Horse Racing tips: Your ITV Racing Cheat Sheet for Saturday’s action

Paddy's Pundits are back with your picks at Ascot and Haydock Park.

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There’s a pre-Christmas feast of ITV Racing from Ascot and Haydock Park on Saturday’s tellybox with six super races across the two tracks. It’s never easy, so we’ve drafted in racing’s brain-trust of Ruby Walsh, Mick Fitzgerald, Matt Chapman, Frank Hickey and the boffins at Timeform to hopefully bang us in a few winners!

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Matt Chapman

Ruby Walsh

Mick Fitzgerald

Timeform

Frank Hickey

Matt Chapman

DIEGO DU CHARMIL is a well handicapped horse and runs this track with merit so is taken as an each way chance. He’s a winner off 150 and second off 156 and races off  147 now.

Ruby Walsh

Palmers Hill. won well enough at Wetherby in November and that was off a mark of 130. He’s now 134 so he hasn’t been punished too much for that win, 4lbs is lenient.

Mick Fitzgerald

DIEGO DU CHARMIL is a bit of a course specialist and is back to a mark where he can be competitive. 

Timeform

PALMERS HILL got off the mark on just his second start over fences on return at Wetherby 5 weeks ago. He clearly hasn’t been the easiest to train, but can make light of a 4 lb rise.

Frank Hickey

GUY is very consistent and is still only a six-year-old. He drops back in trip after finishing second at Ascot last time after a bad blunder and a mark of 130 mightn’t be the ceiling of his ability.

Matt Chapman

BOSS MAN FRED has clearly had issues recently. He’d probably prefer a bit further in trip  but if there’s a good gallop up front he can pass beaten horses and has an each-way chance.

Ruby Walsh

I can see the case for BOSS MAN FRED but I’ve no strong opinion on this race.

Mick Fitzgerald

BOSS MAN FRED had been over fences, but some of his form over the smaller obstacles is smart.

Timeform

MACKELDUFF was a  winner on return/handicap debut at Aintree in October, he was far from disgraced when third in a stronger affair at Cheltenham last month and remains of interest from this sort of mark.

Frank Hickey

BOSS MAN FRED was a useful novice hurdler and returns after a long layoff. Worth taking a chance on in this handicap hurdle.

Matt Chapman

THYME HILL is arguably the top stayer in Europe and he was fabulous at Aintree in April. He flopped when last seen in France, but I fully expect him to bounce back here!

Ruby Walsh

The value lies with RONALD PUMP. He was the only one that was in the race with Honeysuckle at Fairyhouse. There’s still a big day in Ronald Pump.

Mick Fitzgerald

The Irish raider RONALD PUMP is a fascinating runner and was second to the mighty Honeysuckle in the 2m 4f Hattons Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time.

Timeform

Last year’s runner-up THYME HILL could take the beating now if back to his best with Irish-challenger Ronald Pump also in the mix now back at his optimum trip.

Frank Hickey

The step back up to 3m should see RONALD PUMP in an even better light since he chasing Honeysuckle home at Fairyhouse last month on his comeback from injury.

Matt Chapman

The recent form of SAM’S ADVENTURE reads U-U-P but he is well handicapped on his Eider Chase win of 2021 and stays all day. An each-way play for now though until he starts to recover his old form.

Ruby Walsh

I’m going for a value pick in MR HENDRICKS, who is running for Christian Williams for the first time. He’s very in and out but with a new yard and a change of scenery, it might be the day to catch him.

Mick Fitzgerald

REMASTERED is a confident pick as he was going to play a major part in the Ladbroke Trophy last month and won the Reynoldstown Chase at this venue as a novice. 

Timeform

If REMASTERED is none the worse for his Labrokes Trophy tumble then he’s fancied to provide David Pipe with a third win in this since 2014.

Frank Hickey

REMASTERED had taken the lead four fences out in the Ladbroke Trophy before falling and the softer ground at Ascot should play even more to his strengths now. This is a race his trainer has won twice since 2014.

Matt Chapman

CLOTH CAP showed some zest in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time and the ground is ideal. He’ll lead from the front under Jonjo O’Neill Jr and might have a few off the bridle at half-way.

Ruby Walsh

CARIBEAN BOY is an interesting one. He’s back down to a mark of 145, which is 1lb higher than when he beat Fiddlerontheroof in a novice chase last year at Newbury. He was disappointing at Cheltenham in November but 3m should suit him.

Mick Fitzgerald

His form is far from inspiring, but this race look tailor-made for JERRYSBACK.

Timeform

CLOTH CAP does most of his racing on left-handed tracks nowadays but he has run well here in the past and, down in grade, his bold-jumping style could have a number of these rivals in trouble early, so he’s worth chancing to hold off the closers at the business end.

Frank Hickey

CHECKITOUT put up a bold shown when a 16 length third to Snow Leopardess from 4lb out of the handicap in the Becher Chase last time. Strong each-way claims.

Matt Chapman

LUTTRELL LAD was a decent bumper horse and has been gagging for a strong pace to run at. He should get that in this field.

Ruby Walsh

LLANDINABO LAD ran well on his comeback run at Bangor in November behind Hunters Call. He trailed off a little as an novice hurdler last year but has a nice each-way chance now. 

Mick Fitzgerald

DROP THE ANCHOR ran a cracker in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March, not beaten all that far in seventh. He is a bit of value against the field.

Timeform

NO ORDINARY JOE was just under three lengths behind West Cork in the Greatwood Hurdle, but he was very keen back from a break and has prospects of turning that form around on 4lb better terms now if that run has knocked some of the freshness out of him.

Frank Hickey

LUTTRELL LAD has been crying out for a strongly-run handicap and his run behind Jpr One last time is working out well with that one going close in a Cheltenham novice hurdle last weekend and the third I Am Maximus  has won since.

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