Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Haydock and Ascot

ITV are covering seven races from Haydock and Ascot on Saturday and we've a tip for each, plus there's news of an exciting money back offer.

We'll start things off with the money back 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 ITV RACES!

With that concession on your side, you can bet on today's selections with a little more confidence at Planet Sport Bet - click on the horse's names below to head straight there and place your bets.

Selections:

Pay The Piper (13.50 Haydock)

Master Tommytucker (14.05 Ascot)

Rightplacerightime (14.25 Haydock)

Mollys Ollys Wishes (14.40 Ascot)

Waiting Patiently (15.00 Haydock)

Before Midnight (15.15 Ascot)

Joke Dancer (15.35 Haydock)

13.50 Haydock - Pay The Piper

Bravemansgame, a high class novice hurdler last season, could not have been more impressive when scoring on his chase debut at Newton Abbot in October, jumping soundly and brushing aside some useful rivals.

He's an odds-on chance to follow up in this graduation chase against three rivals, but he might not have things all his own way.

Itchy Feet has made mistakes in the past but was much better in that department when chasing home Allmankind on his seasonal reappearance at Aintree, one place ahead Midnight Shadow, who boosted the form when landing last Saturday's big handicap at Cheltenham.

He does have to give the favourite 4lb, though, and Pay The Piper, who gets weight from both those horses could prove good enough to take advantage.

Ann Hamilton's six-year-old has quickly bettered last season's smart hurdles form in three starts over fences, including when splitting the high class pair of Fiddlerontheroof and Espoir De Romay at Carlisle last time.

Seemingly best at this intermediate trip of 2m5f and a shade overlooked in the market, he's worth a small interest.

14.05 Ascot - Master Tommytucker

Dashel Drasher was one of the big success stories of last season in winning three times over today's track and trip, including February's Ascot Chase, and that Grade 1 is surely at the top of the front-runner's agenda for this season.

However, he might prove vulnerable first time up under a penalty, with all bar one of his five rivals getting weight, and on ground not as soft he would like. His stable has also been quiet of late.

That said, his two closest rivals in the betting, Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation, have something to prove here.

The former high-class pair looked shadows of their former selves last season and while both have had wind surgery since and have been pleasing their trainers at home, it remains to be seen whether they can recapture their former glories.

For that reason a tentative vote goes to Paul Nicholls' Master Tommytucker, who has just two lengths to find with Dashel Drasher on their running here in February, and will strip fitter for his recent spin over hurdles.

Master Tommytucker has bags of talent

While rising 11, he's relatively lightly-raced over fences and probably has another big race like this one in him given he has bags of talent. He's a backable price too.

14.25 Haydock - Rightplacerightime

Plenty of the 16 runners can be fancied for this prestigious 3m handicap hurdle, but the one that leaps off the page is Irish raider Rightplacerightime.

The six-year-old has been running well over fences this autumn and managed to get his head in front at Fairyhouse earlier this month, when giving the impression there was more to come from him.

If he can carry over that improvement back over hurdles, he can show his current mark of 125 all wrong and with the feather weight of 9st 9lb on his back, thanks to his conditional rider's claim.

His trainer Emmet Mullins does well with his British runners, as evidenced by a 36% strike rate (8-22), and he runs in the same colours as The Shunter, who took advantage of a lenient mark to land last season's Greatwood Hurdle before going on to further glory in the spring.

The selection is not as good as that horse (by some way!) but he'll almost certainly end up rated higher come the end of the season, and may well have been primed for this valuable prize. 

Dan Skelton's Riggs shaped well enough over an inadequate trip on his return and will appreciate stepping back up to 3m, so he should be thereabouts off his low weight.

The 2019 winner Stoney Mountain and Bass Rock, a recent winner at Carlisle and open to further improvement, are others to consider.

14.40 Ascot - Mollys Ollys Wishes

Cesarewitch winner Buzz returns to hurdles and is a strong favourite to see off four rivals, having finished off last season with a staying on second in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle over 2m4f.

He does look the most likely winner but this contest, which is run over slightly shorter, might not play to his strengths and he's reluctantly passed over at cramped odds.

If Goshen is on a going day, he could prove hard to catch around here, given that he's well served by right-handed tracks, but Mollys Ollys Wishes is more certain to run her race and is preferred.

Dan Skelton's mare returned from her summer break in tip-top form to land a 2m Listed contest at Wetherby, where Harry Skelton made plenty use of her.

Considering she stays 3m, another positive ride looks on the cards and her sex allowance gives her a fighting chance of beating today's higher rated rivals.

Last year's winner Song For Someone is very much respected on his first run back after wind surgery, but he'd ideally want the ground much softer.

15.00 Haydock - Waiting Patiently

A bigger field than usual for the Betfair Chase and a high quality one at that, headed by Gold Cup runner-up A Plus Tard.

Henry de Bromhead's seven-year-old is entitled to favouritism but anyone considering backing him has to be concerned about his first-time-out record - he's been beaten at short prices on his last three seasonal reappearances.

That said, the forecast good to soft ground is much less of a concern for him than for three-time winner Bristol De Mai, who is definitely a better horse when the mud is flying, for all he beat Native River on good ground in 2018.

But with just one defeat - that coming in the 2019 renewal - to show from his six Haydock visits, he's not a horse to take on with any great confidence around here, with his sound jumping and cast-iron stamina being huge assets.

However, this is no two-horse race and serious consideration has to be given to Next Destination, whose National Hunt Chase second behind Galvin now looks even better, and Waiting Patiently, who is having his start for Christian Williams.

The now ten-year-old has not been an easy horse to train down the years, limiting him to just 13 chase starts, but he's run some cracking races at Grade 1 level, including winning an Ascot Chase in 2018 and a chasing home Frodon in last year's King George

Waiting Patiently on his way to victory in the 2018 Ascot Chase

That run was after a break of over a year - not the first time he's gone well fresh - and given how strong he was at the finish over three miles, there's every reason to think he won't be beaten through lack of stamina.

That view is shared by his trainer, who said this week: "The place we work most of our horses, if he was a non-stayer he wouldn't work the way he works at home."

He also said: "He's a good work horse and he works to his rating so we're happy. We'll find out at the weekend but he seems in good form. We've had a great run with him and couldn't be happier."

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The switch to Williams, who trains by the sea in Glamorgan and is known to work his horses on the dunes, will not have done him any harm either and, if he does run up to his very best, he won't be far away. That makes him the bet at decent odds.

15.15 Ascot - Before Midnight

It's hard to desert Before Midnight after he did us a good turn as favourite on his return to action at Cheltenham, where he jumped for fun and won unchallenged.

Sam Thomas' charge has been hit hard by the handicapper for that, going up 8lb, which leaves him worse off at today's weights with the Cheltenham runner-up Sky Pirate, who should strip fitter for that run.

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However, Jonjo O'Neill's gelding might need an end-to-end gallop to be seen at his best over this trip of 2m on today's good ground, whereas these conditions are ideal for the selection, who may have even more to offer.

Back him to go in again.

15.35 Haydock - Joke Dancer

Strictlyadancer is rightly a short-priced favourite on his bid for a hat-trick after back-to-back Cheltenham handicap wins, with his latest 7lb rise partly offset by Jack Tudor's claim.

That his main market rivals all look in the grip of the handicapper makes his claims all the more compelling, but we're going to roll the dice and take a chance on rank outsider Joke Dancer.

Sue Smith's eight-year-old outran his 40/1 price tag for a long way on his comeback run at Wetherby last month, and the handicapper has kindly dropped him a further 2lb since.

He's now just 2lb higher than his last winning mark and he's a three-time winner at this track, albeit only one of those was over fences.

What makes him hard to resist, though, is the stable form, with four of his last 14 stablemates to run in the last fortnight ending up in the winners' enclosure and all at good odds (5/1, 9/1, 11/2 and 25/1).

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