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ITV Racing tips Saturday 18 February - Live TV horse racing selections for Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton

Brian Healy 17 Feb 2017
ITV Racing is back on Saturday with live horse racing action from Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton.

Get Brian Healy's ITV Racing tips for Saturday 18 February as the top tipster assesses the day's live horse racing coverage of the best of the action from Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton.


ITV Racing returns to punters’ TV screens on Saturday, and Ed Chamberlain and the team will have plenty of top-class horse racing action across three meetings where seven races in total will make up the day’s live TV broadcast.

The cameras will be in action at Ascot for four races, including the Grade One Betfair Ascot Chase; while at Haydock there will be two races shown live with the Grand National Trial the feature of the day at the Merseyside venue.

Completing the line-up will be Wincanton’s Kingwell Hurdle, where some Champion Hurdle aspirations will be put on the line ahead of the Festival next month.

13:50 Ascot - Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices' Steeple Chase (Grade 2) 2m 7f 180y
14:05 Haydock - Rendlesham Hurdle Race (Grade 2) 2m 6f 177y
14:25 Ascot - Swinley Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race) 2m 7f 180y
14:45 Wincanton - Betway Kingwell Hurdle Race (Grade 2) 1m 7f 65y
15:00 Ascot - Les Ambassadeurs Casino Handicap Hurdle Race 2m 3f 58y
15:10 Haydock - Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 3m 4f 97y
15:35 Ascot - Betfair Ascot Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f 8y

And on another top-class weekend of horse racing action, Brian Healy has assessed the day’s ITV horse racing schedule where he gives his top tips for all the day’s live racing.

13:50 Ascot - Sodexo Reynoldstown Novices' Steeple Chase (Grade 2) 2m 7f 180y


ARPEGE D’ALENE (15/8, Paddy Power) may ideally prefer a stiffer test than this, but Paul Nicholls’ charge can confirm Cheltenham form with the re-opposing Label Des Obeaux on 1lb better terms after the pair finished second and third respectively behind Singlefarmpayment.

Laurium also contested that race, finishing fifth, and the Ditcheat runner lost no caste in defeat on his next run back at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day behind Tour Des Champs, beaten less than two lengths into third.

A potentially high-class stayer, the Dom Alco gelding is 2-2 at Ascot, albeit over hurdles; but the second of those saw him beat subsequent Grade One chase winner Tea For Two on only his third start over timber, and with plenty of scope to improve over fences he should prove hard to beat here.


Arpege D'Alene can win the first TV race at Ascot on Saturday.

14:05 Haydock - Rendlesham Hurdle Race (Grade 2) 2m 6f 177y


Agrapart could struggle to concede 4lbs and more to this field as he goes up in trip, so AUX PTITS SOINS (9/4, William Hill) could be the answer reverting to hurdles.

Paul Nicholls’ charge won the 2015 Coral Cup on his debut for the Ditcheat trainer, but following an injury he was restricted to just one start the following season where he finished fifth to Thistlecrack in the 2016 World Hurdle, his sole defeat over hurdles to date in his career.

He travelled well for a long way there, and he shaped as if he would make a very decent chaser when finishing runner-up on his debut over the larger obstacles at Exeter prior to going one better at Kelso next time. 

However, he disappointed at Doncaster in December when shaping as if amiss behind Premier Bond; but assuming he’s none the worse for that run he could well resume his progression back over the smaller obstacles in receipt of 8lbs from Nick Williams’ charge.

14:25 Ascot - Swinley Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race) 2m 7f 180y


SAUSALITO SUNRISE (5/1, Paddy Power) won this race twelve months ago, and Philip Hobbs’ charge can defend his title.

High-class at his best, he went on to run good races in defeat at Kelso behind Many Clouds, and at Sandown in April when third to The Young Master in the Bet365 Gold Cup.

Not always the most fluent of jumpers, he shaped as if in need of the run at Cheltenham on his return behind Viconte Du Noyer; but he ran better than the bare result next time back at that venue behind Theatre Guide, finishing fifth, and he was an early casualty in the Peter Marsh Chase when unseating his rider at just the fourth fence.

He is 5lbs higher here than when successful twelve months ago; but proven over course and distance, and in the prevailing ground the Gold Well gelding should give a good account in defence of his crown.


Sausalito Sunrise can atone for his early exit in the Peter Marsh by winning again at Ascot.

14:45 Wincanton - Betway Kingwell Hurdle Race (Grade 2) 1m 7f 65y


YANWORTH (4/5, William Hill) is likely to prove hard to beat as he rounds off his Champion Hurdle preparation, and Alan King’s charge can land this prize en-route to Cheltenham.

A winner of his first four starts over hurdles, which included back-to-back Grade Two contests, the Norse Dancer gelding started out on his career at this venue when impressively landing a bumper contest, and he subsequently contested the Champion Bumper where he finished fourth behind Moon Racer.

He has only once tasted defeat over hurdles, in last season’s Neptune where he allowed the winner – Yorkhill – to get away from him; afterwards Alan King suggested he had targeted his star at the wrong race, and so after a hard-fought win here in November over Lil Rockerfeller, he was dropped back to two miles for the Christmas Hurdle.

He was made to work there, perhaps just feeling the quicker ground and needing driven into the race by Barry Geraghty; but he was well on top at the end, and the subsequent win of The New One has boosted the form. 

He should confirm form with the reopposing Ch’Tibello, who finished third and this softer ground will be much more to his liking; with first-time cheek-pieces applied to sharpen up his jumping he looks difficult to oppose n this contest


Yanworth can win the Kingwell Hurdle prior to a crack at the Champion Hurdle.

15:00 Ascot - Les Ambassadeurs Casino Handicap Hurdle Race 2m 3f 58y


It is perhaps interesting that Nico De Boinville has plumped for Oscar Hoof of the Nicky Henderson-trained pair in this race, and he makes his return from a near-three year absence having last been seen falling at Aintree behind Lac Fontana in the 2014 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.

However, it may pay to side with Henderson’s DIVINE SPEAR (8/1, Paddy Power) who shaped very much as if a step up in trip was the order of the day when finishing third to William H Bonney last time at Cheltenham.

The Oscar gelding made a winning return at Fontwell on Boxing Day, gaining a narrow short-head verdict over Cool Sky under this rider having made all; and he wasn’t beaten far subsequently last time when keeping on for third behind Alan King’s charge.

Although that form has taken a couple of knocks, not least the winners’ subsequent disappointing run in the Betfair Hurdle last weekend, he gets in here off the same handicap mark. With his jockey’s 5lbs claim added to the mix he is worth another try at this longer trip, and no surprise if he were to find some improvement now from the bottom of the weights.

15:10 Haydock - Betfred Grand National Trial Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3) 3m 4f 97y


A competitive renewal of this Grand National Trial could go the way of the progressive VINTAGE CLOUDS (9/1, BetVictor) who goes well at this venue and has only once finished outside the top two in six starts at the Merseyside track when stumbling and falling three out in the Peter Marsh Chase won by Bristol De Mai.

He was racing from 6lbs out of the weights there, and while Sue Smith’s Cloudings gelding wouldn’t have won it is likely he have pushed hard for a place behind the impressive victor; and with the handicapper leaving him alone there could be more to come from him this time around if none the worse for that spill and racing from his proper mark.

The ground conditions shouldn’t pose an issue, and he is worth a try at this longer trip; if he sees out the distance, he can go well and no surprise to see him in the frame again back at this venue which clearly brings out the best in him.

15:35 Ascot - Betfair Ascot Steeple Chase (Grade 1) 2m 5f 8y


With Kylemore Lough having come out of the race at the two-day stage, the way looks clear for CUE CARD (2/5, Bet365) to resume winning ways despite this trip possibly being too sharp for him now at this stage of his career.

Colin Tizzard’s charge was rejuvenated last term following a breathing op, winning four of his six starts which included the King George VI Chase at Kempton; and he would have gone close in the Gold Cup had he not fallen two out when still travelling strongly.

He hasn’t been disgraced in his three starts this term, winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock prior to chasing home exciting stablemate Thistlecrack at Kempton on Boxing Day in defence of his King George in the wake of a fair comeback in the Charlie Hall Chase where a change of tactics attributed to his surprise defeat in that race.

He sets a very stiff standard here, and he has 9lbs in hand on official ratings of Taquin Du Seuil and others; off level-weights he should be very hard to beat despite dropping back in trip, although his only previous visit to Ascot resulted in a course and distance win in this race in 2013; and the King’s Theatre gelding should take this prize en-route to a crack at the Gold Cup next month.


Despite the lesser trip, Cue Card should take plenty of beating in the Ascot Chase.

SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY ITV RACING – ASCOT, HAYDOCK, WINCANTON


13:50 Ascot - ARPEGE D’ALENE (15/8, Paddy Power

14:05 Haydock - AUX PTITS SOINS (9/4, William Hill

14:25 Ascot - SAUSALITO SUNRISE (5/1, Paddy Power)

14:45 Wincanton - YANWORTH (4/5, William Hill

15:00 Ascot - DIVINE SPEAR (8/1, Paddy Power

15:10 Haydock - VINTAGE CLOUDS (9/1, Bet Victor)

15:35 Ascot - CUE CARD (2/5, Bet365)


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ITV Racing tips Saturday 18 February - Live TV horse racing selections for Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton

Get Brian Healy's ITV Racing tips for Saturday 18 February as the top tipster assesses the day's live horse racing coverage of the best of the action from Ascot, Haydock and Wincanton.

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