ITV Racing Tips: Skeltons take aim at another big pot

 | March 29 | 

6 mins read

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Happy Easter, dear readers. I hope you're enjoying yourselves, whatever it is that you may or may not be doing. Lots of great sport over the weekend to enjoy for those of us that love that kind of thing, and it's great if there's some family stuff you're perhaps involved with, too. Fingers crossed that you're finding some peace, some 'you-time,' in this occasionally potty old world. Whatever floats your boat. We're all SO worth it.

SATURDAY UPDATE - sadly, Musselburgh has fallen victim to the wet weather. Here's what the Racing Post have reported regarding the revisions;

ITV Racing's updated Saturday schedule
1.50 Meydan: UAE Derby (Group 2)
2.05 Haydock: My Pension Expert Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle
2.25 Meydan: Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored by Nakheel (Group 1)
2.40 Haydock: New Racing TV App Challenger Stayers Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle
3.15 Haydock: Unibet Middle Distance Veterans' Handicap Chase Finale
3.30 Cork: Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cork Stakes (Listed)

Such a shame, as the card up in Scotland was high-class and featured several fascinating contests. The following Haydock selections stand, and we hope you enjoy your afternoon all the same.

ITV Racing tips, Saturday

  • 13:50 Musselburgh - Bill's Baar @ 15/2
  • 14:05 Haydock - Playful Saint @ 4/1
  • 14:25 Musselburgh - Northern Express @ 4/1
  • 14:40 Haydock - Astronomic View @ 9/2
  • 15:00 Musselburgh - Vintage Clarets @ 4/1
  • 15:15 Haydock - Thor De Cerisy @ 6/1
  • 15:35 Musselburgh - Metier e/w @ 9/1

Saturday's ITV menu in full;

13:50 Musselburgh Virgin Bet Royal Mile Handicap 1m (Class 3)

14:25 Musselburgh Virgin Bet Silver Arrow Handicap 7f (Class 2)

15:00 Musselburgh Virgin Bet Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap 5f (Class 2)

15:35 Musselburgh Virgin Bet Queen's Cup 1m 6f (Class 2)

14:05 Haydock Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle 1m 7 1/2f (Class 2)

14:40 Haydock Challenger Stayers' Hurdle Final 3m 1/2 f (Class 2)

15:15 Haydock Unibet Veterans' Handicap Chase 2m 4f (Class 2)

Rationale;

At time of writing, heavy ground is forecast for Musselburgh, which will hugely influence my selections. Also I'd suggest not being too heroic with your stakes, as deep ground can throw up some slightly unusual results now and then.

Haydock is listed at present as 'soft,' and that means fairly testing terrain once again. Some horses will of course love it, and be right in their element. Let's see if we can find a few!

13:50 Musselburgh - Bill's Baar @ 15/2

A value shout at a price, mainly on the back of a fine heavy-ground effort last backend at Doncaster (2nd). Only had five career runs so far, for trainer Adrian Keatley, and won his maiden in the autumn at Ripon over 6f.

Stretches out to a mile today, stayed 7f at two, and his sire Alzaam was a speedy type who didn't go beyond 7f in his own career. Only five start so e/w possibilities are severely limited, but he's as likely as most to cope with the ground.

14:05 Haydock - Playful Saint @ 4/1

A valuable handicap hurdle final, and a horse from Team Skelton that was second in heavy ground just 19 days ago after a break of some 366 days. Nine years of age now, but this is a stable that works miracles as standard, especially with good prizes to be had.

Was beaten only 5l in last season's Imperial Cup at Sandown, an ultra-tough test again on heavy, immediately before that break. If he's' back' then count on Harry and Dan to go at least very close to lifting this £25k pot.

Ran off 135 at Sandown and is on 134 today. The stable could hardly be in better order and there's plenty of positives to take.

14:25 Musselburgh - Northern Express @ 4/1

Cracking 7f handicap, and a selection representing two of the north's very best - trainer Jim Goldie and jockey Paul Mulrennan. Northern Express last appeared at York in October and was a very good second over a mile, in this grade.

He goes well on the soft but we'll have to keep our fingers crossed as to his liking, or otherwise, for worse than that. Has won off 99, and is perched on 102 today. I reckon Jim will have him cherry-ripe for this valuable test and he's gone well fresh in the past. Superb contest.

14:40 Haydock - Astronomic View @ 9/2

Trainer Sue Gardner's seven-year-old gelding could hardly be in better form. Absolutely hosed-up last time at Warwick 20 days ago, and steps up a notch today for this tasty £25k first prize.

The horse is wonderfully consistent, and that last effort represented a clear career-best. The price is around that cusp of thinking about e/w, and I wouldn't put anyone off doing just that.

He's got a terrific opportunity in my book to make a significant step up to the more elevated echelons of staying hurdlers. It's a real family success story with jockey Lucy Gardner always on board, and getting a wonderful tune out of this son of Goodwood Cup winner Schiaparelli, an old Godolphin stalwart in the care of Saeed bin Suroor.

15:00 Musselburgh - Vintage Clarets @ 4/1

A five-year-old gelding who has graced many of the better handicap sprints in recent seasons and is a tremendous credit to trainer Richard Fahey. Vintage Clarets was second in this last year, but endured a troubled passage.

That was off 91, and he's up to 97 now courtesy of his subsequent efforts which included four good wins. He's teak-tough, vastly experienced, and goes on the ground. Trainer and jockey need no second invitations to scoop up these good prizes, and I'm expecting a huge run.

15:15 Haydock - Thor De Cerisy @ 6/1

A veterans chase now, and a hat-trick seeker in the care of trainer Neil Mullholland. Jockey Harry Cobden has been on board in one of his previous races and he's re-engaged today, which is tremendously encouraging in my book as Cobden is frankly brilliant.

Thor De Cerisy isn't a prolific scorer but looking at recent Racing Post ratings appears to be genuinely in the best form of his career, at ten. This is a stiff Grade One championship track, with likely very deep ground, but this fella's got plenty to commend him.

Another on the fringes as to whether to go e/w. I'll happily leave that to you.

15:35 Musselburgh - Metier e/w @ 9/1

Last term's Chester Cup winner no less, and a decent-class hurdler too. Metier is an eight-year-old gelded son of the mighty Mastercraftsman, and will appreciate the cobwebs being blown off by running at Sandown a few weeks ago in the Imperial Cup.

Presumably tilts at these big flat distance tests are on the agenda once again for a horse that also won the November Handicap in 2022. We're talking a serious staying CV here.

Won on the Roodee off 97, and is up to 101 now. Fair old ask, but we're paying four places and let's hope he can grab one of them.

If you're playing today have a grand afternoon, take care, and good luck.

ITV Racing tips from Betfred Insights.

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