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ITV racing suggestions: Seven key runners from Ascot, Haydock and Lingfield | Racing | Sport

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ITV Racing are covering races at Ascot, Haydock and Lingfield on Saturday in a cracking day of racing. Cheltenham Festival favourites Structure Hill and A Plus Tard are each hoping to kickstart their seasons with victories within the Coral Hurdle and Betfair Chase respectively before happening to larger and higher meetings.

The ITV7 jackpot definitely looks winnable this weekend with several short-priced favourites running within the competition. Though if viewers are to land themselves the £50,000 winnings then they may have to work their way through some tricky handicaps. Express Sport shares their picks…

14.05 Ascot

It will be incredibly brave to not forgive L’HOMME PRESSE (4/7) for his sub-par run at Aintree at the top of last season. If Venetia Williams’ gelding is in a position to make his seasonal reappearance at anywhere near his best at Ascot then he should come home in front with relative ease. Hitman will probably head to Haydock, leaving Saint Calvados as Paul Nicholls’ hope within the race, who can have to accept second.

14.25 Haydock

The Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle could knock a big chunk of ITV7 entrants out of the running. The market principles of Run For Oscar and Might I each hold strong possibilities, in addition to Good Risk At All, who comfortably beat Wholestole last day trip. But despite that, we’ll side with COMPLETE UNKNOWN (9/1). The Nicholls yard are in flying form and the 3m trip looked to suit last day trip, he might be an unpopular selection within the competition too.

14.40 Ascot

Although Nicky Henderson wasn’t overly hopeful about his Champion Hurdle hope running this weekend, the rain did arrive and CONSTITUTION HILL (1/2) lines up within the Coral Hurdle. The five-year-old was unbelievable last season and might be hoping to go to Cheltenham in March unbeaten, racking up his first victory here. Fans’ favourite Goshen might be hoping to follow him home after making a swift return to hurdles following his underwhelming chasing debut last month.

14.55 Lingfield

GOLDEN CHAIN showed signs of improvement at Sandown in September and will have the opportunity to win the primary race of her profession on Saturday. She pushed a subsequent winner all of the option to the road last day trip and might have been found opening here by Ralph Beckett. It’s A Love Thing might be a solid each-way play though the handicapper is not being forgiving with him.

15.00 Haydock

Henry de Bromhead’s A PLUS TARD (4/7) won this race last yr and will do it again this time around. He was incredibly impressive on the Gold Cup earlier this yr with a 22-length victory over Minella Indo and is able to coming home in front by a healthy margin on Saturday.

15.15 Ascot

In an incredibly competitive handicap chase, the attention is drawn to Arkle winner Edwardstone heading the market. He might be a category above these but he’s carrying a whopping 12stone and it would take an almighty effort for him to win with that in mind. Alan King has never shied away from running his best horses in handicaps, though his Cheltenham winner is one to tackle at the costs. THYME HILL (11/2) looks the smart play after his impressive win last month at this venue which can set him up well for this race with Lorcan Williams doing the steering.

15.35 Haydock

The ultimate race of the ITV7 can go to Richard Hobson’s LORD DU MESNIL (6/1). The nine-year-old looked to have found his type of old at Bangor earlier this month when ending second at odds of 33/1 and will go one higher here. The low-mileage Houston Texas could make it two wins from two this season and take this step up at school in his stride, though whether this step back from 3m2f to 3m suits stays to be seen.

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