ITV Racing brings live horse racing to terrestrial TV from three different racecourses on Saturday with a total of seven races to enjoy. That means seven winners to find and we’ve picked through each race to try and find the value. We have a combination of Group level action, competitive handicaps and fascinating contests for juveniles to enjoy and to pick through in our Saturday racing tips below.
1:50 Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes
Happy Romance to win – 5/2
Saturday’s ITV Racing action begins with a Group 3 for two-year-old fillies. This is very much a race to watch as it has produced some excellent fillies including Billesdon Brook who went on to win the 1,000 Guineas the following year.
The extremely well bred Pomelo tops the betting for Ralph Beckett and Prince Khalid Abdullah. She was a late foal and has only made one appearance so far but that ended in a very taking win against some similarly well bred types at Newbury. Further improvement is expected from that run but she may just find that the extra experience of Happy Romance is too much for her.
Richard Hannon has already tried out Happy Romance against Group 2 company at Royal Ascot. That race just came a little too quick on the back of a previous performance at Sandown but she’s subsequently won twice comfortably, so Happy Romance looks the best value at 5/2.
2:05 Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes
Raucous each way – 8/1
We move to Newmarket for that course’s sole race of the televised feast and the ultra consistent Summerghand is the bookies’ favourite for the Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes. David O’Meara’s six-year-old is in excellent form having defied top weight to win the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood but we have seen him forced out of handicaps and into Listed races before and it doesn’t tend to go well for him.
There are a couple of interesting options in the betting for those looking to take this favourite on. Sunday Star would have every chance were the going at Newmarket not quite as soft so the one to be on is Raucous as the seven-year-old makes his belated return. Robert Cowell’s gelding had a solid season last year and is just as good on soft ground as he is on firm. He won’t be easy to shake off so back Raucous each way at 8/1.
2:25 Brian Chattaway Celebrating 50 Years At Ladbrokes Handicap
Battered to win – 7/1
The heavy rain that has fallen around the country has had a predictable impact on Saturday’s racing. A number of handicaps which were at one point oversubscribed have seen high levels of withdrawals with this 7f contest no different. Just 10 remain after final declarations but there is always opportunity in this sort of handicap.
That opportunity may be best represented by Battered at very nice odds of 7/1. The six-year-old has not lived up to expectations since being bought by King Power Racing but connections will be starting to grow in confidence that a win is around the corner as his handicap mark continues to fall. He is one who will not mind the soft ground at all and can build on a couple of decent runs already this season to claim a place or perhaps even better.
2:40 Gallagher Group August Stakes
Le Don De Vie to win – 4/1
Attentions switch to Windsor next up with the August Stakes, a Listed race for horses aged three and older. We have the usual collection of those who have been tried at a higher level than this and those who have graduated from handicaps competing in this 1m3½f contest, with the best bet coming from the latter group.
Le Don De Vie’s performances earlier in the year saw him given a crack against Group 3 company last time out in the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood. He had a fair deal to find on the official ratings but ran a stormer in third which could have easily been much better had he not been denied the space to make his run until the final furlong. The soft ground is a slight concern over this trip but if the race pans out, Le Don De Vie could score at a generous price.
3:00 Ladbrokes March Stakes
Cabaletta to win – 11/8
Disappointingly for the organisers, just four horses are set to compete in the Ladbrokes March Stakes, a Group 3 which takes place over 1m6f. That is just about considered a staying trip and the rise up to it should suit the bookies’ favourite, Cabaletta, very well indeed.
Roger Varian’s three-year-old seemed to relish stepping up the extra 2f from a mile and a half last time out when she was second to Enbihaar in another small field contest at Goodwood. She could actually have pushed her more experienced rival even further that day had she settled a little earlier. Providing she is nice and calm and gets into her rhythm early on, Cabaletta should be able to prove her class to win at 11/8.
3:15 Gallagher Group Winter Hill Stakes
Tinandali each way – 12/1
The second of two races from Windsor is a fascinating renewal of the Winter Hill Stakes. This provides a great chance for many of those in the field to win at the Group 3 level and the bookies look to have the right favourite in Fox Chairman. Andrew Balding’s four-year-old battled away very well to land second place in the Group 2 York Stakes last time out and should find things more comfortable at this level.
The only issue with Fox Chairman is the price. He isn’t quite consistent enough to make backing him at 11/8 particularly tempting so it may be worth taking more of a risk and backing Tinandali each way at really nice odds of 12/1.
David O’Meara has form improving horses who arrive from other yards and he has already started getting a tune out of this four-year-old since he arrived from Dermot Weld in January. His powerful finish, which saw him come from last to fifth, caught the eye in a handicap at Goodwood last time out and he can make further improvement to land a place at least here at Windsor.
3:35 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile Stakes
Regal Reality to win – 11/4
There is an almighty battle for favouritism in the feature race of the day, the Celebration Mile from Goodwood. Benbatl is just about edging it, with most bookies making him narrowly shorter than Regal Reality, but some books cannot separate the two and for good reason. Benbatl leads the field on the official ratings but is giving up 3lb to the field after a couple of wins in Dubai over the winter. The six-year-old’s class may well tell but preference goes to Regal Reality as connections look to have found the trip at which he can flourish.
Regal Reality showed his suitability for 1m when slamming a decent enough field last time out in a Group 3 at Salisbury. The standard of opposition is higher on Saturday but it was hardly a weak field that he beat earlier in the month. Another run of that standard should account for Benbatl et al and 11/4 is more than fair in our opinion.