ITV Racing Tips for Saturday 27th April from Sandown, Haydock and Leicester

Racing jargon

1:50 Sandown

The first of four live races from Sandown is the 1:50, a handicap hurdle for the novice hurdlers over 2 miles. 

The one I like here is SECRET SQUIRREL (8/1) EW. A consistently improving sort who is yet to finish outside the front two over hurdles. I think this test will suit him well, 2 miles on quick ground with plenty of pace on. He certainly doesn’t lack for speed but I do think a decent test at this trip is his optimum based on what we’ve seen. He pulled 20 lengths clear at Taunton with Fire Flyer losing out in a head-bobbing finish on his second to last hurdles start. He put that right with a comfortable victory when we last saw him and a mark of 126 appears well within his reach. Trainer Hughie Morrison has his horses running well at the moment with three winners from his last eight runners.

 

2:05 Leicester 

The one race from Leicester is the 2:05, the King Richard III Cup, a handicap over the mile. 

I believe THUNDER ROAR (9/2) looks sure to run a good race in this. A winner on heavy ground, the underfoot conditions will not be a problem for him. He sneaks in at the bottom of the weights running off 8’4 getting plenty of weight off his chief market rivals. That will be significantly beneficial if conditions remain on the soft side. He was a fine second behind Look Back Smiling in a competitive Doncaster handicap when we last seen him and up 3lb, I’d expect a bold bid again here. Look Back Smiling is effectively 9lb higher without the jockeys claim. 

 

2:25 Sandown

The Grade 2 Oaksey Chase over 2m6f is next up and we have six runners set to go to post. 

It’s HITMAN (3/1) NB for me here. This is his ideal trip, he’s too slow for 2m4f but doesn’t stay 3m. He ran well when chasing home Shishkin two starts ago at Newbury over an extended 2m7f but he did run out of gas late on. I’m happy to draw a line through his Ryanair effort last time out, I’m not convinced the Nicholls horses were running well that week. Hitman now wears first-time blinkers which I expect will sharpen him up. It’s a very winnable Grade 2 and he’ll appreciate the better ground today. 

 

2:45 Haydock

We head up North for the 2:45 at Haydock next, a trappy 7f handicap.

It’s EARLS (10/3) for me here. Gavin Cromwell sends his runner over here after a fine second at the Curragh last time out. Obviously, his runners have to be highly respected coming over here giving his recent record. Earls has form on heavy ground and from stall 1 under Frannie Norton he will be able to get a nice early position. 7f won’t be a problem and his proven form over the mile will be no negative given it may be desperate stuff up North.

 

3:00 Sandown

We have Grade 1 action next, the Celebration Chase over 2m.

I think EL FABIOLO (8/11) will have too much class for this lot today. He is obviously coming here off the back of his pulled up effort at Cheltenham where he made a bad mistake early on that just knocked the stuffing out of him. He’s in the right hands to bounce back being trained by the master Willie Mullins and he wouldn’t be bringing him over if he had any doubts. He’s a better horse than Jonbon and he’s a quicker horse. Nothing else in the line-up appears at their level at this stage of their career. El Fabiolo won his first six chase starts before that effort last time out including a decent victory over Jonbon in the Arkle in 2023. If he jumps average, he should be winning this. 

 

3:35 Sandown

The final race is the Gold Cup Handicap Chase over the extended 3m4f.

The one for me is AMIRITE (7/1) NAP. Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore team up here to try and land this valuable prize and I think they have a right chance. The horse has been crying out for better ground all year and he finally gets it today. He did run well on soft ground over Christmas finishing 5th in a competitive handicap behind Meetingofthewaters. He comes here fresher than most having skipped Cheltenham and Aintree. A mark of 142 looks fair and I can’t see him being far away under ideal conditions with no stamina issues.

 

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