Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s top picks for Saturday’s ITV Racing

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Matt Chapman Cheltenham


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  • PLEASE NOTE: Wetherby Racing on Saturday has been cancelled

Sandown 13:15 Caribean Boy

ITV coverage at Sandown gets under way with this handicap chase over nearly 2m. CARIBEAN BOY was really good on good ground at Newbury first time but then could not cope with heavy over a bit further in a decent heat – despite the small field – at Ascot. His back form suggests deep going is not a problem and this drop in trip might just be what he needs. Nicky Henderson trains with the excellent Daryl Jacob on top.

Leopardstown 13:35 Chacun Pour Soi

Grade 1 here in the Dublin Chase over an extended 2m1f. Min will be no pushover here, but CHACUN POUR SOI looks a few pounds better and a year younger and has to be the selection. My ante-post hope for the Queen Mother Champion Chase has done nothing wrong this season and while his success first time at Cork was nothing special his success at Leopardstown last time was pretty good. He’ll be hard to stop for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.

Sandown 13:50 Shan Blue

Grade 1 company here with the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase over 2m4f. SHAN BLUE was electric in a Grade 1 at Kempton over Christmas and will take a bit of stopping with a mixture of stamina and pace. There’s a small doubt about the ground as his improvement has come on a better surface, but he’s won on heavy in lesser company and should give a bold show for Harry and Dan Skelton.

Musselburgh 14:05 Ashington (E/W)

The Scottish County Hurdle which is a handicap over nearly 2m. This is wide open and hard. ASHINGTON should have each way claims if the ground is not desperate. The Brian Ellison runner was a fair fifth at Doncaster last time and ran well at Cheltenham first time this season. He’s actually a progressive horse and with Oakley Brown taking off 7lb he’ll feel let loose here with a low weight.

Sandown 14:20 Native River

Now a Grade 2 in the Cotswold Chase over 3m. Santini is my Gold Cup hope, but on the conditions I will take a chance with former Cheltenham hero NATIVE RIVER. Clearly the stable form of Colin Tizzard is a worry, but this stamina test is right up Native River’s street and he still retains plenty of ability. Hopefully he’ll be giving the full Richard Johnson treatment and outstay his rivals.

Wetherby 14:30 – Third Wind (E/W)

I’ll have a few quid each way on THIRD WIND for Hughie Morrison. He’s got a little bit to find on ratings but had been running really well in handicap company before taking on Paisley Park and Thyme Hill at ascot last time. This kind of field should suit him and he might be able to reverse Haydock form with Main Fact after that horse disappointed at Ascot last time. However the latter might well be suited to going left-handed today as Ascot was always a question mark.



Sandown 14:55 Doitforthevillage (E/W)

A handicap chase here over 2m4f. DOITFORTHEVILLAGE has strong each-way claims for Paul Henderson and Richard Johnson. My hope is a very well handicapped horse on his best form and while he’s a twelve-year-old now and his best days are behind him he loves this trip and the ground is not an issue. After a success at the course last time he must have place claims.

Leopardstown 15:15 Honeysuckle

Another Grade 1 in the Irish Champion Hurdle over 2m. Getting 7lb I have to be with HONEYSUCKLE in this but come Cheltenham, even if he’s last here, I expect Saint Roi to take all the beating in the Champion Hurdle. Honeysuckle is a very good mare and will get the run of the race on the front end for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.

Sandown 15:30 Ask Me Early

A handicap chase here over 3m. Hard to get away from ASK ME EARLY who is very lightly raced and improving fast for Harry Fry and Sean Bowen. Two wins at Chepstow show this horse stays and loves heavy ground and provided his inexperience isn’t an issue round this kind of track he must take a bit of stopping. Might be a Welsh National contender one day.

Musselburgh 15:45 Billy Bronco (E/W)

Now a handicap chase over 4m1f. BILLY BRONCO has no weight and a handicap mark which suggests he might make a splash each way at big odds. Marathon trips are his thing, and Charlie Hammond takes off 3lb for Dr Richard Newland which brings his weight right down. His second at Hereford last time was a fair run and there’s no reason why he can’t make a show.

So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?

Matt’s tips for Saturday

Sandown 13:15 – Caribean Boy
Leopardstown 13:35 – Chacun Pour Soi
Sandown 13:50 – Shan Blue
Musselburgh 14:05 – Ashington (E/W)
Sandown 14:20 – Native River
Wetherby 14:30 – Third Wind (E/W)
Sandown 14:55 – Doitforthevillage (E/W)
Leopardstown 15:15 – Honeysuckle
Sandown 15:30 – Ask Me Early
Musselburgh 15:45 – Billy Bronco (E/W)

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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