Saturday ITV Racing Tips: Best bets for Ascot, Lingfield and Haydock

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Our outright picks are listed below with the reasons behind them further fown the page, while Planet Sport's Racing Live Centre is also worth checking out as it's here you'll find the highly informative race cards for Ascot, Lingfield and Haydock.


Juan de Montalban each-way (13.45 Ascot)

Verraux Eagle (14.05 Lingfield)

Stowell (14.20 Ascot)

United Nations (14.40 Lingfield)

Severance each-way (15.00 Haydock)

Emily Dickinson (15.15 Lingfield)

Serenading each-way (15.30 Ascot)

Thunder Beauty (15.50 Lingfield)

Dark Shift / Vafortino (16.05 Ascot)

13.45 Ascot - Juan De Montalban each-way

Kevin Philippart De Foy's four-year-old should go well in this highly competitive 1m4f handicap, having run a respectable fourth on his stable debut at Thirsk last month when in need of the run. Having shown very little in three runs for David O'Meara in the latter half of last season, he was subsequently gelded and, if his latest run is any guide, he's more likely to run up to the sort of form he showed when with Andrew Balding, winning twice, and when finishing second in the Italian Derby in his brief stint over there. Off what looks a decent mark of 90, which is 10lb lower than his peak rating, and with the in-form Daniel Tudhope booked to ride, he looks well worth an each-way interest.

14.05 Lingfield - Verraux Eagle

All six of the runners have seen plenty of all-weather action this year and Verraux Eagle wasn't beaten far in a 7f handicap here in early April off a 1lb higher mark than today's.

But Ed Dunlop's four-year-old is just as good on fast turf, as she showed when beaten a nose at Brighton on his most recent start under a claiming rider. With William Buick taking over the reigns and with her stable remaining in good form, this looks a good opportunity for her to double her tally on grass.

14.20 Ascot - Stowell

Last year's Coronation Cup runner-up Al Aasy is much the best of these on official ratings but he was disappointing on his final two runs last season and is likely to need his first run back with bigger targets ahead. In which case, John and Thady Gosden's Stowell looks primed to take advantage having acquitted himself well when third in a Newbury Group 3 on his return to action under today's rider Frankie Dettori. The winner of a maiden over this track and trip last May before running a fine third in the Group 2 Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot, he is open to further improvement this term after just five career starts.

14.40 Lingfield - United Nations

Charlie Appleby and Aidan O'Brien lock horns once again for this latest Derby trial and the former trainer's Walk Of Stars is entitled to be favourite having won a classy three-runner affair at Newbury last month, when value for more than his neck winning margin. But as we saw at Chester this week, the Ballydoyle runners are improving plenty on their second run back this season, and that bodes well for the chances of United Nations, who was a staying-on fourth on his reappearance at Epsom 18 days ago. When a son of Galileo can win over 7f, as he did when making all on his racecourse debut in September, it's usually a good sign and he has all the makings of a classy middle-distance colt. Ryan Moore, who stole the show on the Roodee with some textbook rides from the front, gets the leg up on the Derby entrant and he might set out to make all.

15.00 Haydock - Severance each-way

West Cork might be able to reverse Scottish Champion Hurdle placings with the winner Anna Bunina with a pull in the weights and in what is likely to be a more strongly-run race.

But preference at bigger odds is for Ben Pauling's Severance who deserves to win a decent handicap like this one, having twice hit the crossbar at Cheltenham in January - he meets the winner Cormier on better terms - and Aintree when last seen out. This is his second run back from a wind op and, still lightly-raced over hurdles after eight starts, he should be capable of winning off his current mark and with his stable in red-hot form (5-17, 29%, in the last fortnight).

15.15 Lingfield - Emily Dickinson

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore have been mopping up Classic trials of late and they team up here with Emily Dickinson, who can enhance her Oaks credentials no end by winning this Listed contest.

A daughter of the high class but quirky Chicquita, who won the Irish Oaks and chased home Treve in the French version at three, she looks far more straightforward and overcame greenness when landing a Naas maiden last month.

She needed every yard of the 1m2f trip on that occasion, having got outpaced at around the turn into the straight before seeing it out strongly, and she'll relish this step up in trip. Moore is sure to make this a proper test and she's much preferred to the shortest-priced British-trained runner, Belt Buckle, the winner of a Wolverhampton maiden on her racecourse debut, the form of which has since been let down by the placed horses.

15.30 Ascot - Serenading each-way

Several of the fancied runners for this competitive fillies' handicap have yet to see racecourse action this year, in which case it could pay to side with the race-fit Serenading. James Fanshawe's four-year-old has been busy on the all-weather since October, winning twice, and she can be forgiven an odds-on defeat in a three-runner affair at Newcastle when last seen out as she prefers getting cover before being delivered late. She is just as effective on turf and caught the eye travelling keenly on her last visit to this track in September before being denied a clear run a furlong out, after which she was heavily eased. Granted some better luck in running and with James Doyle doing the steering, she's worth an each-way investment.

15.50 Lingfield - Thunder Beauty

The 7f trip for this fillies' Group 3 might be a problem for the fancied trio of She Do, Chocoya and Symphony Perfect, all of whom have done their winning over a furlong less. On the other hand, stamina shouldn't be an issue for David O'Meara's Thunder Beauty, who was noted staying on into fourth over 7f at Ascot in October, having raced wider than ideal, and is bred to stay at least a mile. A 105-rated performer when trained in Ireland by Kevin Condon and the mount of William Buick, she might prove the answer to what is a trappy contest, especially if the market speaks in her favour.

16.05 Ascot - Dark Shift / Vafortino

A typically competitive renewal of the Victoria Cup over 7f and, of those near the head of the betting, the Charles Hills-trained Dark Shift looks to have as good a chance as any.

The son of Dark Angel has won on three of his four visits to this track, including a handicap over this trip in September, and these big straight-course handicaps look tailor-made for him as he loves to be held up off a strong pace before being delivered late.

Further improvement can be expected from him this season as a four-year-old, with his age group winning four of the last five renewals, and his in-form handler has snapped up the services of Andrea Atzeni, who steered home the 2019 winner Cape Byron.

The slight concern with him is his low draw in stall four, with high numbers favoured 12 months ago albeit on much softer ground, so we'll split stakes on him and another four-year-old in Vafortino, who will exit from box 27.

A smart juvenile in Ireland and sold out of Joseph O'Brien's yard for 28,000gns last October, after which he was gelded, he ran a big race on his stable debut for Kevin Philippart De Foy when just touched off by the classy Bless Him over this trip at Newcastle last month.

That run, his first for 188 days, is sure to have brought him on and he's another who looks ideally suited to these big handicaps for his young trainer, who is claiming 7lb off his back by booking excellent apprentice Benoit De La Sayette.

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