Focus is split between Haydock and Ascot this Saturday as the Lancashire Chase and the Christy 1965 Chase vie for centre-stage.
Might Bite, Native River, Bristol De Mai, Thistlecrack and Clan Des Obeaux will all go to post in the former, while Politologue is the favourite for the latter.
We’ve tipped up all the televised action with our ITV Racing Tips…
Native River got the better of Might Bite in the Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier in the year. He’s taken to do so once again here as both raiders make their seasonal reappearances.
Colin Tizzard’s charge outstayed his opponent that day, and although the sounder surface should suit Might Bite, Native River’s record is hard to argue with.
The eight-year-old has won five of his last six chases – including the Ladbrokes Trophy, Welsh National and the Gold Cup in March.
He has stamina to burn and can confirm superiority over his rival with another victory over 3m1f here.
This should be Politologue’s to lose following Willie Mullins’ decision to withdraw Min.
The seven-year-old produced a career-best performance at the end of last season to land a second Grade 1 success of the campaign in the Melling Chase.
Trainer Paul Nicholls has won this contest four times since 2010 and opts to keep the raider over a similar distance here, as he bids to start the season with a solid run against lesser company.
An intriguing Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase could go the way of Cyrname, who appears to still be ahead of the handicapper.
Another for Nicholls, the six-year-old will go off what we think is a fairly lenient mark of 150 after a highly progressive season last time around.
The Nickname gelding posted some excellent efforts in Graded company last term, notably landing the Pendil Novices’ Chase and finishing runner-up in the Scilly Isle Novices’ Chase.
He should come on from his reappearance at Carlisle last month and can take this ahead of Modus, Ozzie The Oscar and San Benedeto.
ITV Racing tips:
1:50 Haydock – Cyrus Darius (each-way)
2:05 Ascot – Politologue
2:25 Haydock – First Assignment
2:40 Ascot – If The Cap Fits
3:00 Haydock – Native River (NAP)
3:15 Ascot – Cyrname
3:35 Haydock – Captain Redbeard
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication