ITV Racing is on hand to guide us through a bumper Saturday of action from Newbury and Newcastle.
But who to back to land some cash?
Well, lucky for you, SunSport’s top tipster has gone through the cards and picked out his best selections.
1.50 – Tea clipper
TEA CLIPPER couldn’t have been more impressive when winning the Grade 3 Silver Trophy at Chepstow last month. He found loads after jumping the last to pull right away from his rivals. A 7lb rise shouldn’t be a problem for an improving horse over an ideal trip.
Flash The Steel was a good second in Wales and could hit the frame again. Amor De Nuit did well to come back from almost two years off to score at Plumpton. This is a tougher race but he did it well and could be ahead of the handicapper off just 3lb higher.
Nicky Henderson has taken the past two runnings of this and Champagne Platinum looks the pick of his pair. He’s been chasing but has held his own in Grade 1 company over timber.
On The Wild Side had lots in hand at Hexham and can improve upped in class.
2.25 – Marie’s Rock
Nicky Henderson won this last year with Epatante and has another hot prospect in MARIE’S ROCK. After winning her bumper she had two spins over hurdles last season and trotted up in a Taunton Listed contest at Christmas. We didn’t see her after that but she should be ready for this comeback over a trip that suits.
Botox Has must give weight away but was impressive at Cheltenham last month and could do it. His jumping was particularly good and he has no shortage of pace to match.
For all Templegate pieces:
Thyme White impressed at Chepstow when taking a decent handicap by three lengths. He clocked a good time and is another with much more to come.
Milkwood was no match for Sceau Royal at Ffos Las but was a good fourth in that Welsh Champion Hurdle so can’t be ignored off the same mark.
3.00 – Vinndication
VINNDICATION ran a cracker behind Cyrname in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby and will relish this drop into handicap company even if it is a hot one. He was a good fourth in the Ultima at Cheltenham after winning the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot in style. If his jumping was slightly better he could be a real superstar but it’s good enough for this.
Kim Bailey is having some season so stablemate Two For Gold can’t be ruled out after a good Listed second at Wetherby on comeback.
Secret Investor was impressive at Chepstow in beating Potterman by seven lengths. He’s much at his best in this decent ground and shapes like a stayer so must run well.
Kildisart was second in the Ultima at the Festival and is fit from a spin over hurdles. He’s a proper stayer who has been laid out and could defy a career-high handicap mark.
The Conditional was second 12 months ago before winning the Ultima. He’s 10lb higher than 12 months ago but shoud go close even if his trainer says he might need this run.
Aye Right jumped like a stag in the Charlie Hall and was only run out of it late on. He’s creeping up the weights now but is a live each-way chance.
3.35 – Moonlighter
MOONLIGHTER clocked a big personal best when beaten a neck in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter last time. It was all the better because Nick Williams’ hope was jumping out to the left at that right-handed track. He was much happier on his last visit here when winning over this trip and he can repeat the feat.
Ibleo has shown his best in more testing ground but it was quicker at Ascot when he was second on comeback. That form has been franked and looks the main danger.
Hatcher has had a little help from the handicapper after not enjoying Cheltenham last time and this flatter track should help.
Western Miller was second in that race when jumping really well. He’s off the same mark so is respected again.
The King Of May is back from ten months off and he showed promise last season at Carlisle and Sedgefield. This is tougher but he can improve.
2.05 – Epatante
Champion Hurdler EPATANTE is in a different league and can kick off the season with another Grade 1 success under new rider Aidan Coleman.
It might not have been a vintage renewal at Cheltenham but she destroyed them with an easy three-length success. That was the climax of a cracking season that saw her take the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton without breaking sweat.
Her absence isn’t a worry as she won first-up last season and this can be the first step to her ultimately defending her crown next March.
Sceau Royal has enjoyed going back over timber this season with an impressive Welsh Champion Hurdle win followed by another convincing success in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.
He can win the battle for second with Silver Streak who was 12 lengths behind Epatante at Cheltenham but had plenty in hand when winning a Kempton Listed contest last month. Ribble Valley looks best of the rest after a good comeback success at Carlisle.
3.15 – Pym
PYM showed the benefit of dropping to this sort of class when winning comfortably at Sandown on comeback earlier this month. He only had two rivals to beat but did it well and his jumping looked a lot better than it did in the RSA Chase at the Festival.
The Butcher Said got tired in bottomless ground at Cheltenham last time and will be happier in these conditions. He stays strongly and looks on a fair mark making his handicap chase debut.
Whatmore was fourth at the Festival and returned with a close-up second in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot. A 4lb rise in the weights is more than fair and this is his ideal distance, making him a big threat.
Definitly Red needed the run in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby and do much better here. He could do with plenty of rain as he isn’t the quickest but stays.
Cool Mix scored nicely at Wetherby last month and matched that when third in a hot Aintree contest. He takes a big hike in trip here and has stamina to prove.
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