ITV Saturday Doncaster and Cheltenham Preview

13:50 Cheltenham - The Festival Trials Day Trophy Handicap Steeple Chase (Grade 3)

The Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase looks a very competitive Grade Three event and the horse currently leading the market is the Chris Gordon trained Highway One O One.

This eight year old gelding has raced four times this season with the majority of them being to a very consistent standard with a second third an fourth in decent fielded events.

His latest run at Kempton was his best of the season when a good third in a Class 2 Handicap over three miles, pretty much staying every bit of the contest which makes him very appealing at this track.

14:05 Doncaster - The Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle Race (Grade 2)

The first contest of the day at Doncaster on ITV is The Albert Bartlett River Don Novices' Hurdle Race and in this Grade Two event we are very keen on Fergal O'Brien's Champagne Well.

The seven year old has ran to a superb standard this season in very similar events not finishing outside the top two on all three of his starts.

On his seasonal bow he got off the mark in nice style seeing off some talented horses and since then at Cheltenham again on two occasions he has finished second.

He was three length runner up to the superb Thyme Hill who has since gone on to win a Grade One and then last time out stepped up to three miles to finish in the same place.

Should have a big say on this contest.

14:25 Cheltenham - The Cotswold Steeple Chase (Grade 2)

The feature contest on the Cheltenham Card on Saturday is the Grade Two Cotswalds Chase and some superb runners head to post.

Nicky Henderson's Santini is back on the big stage and this eight year old has been nurtured over the last few seasons and is being tuned up in the lead up to the festival.

He has previous at Cheltenham winning at the meeting back in 2018 in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle and at both festivals since then has been a very unlucky loser in the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle and RSA Chase last year.

He has only been seen once this season with at the start of the term he was a strong fancy for the Gold Cup but off the back of his seasonal bow he drifted in the market.

The eight year old went to Kempton in November for the Listed Intermediate Chase eventually doing enough to land the contest but made very hard work of it in a weak field of runners.

He should be much sharper, fitter and stronger after a small break and knowing he performs well at Prestbury Park it gives him a huge opportunity to enhance his Gold Cup credentials.

14:40 Doncaster - The Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle Race (Grade 2) (Nhmops Bonus Race)

One of our biggest fancies of the day on Saturday comes in the Yorkshire Rose Mares' Hurdle Race and Floressa for trainer Nicky Henderson looks a classy mare.

The five year old this term has done very little wrong winning on her debut at Worcester before finishing a very narrow second to Silver Forever at Newbury.

She then went on to reverse the form the next time the two met at the same track and Paul Nicholls' horse has since gone on to frank that form making Floressa one to be respected in this field.

15:00 Cheltenham - The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Race (Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle Race) (Grade 2)

Another Grade Two follows and the Ballymore Novices Hurdle sees eight runners go to post and the one that takes the eye is the in form Harry Fry trained King Roland.

The gelding has raced five times in his career winning four of his events, with one coming in a point to point, two in bumpers and his latest on his second start over hurdles.

This season the youngster has been sent over timber and on his debut he finished a smart second at Newbury over two miles being beaten by an exciting recruit for Nicky Henderson.

He looked like he needed a step up in trip and he got that at Exeter benefiting for the extra few furlongs and easily saw off a field of 14.

Now stepping into his toughest contest yet he will need to have progressed for both his runs this season which he looks like he will have and being given another step up in trip makes him one to watch at Cheltenham on Saturday.

15:15 Doncaster - The Sky Bet Handicap Steeple Chase (Listed Race)

The Sky Bet Handicap Steeple Chase sees a decent sized field go to post and with that in mind we have two selections at nice prices for the Listed event.

With both horses at a similar price the first horse we want to discuss is Ravehill Road for the inform trainer Sue Smith who has had six winners from just 20 runners this year.

This nine year old is a very interesting contender having ran over 2m 5f last time out and getting off the mark for the season with the extended trip bringing the best out of him and this even longer distance could do the same.

The other selection from us is a more well known horse with Nicky Henderson's Ok Corral who has been very below par on both his runs this season but now at a big price, winning last time out at Listed Level and loving soft ground he has to be in the frame.

Jockey Derek O'Connor has come over from Ireland to ride the gelding aswell which looks a huge plus and gives the idea that he will be heading for the National Hunt Chase at the festival.

15:35 Cheltenham - The Galliardhomes.Com Cleeve Hurdle Race (Grade 2)

Paisley Park is back in action this weekend as he heads into the Cleeve Hurdle again before the festival and hopefully he can reproduce his heroics of last season with him already 11/8 to land the Grade One at Prestbury Park.

He came onto the scene last season at Aintree when he took a Class 2 Handicap over two and a half miles, from there it was unthinkable of what progression he could of actually produced but he stepped up in trip to three miles and took to it like a duck to water.

Arguably one of his greatest runs during the season was on his second start when he landed the Grade Three Handicap Hurdle at Haydock, somehow getting up late in the day to see off two other horses.

Ascot was next on the agenda in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle and this was the geldings biggest test to date and he did what he does best coming from off the pace and off the bridle early to steam up by the leaders late in the day and land the contest.

Paisley Park landing the Grade One was the yards first ever black type victory which was huge for Emma Lavelle as she is a fairly small yard compared to others in the sport and it was a huge occasion for connections also, with his owner Andrew Gemmell being blind.

Cheltenham was next up in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle with the overall goal being the Stayers Hurdle at the festival with this being seen as a prep run and he bolted up again, leaving his odds for the four-day meeting slashed massively.

March came around quickly and Paisley Park was being labelled one of the bankers of the week, which is unheard of in a big fielded race like the Stayers Hurdle but like he had done all season he hacked up and it turned out to be one of the fairy-tale moments of the 2019 Cheltenham festival.

Now a fan favourite, many punters were very apprehensive about where he would start off his campaign this season with the big aim again being to defend his Stayers Hurdle title.

He started this season in the same form as last term by extending his unbeaten run to six races after seeing off some top horses including Thistlecrack when landing the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.