*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Four races from Ascot, two from Haydock Park and one from Wincanton make up ITV’s racing program for Saturday. We may have a smallish field for some of the graded races but we also have a couple of big-field handicaps to get stuck into.
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ITV Saturday gets under way here with the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase over 3m. CORACH RAMBLER is a very experienced novice and ran an absolute belter at Warwick last time against seasoned handicappers. He might be good enough for Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox. Experience counts for a lot and this will be my selection’s fifth run over fences. Stamina is no issue and I wonder what Does he Know has actually achieved in small fields. He gets 3lb from that rival.
ITV are also at Haydock (that faces an 8am inspection on Saturday) for this Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle over an extended 3m. THIRD WIND is a tricky ride but won this last year and might be able to do so again for Hughie Morrison and the excellent Tom O’Brien. What Third Wind needs is a decent gallop to run at and to be delivered late. Deep conditions are not an issue and there should be pace to close in on.
Now a limited handicap chase with Listed status over 3m. I’ll take a chance here with HOLD THAT TAUGHT for the in form combo of Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch. My hope has been dropped 2lb for a fair effort at Lingfield when last seen and has some decent Ascot form to his name. He stays and goes in the mud so at pretty decent odds, he should at least have an each-way chance.
A handicap chase here with possible clues for the Grand National over an extended 3m4f. What a slog this will be and the one who will love it is defending champion LORD DU MESNIL. The Richard Hobson runner, ridden by Kielan Woods, is not an easy ride and is also pretty high in the handicap. That said, he will keep going in the mud and ran a good second at Wetherby two starts ago. He has an each-way chance.
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This is a handicap hurdle over an extended 2m3f. GOOD RISK AT ALL has not always been a great jumper of hurdles but this extra distance and slower pace might help him in that department. From his bumper form he should be a very exciting novice and I know connections were excited about him earlier in the season. He met a good one two runs ago in Jonbon and should be hard to stop for Charlie Deutsch and Sam Thomas.
ITV are also at Wincanton for just one in this Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle over 1m7f. Going right-handed, the talented GOSHEN was back to form at Sandown last time and he can follow up here for Gary and Jamie Moore. The talented but frustrating hurdler who promised once to be a star is still very good on a going day and can dispose of this field.
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Now the big one of the day the Grade 1 Ascot Chase over 2m5f. SAINT CALVADOS has trip and conditions in his favour and really should have a great chance for Harry Cobden and Paul Nicholls. It’s his second run after a wind operation and he ran a cracker in the King George at Christmas when clearly not staying the trip. He goes in the mud and has decent back form including a second in the superb Paddy Power Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. He really should go well.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Saturday’s betting tips:
13:50 Ascot – Corach Rambler
14:05 Haydock – Third Wind
14:25 Ascot – Hold That Taught (each-way)
14:40 Haydock – Lord Du Mesnil (each-way)
15:00 Ascot – Good Risk At All
15:20 Wincanton – Goshen
15:38 Ascot – Saint Calvados
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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