ITV Racing Tips Today from Ascot and Haydock: Saturday 18th December
Today’s ITV racing comes from Ascot and Haydock and Henry has picked out his betting tips from each of the six live races and the current odds for each pick.
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The 1:50 race from Ascot is a Handicap Chase over an extended 2m2f. 11 are set to go to post and its a decent betting race.
The one for me is PALMERS HILL (11/4). Certainly, the most unexposed sort in the line-up in my opinion I was really taken by his victory last time out at Wetherby. He beat Topofthecotswold that day and he ran respectfully in the big handicap chase at Cheltenham last weekend. With further improvement to come, I think he can follow up again today.
The first race on ITV from Haydock is a handicap hurdle over 2m2f where the unexposed Olly Murphy trained Mackelduff heads the market at around 5/2.
I do think MACKELDUFF (11/4) is the best horse in this race and I expect him to win. I was impressed with his win at Aintree in October and he was unlucky to only finish third last time out at Cheltenham. Back on a flat track, I think he’ll prove too good for this lot.
The feature from Ascot is up next and it is The Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle for the stayers over 3m. It’s a wide open renewal and the winner of this race could well go favourite for the Stayers Hurdle in March.
My selection is CHAMP (5/1). A top novice hurdler back in 2019 he looked a horse of real potential. He managed to win the RSA Chase at Cheltenham in 2020 despite jumping issues which shows the engine he has. Last season was a bit of a disaster but I think he’s worth a win only bet in this back over hurdles.
The 2:40 race from Haydock is the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase for the staying chasers. It’s a 3m2f slog on Haydock December ground and stamina will be essential.
The one for me is REMASTERED NAP (5/2). He would have won the Ladbrokes Trophy but a long way in my opinion if he managed to stay up 4 out. He tanked into the race and looked to be full of running when unfortunately coming down. Compensation awaits here off the same mark.
The 3:00 race from Ascot is the Howden Silver Cup Handicap Chase over 3m.
I like PHOENIX WAY EW (14/1) at a price here. If he can return to anywhere near the form of late 2019/early 2020 today I think he can go close off a mark of 140. He’s a bit hit and miss but I think Ascot will suit him well and this will be second run after a wind operation which could prove to be significant.
The 3:35 from Ascot is the Betfair Exchange Trophy. A competitive handicap hurdle over the minimum 2m trip.
My selection in the finale is NO ORDINARY JOE NB (4/1). He done well to finish third in the Greatwood Hurdle given the fact he was so inexperienced and I think that will have done him the world of good moving forward. Prior to that he’d win his last two starts and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t in the mix again here. Nicky Henderson’s horses are coming to the boil at the moment and I think he could round off a great day for him here. He can win races of this nature off his current mark I have no doubt.
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