Horse Racing Tips: Rory Delargy’s ITV Racing Saturday selections

Paddy's ace tipster fancies Metier in the Imperial Cup at Sandown.

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Rory Delargy’s ITV Racing Tips

1:30 Wolverhampton – Cuban Breeze
1:50 Sandown – Cuthbert Dibble
2:05 Wolverhampton – Dark Moon Rising
2:25 Sandown – Metier
2:40 Wolverhampton – Tinker Toy
3:00 Sandown – Mercian Omen
3:35 Sandown – Easy As That

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1:30 Wolverhampton – Cuban Breeze

CUBAN BREEZE can go well fresh, as she showed when winning on her reappearance in 2022 at Chelmsford, and this dual course winner looks fairly handicapped having been beaten just 2¼ lengths in the Listed Boadicea Stakes at Newmarket on her penultimate start.

She is a really consistent mare who returns with her stable in terrific form, and the booking of Oisin Murphy bolsters confidence in one who looks a tad overpriced.

1:50 Sandown – Cuthbert Dibble

Nigel Twiston-Davies has given five horses their handicap debuts over hurdles at Sandown in the past five years, with three of those coming in this race. Of the five, a remarkable four have been adjudged first past the post.

CUTHBERT DIBBLE is bred to improve with time and distance, and stepped up markedly on previous efforts when winning with something to spare on testing ground at Leicester last month, where he beat the consistent Georges Saint by 19 lengths. The selection is the type who will be better as a chaser in time, and is likely to stay 3m, but that is almost certainly a positive in a race like this, where bottomless stamina will trump slick jumping.

2:05 Wolverhampton – Dark Moon Rising

The 2022 season took a bad turn for DARK MOON RISING but he was a winner of a hot conditions race on his return to action before finishing fourth in the Dante Stakes. He resumes on a mark which would make him of interest if back to his best, and there is a strong chance that he will get back on track having had a lengthy break.

2:25 Sandown – Metier

The ability to handle heavy ground is essential in the Imperial Cup and conditions will push many of the contenders to the limit. That won’t be a concern for METIER, who needs heavy ground to show his form, and is a Grade 1 winner over C&D in the mud. He has to carry top weight of 12st here, which is a concern of sorts, but he’s only 4lb higher than when spreadeagling his rivals at Lingfield last January under a similar burden, and he’s only raced on his favoured surface once since, when winning the November Handicap at Doncaster on the final day of the turf flat season.

2:40 Wolverhampton – Tinker Toy

Angel Bleu and Berkshire Shadow are clear on official ratings, but neither of the top pair have form on this surface, and I prefer to look elsewhere. TINKER TOY would be no match for Angel Bleu on turf, but he won this race last year, and there is little doubt that it is a significant target for him again this season.

Defeats since have come at different trips, and the return to 7f on Tapeta is a big positive for Roger Varian’s War Front gelding. I’ll be gutted if he can’t repay each-way support.

3:00 Sandown – Mercian Omen

The one I like in terms of her likelihood of being suited by a test in these conditions is MERCIAN OMEN, whose dam Mariah Rollins was a Grade 1 winner on heavy ground for Pat Fahy back in the day. Mercian Omen was runner-up at Wetherby on her debut despite running green, and she is sure to improve for what will be a significantly stiffer test here.

3:35 Sandown – Easy As That

A case can be made for most on individual form lines, but Quel Destin has been rather disappointing over fences, winning a weak race at Lingfield, but only beating one opponent in three runs either side of that unconvincing success. No Risk des Flos has a good strike rate, but saves his very best form for Wetherby, where his for figures read: 11161 as opposed to 7P4 in handicaps elsewhere.

Baron de Middleton is better on good to soft or quicker ground and Hudson de Grugy has shown regressive form in this sphere until arresting the slide in a visor last time. He has claims if building on that with headgear retained, but EASY AS THAT looks the safest bet on balance.

Rory Delargy’s Tips

1:30 Wolverhampton – Cuban Breeze
1:50 Sandown – Cuthbert Dibble
2:05 Wolverhampton – Dark Moon Rising
2:25 Sandown – Metier
2:40 Wolverhampton – Tinker Toy
3:00 Sandown – Mercian Omen
3:35 Sandown – Easy As That

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