Champion Hurdle contender Laurina is the star turn on a difficult-to-call offering from Sandown and Wincanton on ITV4 this Saturday.
Willie Mullins’ raider is the odds-on favourite in the televised opener at Sandown. She should have little trouble in dispatching her three rivals over 2m 4f.
But who will prevail in the other six contests from Esher and Somerset? We’ve had our say in our ITV Racing Tips.
This looks like a straightforward fight between market favourites Rathhill and Elixir De Nutz. And it’s Colin Tizzard’s charge who is taken to prevail in his maiden Grade 1 outing.
The five-year-old not only has the form after racking up successive front-running victories at Cheltenham. But it’s also been franked in a big way ahead of this one.
Jarveys Plate was in receipt of 10lb to our pick when second behind him at Prestbury Park last time out. The runner-up subsequently went on to win a Listed contest by 13l on New Year’s Day.
The son of Al Namix looks an even better bet here, as a result, and can cement his reputation as one of the UK’s foremost novice hurdlers by sealing the hat-trick.
Bryony Frost? On ITV? On a Saturday? We’ve seen this one before. The infectious young jockey pilots Copain De Classe in a wide-open renewal of the final televised race from Wincanton.
The seven-year-old doesn’t boast particularly outstanding form after finishing well down the field at Wetherby last time out. But the feeling is that the run came too soon for the Enrique gelding.
A 10l victory over Casablanca Mix at Kempton prior confirms that. Go further back and history is further on his side, with two more wins following an absence of 50 days or more.
It’s a similar scenario for our pick today, and with Frost sure to get 110% out of the raider, as she does with all of her rides, he gets the nod at Wincanton.
Pete The Feat, Houblon Des Obeaux and Tenor Nivernais are among the grand old names on show in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase. But it’s Exitas who’s taken to land the prize.
Phil Middleton’s raider is on a tough mark but has gone close off higher in two of his last three starts. He was in a good position after unseating his rider at Kempton last too.
Jockey Tommie O’Brien claims 5lb today as the 11-year-old raider looks to hit the frame for the sixth time in eight runs since the end of September.
ITV Racing tips:
1:50 Sandown – Laurina
2:05 Wincanton – Caltex
2:25 Sandown – Elixir De Nutz (NAP)
2:40 Wincanton – Wicked Willy
3:00 Sandown – Exitas (Lively Longshot, each-way)
3:15 Wincanton – Copain De Classe (NB)
3:35 Sandown – Monsieur Lecoq
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication