ITV Racing tips: Rory Delargy’s picks for Saturday’s Doncaster, Cheltenham & Newbury action

ITV Racing is at Cheltenham for the new jumps season as well as covering the Flat code at Doncaster and Newbury on a nine-race show.

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*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

Newbury 13.50 – Lord Of Biscay

LORD OF BISCAY was impressive when winning a 7f maiden on his debut at Yarmouth last month, and this half-brother to Bayside Boy ought to relish the softer ground here if his pedigree is any guide. He’s open to stacks of improvement, and can progress enough to take this Group 3 prize.

Cheltenham 14.05 – Captain Cattistock

The Wolf is 7lb better off with CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK for a defeat by three-parts of a length at Musselburgh in February, but the winner is both a more reliable proposition over fences and had a bit more in hand than the winning margin that day having been in front long enough. He looked better than ever when winning here in April, and he seems to get on very well with Liam Harrison, who keeps the ride.

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Newbury 14.25 – Hamish

HAMISH stands out here after a cosy win in the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot last time. The deep ground is perfect for him, and his second to Kyprios in the Irish St Leger is a standout piece of form, which also came on heavy going. He is impossible to oppose.

Cheltenham 14.40 – Pied Piper

The Masterson Holdings Hurdle is easy to view as a rematch between PIED PIPER and Knight Salute after their controversial battle at Aintree in April. On that form there is nothing to choose between them, but Pied Piper finished well ahead of Knight Salute in the Triumph Hurdle, having been impressive when winning the Finesse here on Trials Day. I can’t really see the Old Course posing Pied Piper any problems, and he remains with scope to progress having made his debut over hurdles less than ten months ago.

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Doncaster 15.00 – Aesops Fables

The big question here is whether the drop to 6f will prove the key to AESOPS FABLES and I believe it will. He was a disappointing favourite on testing ground in the National Stakes at the Curragh last month, but I thought he handled the ground fine, and was beaten by the trip. This is both a significant step back in class as well as trip and I’d be surprised if he failed to take advantage of an excellent opportunity.

Cheltenham 15.15 – Clear The Runway

Editeur du Gite is respected, but he might just struggle to concede 12lb to the progressive CLEAR THE RUNWAY. Laura Morgan’s charge has a record of 1212111 over fences, and that should really be an unbeaten record, as his two defeats have been narrow ones in races where he was travelling best prior to a late mistake. His best performance came on easy ground at Worcester last time, where his jumping was pretty assured in the closing stages, and he beat a good yardstick in Elios D’Or (winner since) by a resounding ten lengths. That effort is backed up by the clock, and he’s handicapped to win again.

Doncaster 15.35 – Epictetus

Auguste Rodin could easily show himself to be a superstar here, but at the prices, I prefer the claims of EPICTETUS, who needs to prove himself on the ground, but who had a host of winners behind when winning a Newmarket maiden on debut, and was simply found out by inexperience when beaten by Silver Knott in the Autumn Stakes there last time. He’s a colt with lots of potential, and he seems sure to progress again from Newmarket, so looks the value call.

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Cheltenham 15.50 – Panic Attack

If pressed for the likeliest winner of this contest, I’d be inclined to row in with PANIC ATTACK, who was a good fourth in the race 12 months ago, and has improved notably since. She took the eye when winning a Listed contest here in April, and ran even better when second to Romeo Brown in the Pertemps Long Distance Handicap on the Swinton Hurdle card at Haydock in May. At much bigger odds, I intend to give another chance to Skandiburg, for all Charlotte Fuller’s gelding failed to fire on his return at Uttoxeter. Perhaps he was rusty there, and this C&D winner was a fine second off this mark at Warwick on his final outing last term. On that basis he cannot be as high in the market as priced at the time of writing.

Doncaster 16.10 – Came From The Dark

It’s last-chance-saloon time for CAME FROM THE DARK here after he was unplaced in Listed company after a break at Ascot last time. I was with him there, but should have taken more account of his absence prior to that, and he probably needed the outing given he’s a burly sort who is hard to get fit at home. The ground has come in his favour, and he’s very well treated on last season’s form.

Rory Delargy’s ITV Racing tips

Newbury 13.50 – Lord Of Biscay
Cheltenham 14.05 – Captain Cattistock
Newbury 14.25 – Hamish
Cheltenham 14.40 – Pied Piper
Doncaster 15.00 – Aesops Fables
Cheltenham 15.15 – Clear The Runway
Doncaster 15.35 – Epictetus
Cheltenham 15.50 – Panic Attack
Doncaster 16.10 – Came From The Dark

*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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