Ascot, Haydock and Taunton – ITV Racing Saturday picks

Predictions and analysis for Saturday’s ITV Racing at Ascot, Haydock and Taunton, plus a free bet to support our selections

IIt’s been a busy weekend for the ITV Racing team, with broadcasts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday’s main course is Ascot, where the Clarence House Chase brings together undefeated duo Shishkin and Energumene for what looks like a blockbuster fight at 3:35pm.

ITV4’s broadcast is on air from 1pm with races from Ascot plus three from Haydock and one in Taunton with a busy schedule, and our tipster has selections in all terrestrial races.

ITV Racing Predictions – Ascot, Haydock and Taunton, Saturday 22nd January

Enda McElhinney has recommendations for all eight races on Saturday. Below you can read the analysis behind his selections.

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1.25 Haydock – Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2, 1m 7½f)

The JONBON express calls at Haydock Park with ‘destination Cheltenham’ firmly on the agenda. There is a lot of hype surrounding this expensive brother of Douvan and so far he has lived up to it without much effort. He didn’t look as bonkers as his stable mate Constitution Hill, but the twist of his foot he showed last month to win this class at Ascot was telling. Maybe last month I was 14 lengths behind Constitution Hill in Sandown and I could be second best again now.

Selection: Jonbon @ 2/5 with Paddy Power

1.45 Ascot – SBK Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle (2m 3f)

Garry Clermont is a key non-topweight player for Jonjo O’Neill, having finished third behind Tritonic last month in a grade 3 handicap of over 1m 7½f. He has no problems with this journey and is a danger to everyone. UNEXPECTED PARTY however, is less exposed after starting five hurdles. Dan Skelton’s attack won in good fashion at Wetherby in a starting event in the fall, and his Boxing Day there was behind a progressive rival – with the pair free. This 6lb higher figure is within his reach.

Selection: Unexpected party @ 9/2 with Paddy Power

2.00 Haydock – New Unibet Hurdle (Grade 2, 1m 7½f)

It’s unlikely we’ll have realistic Champion Hurdle pretenders in this match, but TOMMY’S OSCAR won’t mind if he can book a fourth straight win for Ann Hamilton. He impressively gave weight and a beating to his rivals in Musselburgh on New Year’s Day and was a race winner here in November by over 2m 3f. He is clear about ratings and hard to resist.

Selection: Tommy’s Oscar @ 4/6 with Paddy Power

2.20 Ascot – SBK Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m 7½f)

There is merit in each of MOLLY OLLYS WISHES, Western Victory and My Sister Sarah, with the market struggling to separate them. The former won four of her last six starts and the only defeats came in special stages alongside geldings.

She is a big player back with mares. Anythingforlove won her start only at three miles and will handle the conditions. She needs to improve but could and could be an alternative to the big three.

Selection: Molly Ollys wishes @ 9/4 with Paddy Power

2.35 Haydock – Peter Marsh Handicap Chase (Grade 2 Limited Handicap, 3m 1½f)

Last year’s emphatic winner Royale Pagaille is now 7lbs higher and back for another crack. He stands 2-3 here and was 22 lengths clear of everything else when he was no match for the impressive A Plus Tard in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase on his season comeback. He again has high claims for a trainer in shape. However, there are plenty of dangers. Remastered tried to give in a bit as he came second in the Tommy Whittle here before Christmas and now has more favorable terms, while Lord Du Mesnil finished second in Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick on Boxing Day and has form figures of 1121 at this venue. RICH STEEL moved ominously well until he fell in that same Christmas match, and if he can get around safely now, he should be a major player at a fair price.

Selection: Empire Steel @ 6/1 with Paddy Power

2.55 Ascot – bet365 Handicap Chase (2m5f)

In November, a return to a handicap business worked well for ESTRUVAL WINDOW in Newbury, the Venetia Williams inmate scored with a lot in hand that afternoon. He’s risen 8 pounds, but rider Lucy Turner makes up for most of it in the saddle. She has an excellent 33 percent success rate for this stable over the past 12 months and could add another winner here. This is a tough race with four others winning in the field last time. Knight In Dubai has formed well in two runs after a long absence and could be in the mix for the Skeltons.

Selection: Fanion D’estruval @ 5/1 with Paddy Power

3.15 Taunton – BioWaveGo Portman Cup Chase (3m 4½f)

He is now a 12 year old, but YALA ENKIA Another great season kicked off at Cheltenham in November, with more build-up where needed to beat The Mighty Don. That was a handicap that involved a lot of weight, and he is treated very nicely as such on these terms. He and regular partner Bryony Frost can be beaten again today.

Selection: Yala Enki @ 5/6 with Paddy Power

3.35 Ascot – SBK Clarence House Chase (Grade 1, 2m1f)

A race to enjoy as the most exciting chasers in this slot horn division. Both Shishkin and ENERGUMENE are unbent over fences, and this may be the start of a major rivalry. Read our extensive race preview here. Willie Mullins’ raider is quite relentless up front, and if Shishkin hits a flat spot, he may have a hard time pinning Paul Townend’s pacer back. Last year’s winner, First Flow and Amoola Gold, both seem to rely on accidents.

Selection: Energumene @ 2/1 with Paddy Power

Want to know more about the latest British horse racing?

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