Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s slick picks for ITV Racing on Saturday

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Frank Hickey’s ITV Racing Betting Tips:

13:15 Kelso – Sholokjack
13:30 Doncaster – Xcitations
13:50 Kelso – Teddy Blue (each way)
14:10 Newbury – Pileon
14:25 Kelso – Colonel Harry (each way)
14:45 Newbury – Gemirande
15:00 Kelso – Donny Boy (each way)
15:15 Doncaster – Does He Know
15:35 Kelso – The Shunter

Sholokjack carries top weight but I was very impressed with him at Lingfield in a four runner race. He bolted up off 125 that day. He’s a point winner who is completely unexposed with only five starts under rules.

Xcitations is 2-4 at Doncaster and was lame when a disappointing favourite at the end of January. He travelled well at Wetherby last time but couldn’t peg back the front running Prince Escalus. He’s off the same mark here but Sam Twiston-Davies takes over in the saddle. He bolted up in Sandown at the start of the year off 133 and on that form he is surely capable of winning off 140.

I know Paul Byrne is a genius but I am struggling to see how Mctigue is well handicapped off 142, even allowing for his flat rating of 98. Colonel Mustard is solid but Teddy Blue is my pick. He ran a cracker in the Betfair Hurdle off 133 when a 12l third but the handicapper has dropped him 3lb for that effort. He’s a good each-way shout.

Christian Williams had a quiet start to the year but bounced back to form in the last couple of weeks with Cap Du Nord and Kitty’s Light. Pileon has dropped 12lb since joining him and maybe he does want 3m these days but last season he won at Sandown over two and a half miles off 131 and was beaten a nose at Cheltenham off 134. He was a small bit better at Doncaster last time when second.

Feronily is a point winner who has run really well in two Leopardstown bumpers, including when third in a Grade 2 at the Dublin Racing Festival. If he jumps well he probably will take all the beating but he’s obviously well found in the market.

Colonel Harry ran really well when fourth in the Grade 1 Tolworth despite jumping left handed. He was only headed approaching the last. He won easily at Newcastle at the end of January and the second has franked that form. Going left handed will suit him and he could be tough to peg back.

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Zanza is off 158, as is Paint The Dream. Gemirande, who is off 10st2lbs, was very impressive last time at Wetherby when beating War Lord easily and he only got 6lbs. He’s only a seven-year-old and that second to Certainly Red at Sandown has been franked since. He’s getting all the weight and he makes a fair bit of appeal at the prices.

Nick Alexander is in form at the moment (won four of his last 17) with a run to form percentage of 65% after a really quiet December and January when only having a 4% strike rate for both months.

I like Donny Boy. He had two runs over fences that didn’t work out. Being a point winner you would have expected him to relish fences but the yard weren’t in great form. Last year he bolted up in a Kelso bumper and Newcastle maiden hurdle and was 12l behind Jonbon when 6/7 in the Haydock Grade 2.

He was brought down in the Premier Novices Hurdle on this card last year when left with a bit to do but was staying and looked like he would have hit the frame anyway.

Does He Know found Grade 2 company too hot last time at Newbury but this is more his thing and good ground over 3m2f will be ideal. He won at Cheltenham at the Paddy Power meeting over just shy of 3 and a half miles off 152. Kim Bailey won this in 2016 with the Last Samurai and he might be able to concede weight all round.

Le Milos tops the betting for the Skelton’s and Zanza is also in here but I just can’t get away from The Shunter, who I’ve backed a few times! He had solid flat form last year and he won at Kelso a couple of years ago.

Frank Hickey’s ITV Racing Betting Tips:

13:15 Kelso – Sholokjack
13:30 Doncaster – Xcitations
13:50 Kelso – Teddy Blue (each way)
14:10 Newbury – Pileon
14:25 Kelso – Colonel Harry (each way)
14:45 Newbury – Gemirande
15:00 Kelso – Donny Boy (each way)
15:15 Doncaster – Does He Know
15:35 Kelso – The Shunter

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