ITV Racing Tips: Gorgeous Gav for National glory

 | 19th April | 

8 mins read

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It's a quite brilliant afternoon of racing in front of the ITV cameras on Saturday. Hard on the heels of the Aintree spectacular we have the Scottish Grand National from Ayr, plus four cracking supporting contests. Meanwhile, the flat season continues to develop beautifully with a stellar quartet of heats from Newbury, including a Group 3 trio (John Porter, Fred Darling and The Greenham).

Nine fantastic races all told to savour, and enjoy. Fingers crossed then for our ITV Racing tips, and if you're playing, as always, have fun and take care. What a wonderful time of the sporting year this is; outstanding action wherever you look, and for the sport of kings, the likes of Chester and York are just around the corner. Heaven.

ITV Racing tips Saturday

  • 13:15 Ayr - Sans Bruit @ 11/4
  • 13:30 Newbury - Hamish @ 3/1
  • 13:50 Ayr - Hitching Jacking each-way @ 15/2
  • 14:05 Newbury - Relief Rally @ 5/2
  • 14:25 Ayr - Afadil each-way @ 12/1
  • 14:40 Newbury - Mister Sketch each-way @ 10/1
  • 15:00 Ayr - Coco Mademoiselle @ 9/2
  • 15:15 Newbury - Godwinson each-way @ 11/1
  • 15:35 Ayr - Git Maker each-way @ 7/1

Full ITV programme of events;

13:15 Ayr Scotty Brand Handicap Chase 2m

13:30 Newbury Dubai Duty Free John Porter Stakes 1m 4f

13:50 Ayr CPMS Novices' Champion Handicap Chase 3m

14:05 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Fred Darling Stakes 7f

14:25 Ayr Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle 2m

14:40 Newbury Watership Down Greenham Stakes 7f

15:00 Ayr Coral Seafield Trophy Mares' Hurdle 3m 1/2f

15:15 Newbury OLBG Spring Cup 1m

15:35 Ayr Coral Scottish Grand National 4m

Two cracking winners in yesterday's e/w Ayr Lucky 15 (9/2, 11/4) showed a modest profit, so we're in half-reasonable nick.


13:15 Ayr - Sans Bruit @ 11/4

The criminally-underused Bryony Frost demonstrated her brilliance as a front-runner at Cheltenham the other day (Pretending, for Lucy Wadham). Could be that another beautifully-timed treat is on the cards here as she rides Sans Bruit for Paul Nicholls.

The Ditcheat handler is locked in a thrilling battle for the domestic Trainers' Championship with Dan Skelton and, wait for it, Willie Mullins. Yes, the genius from County Carlow has a narrow lead, helped considerably by I Am Maximus taking the Grand National last week.

He's sending horses across the water in an all-out bid for a first UK title, including Uncle Phil in Saturday's opener. He races in the famous colours of Mrs Donnelly (Sir Gino, State Man, Shishkin etc), and could well be a rival for the early lead.

However - Sans Bruit gets 10lb from Willie's raider, and nine days ago at Aintree produced a big career-high, making all in style to take a well-endowed Grade 3.

He's up 10lb for that, a measure of how impressive he was, and at just six years of age the French-bred can continue on his upward curve. The Skeltons field a fascinating challenger themselves in Pembroke, who had a wind procedure after his last spin at Kempton in February.

Only six start, but what a race; and I'm with the outstanding Bryony.

Sans Bruit 13.15 Ayr

13:30 Newbury - Hamish @ 3/1

Eight years young, and still a potent force to be reckoned with. Hamish is a great credit to trainer William Haggas, and as he goes exceptionally well fresh I'm hoping he can bag the John Porter on his seasonal reappearance. He's bred to be smart - by Derby winner Motivator - and is.

Likes some cut, so will be hoping the present forecast of good-to-soft at the very least doesn't veer towards any better than that - worse would ideal. He gets a bit further, always a plus, and has won a bagful of Group 3 races in recent years. I'm thinking another is bang there for the taking on Saturday.

He didn't run at two, so perhaps has slightly less miles on the clock than the average horse of his age. Arrest and Al Qareem are worthy adversaries, and this should be an absolute cracker.

Hamish 13.30 Newbury

13:50 Ayr - Hitching Jacking each-way @ 15/2

I'd be surprised if the Skeltons leave empty-handed today and I'm plumping here for their Hitching Jacking. We're four places each-way, so that's the way I'm playing this one.

The presence of notably Willie's old hero Sharjah sees lots of these carrying attractive-looking weights, including our selection (10st 6lb). The seven-year-old gelding ran well at Kempton last time after a break, not quite getting into the contest. He's been dropped a pound for that, and he's fairly unexposed at this 3m trip.

Wide-open affair for me, with modest stakes recommended.

Hitching Jacking 13.50 Ayr

14:05 Newbury - Relief Rally @ 5/2

Mr Haggas again, and his retained jock Tom Marquand, he of the occasional, audacious winning spells in Australia. Relief Rally is a three-year-old Kodiac filly who won the Lowther at York's Ebor meet when last seen in August.

She beat Cherry Blossom on the Knavesmire, and that filly went on to run third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf sprint at Santa Anita. She also took a big sales prize here in July, easily, marking her out as a very promising type indeed. That was not just restricted to her own sex either, so all the more meritorious.

She stretches out to 7f here, and the jury is probably out as to how that's going to pan out. She wasn't stopping at York but that is a very flat 6f. She's not in the 1000 Guineas but if she sluiced up here, a supplementary entry could be considered? The Kodiac breeding factor is unclear to me, and we won't really know until Saturday afternoon.

It's a fantastic contest and bar a nose defeat in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot she's unbeaten. Fingers crossed she's wintered well, can roar home late, and mow 'em down!

Relief Rally 14.05 Newbury

14:25 Ayr - Afadil each-way @ 12/1

I've become very fond of this little beauty in recent weeks. Won the Scottish County Hurdle at Musselburgh, ran a blinder in Cheltenham's version the following month, then placed in the Alder Hey at Aintree.

Afadil can race prominently, or be held up. It's trainer Paul Nicholls again, with the talented claimer Freddie Gingell engaged, who gets along so well with the horse.

Scored here impressively at this meeting last year and can reward e/w support (we're paying four places) while in such great heart.

Afadil 14.25 Ayr

14:40 Newbury - Mister Sketch each-way @ 10/1

The Greenham - and 7f for the colts/geldings this time around. I've gone for Mister Sketch, e/w, with champion Will Buick on board for trainer Eve Johnson Houghton.

Just the three runs at two, including a brace at this very track. One 9l win, and two defeats by a neck and half-a-length confirm his promise, and the last run here over 6f on heavy (2nd) emphasised the potential to stretch out.

He acts with cut in the ground, and his sire Territories won a Group 1 in France over a mile. He progressed for each of those three runs last term and the booking of Buick looks significant. Would have been interesting to see an O'Brien raider in the mix but it's a nice race and I'm very hopeful.

Mister Sketch 14.40 Newbury

15:00 Ayr - Coco Mademoiselle @ 9/2

I'm worshipping at the altar of Team Skelton once again with Coco Mademoiselle. She's a six-year-old daughter of the mighty Doyen, and took a novice last time at Chepstow with the minimum of fuss, even allowing for making a thorough mess of the second-last.

She's very consistent and shows ability frequently. Looks unexposed to me and could well be better than her mark of 121. Goes on deeper ground, which she looks sure to get here. £23k to the winner, and all three of the title-chasers are after it - Willie runs three!

Coco Mademoiselle Ayr 15.00

15:15 Newbury - Godwinson each-way @ 11/1

Another super-competitive affair, as several Lincoln runners come down to Berkshire in search of a good prize (£36k). Godwinson is yet another Haggas/Marquand conveyance, a four-year-old gelded son of Saxon Warrior.

He didn't run at two, and has had just three starts in all. Won his maiden nicely over 9f at Hamilton, in between decent efforts at Nottingham, and Kempton. He's in an early-closing Heritage Handicap at HQ in a few weeks over 9f and with just 8st 7lb here should really be a danger to all if stripping fit and ready.

We're five places each-way, and that's a plan in my book.

Godwinson 15.15 Newbury

15:35 Ayr - Git Maker each-way @ 7/1

The Scottish Grand National, and a pot of over £100k to the winner. Jockey Gavin Sheehan has become quite the go-to guy for the big occasion so often in recent times, and he's on board Jamie Snowden's eight-year-old gelding on Saturday.

Git Maker ran an excellent race to be second to Inothewayurthinkin at the Cheltenham Festival (Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir), and that outstanding horse has since gone in at Aintree in the Mildmay Novices'. The form could hardly be hotter then, and he was a mile clear of the third.

He's in the form of his life, ideal age, and carries a very low weight (10st 3lb - I doubt Gav will be having a full Scottish breakfast on Saturday). He's ticking a stack of boxes, everything looks set fair for a big challenge, and we're paying six places each-way.

It's always a terrific spectacle and Willie is adding to that in spades this time around by fielding six! Total respect to them all, especially Macdermott, but I wouldn't swap Git Maker for any of them. Sheehan knows him very well and big-race 'Gorgeous' Gav can snaffle another massive prize.

Git Maker 15.35 Ayr

ITV Racing tips from Betfred Insights.

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