Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s slick Saturday picks for ITV Racing

Frank's view on Saturday's action at Haydock and Ascot.

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Saturday’s racing tips

12.05 Haydock – Bowenspark
13:30 Ascot – Pic D’Orhy
13:50 Haydock – Grey Dawning
14:05 Ascot – Theatre Glory
14:20 Haydock – Dubrovnik Harry
15:00 Haydock – Bravemansgame
15:15 Ascot – Frere D’Armes 
15:35 Haydock – Docpickedme

*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.

12.05 Haydock – Bowenspark

Henry Daly’s runner had excellent form in bumpers winning twice and a fine fourth at Aintree. BOWENSPARK was one of my novice hurdlers to follow in the UK this season. He made an impressive hurdles debut at Stratford when heavily punted from 6/4 into 4/9 and won by 11 lengths. This is a good race with Making Headway, Kamsinas and Primoz are all very useful.

13:30 Ascot – Pic D’Orhy

Shishkin wears cheekpieces for the first time and they might sharpen him up but 2m5f around here on decent ground might find him out, especially given how he raced last season, often only getting going very late on.

PIC D’ORHY was very progressive last season and his only defeat was here in the Grade 1 Ascot Chase when second to Shishkin. He did win his Grade 1 at Aintree in the Melling Chase and should be drilled for this. He is the reason Harry Cobden rides at Ascot and Daryl Jacob has been given the ride on Bravemansgame at Haydock.

13:50 Haydock – Grey Dawning

Gaillard Du Mesnil carries an 11lb penalty and while he has a solid overall profile, he might be vulnerable first time out. The drop back to 2m5f around Haydock on ground that isn’t testing might just catch him out conceding 11lb to GREY DAWNING and 18lb to Apple Away.

Grey Dawning was beaten on his hurdles debut last season at Aintree but then won three on the bounce, including the Grade 2 Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick, before going off 5/1 falling around half-way in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle that Apple Away won.

He made a nice chase debut at Exeter a couple of weeks ago when third to Stay Away Fay and Dan Skelton’s team appear to need their first run this autumn, so we can expect him to take a step forward from that.

14:05 Ascot – Theatre Glory

Quite progressive last season when placing in a strong Kempton handicap off a mark of 137 and also when winning a Listed mares hurdle at Warwick over 2m5f. She finished the season when third at Sandown behind Knappers Hill and Goshen on soft ground. Better conditions now will suit as she has an almost flawless record on good ground. Just a six-year-old with only 10 starts over hurdles, there is every chance THEATRE GLORY will improve again this season.

14:20 Haydock – Dubrovnik Harry

DUBROVNIK HARRY was a good third in the EBF Final in 2022 behind the winner Complete Unknown (won off 126, now rated 152 over fences) and second-place Market Sands (off 119, won a listed hurdle last year and is rated 143 over fences now).

He disappointed on chase debut last year and in two starts back over hurdles, but was much better at Cheltenham in the Pertemps qualifier when a never nearer fourth (just beaten six lengths) and off the same mark of 125 again, should improve for the run back in a race where Paddy is paying the five places each-way.

Another of interest is Carbon King off a mark of 126. He pulled up on both starts for Evan Williams over two miles on fairly decent ground but was progressive in handicaps for Declan Queally when trained in Ireland. He once hammered Buddy One at Limerick by 12 lengths off a mark of 96 over a 2m5f trip. Going back up in trip will suit and worth a small each-way play to regain some form at what should be a big price.

15:00 Haydock – Bravemansgame

Paul Nicholls’ King George VI winner and Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up wasn’t fully drilled for the Charlie Hall Chase last time, getting chinned by Irish raider Gentlemansgame, after a final fence blunder. He should strip fitter here. Protektorat won this impressively last year but did only beat Eldorado Allen when A Plus Tard flopped. If BRAVEMANSGAME runs anywhere near his best he should win.

15:15 Ascot – Frere D’Armes

Boothill won this last year off a 15lb lower mark and was raised 6lb for his win here at the start of the month. Saint Segal has his chance and will improve for the run last month but FRERE D’ARMES shaped really well here at the beginning of November, travelling really well until a mistake two out knocked the stuffing out of him.

Last year he looked exceptional when beating Haddex Des Obeaux at Kempton off a mark of 120 and followed up at Newbury off 128, beating the likes of Aucunrisque, Datsalrightgino, Balco Coastal and Straw Fan Jack fairly comfortably. Tristan Durrell takes off 5lb and with £65k to the winner, Dan Skelton probably has had his eye on this prize since the end of last season.

15:35 Haydock – Docpickedme

DOCPICKEDME proved a strong stayer for Harry Whittington, winning handicaps off marks of 119 & 125 last season over hurdles but had won over fences the previous season for him too. Started off for Richard Hobson at Warwick and was well backed when caught near the line by the well-handicapped Enqarde. Docpickedme has gone up 3lb for that Warwick run but is still only seven and could improve plenty this season.

Saturday’s racing tips

13:30 Ascot – Pic D’Orhy
13:50 Haydock – Grey Dawning
14:05 Ascot – Theatre Glory
14:20 Haydock – Dubrovnik Harry
15:00 Haydock – Bravemansgame
15:15 Ascot – Frere D’Armes 
15:35 Haydock – Docpickedme

*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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