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Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Sandown and Wolverhampton on March 9

As we creep ever closer to the Cheltenham Festival the Planet Sport tipsters are keen to boost your coffers with some red-hot selections from the two meetings ITV are covering on Saturday, March 9.

The big guns are all waiting in the wings for next week, however there's still some exciting contests on offer at Sandown and Wolverhampton, including the Imperial Cup (1425).

We will start off with a quick run through our tips, with the reasons why we've picked them further down the page.

If you fancy a punt or two, check out the Planet Sport race centre which will show you all the live odds, racecards and results.

Good luck and please gamble responsibly.

(Please be aware selections could become non-runners after article's first publication)

 

Saturday's selections:

13:50 (Sandown) Asta La Pasta

14:25 (Sandown) Go Dante

14:40 (Wolverhampton) Shouldvebeenaring

15:00 (Sandown) Crazierthandaisy

15:15 (Wolverhampton) Smoky Mountain

15:35 (Sandown) Heros

 

13:50 (Sandown) Asta La Pasta

There's some progressive horses lining up for this Novices Handicap Hurdle Final, but it's the improving Dan Skelton-trained Asta La Pasta that catches the eye.

Shaped as though the step up in distance would suit when staying on strongly to score at Wetherby last time. Could have more give back among handicap company.

Although he doesn't always look straightforward there is no doubt recent Taunton winner Fire Flyer holds ability to go close off this opening handicap mark.

Hasthing caught the eye finishing seventh at Newbury last time and cannot be ruled out.

Awaythelad battled on well to beat Roger Pol at Leicester and both might feature.

 

14:25 (Sandown) Go Dante

Go Dante can finally land the big prize he has long promised in the Betfair Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle.

Olly Murphy has always held this eight-year-old in high regard, so much so he was given a shot at Grade One company when finishing fourth in the Challow Hurdle a couple of years ago.

Go Dante then spent more than a year on the sidelines, winning one of his four starts last term, before returning this season with an encouraging sixth in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham, where Champion Hurdle-bound Iberico Lord was just far too good, beating him 15 lengths.

He looked good value for a length-and-a-quarter victory over Doddiethegreat subsequently, before he clashed again with Iberico Lord in last month’s Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

That rival again had his measure, although Go Dante almost halved the distance between them in coming home third, and a similar effort would put him right in the mix for this prize, particularly if the ground rides on the easier side.

 

14:40 (Wolverhampton) Shouldvebeenaring

Shouldvebeenaring looks a worthy favourite on his return to action in the BetMGM Lady Wulfruna Stakes.

He showed he can win first time up last season when triumphing at Southwell on the first of what was to be 12 starts in 2023.

Those dozen runs encompassed Group One assignments, with his last two outings of the year producing a narrow Sprint Cup second and a close-up third in the Prix de la Foret.

The ratings put him well ahead of his rivals here, with Richard Hannon’s charge also vastly favoured under the conditions of the race, so it will be disappointing if he cannot prevail.

 

15:00 (Sandown) Crazierthandaisy

 

Crazierthandaisy can take a huge leap forward from her debut run to claim Listed honours in the British Stallion Studs EBF Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race.

A beautifully-bred daughter of Walk In The Park, Crazierthandaisy bumped into two more experienced rivals at Huntingdon in January, being beaten less than a length and looking a certain future winner.

This is a tougher test, but Nicky Henderson knows what is required.

 

15:15 (Wolverhampton) Smoky Mountain

Smoky Mountain’s claims in the BetMGM Lincoln Trial Handicap are perhaps less clear cut, but he is worth an interest.

He has either won or finished second in all but one of his eight career outings and has a cosy seven-furlong success at this track to his credit already this year.

Smoky Mountain is upped to a mile here, but having been a short-head second over the distance at Southwell the time before last, the trip holds no fears and he could still have something in the locker.

 

15:35 (Sandown) Heros

Heros appears to be on the upgrade for Venetia Williams ahead of the Betfair Serial Winners Fund Novices’ Handicap Chase.

He did not show too much over hurdles last term, but switched to fences this year, he has proved a different proposition in winning two of his five starts.

Taunton victories in November and December were followed by thirds at Aintree and Wincanton, with a change to waiting tactics at the latter venue not appearing to suit at all.

Returned to a more prominent role at Wetherby last time, Heros was beaten just a neck in a photo despite being carried across the track on the run to the line, so his effort could be upgraded.

 

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