There are eight cracking races in front of the ITV cameras at Cheltenham and Doncaster on Saturday – and I’ve got a tip for each of them.



1.20 Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (2m1⁄2f)

What a way to begin the ITV coverage with the re-arranged Clarence House Chase, which looks a mouth-watering match between Champion Chase hero Energumene and Arkle winner and recent Tingle Creek champ Edwardstone.

This is tougher to call than many may lead you to believe, but I’m just about siding with Energumene because he’s been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Conditions will also be no bother for him, and I think this hugely-talented chaser has the class edge over his rivals.

Selection – ENERGUMENE to win



1.50 Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (2m4½f)

Half-an-hour later there’s a mightily-competitive handicap chase, for which I’m siding with an old friend. I’ve tipped up Il Ridoto already this season, and I’m going to do so again for similar reasons.

In both his two runs this term, he’s travelled with authority but hasn’t quite seen them out after a few late jumping errors. He’s been dropped another pound for his effort last time out, and his trainer Paul Nicholls has opted for first-time cheekpieces and is confident that he can put it all together this weekend. That’s enough for me.

Selection – IL RIDOTO to win



2.05 Yorkshire Rose Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (2m½f)

It would be some shock if Epatante were to lose this. She’s rated 14lbs+ superior to her five rivals and her form is incomparable.

Martello Sky is a likeable mare who can chase her home under Brian Hughes.

Selection – EPATANTE/MARTELLO SKY forecast



2.25 Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) (3m1½f)

For me, this is a match between Protektorat and Noble Yeats – and I have the former coming out on top.

Dan Skelton’s Betfair Chase hero is in the form of his life, loves soft ground and has great course form in the book – while Grand National victor Noble Yeats won’t appreciate conditions nearly as much, and has a bit to find on form. I rate this a confident selection.

Selection – PROTEKTORAT to win

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2.40 River Don Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (3m½f)

I’m trying to avoid tipping too many favourites, but I really do think it’s going to be a profitable Saturday for punters.

Stay Away Fay is one of my strangest fancies of the weekend. Not only is his form on par with anything on offer from his nine rivals, but he likes good ground and shapes like he’ll love the step up to three miles. Paul Nicholls clearly agrees with me, calling the six-year-old his best chance of a winner on Saturday. Again – that’ll do me.

Selection – STAY AWAY FAY to win



3.00 Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2) (3m)

As an Extra Place Race, Betfred are paying three places on the Cleeve Hurdle and I want to make use of that.

So, I’m chancing Gary Moore’s Botox Has bouncing back to form that saw him win the Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Betfair Chase day in great fashion.

The seven-year-old ran no sort of race last time out over 2m4f, so I’m willing to put a line through that and hope the return to three miles can see him make the frame here.

Selection – BOTOX HAS e/w



3.15 Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (3m)

I tried really, really hard not to tip up another favourite, but I can’t see anything that will beat Ga Law in the big betting race.

Most of his rivals are either desperately out of form or won’t enjoy the predicted quick ground. Neither can be said about the selection. He’s in the form of his life.

Connections are speaking of a Gold Cup tilt next year, which says everything about how highly they rate this seven-year-old, so I’m more than happy to put up another favourite here.

Selection – GA LAW to win



3.35 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (2m4½f)

Lastly, I’m selecting Syd Hosie’s Rock My Way in the penultimate race of Cheltenham’s Trials Day card.

The top two in the market are of course huge dangers, but the selection’s rules debut over course and distance behind Weveallbeencaught – with the rest of the field over 20L behind – looks pretty good. It’s a bit of a worry he went off as big as 66/1 that day, indicating he can’t have been showing much at home, but the fact they’ve decided to pitch him into G2 company is promising.

It’s not a confident selection, but at an each-way price he’s the play for me.

Selection – ROCK MY WAY e/w

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