ITV Racing will be showing cards from Cheltenham and Doncaster from 1.50pm on Saturday, and we mark your cards with the latest betting tips.
1:50 CHELTENHAM Racing Post Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV4
The Racing Post Gold Cup kicks off a brilliant day of racing action on ITV and Lalor for new trainer Paul Nicholls heads the market. His last run at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup at the November meeting was a step in the right direction, and hopefully with the assistance of the champion trainer they can keep progressing and get his head back in front again. I’m going to side with Dostal Phil for our ambassador Aidan Coleman. Last time out they finished a length and a half behind Lalor, staying on strongly at the end of the race. If Aidan can get closer to the pace, I can see him turning the form around.
Selection – Dostal Phil – 15/2
Winner: Coole Cody
2:25 CHELTENHAM Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Registered As The Bristol Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2) (4yo+) 3m ITV4
The Ballymore trial looks a penalty kick for the Charles Byrne trained Blazing Khal, who bolted up here last time out. He was very impressive that day beating Gelino Bello and I can’t see how that form can be reversed in this race.
Ballygrifincottage could be one to keep an eye on at a big price, he has won his last 3 starts over in Ireland in point-to-point races and has now moved to the Dan Skelton yard.
Selection – Blazing Khal – 5/4
Winner: Blazing Khald
3:00 CHELTENHAM Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) (4yo+) 2m1f ITV4
The feature race of the day at Cheltenham is the International Hurdle and last years winner Song For Someone is back to defend his crown. Our ambassador Aidan Coleman is once again onboard and I know he thinks it’s his best chance of a winner on the day. Ballyadam looks to be his main danger and with the excellent Rachael Blackmore booked to ride, he is hard to ignore. He did finish a well-beaten second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last season. He started this season off over fences, but that has not gone to plan. He fell on his first start and then was beaten on his second start in a beginner’s chase at Navan. His trainer Gordon Elliott has decided to send him back over hurdles for this race, so it will be interesting to see what his long-term targets will be.
Selection – Song For Someone – 9/4
Winner: Guard Your Dreams
3:35 CHELTENHAM Close Brothers Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4½f ITV4
We end the day with an interesting handicap hurdle and a few of these come in to the race having won last time out. Trapista heads the market and she won on her UK debut at Huntingdon in very taking style. Martello Tower is another good chance for our ambassador Aidan Coleman and this mare won a listed race at Cheltenham last season, kicking clear up the hill. Wynn House is another horse who won last time out and I’m going to side with her, as I like how she battled to win last time out. This could become a real test for these mares, so you will want a horse that really stays the trip.
Selection –Wynn House – 6/1
Winner: Matello Sky
2:05 DONCASTER bet365 December Handicap Hurdle (ITV4)
Sonigino heads the market for this handicap hurdle, but I think he is the wrong favourite. I like Tommy’s Oscar who will be ridden by our ambassador Brian Hughes. He travelled really well last time out at Haydock and won how he liked. Sonigino would like more rain to fall as he has won on heavy and very soft in France before he joined Paul Nicholls.
Selection – Tommy’s Oscar – 4/1
Winner: Tommy’s Oscar
2:40 DONCASTER bet365 Summit Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (3yo) 2m½f ITV4
Knight Salute comes into this race still unbeaten after a very nice performance at Cheltenham last month, and he beat Magistrato who he faces again in this race. Magistrato went off favourite at Cheltenham last month and had no real excuses for not winning that day. Porticello will give Knight Salute a lot more to think about in this race and I really like the look of his performance at Wetherby last time out.
Selection – Porticello – 15/8
Winner: Knight Salute
3:15 DONCASTER bet365 Handicap Chase (4yo+ 0-150) 3m ITV4
I think we could see our ambassador Brian Hughes finish the day with a winner, as I like the chances of Kauto Riko who is trained by Tom Gretton. He was last seen running in the Topham Handicap Chase at Aintree where he was pulled up, but a year ago he managed to finish a decent fourth at Cheltenham in the Gold Cup at the November meeting. Two For Gold heads the market and he also ran in the Topham where he unseated David Bass, who is again in the saddle. Fidux brings some decent form into this race and could well play a part in the final stages.
Selection – Kauto Riko– 13/2
Winner: Two For Gold