Racing Tips: Young Rascal and Phoenix Of Spain to take flight?
Weekend racing odds and preview
The end of the flat season coincides with the start of the National Hunt campaign on ITV this afternoon, with nine races from Doncaster, Cheltenham and Newbury.
Can the supplemented Magna Grecia triumph in the Vertem Futurity Stakes? Will Modus get the better of Bigmarte and Foxtail Hill in the Randox Health Handicap Chase? And who will prevail in Doncaster’s big handicap?
We’ve attempted to solve those puzzles, and six more, with our ITV Racing Tips.
Favourite Magna Grecia impressed when runner-up to Persian King at Newmarket last time out. But he’s not the only one with standout form in the race. Phoenix Of Spain’s close-second behind subsequent Dewhurst Stakes winner Too Darn Hot looks as good as anything on offer here.
Charles Hills’ raider shaped as if the extra 1f available in this should suit. So a chance is taken on the Lope De Vega colt upsetting the odds under experienced jockey Jamie Spencer.
A strong field for the Royal British Legion Stakes is headed by Young Rascal, who is taken to get home first for William Haggas. The Intello colt beat the 116-rated Mirage Dancer when getting up at Newbury last month, while third-place Desert Encounter later won the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine.
The three-year-old is well rested since that success, with connections choosing to come here instead of ParisLongchamp on Arc weekend. He’ll carry a penalty, but with the ground in his favour and Jim Crowley bullish about his chances, there’s every reason to be confident.
Switching our attention to jumps, the key in this race could be Bigmatre’s record on reappearance. Harry Whittington’s seven-year-old has won first time out in each of the last three seasons. Not only that, but he tends to do his best work in smaller fields.
With that in mind, a seven-runner race featuring inconsistent types is sure to play to his advantage. The Monmartre gelding will have to defy a tough mark to prevail, but we have every faith the last season’s JLT Novices’ Chase-seventh can do just that.
ITV Racing tips:
1:45 Doncaster – Kodyanna (each-way)
2:00 Cheltenham – Minella Rocco
2:20 Newbury – Young Rascal
2:35 Cheltenham – Gumball
2:50 Newbury – Chairmanoftheboard
3:10 Cheltenham – Modus
3:25 Doncaster – Tarboosh
3:45 Cheltenham – Theclockisticking
4:05 Doncaster – Phoenix of Spain
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing