well for both of his wins; he looks sure to continue to make his mark over fences where he could well prove top-class in time and he can collect this prize to maintain his perfect chase record.
2:20 Kempton – Dornan Engineering Relkeel Hurdle (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m5f
MCFABULOUS shaped as if he was just stretched by the longer trip of the Newbury Long Distance Hurdle but back at this shorter trip Paul Nicholls’ charge can get back on track.
The Milan gelding is a course and distance winner having scored in a Grade Three handicap over this course and distance last March and he was impressive when making a winning reappearance at Chepstow in October when readily landing the Persian War Hurdle.
He’s won six of his ten starts in bumpers and over hurdles and he travelled well for a long way at Newbury before running out of steam on the run to the line although he looked in trouble jumping the last.
The first and second swapped places in the Long Walk Hurdle so the form is strong and he could prove a tough nut to crack if back to his best dropping to a more a suitable distance.
2:35 Wincanton – MansionBet’s Bet 10 Get 20 Handicap Chase Cl2 (5yo+ 0-150) 2m4f
GALA BALL won this race twelve months ago and the veteran Flemensfirth gelding can successfully defend having had a run in recent weeks to sharpen him up.
Philip Hobbs’ charge is 3-4 at this venue and is only 1lb higher in the weights than when narrowly getting the better of Le Rocher where he was much fitter for his previous start. He followed up that win with a creditable fourth of eight runners at Warwick where he sported first-time cheekpieces behind Clondaw Castle and his recent reappearance behind the same rival on his return.
He was beaten around two lengths behind Tom George’s charge but held on well for the runner-up berth and the form looks very solid given the winner went on to finish third in a Grade Two contest at Cheltenham in December.
Soft ground is ideal and he should continue to give a good account in this contest where he can strike again from a mark that remains within his range to exploit.
2:55 Kempton – Ladbrokes Silviniaco Conti Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4½f
None of this quartet can be ruled out with any confidence but IMPERIAL AURA is progressive and going from strength to strength over fences and Kim Bailey’s charge can continue his upward curve towards a possible Cheltenham Festival tilt.
The Kalanisi gelding has won four of six starts over fences and is unbeaten in two this term where he brought up a hat-trick of victories with an impressive performance to see off Itchy Feet in the Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase at Ascot in November.
He’s already a Festival winner having won a Listed contest by beating Galvin and the sound jumper can continue his improvement to further extend his winning sequence to four with this ground no problem, while he was placed in a bumper here so handles the track and he ought to go close in this contest.
3:10 Chepstow – Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Run In Memory Of Kim Gingell) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 3m6½f
LORD DU MESNIL hasn’t shown his best in two runs this term but the Saint Des Saints gelding was progressive last season and could bounce back here with more in his favour than has been the case.
Richard Hobson’s charge won three times last term in heavy conditions, scoring wins at Newcastle and twice at Haydock including competitive handicaps in both the Tommy Whittle Chase and the Last Fling Case prior to finding only one too good in the Grand National Trial.
There was better to come when bagging a second successive silver medal in the National Hunt Chase during the Cheltenham Festival and he probably needed his reappearance at Kelso which came over hurdles prior to failing to take to the Grand National fences in the Grand Sefton Chase when last seen.
He did get round however but finished some way adrift over a trip too sharp for him and he could easily do better here with the longer trip and return to more conventional obstacles likely to show him in better light.
3:30 Kempton – Ladbrokes Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) (GBB Race) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m5f
This is her toughest test over hurdles to date but MISTY WHISKY has some very solid form in bumpers to her name and having finished runner-up on three consecutive occasions over hurdles last term the Stowaway mare has won both her starts this campaign following wind surgery and the application of a tongue-tie.
Harry Fry’s charge was impressive on her reappearance at Uttoxeter where she readily saw off Amelia’s Dance before stepping up to this longer trip where she posted another easy victory over Getaweapon with the pair pulling clear of the rest.
The fourth horse home in that race has won since to give the form a boost; but while the form perhaps isn’t the strongest she is very much going the right way and can compete here from the same mark, while Lorcan Murtagh can claim a very handy 3lbs so she gets in here off a featherweight and with the potential for better she could go close for her in-form yard.
3:45 Wincanton – MansionBet Faller Insurance Handicap Chase Cl3 (5yo+ 0-130) 1m7½f
GARDEFORT isn’t the easiest to predict and the Agent Bleu has run poorly as often as not; but he could be worth chancing if building on his recent return three weeks ago at Ascot where he found only one too good.
Venetia Williams’ charge has failed to complete in four of his last six starts, but as a consequence he’s tumbling down the weights and his last success came over this course and distance when beating Astre De La Cour back in February 2017 after which he finished runner-up in that season’s Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Returning from a lengthy absence at Ascot in December he was beaten six lengths by Bennys King over further than this, but he could benefit from dropping back to two miles and this mark is well below that from which he was last successful.
Ground is no issue if he can build on that reappearance effort then he could go close here.