Preview of the top three races
There could be plenty of Cheltenham Gold Cup clues on offer at Haydock this weekend with the Betfair Chase headlining the action as we hunt for some ITV Racing tips for Saturday.
Ascot is the setting for a terrific supporting card as we look at the best of the action that terrestrial viewers can catch on ITV4.
2.05 Ascot – Chanelle Pharma 1965 Chase
There is a distinguished role of honour to this 2m5f contest and it is course specialist DASHEL DRASHER (9/4) that heads the six-strong field.
Jeremy Scott’s stable star arrives on a three-race winning streak at the Berkshire venue and was last seen claiming Grade 1 honours for the first time when successful in the Ascot Chase.
MASTER TOMMYTUCKER (5/1) was back in second on that occasion and the talented front-runner will be hoping conditions play to his favour following a comeback run over hurdles at Wetherby.
His handler Paul Nicholls has won this six times in the last 10 years, with the Ditcheat master saddling the likes of Al Ferof and Cyrname to take this in the past.
Two-time Cheltenham Festival winner DEFI DU SEUIL (7/2) steps up in trip for his reappearance and has a few questions to answer following a disappointing 2020/21 campaign.
LOSTINTRANSLATION (7/2) is available at the same price in ITV Racing tips and is also on a recovery mission. The former Gold Cup third drops back in trip following wind surgery.
— Timeform (@Timeform) February 20, 2021
2.40 Ascot – Coral Hurdle
This Grade 2 contest has been won by the likes of Annie Power and Faugheen in the past and is often used as a stepping stone to the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle.
This year it is BUZZ (11/10) who hopes to become a Champion Hurdle contender having finished second in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle when last seen over timber.
Nicky Henderson’s seven-year-old then plundered the famous Cesarewitch Handicap when tried on the flat earlier this autumn and will hope to continue his progression here.
The enigmatic GOSHEN (7/2) reappears with a point to prove, but Gary Moore couldn’t have his string in any better form and he has won at this track in the past.
SONG FOR SOMEONE (13/2) looks for back-to-back victories in this event and has to be respected, while MOLLY OLLYS WISHES (6/1) steps out of her comfort zone having won four of her last five.
3.00 Haydock – Betfair Chase
Gold Cup runner-up A PLUS TARD (11/8) looks to make a successful raid on this Grade 1 contest and it is perhaps telling that Rachael Blackmore makes the trip to Haydock to partner the seven-year-old, rather than stay at home for Bob Olinger’s chasing debut.
Henry De Bromhead will be hoping that his charge can make best use of the unseasonal ground as one of our ITV Racing tips in a race that has often been run in a bog.
It is BRISTOL DE MAI (7/2) who has often excelled in this contest when the mud has been flying and the course specialist goes in search of a record-equalling fourth success in the race which would take him level with the great Kauto Star.
ROYALE PAGAILLE (8/1) has also shown a real liking to this course and distance and although struggling to make any impression in March’s Gold Cup, can’t be discounted on his return to this venue.
WAITING PATIENTLY (6/1) has had his issues over the years but is no doubt a talented operator and well worth his place in this line up. The King George runner-up makes his first appearance for Christian Williams on Saturday under usual pilot Brian Hughes.
The highly-regarded IMPERIAL AURA (15/2) tries three miles for the first time in open company, while it is NEXT DESTINATION (8/1) that is tasked with upholding Nicholls’ fine record in this contest in first-time cheekpieces.
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