ITV Racing Saturday Haydock, Ascot And Taunton Preview

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 13:25
Aidan Coleman


J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 6
Weight: 11-11
OR: 145
Days: 36

One of the feature races of the afternoon is the Grade Two Supreme Novices' Hurdle Trial event over two miles and the superstar Jonbon will be looking to make it 3/3 over hurdles.

A £570,000 purchase and full brother to the top class hurdler Douvan, Jonbon was an easy 15 length winner of his Irish PTP and subsequently went on to cosily land his sole bumper start on his first run for Nicky Henderson.

He then marked his debut over obstacles at Newbury, on the back of a 244 day break, with a cracking performance, winning by an eased down six length margin in November this year.

He stepped up in grade last time out at Ascot in the Grade Two Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle and it proved little issue to this son of Walk In The Park, winning once more, eased down at the finish, and completing his four timer to remain unbeaten under all codes.

The gelding looks a horse for the ages and should not be beat on Saturday.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 13:45
Micheal Nolan

Stellar Magic

J: Micheal Nolan
T: Philip Hobbs
Age: 7
Weight: 11-6
OR: 137
Days: 35

An intriguing event on the Ascot card this weekend is the 2m3f Handicap Hurdle with many smart handicappers looking for glory.

Stellar Magic for Philip Hobbs is a horse who is very unexposed for his age and only having his second start in a handicap, we believe he could be ahead of his mark

.Having won a P2P in February 2020 he then was bought and given to Hobbs and made a very nice stable debut when winning at Taunton over 2m3f in heavy ground.

He then backed that up under a penalty seeing off the smart Alaphilippe at Taunton again, showing he is a thorough stayer at this trip.

The gelding was then only seen once more that season when unfortunately pulling up in a Novices' Hurdle at Warwick.Not seen since February 2021, he returned this term in December at Haydock in a good handicap hurdle where he was a narrow second behind Up For Parol.

He is up 4lb to 137 for this event and stripping much fitter for that first run he looks one of the more likelier winners.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:00
Danny McMenamin

Tommy's Oscar

J: Danny McMenamin
T: Ann Hamilton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 156
Days: 21

Another nice event on the Haydock card is the Grade Two New One Unibet Hurdle over two miles and Tommy's Oscar will be very tough to beat.

Tommy’s Oscar takes the step up into Graded company for the first time in his career, but he does look to deserve to take the chance at these higher levels, due to currently on a three-race winning streak, winning all three races by a combined 17 lengths.

His last run at Musselburgh on new years day is his most impressive victory to date, beating a horse trained by champion trainer Paul Nicholls who was quite well fancied that day and is a Graded winner himself, with some decent form in behind.

The Ann Hamilton trained gelding travelled strongly throughout the race, relishing the quick pace over the 2-mile trip, and was going easily at the 3rd last before surging clear up the home straight to stay on and win by 6 lengths.

He has improved with each run and looks more like a graded horse in the making each time we see him on a racecourse.

Three wins in a row, with his career best performance last time out, this 7yo looks to improve with each run and with Champion Hurdle aspirations from connections shows how much of a talent he is, will be hard to stop in this given his current run of form.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 14:20
Paul Townend

My Sister Sarah

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 143
Days: 24

One of the feature races on the card on Saturday at Kempton is the Grade Two Mares Hurdle over three miles and My Sister Sarah for Willie Mullins could take some beating if on song.

The eight year old has been a very smart horse for the yard over the years and is very experienced in these sorts of events both in Ireland and in the UK.

Having been tried over 2m, 2m4f and other distances in between that, she has only been tried at three miles three times in her career and she has gone on to win two of those events.

She landed a handicap hurdle back in May 2019 at Punchestown over three miles, but her best win over the trip came two starts ago at Kempton in a decent Listed event when beating the smart Dragon Bones by seven lengths.

The has from winning on both soft and good ground and looks to be a big challenger to the favourite.

Haydock - January 22 2022
Haydock 14:35
Charlie Deutsch

Royale Pagaille

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 163
Days: 63

The big race of the day at on Merseyside is the Grade Two Peter Marsh Handicap Chase over 3m2f with Royal Pagaille looking to land back to back renewals of the race.

One of the most improving chasers of last season for Venetia Williams, who won three races on the spin before tackling the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March at the festival where he finished a fair sixth.

As previously mentioned, he was a big improver before that, winning three in a row this event last year over course and distance in January, absolutely demolishing the field by 16 lengths after a top jumping display, looking like a real Grade One horse in the making bursting onto the scene.

The course form is a big plus, as he also won a Class 2 chase at Haydock in December 2020 and having course form around here, especially in tricky conditions means a lot.

He is running off top weight giving bundles of weight away but he looks the class act in the field and should be tough to pass.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 14:55
Miss Lucy Turner

Fanion D'Estruval

J: Miss Lucy Turner
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 11-12
OR: 159
Days: 57

A very smart Handicap Chase over three miles come next and we are siding with the Venetia Williams trained Fanion D'Estruval.

The seven year old, although top weight, could be a class above this field, running valiant races last season in the Clarence House Chase, Game Spirit Chase and Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham festival.

This season the gelding made his seasonal debut at Aintree in the Grade Two Old Roan Chase over 2m4f finishing a close up fourth behind some nice runners.

Last time out at Newbury over 2m4f he got back to winning ways in an easier event that has seen the third since win and although up 8lb for that, he has the handy Lucy Turner taking 7lb, so effectively he is only 1lb higher for the event.

Should go close.

Taunton - January 22 2022
Taunton 15:15
Bryony Frost

Yala Enki

J: Bryony Frost
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 12
Weight: 11-6
OR: 159
Days: 69

The only race of the day from Taunton on the ITV show is the Portman Cup over the marathon trip and Yala Enki for Paul Nicholls is looking to land a hat-trick of renewals in this race.

The 12 year old gelding has seen it all during his career, being aimed at Grand National's over the years and it looks to be his target again.

The thing we know about this horse is that he stays all day long and has proved that on many occasions during his career.

Having finished a valiant third in the Welsh Grand National last year he then came to Taunton and landed this race for the second year running, seeking a hat-trick on Saturday.

Tried in the Cotswold Chase before heading to Aintree where he was pulled up, he could not compete with the likes of Native River, Bristol De Mai and Santini.

Given his seasonal debut this term at Cheltenham at the November meeting in the 3m3f Grade Three Handicap Chase he pulled out loads to win late on.

Carrying a top weight again is no issue and having had more of a break going into this years renewal he is the one to beat.

Ascot - January 22 2022
Ascot 15:35
Nico de Boinville


J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 172
Days: 26

The feature race of the day and arguably the match up of the season to date comes in the Grade One Clarence House Chase and we are siding with Shishkin.

The eight year old since falling on his hurdles debut has shown bundles and bundles of ability and plenty of gears when it comes to finishing his races which has seen him land nine events in a row.

His win in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival was one of most noticeable victories as a novice hurdler, finding plenty up the hill to narrowly see off Abacadabras.

Shishkin could not be upstaged and on his first start over fences in November as he showed the racing world just how good he is by pinging every fence and showing a startling turn of foot.

On his second start over fences he kept his outstanding unbeaten run going with another faultless round of jumping in the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices' Chase at Kempton over Christmas, seeing off Tamaroc Du Mathan by 13 lengths.

Henderson's superstar next time out took his unbeaten record to three races over fences at Doncaster landing the Grade Two Lightning Novices' Chase.

He was then sent to the Cheltenham festival where he landed the Grade One Arkle Challenge Trophy with ease and to round the season off he went to Aintree where he again landed a Grade One contest in workmanlike fashion.

Having not been right for his seasonal debut in the Tingle Creek, he was rerouted to the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase over Christmas and on his first start in open company he saw off the Tingle Creek winner by 10 lengths.

He has been nothing short of superb in every race bar one during his career and although taking on his toughest rival to date, it is going to take something very special to beat him.