We’ve kicked off 2020 with 4/1, 3/1 and 9/2 winning naps in our ITV racing tips and have a magnificent seven selections from Ascot and Haydock this Saturday.
The Grade One Clarence House Chase is the showpiece event and we’ve got expert picks from PA’s Anita Chambers for armchair punters to consider.
1.50 Ascot – MAGIC OF LIGHT
The Irish raider won this race for Jessica Harrington last year before going on to post an excellent second to Tiger Roll in the Grand National and after a Newbury chase win last time out, she clearly remains in top form.
2.05 Haydock – EDWARDSTONE
Showed promise in bumpers last season and has taken well to novice hurdling with wins at Wincanton and Aintree, showing a good attitude to stay on strongly on both occasions.
2.25 Ascot – THOMAS DARBY
Switches back to smaller obstacles after failing to really find his stride in two starts over fences.
Second in the Supreme last year, Olly Murphy’s charge has let himself down with his jumping in chase company, but can get back on track over hurdles here.
2.40 Haydock – MIDNIGHT TUNE
Anthony Honeyball has opted to take in this event rather than the mares’ hurdle at Ascot and it is easy to see why given the manner of her win at Exeter before Christmas.
Having previously struck over three miles on heavy ground at Uttoxeter in November, Midnight Tune showed her versatility in switching back to two miles to win a trappy three-runner heat in the West Country.
A 3lb rise does not look too harsh, as she seems on the upgrade and will certainly handle heavy conditions in the prestigious Peter Marsh Chase.
3.00 Ascot – ESPOIR DE GUYE
Like so many of Venetia Williams’ inmates, this six-year-old gelding seems to relish plenty of cut underfoot and is bidding for a hat-trick following convincing victories at Exeter and this venue.
3.15 Haydock – PENTLAND HILLS
Nicky Henderson’s charge won Grade One juvenile events at both Cheltenham and Aintree last spring, but looked in need of the run when fifth on his reappearance in the International Hurdle.
He raced far too keenly for his own good and was found out up the hill, but the spin should have put him spot on and he can get back on the Festival trail by landing The New One Hurdle for our ITV racing tips.
3.35 Ascot – UN DE SCEAUX (nap)
Can turn around December’s Sandown form with Defi Du Seuil and notch a fourth win in the Clarence House Chase.
Willie Mullins’ charge is certainly in the veteran stage of his career at the age of 12, but his neck defeat at the hands of his much younger rival in the Tingle Creek shows his ability and appetite remain undiminished.
Reappearing for the first time since dishing out a beating to Min at the Punchestown Festival, Un De Sceaux will surely have come on a bit for that outing.
His jumping was not foot-perfect that day, but the way he put his head down and battled against a race-fit rival gives him every chance again here.
While Defi Du Seuil perhaps idled a bit on that occasion, Un De Sceaux thrives both at Ascot and on testing ground.
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