We’ve got a magnificent seven ITV racing tips from this Saturday’s cracking National Hunt cards at Haydock and Ascot.
Some of the biggest names in the jumping game will be in action at both tracks, including Cheltenham Gold Cup hero A Plus Tard and Rachael Blackmore.
1.50 Haydock – HITMAN
Has frustratingly been a runner-up four times from his last five outings but they were fine efforts in either Grade One or Grade Two contests and this graduation chase looks a golden opportunity for him to gain a confidence-boosting victory.
2.05 Ascot – L’HOMME PRESSE
Ultra-impressive in winning his first four over fences, he then beat the Irish at Cheltenham in the Brown Advisory.
Probably over the top when beaten by Ahoy Senor at Aintree, this drop in trip is certainly no worry given he was doing all his winning over the intermediate distance before the Festival.
2.25 Haydock – BRINKLEY
David Pipe’s charge has gone well when fresh on more than one occasion and reappears off a mark 2lb lower than when he last won over timber.
There are a handful of likely types in this, but he is a dour stayer from an in-form yard and it could turn into a case of survival of the fittest.
2.40 Ascot – CONSTITUTION HILL
Already favourite for the Champion Hurdle, despite Honeysuckle having won the last two renewals, it remains to be seen if he really is as good as he looked when trouncing Jonbon in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
We are unlikely to find out this weekend, with Constitution Hill already rated 13lb and more ahead of his rivals in this Grade Two, and it should just be a case of point and shoot for Nico de Boinville.
3.00 Haydock – A PLUS TARD
Henry de Bromhead’s eight-year-old was staggeringly good when winning by 22 lengths here 12 months ago and looked just as special when powering to Gold Cup glory in March, beating stablemate and defending champion Minella Indo by 15 lengths.
Some have suggested the likely testing Haydock ground will not play to his strengths, but he won a Listed four-year-old hurdle in France on heavy before joining De Bromhead and his 2019 Festival win was also on soft ground, admittedly in a handicap.
In short, he will have to run more than a stone below his best to be beaten and is hard to oppose in our ITV racing tips.
3.15 Ascot – EDWARDSTONE
Another Festival winner in action and he faces by far the hardest task in carrying 12st, but the undoubted class of Alan King’s Arkle winner can see him prevail over what are some fine handicappers.
If Edwardstone has any business in challenging for Champion Chase or Ryanair honours, he needs to be winning this, even first time out.
3.35 Haydock – FONTAINE COLLONGES
Loves testing ground and looks sure to develop into a decent staying handicap chaser. Not seen since winning a valuable pot at Lingfield in February, this looks a perfect starting point.
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