ITV Racing Preview: Can Special Tiara bring down Altior?
Punchestown is still catching eyes across the water but there’s still some cracking racing on these shores live on ITV this Saturday.
Ed Chamberlin and co. will be presenting the action from Sandown, Haydock, and Leicester. But the glut of the racing comes from the Surrey track with some big names in attendance.
The Ladbrokes News crew provide three of their best tips from the six televised races:
We start with our NAP from the Oaksey Chase at Sandown. With only six declared, Top Notch gets the nod in the Grade 2 renewal.
Nicky Henderson’s charge has been one of our favourite horses this year. And he’s back in the fold having missed the action at both Cheltenham and Aintree.
The seven-year-old star hasn’t been seen since coming 4th to Patiently Waiting at Ascot back in February. Previous to that, he’d two wins at Taunton and Ascot, respectively.
In the latter, he beat Double Shuffle into second by 8L and that will serve him well here against Tom George’s charge.
Staying at Sandown, it’s difficult to ignore Blaklion’s credentials in the Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ chaser has had a funny old season to date. He started superbly well with a second at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase. Then he followed it up with a win in the Becher Chase at Aintree in December.
However, he nine-year-old was absolutely destroyed by mudlark Yala Enki in difficult conditions at Haydock. And then he fell at the first in the Grand National.
But, fingers crossed, that hasn’t affected him too much. Despite giving away a lot of weight, he’s got more than enough glass to win this Grade 3 renewal.
Backing a horse against Altior probably isn’t the best of ideas considering Nicky Henderson’s star hasn’t been defeated since April 2015.
But records are there to be broken, and horses are there to be beaten. Someone has got to step up to the plate and maybe it’s Special Tiara’s time in the Celebration Chase.
Henry De Bromhead’s charge hasn’t had the best of seasons. But the former Cheltenham Champion Chase winner still retains plenty of class and connections are confident of a big run.
At long odds, or even an each-way punt, he’s as good as a Lively Longshot will get.
ITV Racing Tips:
1:50 Sandown – Highway One O One
2:05 Haydock – Calder Prince
2:25 Sandown – Top Notch (NAP)
2:45 Leicester – Kimberella
3:00 Sandown – Special Tiara (Lively Longshot)
3:35 Sandown – Blaklion (NB)
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing