ITV Racing Tips for Saturday 4th November from Wetherby and Ascot
The first race from Wetherby is a handicap chase over the extended 2m3f trip.
I like LADRONNE (15/2) here in this. The winner of this race last year off 109, he looks primed to go well off 115 this time round. He’s technically off 110 with jockey William Shanahan takes a valuable 5lb off. There is plenty of pace on here and with the ground on the heavy side, I think the stamina strengths of Ladronne can come to the fort here. He comes here on the back of a wind operation which could squeeze other further improvement and I’d expect the Collier stable to have him ready for this given the fact he won it last year.
The first of four races from Ascot comes up at 1:30 and it is a novice handicap chase over 2m3f.
It’s SCARFACE (13/2) I like here. He makes his chase debut on this competitive affair but he has always looked a natural chaser and anything over hurdles was always going to be a bonus. He’s a previous winner here at Ascot on the hurdles course and he won first time up at Plumpton last season so I’d be hopeful he can put up a bold display on seasonal reappearance. With it being his chase debut in a handicap, he runs off his hurdles mark of 126 and I’m sure connections will be expecting him to prove better than that. The Tizzard stable have been amongst the winners to start the season too.
Next up at Wetherby is an intriguing renewal of the listed class bet365 mares hurdle over 2 miles.
It’s KATEIRA (9/4) NB I like in this race. She’s a really progressive sort that won her first two novice hurdle races last season before running a fine second at Grade 1 level at Aintree. You Wear It Well was back in 5th there. She’s a winner on soft ground and over the 2 mile trip which is encouraging and the fact she gets weight off her two chief rivals, she’ll do for me.
The 2:05 from Ascot is a decent wide-open handicap chase over 2m1f.
It’s FIRST FLOW (8/1) for me here. The class angle in this competitive handicap, he was last seen finishing a fine second not beaten far by Hewick at Sandown last time out at Grade 2 level. He has a good record when fresh including a victory in 2021 and a fine third last season. Jockey David Bass will likely go from the front and make this a decent test given he’s proven over further. If he jumps as well as we’ve seen him jump around here in the past, he may well get a lot of his rivals into trouble down the back straight. It’s also interesting that Bass has come here over Wetherby which has to be a positive.
The 2:25 race is the turn of the staying hurdles as the bet365 hurdle over 3m takes centre stage.
It’s THYME HILL (15/8) NAP for me here back over hurdles. A proven Grade 1 performer over both hurdles and chases, he returns to action with the Hobbs stable in flying form to start the campaign which is highly encouraging. He’s the best horse in the race and his main rival Dashel Drasher is nearly 11 which has to be a negative. He has a great record fresh and this is the weakest race he’ll have ran in for a long time.
The feature from Wetherby comes up at 3:00 and it is the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase over 3m.
It’s GENTLEMANSGAME (5/1) for me here. He’s obviously hugely talented and the problem for trainer Mouse Morris has been keeping him fit. He’s only had two chase runs but they’ve been highly encouraging. The first of those was an 8 length romp over Irish National winner I Am Maximus. He then returned to action for the season at Gowran Park last time out finishing a staying on second over an inadequate 2m4f trip. That will have put him spot on for this and stepping back up to 3 miles is what he wants. The final positive is the fact he gets 6lb off both Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor.
It’s back to Ascot for the 3:15 and we have a 2 mile handicap hurdle.
I’ll chance BAD (8/1) here off a mark of 122 given his French form on deep ground. He was well fancied on his stable debut when being pitched into the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival. He went off a well-backed 5/1 off a mark of 126 which suggests connections know he’s got a decent pot in him off this mark. He finished mid-division there and again at Ascot last time out but ran keen on both occasions. If jockey Kielan Woods can get him settled early, he can definitely go close off this mark.
The final race from Wetherby comes up at 3:35 and it is a trappy handicap hurdle over the extended 2m3f.
It’s RAFFERTYS RETURN (8/1) EW I’ve landed on here. A previous winner here when fresh, he has a fine record here at Wetherby with two victories and two second placed efforts from 5 starts here over hurdles and chases. He’s the likely pace angle in this and I’d hope he can get into a nice rhythm from the front here and prove a tough nut to crack.
The final race of the day coverage is another decent competitive handicap chase, this time over the 3 mile trip.
I’ve landed on ZHIGULI (16/1) EW for the Gary Moore team here. The Gary Moore stable target this meeting and do well here all the time. Zhuguli definitely has races in his off this mark of 128 and the ground couldn’t be deep enough for him. Again, he’s a previous winner on seasonal return which I like and a weight of 10’2 in a race of this nature looks ideal as it’s going to be a slog for all of them.
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