ITV Racing Tips: Evies can make the journey worthwhile

 | March 15 | 

4 mins read

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Hello, dear reader. One or two 'noises off' about the Cheltenham Festival this week - muddy car parks and steep admission prices featured here and there - but what about the racing? Totally, stupendously, magnificently spectacular. Brilliant. Breathtaking. Thank you, to all those who made it possible. 

ITV cameras relocate from the Cotswolds to both Sunbury-on-Thames and Staffordshire on Saturday for some compelling contests in their own right - with the Midlands Grand National being the undoubted highlight. 

ITV Racing tips Saturday

  • 13:35 Kempton - Beau Balko @ 2/1
  • 13:50 Uttoxeter - Monviel each-way @ 15/2
  • 14:10 Kempton - Boombawn each-way @ 7/1
  • 14:25 Uttoxeter - Hititi each-way @ 11/1
  • 14:45 Kempton - Flegmatic @ 5/2
  • 15:00 Uttoxeter - My Silver Lining each-way @ 6/1
  • 15:35 Uttoxeter - Evies Vladimir @ 5/2

Today's race menu in detail;

13:35 Kempton Try Unibet's New Acca Boosts Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3) 2m 2f

13:50 Uttoxeter Never Ordinary At bet365 Handicap Hurdle (Class 3) 2m 3f

14:10 Kempton Read Nicky Henderson's Exclusive Unibet Blog Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) 2m 5f

14:25 Uttoxeter bet365 Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) 2m 7.5f

14:45 Kempton Unibet New And Improved Bet Builder Handicap Chase (Class 2) 2m 4f

15:00 Uttoxeter bet365 Midlands Grand National Handicap Chase (Class 1) (Premier Handicap) 4m 2f

15:35 Uttoxeter bet365 Novices' Handicap Chase (Class 2) 3m

The rationale;

13:35 Kempton - Beau Balko @ 2/1

Decent Class 3 novices' handicap chase, small field, and an in-form six-year-old gelding in the hands of Paul Nicholls.

Beau Balko won last time at Musselburgh with a degree of comfort in handicap company. Drops back into a novice handicap here with for me a very clear winning opportunity.

The French-bred has been with Paul since October '22 and has contributed three wins to the Ditcheat scoreboard.

13:50 Uttoxeter - Monviel each-way @ 15/2

A deep-ground, mid-distance handicap hurdle, and a selection looking to get his career back on track. With Philip Hobbs until October '23, and first-up for new trainer Harry Derham he produced a career-best.

That was a 'chase, in heavy ground, and his last run in February (Ascot) was over timber (beaten 14l). Monviel goes in this ground, he's with a progressive, up-and-coming handler, and he's still only seven.

I'm playing each-way, and only to small stakes. I've a feeling Harry will find the key to him before too long and I don't want to miss it if/when it happens!

14:10 Kempton - Boombawn each-way @ 7/1

Another e/w shout, and we're paying four places. Boombawn represents the Cheltenham heroes Dan and Harry Skelton, and hasn't appeared since lifting a decent hurdle at around this trip at Aintree last April.

The seven-year-old Dylan Thomas gelding is admirably consistent and though he might be getting his eye in for another Aintree date in a few weeks, he certainly has the talent to get among the places at least. Only 3lb higher than for that last win.

14:25 Uttoxeter - Hititi each-way @ 11/1

Another e/w play (must be getting sensible in my old age), and a seven-year-old gelding carrying the steadier of 12st. Claimer Angus Cheleda reduces the burden by a handy 5lb, and he's earned his mark with a series of very creditable, consistent displays.

He's sneaking up the handicap courtesy of those ultra-consistent efforts and deserves to lift a good pot like this - in excess of £50,000 to the winner. He's on the improve, and must produce a career-best, but we're paying five places and he's got a very bright chance of being bang there.

Hititi has handled Sandown's teak-tough hill in deep ground, and there are no onerous contours of that magnitude here.

14:45 Kempton - Flegmatic @ 5/2

We're rowing in with Team Skelton once again with the nine-year-old gelding Flegmatic, a course-and-distance scorer who ran very well here in the Coral Trophy last month (Grade 2).

Runs off 140 today and prior to that last spin took one of these, here, off 137. Runner-up? Chianti Classico, emphatic Ultima hero at the Festival the other day. Superb form-line.

Gilt-edged chance in my book, for an in-form team.

15:00 Uttoxeter - My Silver Lining each-way @ 6/1

Highly-consistent eight-year-old Emma Lavelle-trained mare with James Best on board, for this Midlands Grand National. My Silver Lining has a reasonable racing weight of 10st 9lb, and she ran a blinder last month behind Yeah Man at Haydock over another extreme trip, in deep ground.

She took a valuable prize at Warwick in January and this pilot gets along especially well with her. She's game and genuine and deserves her spot in this field. Four places e/w, and that's exactly where we're headed.

15:35 Uttoxeter - Evies Vladimir @ 5/2

My cat is called Evie, but I can assure you I'd fancy it anyway. Honest. Evies Vladimir is a raider from Gavin Cromwell's Navan base, and will be ridden by the excellent Keith Donoghue.

Not at his very best arguably last month at Naas, but prior to that, returning from a 517 days break, he returned four superb finishes, including two wins, from November to February.

He's excelled at places like Fairyhouse, a proper top-notch championship track, and though he's got plenty on his plate off a mark of 125, he's from a very powerful yard and doubtless isn't travelling for the air miles.

If you're playing, have fun, and good luck. We had winners and e/w selections whizz in for us at Cheltenham, so let's hope we can hit the target or get close again today.

ITV Racing tips, from Betfred Insights.

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