Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Cheltenham and Doncaster

There's a double-header of live ITV action on Saturday December 11 and we've a tip for each of the seven televised races, plus there's news of a free bet offer worth knowing about.

Let's begin with that free bet offer, which 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 - applies to ALL LIVE ITV RACES!

So with that handy concession on our side, it's time to delve into our outright tips and we've listed these below with clickable links behind the names in case you want to head straight to Planet Sport Bet to place your bets.

That would have proved very profitable last Saturday as we landed on the winners of the Tingle Creek and Becher Chase - Greanateen (12/1) and Snow Leopardess (4/1) - as well as easy Aintree winner Protektorat (4/1).


Lalor / Joke Dancer each-way (13.50 Cheltenham)

Sonigino (14.05 Doncaster)

Barony Legends (14.25 Cheltenham)

Too Friendly (14.40 Doncaster)

Song For Someone (15.00 Cheltenham)

Kauto Riko (15.15 Doncaster)

Runasimi River each-way (15.35 Cheltenham)

13.50 Cheltenham - Lalor / Joke Dancer each-way

A whole host of admirable handicappers to choose from in this valuable handicap chase run over an extended 2m4f, with all bar a couple of the 15 runners holding claims.

But previous course form has to count for plenty and Lalor, who shaped most encouragingly when third in the Paddy Power Gold Cup and now meets the winner Midnight Shadow on 5lb better terms, has to be pick for all he's favourite.

The nine-year-old was making his debut for Paul Nicholls in the November race, having also undergone wind surgery since last seen out, and was noted staying on well to grab a place late on after getting done for toe before two out.

Saturday's race, which is being run on the stiffer New Course and on much softer ground, is going to be more of a stamina test, which will suit the selection down to the ground and the champion trainer, who has won it five times, relies on him from five original entries.

Venetia Williams is double-handed with her Cepage heading the weights and while he has a good record at the track - including when finishing second to Frodon in the 2018 renewal - it's her other runner Farinet that is feared most.

The six-year-old already has a Listed win on his British CV and the presence of his stablemate ensures he carries just 10st 2lb this afternoon, with Rachael Blackmore an eye-catching jockey booking. He's worth a saver.

Those of you looking for a big outsider to have an each-way dabble on might want to consider Joke Dancer from near the bottom of the handicap.

Sue Smith's charge clearly didn't stay 3m plus at Haydock last time but was still bang there three out having jumped and travelled well up to that point.

He's a huge price if none the worse for the experience.

14.05 Doncaster - Sonigino

Tommy's Oscar was an impressive winner at Haydock last month but that race may not have been as competitive as it looked beforehand, and he's been raised 7lb as a result.

That leaves him on top weight for this 2m handicap hurdle and Sonigino, who is in receipt of 19lb, looks the one to be on.

The Paul Nicholls-trained four-year-old had won two of his three starts in France before making his stable debut last month and while beaten into third, it was more than a satisfactory start for his new connections.

The French handicapper had rated him 140 so his British mark of 128 is certainly one he can win off, and the more rain the better for him as both his wins have come on very soft ground.

14.25 Cheltenham - Barony Legends

A flatter track and a 5lb pull at the weights could allow Gelino Bello to finish closer to Blazing Khal, who beat him into second at Cheltenham's November meeting, with the winner maintaining his unbeaten record (2-2) over hurdles.

However, the Nicholls runner didn't appear to be crying out for today's longer trip and the recent rain is only going to make it even more of a stamina test, so Blazing Khal may well confirm the form.

But his shortish odds are off-putting and we'd rather take a chance on Olly Murphy's Barony Legends, who won as he pleased by a wide margin on his hurdles debut at Lingfield (2m3f, soft).

This is tougher of course but he's highly regarded at home and is considered a "proper staying type" by his trainer, so today's test could be right up his street. He's worth a small interest at the odds.

14.40 Doncaster - Too Friendly

Porticello beat Magistrato pretty comprehensively in France and that pair, who have since made winning British debuts for Gary Moore and Paul Nicholls respectively, hog the market for this Listed Grade 2 contest for juveniles.

Given that Magistrato has since run disappointingly at Kempton, the Moore-trained gelding is much preferred on this occasion but we'd much rather back Dan Skelton's Too Friendly at a bigger price.

The son of Derby winner Camelot is 2-2 over hurdles and showed a good turn of foot to defy a penalty at Newcastle last time out in a race that turned into a test of speed.

A stronger overall gallop would have suited him better and this ex-Flat performer - he was rated in the high 80s in that sphere - looks the type to hold his own in more demanding company such as today's.

15.00 Cheltenham - Song For Someone

Sceau Royal is an admirably consistent sort who has already won at Grade 2 level this season, before finishing third behind the dead-heating pair of Not So Sleepy and Epitante in Newcastle's Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

He's bound to be thereabouts again but last year's winner Song For Someone is fancied to have his measure, having looked as good as ever when chasing home Buzz on his seasonal return at Ascot, giving the impression that recent wind surgery had done him good.

Song For Someone (left, white cap) on his way to winning last year's International Hurdle

Tom Symonds' six-year-old had just a nose to spare over Silver Streak at the finish 12 months ago but the removal of three flights (including the last) due to the low sun would have been to his detriment given that his chief asset is slick hurdling, so it's a measure of his ability that he was still able to prevail.

Back him to make it eight wins over hurdles from 17 starts.

15.15 Doncaster - Kauto Riko

Likely favourite Two For Gold could prove vulnerable off top weight on his first run back and we'd much rather have a dabble on Kauto Riko in the knowledge he is best caught fresh.

Tom Gretton's charge ran an absolute blinder on his first run back last season to finish fourth in the ultra competitive Paddy Power Gold Cup, and he ran Top Notch to less than a length in the Grade 2 Peterbrough Chase on his reappearance the season before

Going even further back on his CV, he has two wins to his name after long breaks and it's no surprise really that connections were considering running him in today's big handicap chase at Cheltenham at the five-day stage.

This looks a far more winnable contest in receipt off almost a stone from the favourite and with Brian Hughes doing the pushing, so he's crying out to be backed at the odds.

15.35 Cheltenham - Runasimi River each-way

Jonjo O'Neill's Trapista was a comfortable winner against her own sex on her hurdles debut at Huntingdon and is unbeaten, having won on her start over hurdles in France.

She could be very useful for all that the horses she beat on her British debut have done nothing to advertise the form since, and connections must be eyeing up the mares' novice hurdle back here in March.

Today's contest will be a good test of her credentials and she does look the most likely winner, although we're being asked to take a short price.

Of her rivals, one that could outrun her odds is the Neil Mulholland-trained Runasimi River, who was winning for the seventh time over hurdles at Hereford 17 days ago.

This is a much tougher contest but she's clearly in great heart, is a quick and neat jumper and has always shown a good attitude.

She gets in here off bottom weight of 10 stone and with Tom Scudamore sweating down to ride at his minimum, she could well nick a place to reward each-way backers.

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