ITV Racing Tips: Kingwell can make the short trip to Ditcheat

 | February 16 | 

6 mins read

haydock park scaled

Really outstanding ITV Racing output on Saturday, February 17. Ascot and Haydock take centre stage, but we've also got Wincanton's Kingwell Hurdle to enjoy, too.

Cheltenham is looming - we're beyond the halfway point in February, and the Festival kicks off on Tuesday March 12. Needless to say we're all very excited at the prospect, but Saturday is indicative of the fact that there's still loads of great stuff to enjoy between now and then.

Here's the menu, with everything crossed that the weather doesn't get too 'involved.'

13.50 Sodexo Live! Novices' Chase (Registered As The Reynoldstown Novices' Chase);(Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 3m
14.25 Ascot Handicap Hurdle (Class 2); 2m 3½f
15.00 Swinley Handicap Chase (Class1) (Premier Handicap) 3m
15.36 Betfair Ascot Chase (Class 1) (Grade 1) 2m 5f


14.40 Virgin Bet Rendlesham Hurdle Race (Grade 2) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 3m ½f
15.15 Virgin Bet Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) 3m 4½f


14.05 Jennings Bet Kingwell Hurdle (Class 1) (Grade 2) 1m 7f

ITV Racing tips, Saturday

  • 13.50 Ascot - Kilbeg King @ 11/4
  • 14.05 Wincanton - Rubaud @ 5/2
  • 14.25 Ascot - Rambo T each-way @ 15/2
  • 14.40 Haydock - Sounds Russian @ 5/1
  • 15.00 Ascot - Threeunderthrufive @ 4/1
  • 15.15 Haydock - Iron Bridge @ 11/2
  • 15.36 Ascot - Pic D'Orhy @ 2/1

13.50 Ascot - Kilbeg King @ 11/4

A famous old novice chase - the Reynoldstown - named after the dual-National winner. Some fine horses have taken it in the past; the likes of Gold Cup hero Little Owl, Royal Athlete, and One Man.

A small but select field line up, and I like the chances of trainer Anthony Honeyball's Kilbeg King. Ran in the Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day against the French aeroplane Il Est Francais, red-hot for the Turners at the Festival.

The ultimately, sadly ill-fated Hermes Allen was second, and it was a fabulous race. Apple Away rather fell away quite tamely for me at Warwick and I fear Brave Kingdom more. 'Kilbeg' could line up at Prestbury Park himself next month and he should give jockey Sam Twiston-Davies a great spin.

Kilbeg King 13.50 Ascot

14.05 Wincanton - Rubaud @ 5/2

Wincanton? Go with the path of least resistance, and the mighty P Nicholls.

His Ditcheat base is only about 10 miles from the course, and he's unsurprisingly deadly here. There's a lovely pot for this Grade 2 (£41k), and Rubaud has been very consistent and competitive this term, including a win here at this trip.

One of Paul's faithful lieutenants Lorcan Williams, who had a winner at Taunton the other day, rides the horse for the first time and will give him a tremendous thrill, I'm sure.

Rubaud was perhaps a little highly-tried at Chelters last time, as Lossiemouth no less was the hugely impressive victor. Same grade here, but far calmer waters, and the 6-yr-old gelding can resume winning ways for the Shepton Mallett maestro, in this glorious part of the Somerset countryside.

Rubaud 14.05 Wincanton

14.25 Ascot - Rambo T each-way @ 15/2

We're paying FIVE places each-way, so that's the sensible play for me.

Trainer Olly Murphy's string are in prime nick right now (31% strike-rate in the last 14 days), and Rambo T won really well at Newbury last time. The 7-yr-old gelding has been hammered by the handicapper (up 9lb) and his jockey 'gorgeous' Gavin Sheehan is at Haydock.

However, today's pilot Fergus Gregory knows the horse well, and he was very impressive in Berkshire (won by 8.5l). That was a considerable leap in terms of his progression, and though more is needed to defy his new mark he's still an each-way shout for me.

Rambo T Ascot 14.25 each way

14.40 Haydock - Sounds Russian @ 5/1

The Rendlesham - these famous old races keep coming thick and fast. Former winners? How about Baracouda. Monkerhostin. Kasbah Bliss. A cracking staying hurdle.

My selection Sounds Russian hasn't run for the small matter of 337 days. He's a talented staying chaser looking to take this valuable prize over the smaller obstacles, and the big draw for me is that the forecast heavy ground should hold no terrors.

The superb Brian Hughes rides for trainer Ruth Jefferson, and offers in my view a bit of value. Some will be crying 'enough' late in the piece, but not, I hope, this 9-yr-old son of Sholokhov, himself by the mighty Sadler's Wells.

One of the first old adages I came across in racing was that Sadler's Wells-types go well in the soft. He sired Istabraq - he was a bit of alright, eh?

Sounds Russian is steeped in that fabled bloodline, and I can't wait to see how it all pans out on Saturday. They might be finishing at two-minute intervals - ish ...

Sounds Russian 14.40 Haydock

15.00 Ascot - Threeunderthrufive @ 4/1

Paul Nicholls and stable jock Harry Cobden are here at Ascot, and his Threeunderthrufive is looking to improve upon two recent second-placed finishes. Achieved plenty at Chelters the last day in running Broadway Boy close, and he holds Coral Trophy and Grand National entries.

There's a lovely prize for the winner here (£56k), and after just the two spins so far this campaign could be coming beautifully to the boil, for what might just be his targeted Cup Final.

Threeunderthrufive Ascot 15.00

15.15 Haydock - Iron Bridge @ 11/2

The famous Hemmings Racing silks in an extreme staying chase in the north-west. Bring it on.

Iron Bridge represents trainer Jonjo O'Neill and son 'Jonj' is in the plate. He's an 8-yr-old gelding looking to bounce back from a modest showing in the Welsh National at Xmas. He's invariably sparingly campaigned, and Chepstow was his first foray into this kind of territory, distance-wise.

If he's learning we could see a big step up today, and as he's entered up in both the Eider and the Aintree spectacular, this is evidently the direction being taken. We're paying four places each-way, and though Iron Bridge could well be among the favourites, at around 11/2 he's exactly the kind of price where e/w comes into serious consideration.

Iron Bridge 15.15 Haydock

15.36 Ascot - Pic D'Orhy @ 2/1

Another Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden conveyance.

Backed him just over a month ago at Kempton and after looking all over the winner he made a hash of the last and went down narrowly by 1.75l to Banbridge. It was still a marvellous run, and Pic D'Orhy jumped magnificently in the main.

Likely main rival L'Homme Presse can slip in the odd jump to the left, not ideal on a right-hand track, but at least it's a small field. Venetia's star returned from a long absence (391 days) to win at Lingfield last month and is only around a 10/1 chance for the Gold Cup at next month's Festival.

'Pic' has won here before and can serve it up to L'Homme Presse, fingers crossed.

Pic D'Orhy 15.36 Ascot

Enjoy what I'm sure you'll agree is a fantastic afternoon of racing. Good luck if you're playing.

ITV Racing tips from Betfred Insights.

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