ITV Racing Tips: Best Bets for Saturday’s Live Action from Sandown, Leicester, and Haydock


Sandown, Leicester, and Haydock

This Saturday the ITV cameras head to Sandown, Leicester, and Haydock for a cracking afternoon of live racing entertainment. Four events from Sandown dominate the TV card, as the Esher venue plays host to the final meeting of the National Hunt season. Can anyone catch Willie Mullins in the battle to become British Champion trainer? It seems unlikely, but Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls have one last roll of the dice to haul in the leader and won’t go down without a fight.

The race for the trainer’s title provides a fascinating subplot to the action, but punters will focus on the six opportunities to back a winner. Here, using analysis presented by NewBettingSites.uk, we pick out our best bets in each of the six races on offer.

Sandown 1:50 - bet365 Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle

We have a wide open start to the day, as a maximum field of 20 goes to post in this fiercely competitive Novice event, with the bookmakers struggling to identify a favourite. Fiercely Proud and Secret Squirrel are tough to split, having each finished a close-up second to the talented Jeriko Du Reponet this season. Secret Squirrel may hold the edge at the weights, but at a bigger price, we prefer an each-way punt on Dan Skelton’s Be Aware. Never outside the first two in three starts to date, he ought to relish a strongly run 2m, having won over this distance and gone close over 2m5f. Take this handicap debutante to make a small dent in Mullins's championship lead.

  • Best Bet - Be Aware each way @ 11/1 with BetGoodwin

Leicester 2:05 - Madri Excepcional King Richard III Cup Handicap

Look Back Smiling, Raadobarg, and Thunder Roar bring solid recent form to the table, but this can go to the William Haggas-trained Al Mubhir. Having finished close up in the 2023 Lincoln and in the first three on three occasions at Listed level, this son of Frankel looks up to defying a mark of 104 on his seasonal return and first start since a gelding operation. Since 2004, Haggas has sent six runners to Leicester for a 1m handicap – four have won.

  • Best Bet - Al Mubhir @ 5/2 with LiveScoreBet

Sandown 2:25 -bet365 Oaksey Chase

Grade 2 action up next, and a race where a couple of the fancied contenders have questions to answer. Paul Nicholls’ Hitman and Ga Law are yet to win over this far, whilst The Real Whacker hasn’t been at his best this season – including when pulled up in the Gold Cup last time out. Fantastic Lady is interesting, having finished third in the 2023 edition, but the most solid option is the Willie Mullins representative Easy Game. A seven-time winner in this grade, this is about as far as he wants to go, but the good ground should help, and he can do enough in the first-time cheekpieces.

  • Best Bet - Easy Game @ 5/1 with LiveScoreBet

Haydock 2:45 - Trustatrader.com Handicap

The rain on Merseyside has ensured there will be no sign of good ground at Haydock. Recent form can play second fiddle to an ability to handle conditions when the going gets tough at this track, which provides many of these with a significant question to answer. One runner who does like it when the mud is flying is the 2022 winner of the race Boardman. He’s higher in the handicap this time around but remains 1lb below his career-high winning mark and is attractively priced to at least hit the frame.

  • Best Bet - Boardman each way at 16/1 with BetGoodwin

Sandown 3:00 - bet365 Celebration Chase

This could be the race in which Wilie Mullins finally seals the Trainer's Championship with his sole entry, El Fabiolo, the horse they all have to beat. Sent off at just 2/9 in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, he’s 8/11 here in a race which doesn’t look any stronger. That price is due to his pulled-up effort at Cheltenham, but that was his first non-completion in 12 career starts. 5lb clear of the field on ratings and a four-time Grade 1 winner, he can stamp his class on this field at the main expense of the admirable Jonbon.

  • Best Bet - El Fabiolo to win @ 8/11 with BetGoodwin

Sandown 3:35 - bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase

Last but not least, the big betting heat of the day, as 22 goes to post in the final staying headline handicap chase of the season. The stats suggest we should favour the younger contenders in this contest – preferably those saddled with 11st or less on the day. Of those who fit the bill, the one we like best is the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Wecallbeencaught. Long held in high regard by his handler, this one hasn’t quite hit the heights this season, although his close third to the talented Flooring Porter reads well. Around this time last year, he was competing in Grade 1 hurdle contests, making his current chase mark of 132 appear more than workable.

  • Best Bet - Weveallbeencaught each way @ 16/1 with BetUK

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