Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Aintree, Doncaster and Wincanton

The ITV cameras are rolling at three British meetings on Saturday and we've a tip for each of the ten live races, plus there's news of a free bet offer not to be missed.

Let's begin with the free bet offer which applies to ALL LIVE ITV RACES and works like this.

Get up to £20 back as a free bet if your horse places second and is beaten by half a length or less.

With that handy offer on your side, you can back today's selections with just a little more confidence and here's a quick rundown - click on the horse's names to head straight to Planet Sport Bet and place your bets.


Pileon (1.08 Aintree)

Boardman / Boosala each-way (1.25 Doncaster)

Mick Pastor (1.50 Wincanton)

King's Lynn (2.05 Doncaster)

Thomas Mcdonagh (2.15 Aintree)

Rose Of Arcadia (2.25 Wincanton)

First Light / Flyin' Solo (2.40 Doncaster)

Hurricane Harvey (3.00 Wincanton)

Wilde About Oscar (3.20 Aintree)

Goshen (3.35 Wincanton)

1.08 Aintree - Pileon

Not an easy race by means to kick off the televised action and the best advice might be to pay close attention to the market for clues over which of the runners, the majority of which are reappearing after layoffs, are fit and raring to go.

That said, one horse that did jump out from near the bottom of the handicap is Philip Hobbs' Pileon, who looks very well treated indeed off a mark of 132 given the form he showed in the 2019-20 season.

After finishing fourth behind Chantry House on his seasonal debut (just four lengths behind the winner), he won back-to-back novices and then went agonisingly close to bringing up his hat-trick in the Martin Pipe Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, getting pipped at the post by Indefatigable.

That horse has advertised the form as recently as last Saturday, winning a Grade 2 at Wetherby, and the selection is now running off a 6lb lower mark having been dropped for some poor performances since, including twice over fences.

He needs to put those efforts behind him but his trainer's comments in a recent stable tour provide some encouragement for that.

He said: "He had a bad season last year and we ran him over fences, and he didn't jump very well. We ran him over hurdles, and he wasn't healthy. We will start him over hurdles and hopefully he will do well doing that."

Philip Hobbs trains the selection Pileon

While this will be the farthest he's travelled over hurdles, he's always promised to stay further and that he's being reunited with conditional Ben Jones for the first time since that career-best Cheltenham run is another positive.

As for his rivals, the most solid alternative has to be South Terrace, the only last-time-out winner in the field and with the scope to defy the 6lb rise he incurred for what was a commanding success at Uttoxeter in June.

1.25 Doncaster - Boardman / Boosala each-way

Another tricky contest for punters and William Haggas' Boosala is just a hopeful choice on his first run in a handicap off a mark of 97.

To take advantage he'll have to run close to the sort of form he showed when winning both his starts at two, the last of those over today's trip of 7f at York in the fashion of a potential Group performer.

His sole run as a three-year-old was pretty decent too, that being a close up third in a conditions event on the all-weather, and he can be forgiven a never-sighted effort on his belated reappearance at Ascot last month, as that Group 3 was a tough reintroduction for a horse that had been missing from action for 280 days.

It should have at least brought him on and he must have each-way claims with Tom Marquand doing the steering,

But Boardman has to be the main bet on his latest fifth of 21 in a 6f Heritage Handicap at York last month, when he raced up the centre of the track while the action was unfolding against the far rail.

He's best over this extra furlong and is just 1lb higher than when completing a hat-trick of 7f handicap wins at Chester in May. He's worth a saver at the very least.

1.50 Wincanton - Mick Pastor

This is a far easier race to assess as Bravemansgame (NON-RUNNER) should win if putting in a clear round, and he hardly put a foot wrong when making all on his chasing debut at Newton Abbot, with subsequent Charlie Hall winner Fusil Raffles over five lengths adrift in second.

Bravemansgame in winning action over hurdles at Newbury in December

Stablemate Mick Pastor, who is 4-4 over fences this season, could make it a 1-2 for the Paul Nicholls yard.

UPDATE: With Bravemansgame now a non-runner on account of unsuitably fast ground, it leaves the way for his stablemate to continue his winning sequence.

2.05 Doncaster - King's Lynn

Andrew Balding's King's Lynn is the best of these on official ratings and even a 3lb penalty for winning a Listed event at Haydock in May might not stop him doubling his tally for the season.

Things haven't quite dropped right for him on his five starts since and he might have been placed in the Group 1 King's Stand at Royal Ascot with a clearer run, while his latest second in an Ascot Group 3 was another solid effort and showed he has not gone off the boil.

His Doncaster record of 122 is another thing that speaks in his favour and with no worries over the prevailing soft ground either, he does look a very solid favourite.

Tarhib, who cost 1,050,000gns as a yearling, is on a hat-trick after beating up vastly inferior opposition on her two starts since returning to action at the beginning of last month.

This is tougher of course but she's surely much better than her current 83 rating and could run into a place.

2.15 Aintree - Thomas Mcdonagh

Time To Get Up looked a staying chaser of some potential when winning the Midlands Grand National on just his fourth start over fences, the form of which was boosted when the runner-up Mighty Thunder went one better in the Scottish National.

Jonjo O'Neill's eight-year-old is an obvious type for the Grand National back here in April and today's sighter of the big fences won't do his prospects any harm, but he has to be opposed now dropping back in trip and on his first run back.

We're having to take a chance on the fitness of Thomas Macdonagh as he's been off since finishing a good second Haydock in March, but he ought to be straight enough given his trainer Jamie Snowden earmarked this race as his target in a recent stable tour.

A three-time hurdle winner (rated 136 in that sphere), he has the potential to be an even better chaser and his current mark of 130 is surely one he can win off when conditions are in his favour.

Ideally he wants deep ground to show his best, which seems likely given the current going description of 'soft' with showers forecast in the run-up, and a strong gallop (which seems assured) over today's 2m5f trip could prove ideal for him.

If he takes to the fences on his first look, he should give us a good run for our money under the in-form Gavin Sheehan.

2.25 Wincanton - Rose Of Arcadia

Rose Of Arcadia broke a long losing spell for Team Tizzard when winning over this track and trip in February, and she had had an excuse for her subsequent defeat as favourite in the EBF Mare's Final as she came back lame.

She's set to go over fences at some stage this season and as a winning pointer she should prosper in that sphere, but there's surely a nice handicap hurdle to be won with her first given her lowly rating of 119.

This looks as good an opportunity as any and that her stable has seen a couple of their big guns, Fiddlerontheroof and Eldorado Allen, make winning reappearances in the last week only increases confidence further.

Une De La Seniere, a good winner at Ludlow last time out and with the scope to defy a 6lb rise, is feared most.

2.40 Doncaster - First Light / Flyin' Solo

John Gosden has won this valuable 1m4f handicap six times and most recently in 2018 with Royal Line, the stable's last runner in the race, so his representative First Light will be many people's idea of the winner, and especially given the three-year-old's progressive profile.

A dual winner this season on ground with cut in it (another plus), he probably found Listed company a little too hot to handle when finishing a well beaten fifth on his most recent start in early October, with a longer trip (1m6f) and an absence of 83 days also contributing to that defeat.

He could easily bounce back here with conditions more in his favour under Robert Havlin, who is 1-1 on him, and his draw in stall 12 is OK too as it's probably better to be drawn high than low based on recent results - not once in the last decade has the winner emerged from a single-figure draw.

Of course he's not been missed by bookmakers and is favourite across the board, but we can't let him go unbacked and suggest splitting stakes on him and Flyin Solo, who has a similarly progressive profile and is a few points longer in the betting.

David Menuisier's four-year-old won back-to-back handicaps in the spring, including one over this trip on good to soft, and has run two solid races in defeat since, including a close up third at Newbury in July on ground faster than ideal.

He has been gelded since and, if that's eked out any further improvement, he could do some damage off his current mark of 85, and he too is well berthed in stall 19.

Silvestre De Sousa, who is 4-14 on the stable runners, is an eye-catching jockey booking.

3.00 Wincanton - Hurricane Harvey

Paul Nicholls has farmed this 3m1f handicap chase, winning it five times since 2010 and ten times overall, so his two representatives, Truckers Lodge and Highland Hunter, have to be given maximum respect.

As does last year's winner, the Kim Bailey-trained El Presente, although he's 6lb higher this time around and may struggle to give almost a stone to Hurricane Harvey, who shaped encouragingly over a too-short 2m3f on last month's seasonal reappearance at Chepstow.

Fergal O'Brien's seven-year-old is entitled to come on plenty for that prep run and, as he showed when landing a 3m Grade 2 contest at Doncaster last December, he'll also relish stepping back up in trip.

He wasn't at his best in two subsequent runs but the handicapper has dropped him a few pounds as a result - he's now 8lb lower than he was three years ago - and he wouldn't be the first horse to improve on what his second run back from wind surgery.

With all that in favour, he looks something to bet on at decent odds.

3.20 Aintree - Wilde About Oscar

Wilde About Oscar has a bit to find on official ratings with his main rivals but he's very much a horse to keep on your side this season, and it wouldn't surprise to see him competing at the top level before too long.

The winner of four of his six hurdles starts, including a novice over today's course and distance, his sometimes novicey jumping has got better with experience and he was very good in that department when landing a gamble on Midlands Grand National day.

Trainer Dan Skelton has high hopes this season for Wilde About Oscar

His trainer Dan Skelton is keen to step him up to three miles, believing that could unlock further improvement, but this 2m4f race at a track where he is proven looks a good place to start.

He has most to fear from Brewin'upastorm, a smart novice who came back from injury to win back-to-back races last season, but has to concede the selection 4lb.

3.35 Wincanton - Goshen

This looks to be between dual winner (2016 and last year) Sceau Royal, who made a successful reappearance at Kempton last month, and the four years younger Goshen, with the latter just getting the nod.

Gary Moore's charge finished a long way behind Honeysuckle in the Champion Hurdle and in another Grade 1 at Punchestown at the end of last season, but he's more than capable on a going day.

That was certainly the case on his last run here in February, when leaving the 158-rated Song For Someone standing in the home straight, and he's going to take all the beating if in the same mood this afternoon.

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With his stable firing on all cylinders - six winners last weekend and a couple more since - we'll take that chance.