ITV Racing Tips for Saturday 28th January from Cheltenham and Doncaster
This weekend’s ITV Racing tips feature five races from Cheltenham Festival trials day and three races from Doncaster – Henry has been through all eight races and picked his betting tips for each race.
The ITV coverage starts at 1.20pm from Cheltenham where the rearranged Clarence House Chase features Energumene as the odds on favourite but if you open a new William Hill account you will get 30/1 for Energumene to win, winning £30 from a £1 stake.
See all the ITV Racing tips for Saturday 28th January below, starting with the 1.20 at Cheltenham.
It’s a brilliant starter on ITV with the re-arranged Grade 1 Clarence House Chase over an extended 2m.
A cracking match-up here between Energumene and Edwardstone. I don’t think there is much between them and for that reason I’m with EDWARDSTONE (2/1) at the prices. Both horses bring proven Grade 1 form to the table and both have won Grade 1s here at last years festival. The new course is more of a stamina test than the old course and in my opinion that does give a slight edge to Edwardstone. His Tingle Creek victory is the best performance this season in my opinion and he’ll have had plenty of schooling since his fall last time out at Kempton so I’m not overly concerned about that.
The 1:50 from Cheltenham is a real competitive handicap chase over an extended 2m4f.
The one for me here is FUGITIF (9/2) for the Richard Hobson stable. It’s been stressed throughout the season that Hobson’s horses are in ten times better form than they were last year and this lad has ran two crackers this season. First up, he was second here at Cheltenham behind the improving Amarillo Sky. That was over 2m, and he appeared to relish the step up in trip when bolting up at Chepstow over Christmas. He’s on a real upward curve and I think this trip round Cheltenham will suit him well.
The first of three races from Doncaster on ITV comes up at 2:05 and first up is the Grade 2 Yorkshire Mares Hurdle over 2m.
It’s a nothing race really from a betting perspective as EPATANTE (2/7) will hose up all being well. She has shown her well-being with two decent efforts behind Constitution Hill this season and back in Grade 2 company against her own sex, you’d be disappointed if she didn’t win on the bridle.
The 2:25 from HQ is the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase over an extended 3m1f.
I’m going with the enigma that is AHOY SENOR (8/1) here at the prices. We all know he’s a horse full of talent but he has his issues. This season hasn’t gone to plan but connections continue to keep the faith. He actually jumped a lot better at Kempton in the King George but just ran out of gas in the home straight. I think he’ll be able to get to the front here today and he has ran a cracker here at Cheltenham before when second in the Brown Advisory last year behind L’Homme Presse. He obviously backed that up with a Grade 1 win at Aintree and things will have to start clicking starting now if he is to justify them Grade 1 spring targets. Today is D Day and this track, trip, ground and race set-up is what he’d want.
The 2:40 contest is the Albert Bartlett River Don Novices Hurdle, a Grade 2 over an extended 3m.
I like GRAND SOIR (9/2) NAP here. Coming over from Ireland, the stable won this last year and it’s obvious they have a live contender this year too. A winner on his last three starts, he stuck to his task well to stay on strongly and win well enough at Thurles last time out. This race is often a real stamina test and they often finish really strung out regardless of the ground. He’s all stamina and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t bang there under these conditions full of confidence on his bid for a four-timer.
The 3:00 is another decent Grade 2, this time the Cleeve Hurdle for the stayers over 3 miles.
It’s GELINO BELLO (9/2) NB for me here. Before falling over fences last time out, he’d won his last 4 starts, 2 over hurdles and 2 over fences over the winter during his novice chase campaign. He now reverts to hurdles and he was one of the top staying novice hurdlers last season. That novice hurdle season did finish with a good Grade 1 win at Aintree last April. His form prior to that ties in well with Blazing Khal who many people fancy for the Stayers Hurdle in March (if he makes it there). The staying hurdling division is weak and lacking a real superstar so you’d be surprised if some of the novices from last year weren’t capable of stepping up. I like the young pretender against his elders here. It wouldn’t be the first time Paul Nicholls puts a chase campaign on hold to revert one for the staying hurdling races.
The 3:15 is a competitive renewal of the Sky Bet Chase.
It’s CAP DU NORD (13/2) for me here. He has a fine record in this race and on his best form, he’d be bound to go very close again off this current mark of 125. He was third off 4lb higher last year. The Christian Williams stable form is a slight concern as he’s had a poor season but normally there is no better trainer at targeting one for this big handicaps. At the prices, I’ll take a win only stab at him
The final race on ITV is a final Grade 2 contest, the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, often used as a trial for the big one in March.
I was really impressed with PEMBROKE (9/4) last time out when winning well under a penalty at Ludlow by 16L. The form wasn’t strong truth be told but the manor of that victory and the one prior to that when winning at Wetherby gave the impression he’s a horse full of potential. I don’t think this is the strongest renewal and I think he can continue improving and make it a hat-trick.
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