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ITV Racing Tips - All nine races covered at Ascot, Wetherby and Down Royal

  • We take a look through the ITV Racing schedule on Saturday 31st October
  • Nine races come to us live from Ascot, Wetherby and Down Royal
  • Cyrname headlines the UK action in the Charlie Hall Chase
  • Viewers will also take in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal
  • We have tips for all nine races here
cyrname
Cyrname makes his reappearance at Wetherby on Saturday. (Getty)

National Hunt racing fans have a real treat of action to look forward to on ITV Racing this afternoon. Not only will we see the best chaser in the sport make his return to action, but we'll also sink our teeth into several excellent handicaps, and watch the first Grade One of the new season live from Down Royal.

Let's jump straight into Saturday's ITV Racing tips.

Saturday's ITV Racing Schedule


Time
Track
Title
1:20pm Ascot Underwriting Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) 2m3f
1:35pm Wetherby bet365 Handicap Chase (Challenger Middle Distance Chase Series Qualifier) (Class 3) 2m3½f
1:55pm Ascot tote.co.uk Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 2m1f
2:10pm Wetherby bet365 Mares' Hurdle (Listed Race) 2m
2:25pm Down Royal Ladbrokes Champion Chase (Grade 1) 3m
2:45pm Wetherby bet365 Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered As The West Yorkshire Hurdle) 3m
3:05pm Ascot Sodexo Handicap Hurdle (Listed Race) (GBB Race) 1m7½f
3:20pm Wetherby bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) 3m
3:40pm Ascot Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m

ITV Racing Tips - Saturday 31st October


Race 1 - Limited Handicap Chase Tips


Dr Sanderson1:20pm Ascot Underwriting Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) 2m3fGET 7/2 HERE
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A big day for Paul Nicholls could get off to the perfect start, as I fancy DR SANDERSON will follow up on his recent Ludlow success. Harry Cobden's mount - who was beaten on all four of his starts over fences last term - made no mistake on his reappearance, sweeping a couple of decent opponents aside in good style.

The handicapper has pushed Dr Sanderson up the handicap by seven pounds following that eight-length success. Yet, I still feel there's room for this six-year-old to improve further, and he's carried similar weights to this on all of his starts over fences.

Race 2 - bet365 Handicap Chase Tips


Despite missing the entirety of last season through injury, I'm going to hang my hat on DANDOLO DU GITE in this open-looking handicap. On his only previous start over fences, Neil Mulholland's charge made all to beat Jaboticaba in emphatic fashion at Southwell, powering clear to win by 19-lengths.

Jaboticaba is now rated 124 after scoring earlier in the autumn, so it's clear Dandolo Du Gite has plenty of ability. Brendan Powell's mount usually goes well on the back of a break, and I'm very keen to see what he'll produce.

ibleo
Ibleo (right) bolts up at Wincanton last season. (Getty)

Race 3 - Tote Handicap Chase Tips


Ibleo1:55pm tote.co.uk Handicap Chase (Listed Race) 2m1fGET 10/3 HERE
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Capeland looks a worthy favourite, but I think Bryony Frost's mount could struggle giving 18-pounds to the dangerous IBLEO. Venetia Williams' seven-year-old won his first two starts over fences at a canter. He then went down fighting to Canelo over 20-furlongs, running up to an RPR of 140 off an official mark of 131.

Ibleo is only up a pound for that effort at Huntingdon, and clearly has scope for further improvement. He looks the best-handicapped horse in the field.

Race 4 - bet365 Mares' Hurdle Tips


Verdana Blue2:10pm Wetherby bet365 Mares' Hurdle (Listed Race) 2mGET 4/7 HERE
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I can't see any point siding against VERDANA BLUE here. Yes, Nicky Henderson's mare was beaten as the 1/2 favourite last time out, but Silver Streak is rated 155, and ran up to an RPR of 160 when winning that day. 

Verdana Blue's closest rival here is rated a measly 133, and Henderson's former Grade One winner carries no penalty on ground which seems ideal. She should be 1/3, maybe even 1/4 on.

Race 5 - Ladbrokes Champion Chase Tips


Read our full preview of the 2020 Ladbrokes Champion Chase to see who we fancy will come out on top in the feature race at Down Royal on Saturday.

Race 6 - bet365 Hurdle Tips


Stayers' Hurdle winner, Lisnagar Oscar tops the betting here, despite a Grade One penalty. Roksana appeals greatly too, as she gains stacks of weight on the geldings. The one I really fancy at an each-way price, however, is WHOLESTONE.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge won two of his three starts over fences last season, and was only beaten a neck on his second start at Cheltenham. 

Despite those results, I was never totally convinced by Wholestone's jumping over fences. Whereas the likes of Next Destination, Copperhead and Kildisart are getting a run into their legs before returning to chasing, I feel Wholestone may revert back to hurdles for good, and this three-time Grade Two winner is more than capable of challenging in this sort of race.

malaya ascot
Malaya winning a big juvenile handicap here at Ascot. (Getty)

Race 7 - Sodexo Handicap Hurdle Tips


Sebastopol and Tequany hold appeal, but both would be greatly inconvenienced if the rain sets into the ground at Ascot. Kid Commando remains open to progression, but I'd rather side with MALAYA, who's dropped back down to an appealing mark.

Paul Nicholls' six-year-old carried top-weight to victory in a juvenile handicap over course-and-distance in 2018. In March 2019, Malaya secured an impressive victory in the Imperial Cup at Sandown, beating a classy field by a length on soft ground.

Although she was beaten out of sight on all four of her starts last season, Nicholls' mare is now sits just two pounds above her last winning mark and clearly relishes the challenge posed by this track.

Race 8 - Charlie Hall Chase Tips


Cyrname3:20pm Wetherby bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) 3mGET 2/1 HERE
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Vinndication is clearly a Graded quality chaser, and has to be given a chance. That being said, to get a price of 2/1 on the highest-rated chaser in the sport to win a Grade Two is a chance I'm not willing to pass up.

That titanic battle with Altior in the Christy Chase may have taken more out of CYRNAME than Paul Nicholls had been expecting. Harry Cobden's mount was beaten 20-lengths in the King George, but Cyrname didn't jump or travel with any real zest at Kempton, and was still strong enough to finish ahead of Footpad and Aso - both of whom are rated higher than anything Cyrname faces here. 

A little extra juice in the ground isn't an issue, and this is a very easy three miles for horses who have stamina doubts to get. At 2/1, Cyrname has to be the best bet of the day.

Race 9 - Sodexo Gold Cup Tips


Valtor E/W3:40pm Ascot Sodexo Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3mGET 9/1 HERE
New customers only. 21+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.William Hill is operated by WHG (International) Limited, a company registered in Gibraltar. William Hill is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (Number: 000-039225 R-319373-009) for customers in Great Britain, and licensed by the Gibraltar Government and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (RGL no. 034 & 042) for all other customers.

While I feel this step up in trip will suit the well-handicapped Commanche Red, I'm going to place my faith in Nicky Henderson's teenager, VALTOR.

Valtor came to Ascot on his first start for Henderson and won the Silver Cup as a 33/1 shot. On his reappearance last year, Valtor beat Redford Road in a novice hurdle here at Ascot, and ran another solid race here in February, following Ballyoptic home in the Keltbray Swinley Chase.

Aidan Coleman's mount clearly loves it here at Ascot, and he looks very well-handicapped with just 11-1 to carry. Valtor will be my final ITV Racing tip of the day at an appealing each-way price of 9/1.
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