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ITV Racing Tips: Returning Buveur D’Air to show too much class for Morebattle rivals

| 04.03.2022

Quantity trumps quality this weekend when ten ITV races are spread across three meetings.

Many of the season’s best jumpers have been tucked away for the Cheltenham Festival the week after next, so it is the Grand National meeting at Aintree that figures on the agenda of some of Saturday’s participants.

None more so than Buveur D’Air, the dual Champion Hurdle winner. Ordinarily he would be a major draw at Cheltenham but, without a run since April, he has had his sights set on the Aintree Hurdle.

He contests the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso, one of five races from the track which anchors the TV coverage.

There are three from Doncaster, including the Grimthorpe Chase, and two from Newbury where the feature is the Greatwood Gold Cup.

The coverage begins on ITV from 13:00 and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.

14:40 Premier Chase 

Windsor Avenue tries to follow up his Sky Bet Chase victory but he, and the rest of the field, look to have their work cut out under the race conditions to beat Espoir De Romay.

The Kim Bailey-trained horse has a 125-day break to overcome but he has at least 9lb in hand on ratings and will be in receipt of another 4lb from Windsor Avenue.

Espoir De Romay was in the course of running a solid race at Carlisle in October until tiring to finish third behind Fiddlerontheroof.

He will need to be straighter this time, but he managed to win off a 100-day absence this time last year so it’s not too great an ask.

15:15 Morebattle Hurdle

This has become a much more competitive race since it was turned into a handicap, but that hasn’t stopped Nicky Henderson sending Buveur D’Air to Scotland for a belated first run of the season.

The dual Champion Hurdle winner has only run twice since his defeat in the 2019 Fighting Fifth Hurdle in which he suffered a serious foot injury.

The second of those starts was in last year’s Aintree Hurdle in which he showed he still had plenty to offer to finish fourth and could have been closer but for being impeded.

He has to shoulder top weight but with his mark having dropped 19lb from his peak that may not be as difficult as it appears.

The talented Metier looks his biggest threat, but Harry Fry’s hurdler is best on heavy going and the conditions may not be testing enough for him at Kelso against the slick-jumping former champion.

15:30 Grimthorpe Handicap Chase

Le Milos has starred for Tim Vaughan this season and heads to Doncaster in pursuit of a hat-trick. He has never run as far as this and could find his run coming to an end, having only scrambled home by a head at Sandown.

Undersupervision finished eleven and a half lengths back in fourth place in the same race but has been dropped 2lb which puts him 6lb better in with Le Milos. The extra distance should also better suit Undersupervision who could find this a good opportunity to secure his first victory over fences.

ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 5th March

13:15 Newbury – Veterans handicap chase

13:32 Kelso – Premier Novices’ Hurdle

13:50 Newbury – Greatwood Gold Cup

14:05 Kelso – 2m4f handicap hurdle

14:20 Doncaster – Mares’ novices’ hurdle

14:40 Kelso – Premier Chase

14:55 Doncaster – 3m handicap chase

15:15 Kelso – Morebattle Hurdle

15:30 Doncaster – Grimthorpe Handicap Chase

15:43 Kelso – Cyril Alexander Memorial Novices’ Chase

View the latest Horse Racing odds

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Jonathan Lees