ITV Racing Tips: A selection for all eight races on Saturday

 | December 15 | 

5 mins read

Cheltenham racecourse

There's eight races - from Cheltenham and Doncaster - live on ITV this Saturday, and I've come up with a selection for each and every one.

I'm predicting a fruitful afternoon for favourite backers...

ITV Racing Tips - Saturday 16 December

  • 13:15 Cheltenham - In Excelsis Deo @ 15/8
  • 13:50 Cheltenham - Thunder Rock @ 7/2
  • 14:05 Doncaster - Mister Who @ 4/1
  • 14:25 Cheltenham - Broadway Boy @ 7/2
  • 14:40 Doncaster - Gin Coco @ 7/2
  • 15:00 Cheltenham - Shanagh Bob @ 7/4
  • 15:15 Doncaster - Sail Away @ 11/2
  • 15:35 Cheltenham - Coquelicot @ 6/1

13:15 Cheltenham - In Excelsis Deo @ 15/8

I'm hoping it's a case of 'start as you mean to go on' here, for In Excelsis Deo is my strongest fancy of the day.

The Harry Fry-trained, JP McManus-owned five-year-old ran a weight-giving blinder behind Thelasthighking (now rated 10lbs higher) to sign off last season and was an extremely eye-catching third in a hot contest on his reappearance over course and distance a couple of months ago.

These are slightly calmer waters and, off just a pound higher, I'm expecting him to be ridden closer to the pace and come home in front.

In Excelsis Deo to win the 13.15 Cheltenham at 15/8

13:50 Cheltenham - Thunder Rock @ 7/2

Next up is the December Gold Cup - a lucrative handicap chase over an extended 2m4f - and for me Thunder Rock is impossible to ignore.

His three-length defeat of the 151-rated Mahler Mission was given a fair boost when the latter was a clear second in the former Hennessy - won by Datsalrightgino who Thunder Rock ran close at Ayr back in April - at Newbury earlier this month.

The selection's mark of 146 is unchanged and, against rivals with questions to answer, Olly Murphy's seven-year-old rates another confident pick.

Thunder Rock to win the 1.50 Cheltenham at 7/2

14:05 Doncaster - Mister Who @ 4/1

The first race aired from Doncaster is a tricky-looking novices' handicap chase over 2m3f, which has attracted nine runners.

Any of them could win this, frankly, but my vote goes to Mister Who.

Toby Lawes' lightly-raced son of Sholokhov made a highly-encouraging debut over fences, behind a seemingly well-handicapped horse for Venetia Williams, at Lingfield last month and has only been raised two pounds, which ought to see him competitive in this company.

Mister Who to win the 14.05 Doncaster at 4/1

14:25 Cheltenham - Broadway Boy @ 7/2

Like Thunder Rock in the prior contest, Broadway Boy is hard to ignore for this 3m2f handicap chase.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' five-year-old looks a serious novice chaser. He was excellent on debut when easily beating subsequent winner Mofasa and he lost nothing in defeat to two-time Stayers' Hurdle champ Flooring Porter at Prestbury Park back in October.

But his most recent effort, when hammering stablemate Weveallbeencaught by 20L in a gruelling novice contest over an extended three miles round here, marked him as a probable Graded horse.

With the extra couple of furlongs and bit of cut in the ground sure to suit, he could be hard to beat off a mark of 146.

Broadway Boy to win the 14.25 Cheltenham at 7/2

14:40 Doncaster - Gin Coco @ 7/2

I think this handicap hurdle over slightly further than the minimum trip is one of the most interesting races of the day.

Rare Edition and Tommy's Oscar are fascinating runners, but I prefer the claims of Gin Coco for Harry Fry.

The seven-year-old won well at Ascot just over three weeks ago and has only been raised four pounds for doing so. The very useful Ben Bromley, who claims 5lbs, means he's essentially racing off a pound lower, which makes him extremely dangerous - especially on ground that continues to dry out.

Gin Coco to win the 14.40 Doncaster at 7/2

15:00 Cheltenham - Shanagh Bob @ 7/4

If there's a proper Graded horse in the G2 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, I think it's Nicky Henderson's Shanagh Bob.

The £200,000 buy was workmanlike on his hurdling debut (over 2m4f) at Plumpton late last month, but he got better the further he went so ought to relish the step up to three miles. He was also very green, so should have learned plenty for the experience too.

He takes on some useful rivals in Destroytheevidence, Illico De Cotte and Cadell, but none look to have the scope he does and I imagine there will be some pretty stern faces if he's not up to winning this.

Shanagh Bob to win the 15.00 Cheltenham at 7/4

15:15 Doncaster - Sail Away @ 11/2

The penultimate race in front of the ITV cameras on Saturday is a three-mile handicap chase with 11 hopefuls.

I like Dan Skelton's Sail Away. He was disappointing, but certainly not disgraced, on his reappearance and first run since a wind op in what was a competitive affair at Newbury a fortnight ago, but like many of the yards runners this season he should come on bundles for it.

Dropped a pound by the handicapper and with the very useful 3lb claim of Fergus Gillard, he must have every chance of beating the likes of Forward Plan - again - and third-season novice Mister Coffey.

Sail Away to win the 15.15 Doncaster at 11/2

15:35 Cheltenham - Coquelicot @ 6/1

Finally, I'm suggesting Anthony Honeyball's Coquelicot in the finale - a mares' handicap hurdle over 2m4½f.

I really hope Rex Dingle does exactly what he did the last day, when the seven-year-old beat Dan Skelton's highly-regarded Kateira by a comfortable six lengths, and makes all. Her record when doing so is near-perfect.

This is a competitive race, but she's well worth a couple of quid at that price.

Coquelicot to win the 15.35 Cheltenham at 6/1

Tune in every Saturday for ITV Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

Share Article

(Visited 282 times, 1 visits today)