Alan Kelly: Saturday Selections For ITV Racing

The Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase Heads ITV’s Coverage of 7 Races on Saturday Afternoon

Storm Eunice permitting, ITV’s Horse Racing coverage on Saturday afternoon features the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase, a decent trial for next month’s Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival for which eight horses have been declared, including Joseph O’Brien’s Irish challenger Fakir D’oudairies.

The seven races covered also includes a trio of Grade 2 races, Ascot’s Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase, Haydock’s Rendlesham Hurdle, along with the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, all of which could provide a few clues towards next month’s festival. While on the handicap front, several hopefuls will endeavour to enhance their claims for the world’s most famous steeplechase in Haydock’s Grand National Trial Handicap Chase.

Horse Racing Tips for all 7 Races Covered by ITV

1.50pm Ascot. 3pm

Our Tip: Corach Rambler – 7/2 with bet365

With Annual Invictus possibly preferring better ground and the Kim Bailey-trained Does He Know not having raced since last November, along with the 3lb he has to concede to his five rivals, this Grade 2 novices’ chase may well be fought-out by the two Scottish raiders, Corach Rambler and Doyen Breed.

Sandy Thomson’s charge has done little wrong in three runs over fences. But the Lucinda Russell-trained son of Jeremy has looked the stouter stayer of the pair and may be better suited to the expected testing conditions.

2.05pm Haydock. 3 1/2f

Our Tip: Molly Ollys Wishes – 9/4 with Coral

Hard to rule any of the six runners out of this extended 3m staying hurdle. Thomas Derby and Third Wind both have to concede weight to their rivals. So with the mares’ allowance to help her, the Dan Skelton-trained Molly Ollys Wishes is fancied to come out on top.

The mare has won six of her 15 starts over hurdles, all on soft or heavy ground, and a repeat of her easy victory at Ascot last month should see her go close.

2.25pm Ascot. 3m

Our Tip: Ask Me Early – 7/2 with bet365

Forced to miss the Welsh Grand National following a mishap while being prepared for the race, Harry Fry’s unexposed grey chaser can gain some compensation with a victory in this valuable contest off what looks a reasonable mark of 139. Thorough stayer Fortesque could prove the main danger.

2.40pm Haydock. 3m 4 1/2f

Our Tip: Bristol De Mai (e.w.) – 15/2 with Paddy Power

Despite having to shoulder top weight of 11st 12lb, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ course specialist has his ideal conditions once again and in a race which could prove something of a war of attrition, is fancied to outpoint last season’s Welsh Grand National winner Secret Reprieve.

3.00pm Ascot. 2m 3 1/2f

Our Tip: Good Risk At All – 2/1 with bet365

Despite a field of 13 for this handicap hurdle, the Sam Thomas-trained Good Risk At All should take plenty of beating on the lightly-raced six-year-old’s second start in a handicap.

No match for the exciting Jonbon in a Newbury maiden hurdle last November, the mount of Charlie Deutsch was still beaten only six lengths off level weights and may have been a little unlucky on his handicap debut at Warwick last month, going down narrowly after not enjoying the best of runs.

A handicap mark of 127 appears very enticing for a horse who can do nothing but improve.

3.20pm Wincanton. 1m 7f

Our Tip: Adagio – 11/8 with BetVictor

Only four runners for this Champion Hurdle trial which looks to rest between the enigmatic Goshen and the David Pipe-trained Adagio. Preference is for the latter who, unlike his main rival, is a model of consistency and in receipt of 3lb can book his place in the main event on Tuesday 15th March.

3.35pm Ascot. 2m 5f

Our Tip: Waiting Patiently (e.w.) – 20/1 with William Hill

An open renewal of this Grade 1 contest which is run over the distance of 2m 5f. All of the eight runners can be given a chance on their best form, including Irish raider Fakir D’oudairies. But at a big price it could be worth taking a chance on the ex Ruth Jefferson inmate Waiting Patiently, now in the care of trainer Christian Williams.

Winner of this race in 2018, the 11-year-old hold-up performer is capable of causing an upset, especially if the leaders go off too quickly in the testing conditions.