ITV Racing Tips: Ballyoptic to take Becher Handicap this Saturday?
There’s a host of top racing on ITV tomorrow, with the Becher Handicap at Aintree and Altior versus Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown set to headline.
With four races at each course, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into.
And ahead of a crisp day on both courses, we’ve got you covered with a host of tips…
While Blaklion is many people’s fancy for the Becher Handicap, it’s another name from Nigel Twiston-Davies’ stable who could edge it, in Ballyoptic.
The eight-year-old is making his seasonal reappearance. He enjoyed a Grade 2 win at Wetherby in February, and lost by a nose on his most recent run out – in the Scottish Grand National.
With Blaklion failing to finish either of his last two outings, it’s Ballyoptic – with Tom Bellamy in the saddle – who looks the more reliable option.
There’s a strong field for the December Handicap Hurdle, with Nicky Henderson’s Apple’s Shakira the biggest name involved. But recent form suggests Nelson’s Touch could prove a worthy contender.
While Seamus Mullins’ charge hasn’t had huge experience at this level, the gelding has impressed of late, with a May victory at Uttoxeter followed by a good run at Sandown last month.
Daryl Jacob is set to be in the saddle, and having already rode two winners this week – including Torpillo on this course – it’s hard to write this pairing off.
This horse almost always rides with Gina Andrews in the saddle, and both will look to boost their partnership here after some prior successes.
The going is likely to be soft at Sandown, which should also suit the seven-year-old – the youngest competitor in this race.
The mare enjoyed one of her best performances to date on soft ground, placing second in the Memorial Handicap Chase at Bangor.
ITV Racing tips:
1:30 – Aintree – Ballyoptic (NAP)
1:50 – Sandown – Diakali
2:05 – Aintree – Definitly Red
2:25 – Sandown – Nelson’s Touch [EW] (NB)
2:40 – Aintree – Chica Buena
3:00 – Sandown – Un De Sceaux
3:15 – Aintree – Shanahan’s Turn
3:35 – Sandown – Actinpieces (LL)
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All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of publishing