ITV Racing Tips: Rossa lines up the Lincoln trial

 | March 08 | 

6 mins read

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Not many sleeps until ... but in the meantime, dear reader, we've got a cracking afternoon of live ITV racing to enjoy this Saturday March 9, including the traditional pre-Cheltenham treat that is Sandown's Imperial Cup.

Three great winners from effectively only seven selections last week as two didn't run, so we're in decent nick.

ITV Racing tips, Saturday

  • 13:50 Sandown - Asta La Pasta @ 5/1
  • 14:25 Sandown - Faivoir each-way @ 10/1
  • 14:40 Wolverhampton - Shouldvebeenaring @ 5/4
  • 15:00 Sandown - Crazierthandaisy each-way @ 11/1
  • 15:15 Wolverhampton - Kingdom Come @ 5/1
  • 15:35 Sandown - Invincible Nao @ 11/2

Four contests then from Esher, plus two from Wolverhampton's Tapeta all-weather surface.

The brace from Dunstall Park firmly herald the beyond-welcome presence of spring - the Listed Wulfruna Stakes, and a trial for the Lincoln Handicap. Fingers crossed then that the weather has done its worst and it's proverbially nothing but blue skies, from now on.

As I believe they say at moments like this - get in!

This afternoon's menu, with race details;

13:50 Sandown European Breeders' Fund Betfair "National Hunt" Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final (Premier H'cap) (Class 1) (2m 4f)
14:25 Sandown Betfair Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (2m)
15:00 Sandown British Stallion Studs EBF Mares' Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed Race) (Class 2) (2m)
15:35 Sandown Betfair Serial Winners Fund Novices' Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (Class 1) (2m 4f)

14:40 Wolverhampton BetMGM Lady Wulfruna Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1) (7f)
15:15 Wolverhampton BetMGM Lincoln Trial Handicap (Class 2)(1m ½f)

My selections;

13:50 Sandown - Asta La Pasta @ 5/1

Heavy ground - and looking to finish with purpose up Sandown's unforgiving hill is going to be tough. No place then for the faint of heart, stamina-wise.

Asta La Pasta is with team Skelton in Warwickshire, and the yard are having winners ahead of both today, and that little gathering in the Cotswolds next week. This six-year-old Walk In The Park gelding takes a step up in class but won well here over half-a-mile less in December on, crucially, heavy ground.

He has to cope on Saturday with both the extra distance and decidedly hotter company, but looks progressive. Four wins from seven career starts is highly encouraging and this is a potentially exciting novice hurdler bearing down upon a mouth-watering, £45k first prize.

Terrific chance for me, and if the price stays around its current mark a shrewd each-way play could be considered, too.

Asta La Pasta Sandown 13.50

14:25 Sandown - Faivoir each-way @ 10/1

It's those Skeltons again - trainer Dan and jockey Harry - and a horse entered-up in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham on Friday. A handsome bonus awaits the winner here IF, and it's a big if, they can also land a race at the Festival next week.

Our selection Faivoir has the opportunity to do just that. Ran a smashing race at Newbury a month ago in the Betfair Hurdle, 9l away from winner Iberico Lord, and importantly was staying-on, in the kind of deep ground he'll encounter today.

An amateur claimer rode the nine-year-old Coastal Path gelding last time and Harry, one of the very best in the business, takes over today. Faivoir has been rated as highly as 145 in the past and lines up off 136 on Saturday. If he's back to his best they'll all have to watch out, and that bonus could well be in peril.

I've already nominated him as a lively outsider for the Festival next week - if he wins here I guess his price for Friday will collapse, but I'd still be absolutely delighted if that were to be the case!

He's an each-way price today as I write, and as we're paying five places that's exactly the way I'm going.

Faivoir each-way 14.25 Sandown

14:40 Wolverhampton - Shouldvebeenaring @ 5/4

Seven-furlong Listed action, and a selection with plenty in hand on official ratings. Shouldvebeenaring runs in the Middleham Park silks and is trained by Richard Hannon.

Sean Levey is an integral part of the yard, knows the horse well, and takes the mount. The four-year-old-old Havana Grey gelding excels at 6f/7f, and is extremely consistent.

Arrives here having been placed in two Group 1 tests last backend, at Longchamp and Haydock, and if returning from a 160-day break in decent nick is surely the one they all have to beat.

Makes a first visit to Wolves but has won on Southwell's Tapeta surface, and will encounter similar here. Famous last words and all that, but for me it's his to lose, and the present odds-against is definitely a bonus.

Shoulvebeenaring Wolverhampton 14.40

15:00 Sandown - Crazierthandaisy each-way @ 11/1

I'm going for a five-year-old Walk In The Park mare, trained by the great Nicky Henderson, with Nico up top. Just the one run so far, a close-up third at Huntingdon in a similar event, and it was 11l back to the fourth.

This is all about promise really, and the standing of her trainer. She had an entry at Stratford too on Monday but if she rocks up here one has to think she can play a part. It looks a tough race, and I'm definitely going each-way, to small stakes.

Her dam is by Assessor who excelled on deep ground himself and has sired many good NH horses, including Reve De Sivola.

Crazierthandaisy Sandown 15.00 each-way

15:15 Wolverhampton - Kingdom Come @ 5/1

The prolific winning-machine Rossa Ryan (28% strike-rate over the last fortnight) rides for trainer Clive Cox, renewing a partnership last seen just over a week ago at Lingfield.

Kingdom Come was 3rd there in a similar contest on just his second run after a 224-day break dating back to July last year. The five-year-old Kingman gelding was running on at the finish and gets an extra half-furlong here in this Lincoln trial, which looks sure to suit.

He was well-backed for both 2024 starts and Rossa, engaged on each occasion, now knows him well. Ryan can get the fractions spot on, strike late, and take the £25k prize back to Lambourn. Decent price in my view, too.

Kingdom Come Wolverhampton 15.15

15:35 Sandown - Invincible Nao @ 11/2

A high-quality 2m 4f handicap chase.

Invincible Nao is a six-year-old gelding with the relative featherweight of 10st 5lb. Gary Moore trains, and David Noonan rides for the first time. A Paul Nicholls inmate (Golden Son) heads the weights and has a big task on for me, talented though he is, in this ground.

Invincible Nao began life in France, and has won on heavy. He's been a slow-burner, progressing steadily until making all last time in a career-best at Fakenham. This is far, far tougher but he looks to be going the right way. With little weight, and likely to act on the ground, he appeals as a value shout.

At just six, surely his best days still lie ahead.

Invincible Nao 15.35 Sandown

If you're playing, have fun, and good luck. See you next week for Cheltenham!

ITV Racing tips from Betfred Insights.

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