ITV Racing Tips: Combat can finally get the job done at Ascot
Hot on the heels of the Chester May meeting, racing fans are set to be treated to a bumper eight-race terrestrial card this Saturday.
We’re sticking with the Flat and going over the Jumps with contests coming your way from Ascot, Lingfield and Haydock.
Derby clues, big handicaps and a cracking hurdle race all feature, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Will Aidan O’Brien’s Sir John Lavery emerge as another Derby contender for Ballydoyle?
Have we found a big-priced winner of the Victoria Cup?
And how do you solve Haydock’s hot handicap?
Here’s what we think…
It doesn’t need us to tell you that Aidan O’Brien has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal and another that looks set announce his Derby credentials is Sir John Lavery.
Currently 12/1 for the Epsom Classic, expect those odds to tumble once he’s taken care of business the other side of Surrey.
His seven length success on debut at Gowran Park came in different conditions but remains impressive nonetheless.
And with Ballydoyle taking this twice in the last four years, and clocking up wins at rate of knots right now, Sir John is the obvious pick.
Tartini was unlucky at Epsom last time out while the unexposed Zamfir could be a threat but their respective claims aren’t enough to put us off.
This looks a fascinating contest and one which can go the way of the Paul Nicholls-trained Zubayr.
His narrow second in last month’s Grade 2 Scottish Champion Hurdle marked a welcome upturn in form and this looks a more manageable test over his optimum trip.
The 2015 Triumph Hurdle winner Peace and Co is an obvious danger but Nicky Henderson’s charge could only manage 10th in that Scottish Champion and has flattered to deceive since his Cheltenham Festival victory.
Trainer Evan Williams landed this prize in both 2013 and 2014 and his Court Minstrel is the other horse to look out for.
Our Victoria Cup selection has found it difficult to get his head in front but his consistency appeals to us and we fancy him to finally go one better in Berkshire.
Hors De Combat has finished in the top three in each of his previous three starts in 2017 with his narrow defeat at Bath last time out particularly tough to take.
The six-year-old’s last attempt at 7f also yielded a runner-up placing – in the 2015 Criterion Stakes at Newmarket – but champion jockey Jim Crowley can help put that right and secure this valuable pot.
ITV Racing Tips:
13:55 Lingfield – Pocketfullofdreams
14:15 Ascot – William Hunter EW
14:30 Lingfield – Sir John Lavery
14:50 Ascot – Knights Table EW
15:10 Haydock – Zubayr EW
15:25 Ascot – Singyoursong
15:40 Lingfield – Qemah
16:00 Ascot – Hors De Combat EW
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing