Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Doncaster, Kelso and Kempton

The ITV cameras are rolling at three meetings on Saturday and we've a tip for each of the nine live races.

But before we delve into the tips and the reasons behind them, a quick heads-up as regards the Planet Sport Live Centre as it's here you will find the highly informative race cards for Doncaster, Kelso and Kempton.


Persian Force (13.15 Donacaster)

Son Of The Somme (13.35 Kelso)

Diligent Harry (13.50 Doncaster)

Fancy Man (14.05 Kempton)

A Boy Named Ivy (14.25 Doncaster)

Justus each-way (14.40 Kempton)

Chindit (15.00 Doncaster)

Rae Des Champs (15.15 Kelso)

Notre Belle Bete (15.35 Doncaster)

13.15 Doncaster - Persian Force

With no form to go on for the traditional curtain raiser of the British Flat racing season, we're having to turn to sales value and breeding for pointers to the most likely winner, although the market will ultimately prove the best guide.

So in the hope he doesn't take a big walk in the betting we're siding with the Richard Hannon-trained Persian Force, whose price shot up from €75,000 to €225,000 when resold as a yearling in September 2021 and is closely related to last year's Newbury Super Sprint winner Gubbass.

Bred to be smart and speedy, so often a winning combination in this opening two-year-old race, he will also have the services of the in-form Rossa Ryan, who is 5-14 (36%) in the last fortnight.

Blatant represents last year's winning trainer / jockey duo of Eve Johnson Houghton and Charles Bishop, who also won the 2018 renewal, and a strong market move for him would be significant.

13.35 Kelso - Son Of The Somme

The handicapper seems to have most of these where he wants them but Brian Ellison's Son Of The Somme is clearly still progressing, and he looks a solid favourite with champion jockey elect Brian Hughes retaining the partnership.

Champion jockey elect Brian Hughes rides the Kelso selection

The selection almost defied an 8lb rise for an easy success at Wetherby in January when beaten a neck at Doncaster 22 days ago, which was another personal best from him.

After being headed at the last by the eventual winner, there was a lot to like about the way he stuck his head down and fought all the way to the line on what was just his seventh start over hurdles.

On that evidence and his pedigree, the son of Yeats will relish today's slightly longer trip and compensation awaits.

13.50 Doncaster - Diligent Harry

Garrus and Diligent Harry have a good few pounds in hand over their rivals on official ratings and it's the latter horse who gets the nod as he has more scope to improve being two years younger.

Unraced at two, the son of Due Dilligence won three of his four races as a three-year-old, culminating in success in the all-weather sprint championships at Lingfield in April, before being placed in a couple of Group 3 contests on turf.

A soft surface found him out when well beaten on his final start at Ascot in October, after which his trainer Clive Cox decided to give him a break, saying he'd be a better horse for it, with a view to campaigning him in all the top sprints this season.

With the ground drying out all the time, conditions should be perfect for him. Adam Kirby is in the plate.

14.05 Kempton - Fancy Man

Richard Hannon's four-year-old couldn't cope with the classy pair of Alenquer and Lord North in last month's Group 3 Winter Derby, but he finished well clear of the remainder and the drop back to Listed company can see him him back in the winners' enclosure.

He had one of today's rivals, King Of The South, well beaten off when successful over this trip at Lingfield previously, overcoming a less than ideal trip to score convincingly, and a similar effort here would surely suffice.

His two main rivals according to the betting, Felix and Father Of Jazz, are not without hope in receipt of 3lb, but the former is drawn widest of all in stall eight, while the latter has a 267-day absence to overcome.

14.25 Doncaster - A Boy Named Ivy

Just the nine runners for the Spring Mile, a consolation race for the Lincoln, and Michael Dods' four-year-old looks to have solid claims on his best form, which includes a handicap success on his reappearance last season over Redcar's straight mile.

He went close to adding to that success on a couple of occasions later in the season, including when beaten a short head at Thirsk in September after a troubled run, and he starts this campaign on the same mark as his last winning one.

Empirestateofmind was most progressive from last August onwards, winning three times and only finding Lincoln favourite Mujtaba too good on his final outing at Redcar in October. He could give the selection most to do if in the same sort of form.

14.40 Kempton - Justus each-way

It's no surprise to see Bandinelli heading the market for the 2m Queen's Prize given his progressive profile and he's probably been saved for this since winning over track and trip last November, to take his career record to 4-8.

He has to go close despite a further 5lb rise but there's enough juice in the price of Ian Williams' Justus to put him up as a solid each-way alternative.

A lightly-raced 1m7f winner in France, he showed a lot more than on his two previous British starts when finishing second in a qualifier here 10 days ago, which can be marked up as he was a bit keen in the early stages.

On that evidence, he can definitely win a race of this nature off his current mark of 81, which translates to a racing weight of 8st 5lb, a stone lower than the favourite, and his stable has been amongst the winners of late.

15.00 Doncaster - Chindit

It's hard to see past Richard Hannon's four-year-old given he has plenty in hand over his three rivals on official ratings - Boosala and Royal Champion have 8lb and 12lb to find respectively - and he looks the type to do even better as a four-year-old.

Unbeaten in two starts at Doncaster as a juvenile, he kicked off last season by winning a Group 3 at Newbury before running a creditable fifth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, and it wouldn't surprise to see him win at the highest level this term.

Greenham winner Chindit can kick off his 2022 campaign in style

Unfortunately, he's an odds-on shot this afternoon under Rossa Ryan but a double with the same rider's Brocklesby mount, Persian Force, is worth considering to bump up the odds.

15.15 Kelso - Rae Des Champs each-way

Likely favourite Theatre Glory made the most of a drop in grade at Warwick last time but her hurdling left a lot to be desired on that occasion, and she looks vulnerable off top weight in this competitive mares' handicap hurdle.

Rose Dobbins' Rae Des Champs, who is in receipt of 22lb, makes far more appeal at an each-way price having knuckled down well to score on her handicap debut at Musselburgh earlier this month.

That was a big improvement on her two previous efforts and the five-year-old, who changed hands for £90,000 after winning her sole Irish point, probably benefitted from being produced late off a strong gallop.

Off just a 4lb higher mark this afternoon and given the likelihood of another well-run handicap, she's taken to follow up.

15.35 Doncaster - Notre Belle Bete

The last three winners of the Lincoln Handicap were well found in the market (5/1, 5/2 and 9/2) and all were four-year-old's going the right way and housed in Newmarket.

The same applies to this year's three market leaders, Mujtaba, Modern News and Saleymm, and preference is for the former horse, who is unbeaten (3-3) and is bidding to give his trainer William Haggas a record fifth victory in the race.

He may well be a Group performer in the making, which is probably what's required these days, but at bigger odds we'll take a chance on the winner of last month's Lincoln Trial and another four-year-old in Notre Belle Bete.

Twice placed at Listed level in Ireland, including when fourth behind subsequent 2,000 Guineas winner Poetic Flare, he is now 2-2 for Andrew Balding on the all-weather and won going away at Wolverhampton 14 days ago, after racing wide early and still having plenty to do over a furlong out.

The 5lb penalty he picked up for that success means he gets into this race on a mark of 92, which is 11lb lower than his initial rating in Ireland, suggesting he's still well handicapped, and the switch back to turf may well bring about further improvement.

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