Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Aintree and Sandown

The Tingle Creek Chase is one of eight races being shown live on ITV on Saturday December 4 and we've a tip for each, plus there's news of a free bet offer not to be missed.

First up those free bets, which work 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 - applies to ALL ITV RACES!

With that concession on your side, you can place your bets at Planet Sport Bet with a little more confidence and you can head straight there by clicking on the horse's names below.

Selections:

Six Feet Apart (13.30 Aintree)

Il Ridoto (13.50 Sandown)

Protektorat (14.05 Aintree)

Greaneteen (14.25 Sandown)

Snow Leopardess (14.40 Aintree)

Salty Boy (15.00 Sandown)

Ballyandy each-way (15.15 Aintree)

Benson (15.35 Sandown)

13.30 Aintree - Six Feet Apart

White Pepper was an easy winner at Galway in October and appreciates soft ground - which seems likely - but this is tougher and her stable isn't exactly firing on all cylinders - just 1-24 in the last fortnight.

She's taken on at a short price with another Irish raider in Joseph O'Brien's Six Feet Apart, who looked a useful recruit to hurdling when scoring at Fairyhouse last month.

A well-bred sort out of a half-sister to an Italian Group 1 winner, she showed some ability on the Flat but looks like she will achieve more at the winter game, and she too relishes soft ground.

13.50 Sandown - Il Ridoto

Third Time Lucki hasn't beaten much in winning both his chase starts at Cheltenham and today's test will tell us far more about his Arkle prospects.

An exuberant sort, he could be a joy to watch over these fences and it's looking like he will get the decent ground he needs - he's far less effective on soft/heavy.

However, the next three in the betting all look capable of mixing it at this level and Edwardstone, in particular, could give the favourite plenty to think about having looked a natural over fences when scoring at Warwick last month.

But Il Ridoto was just as impressive at Newbury last Saturday, when landing a competitive 2m handicap chase in great style, and that Paul Nicholls is turning him out again so quickly is a tip in itself.

Some good prize money and that he's getting weight from all his rivals thanks to his four-year-old allowance may have helped sway that decision, and the race could be set for him if they go a good pace, as seems likely, given he shaped as though he'd stay further.

14.05 Aintree - Protektorat

This looks a good opportunity for Paddy Power Gold Cup runner-up Protektorat to go one better on his first try over 3m, which he promises to stay well, and back at the scene of his Grade 1 novice success in April.

Protektorat is in action at Aintree

As a six-year-old, his best days are ahead of him, which can't be said for his main market rival Native River, who is rising 12 and might need his first run back besides.

Imperial Aura departed early in the Betfair Chase to make it three non-completions in a row (UPF) and he's best watched for now, as is the mighty Tiger Roll on his return to action.

14.25 Sandown (Tingle Creek Chase) - Greaneteen

Nube Negra might have won the Champion Chase in March with a better leap at the last and he hit the line far stronger than the disappointing Chacun Pour Soi back in third.

It was a different result entirely when the pair clashed at Punchestown in April when Willie Mullins' charge ran out a convincing winner, with Nube Negra almost 25 lengths adrift in third. That run was too bad to be true.

Dan Skelton's seven-year-old has since run a personal best on his comeback run at Cheltenham, where he again impressed in how he came up the hill, and will be fighting fit for round three.

Bookmakers still prefer the chances of Chacun Por Soi, who does have a good record fresh and is clear best on the official ratings, but the Skelton runner is a far more mature horse now and is just preferred at the odds.

But this is no two-horse race and Greaneteen, who romped home over this track and trip in April, when lowering the colours of Altior no less, should not be underestimated. 

Greaneteen wins the Celebration Chase at Sandown

He has just a length to find with Nube Negra on their running in the Champion Chase and his trainer Paul Nicholls, who has won this Grade 1 11 times, has readied him with a prep run Exeter last month.

A strong stayer at this trip and best on goodish ground - the relatively dry week has helped his cause - he has to be worth an interest at the odds.

14.40 Aintree (Becher Chase) - Snow Leopardess

Mac Tottie is already a winner over the big fences, having landed the 2m5f Grand Sefton Chase in November, and he looks sure to go well again, although this is more of a stamina test and he's now 7lb higher in the ratings.

He'll have to win and go up about 10lb if he's to make the field for the Grand National, which will again be on the agenda for Kimberlite Candy, twice a runner-up in this race, and Scottish Grand National winner Mighty Thunder.

They should give their backers a run for their money as should Vieux Lion Rouge, who made it nine completions over these fences when running out a ridiculously easy winner of last year's renewal.

But the final pick goes to the Snow Leopardess, who recorded a small personal best when winning a classy and competitive handicap chase on her return to action at Bangor last month.

Apart from a slight error at the last, her jumping was exemplary and we know she stays well, having seen her finish fourth behind Galvin in the 3m6f novice at the Cheltenham Festival under today's pilot Aidan Coleman.

With just 10st 4lb to carry this afternoon and with the dig in the ground she likes, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Charlie Longsdon's mare is up to winning a Becher Chase.

15.00 Sandown - Salty Boy

Strictlyadancer is up another 7lb for landing the hat-trick at Haydock and he's not certain to stay this 3m5f, so he's a favourite to be taken on.

There are stamina doubts too about a couple of other fancied runners, namely Deise Aba and Larry, while Highland Hunter looks to be on a stiff mark now.

So we're more than happy to take a chance on Salty Boy at a double-figure price given he's a strong stayer, as he showed when finishing third in last season's Eider over an extended 4m and when winning the Southern National last time out.

While he's gone up 5lb for that, he still looks reasonably treated on a mark of 126, which is 7lb lower than his hurdles rating, and Mitchell Bastyan's 3lb claim means he'll carry just 10st 4lb.

David Bridgwater's eight-year-old looks solid each-way with plenty in his favour.

15.15 Aintree - Ballyandy each-way

Tamar Bridge will find this tougher than the novice he won at Wetherby last time and isn't obviously well handicapped, while Midnight River is best watched after taking a heavy fall at Carlisle on his chase debut and now back over hurdles.

As the pair head the market there has to be some value further down the betting list and one horse who could outrun his big odds is former Betfair Hurdle winner Ballyandy.

Ballyandy is fancied to go well at Aintree at a big price

It's almost a year since his last really good effort, that being a close up third in the Grade 2 International hurdle at Cheltenham, but the handicapper is finally cutting him some slack and his revised mark of 140 is 17lb lower than his prime rating.

With the stable conditional Finn Lambert claiming 10lb off his back, he'll carry south of 11 stone this afternoon and, if the ten-year-old retains any of his old ability, he has to be thereabouts at the finish.

15.35 Sandown - Benson

Hudson De Grugy has now won three times over this track and trip, from his last four outings, and he jumped better than he had previously when shrugging off top weight here last time, suggesting he's on the upgrade.

He's a worthy favourite but this is a big jump in class and Dr Richard Newlands' Benson is preferred at the odds.

An improving sort last season when winning his first three starts, including one course and distance, and then finishing fourth of the 17 runners in a valuable Ascot handicap won by Not So Sleepy from Buzz. That form looks even better now.

He was weak in the market on his comeback run over 2m5f at Cheltenham and on the back of wind surgery and ran as if that outing was needed, weakening on the run-in into fifth.

Sure to be a lot sharper this afternoon and with the drop back in trip likely to suit, he should give us a good run for our money.

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