Templegate’s horse racing tips: Ascot and Haydock live on ITV – top betting preview for Saturday’s racing

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ASCOT

1.50

MAGIC OF LIGHT can land this race for the second season running as she works up to another Grand National bid.

Stewart Williams – The Sun

Top Irish trainer Jessica Harrington is sending her down the same route as 12 months ago with a win at Newbury last time before heading here.

Having finished second in the big one at Aintree, her staying power is guaranteed and soft ground isn’t an issue.

Papagana looks a big threat after finishing third in the Long Walk Hurdle here last time. That form isn’t quite so hot as there were key non-runners but we know she likes the track and goes in really testing conditions.

Sensulano has been in cracking form over fences with a couple of nice wins this season, including in the mud at Warwick last month.

She has some useful handicap hurdle form and has gone well here before.

2.25

BOLD PLAN looks worth following. He signed off last season with a cracking second at Uttoxeter when wellies would have been useful.

He’ll get similar muddy conditions here and won with plenty in hand at Haydock last time. That was over this trip and wasn’t stopping at the winning post.

A couple of leading contenders have been chasing, including Ballymoy whose last hurdles win was this race 12 months ago. He hasn’t fired in three spins over the bigger obstacles and could be a lot happier here.

Similar comments apply to Thomas Darby who was a surprise second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last March.

He hasn’t tackled timber since and has been beaten when backed on his two chase efforts. Trainer Olly Murphy is in good form and switching back could be a wise move.

Pic D’Orhy has placed form at Grade 1 level in France and is dropping in class after falling at Auteuil. Paul Nicholls thinks a lot of him and he clearly has talent.

Jolly’s Cracked It has seen his form dip but he’s come right down the weights and a wind op could rekindle his spark.

3.00

ESPOIR DU GUYE loved his spin around here last month, drawing right away from his rivals to win by 10 lengths. He relished the heavy ground and, with just three chase runs under his belt, there should be a lot more to come.

Similar comments apply to Domaine De L’Isle who has looked a nice prospect since moving to Sean Curran from France.

He powered home over further when winning at Newcastle two Saturdays ago and looks a big threat.

Sam’s Adventure was second there and is effectively 7lb better off thanks to his rider’s claim. That could bring them closer together.

Happy Diva won the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November and proved it was no fluke with a tight second at Doncaster last time. She stays well and has won around here before so can figure.

Bennys King likes this trip and won a nice race at Newbury before a modest effort in hot company at Wetherby latest. He may be a little high in the weights now.

3.35

DEFI DU SEUIL got the better of Un De Sceaux in a Tingle Creek thriller at Sandown last month and can repeat the feat.

It was a top-class renewal and Philip Hobbs’ rising star beat the old stager by a neck.

That victory put him right in the picture for the Champion Chase at Cheltenham and confirmed the form of his comeback win in the Grade 2 Schloer Chase at Prestbury Park in November.

Soft ground is right up his street and he looks the one to beat again.

Un De Sceaux won’t be a pushover as he goes for his fourth win in this race. He was closing all the time on the young pretender at Sandown and he’ll be hard to beat at a track he clearly loves.

But he’s 12 now and you would expect his main rival to take another step forward.

Unless something goes very wrong, Janika is the only danger to the big two.

He won the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter on comeback before a nine-length fourth in the Tingle Creek and a spin over hurdles. He is only seven so can improve but needs a big personal best.

HAYDOCK

2.05

THEBANNERKINGREBEL can put himself right in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle picture by landing another win at his favourite track.

He stormed away from the field to land a Listed contest by a cosy five lengths here last time. He travelled like a tank and bounced back from his unlucky slip at Wetherby. He has a real engine that should help him get home in this ground.

Edwardstone will be a tough nut to crack after winning both his spins over timber well.

He pulled hard before striking at Aintree and the hood could help him settle. He’s another with lots of potential and trainer Alan King has been making positive noises about his talent.

Stolen Silver can’t be dismissed after a good second at Cheltenham last month. That built on a bloodless win in the mud at Ffos Las and he’s another with few miles on the clock.

2.40

PUT it on Red in the Peter Marsh Chase. DEFINITLY RED may have plenty of weight on his back but that’s because he has a touch of class.

He has four Grade 2 wins under his belt around this distance and two of them came in really testing conditions.

He jumped the National fences well when fourth in the Becher Chase last time and he’ll be running on when others have cried enough.

Geronimo got the job done well at Newcastle last time despite the trip being on the short side. He shapes like a real stayer and should be right at home in this ground carrying a fair weight.

Acting Lass sees out three miles well and went through the mud for a close second at Ascot last month. That came after a gutsy success at Chepstow and he won’t go down without a fight.

Champers On Ice has been doing well over hurdles for the past couple of seasons and could be ahead of the handicapper at chase level. He was a good third at Cheltenham last time.

3.15

PENTLAND HILLS can confirm his Champion Hurdle credentials by taking this tough little race. He won the Triumph Hurdle last season before following up in good style at Aintree.

His comeback at Cheltenham looked disappointing at first view but he travelled strongly and just ran out of puff up the hill.

Plenty of Nicky Henderson’s horses have needed their comeback this season and he’s being trained to peak in March. This is an important step on the way.

Nigel Twiston-Davies won this race four times in a row with The New One and has chances with Ballyandy.

He was a good third behind Epatante in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day on the back of a good second in a Cheltenham Grade 2. He goes on heavy and has no stamina issues.

Darasso did well last season for Joseph O’Brien with hurdles and chase wins at a decent level. He likes soft but it won’t be easy to come back from ten months off in these conditions.

You can make a case for all four and Cornerstone Lad is no exception.

He beat Buveur D’Air in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and even though the champ picked up an injury during the race, it was still a top effort in bottomless ground.


ASCOT

12.40 Goshen

1.15 Graceful Legend

1.50 MAGIC OF LIGHT (NAP)

2.25 Bold Plan

3.00 Espoir Du Guye

3.35 Defi Du Seuil (nb)

4.05 Falco Blitz

LINGFIELD

12.00 Subliminal

12.30 Famous Dynasty

1.00 Furzig

1.35 Maqboola

2.10 Taste The Nectar

2.45 Morning Fury

3.20 Lalania

3.50 Chocco Star

HAYDOCK

12.55 Le Ligerien

1.30 Windsor Avenue

2.05 Thebannerkingrebel

2.40 Definitly Red

3.15 Pentland Hills

3.45 Billingsley

4.15 Deja Vue

TAUNTON

1.05 Tactical Manoeuvre

1.40 Poucor (treble)

2.15 Butterwick Brook

2.50 Yala Enki

3.25 Air Horse One

3.55 Troubled Soul

4.25 Coquelicot

CHELMSFORD

4.45 Alaskan Bay

5.15 Elemjor

5.45 Dreaming Away

6.15 Concierge

6.45 The King’s Steed

7.15 Strawberry Jack

7.45 Persian Sun



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