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ITV Racing Tips - Friday's fancies at Ascot and Navan

  • We take a closer look at the five races coming to us live on ITV on Friday 18th December
  • The Noel Novices' Chase is the feature race at Ascot on Friday
  • We also have an intriguing Grade Two to enjoy from Navan in Ireland
  • Get our best bets in all five of Friday's televised races here
pic d'orhy
Pic D'Orhy makes his second start over fences at Ascot, having fallen first time out. (Getty)

We take a look at Friday's televised races from Ascot and Navan and provide readers with our ITV Racing tips.

ITV Racing fans are in for a thrilling afternoon of racing on Friday, where three Grade Two prizes will be up for grabs. Viewers have five races to take in from Ascot, and one from Navan, so let's jump straight into our best betting tips for Friday's TV races.

Friday's ITV Racing Schedule


Time
Track
Title
1:20pm Ascot Money Back As Cash Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) (Class 3) 2m5½f
1:35pm Navan BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m4f
1:55pm Ascot Extra Places Every Day Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (GBB Race) (Class 3) 2m1f
2:30pm Ascot Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) (Registered as The Kennel Gate) 2m
3:05pm Ascot Noel Novices' Chase (Grade 2) 2m3f

ITV Racing Tips - Friday 18th December


Race 1 - Maiden Hurdle Tips


Everglow followed future Winter Novices' Hurdle winner, Star Gate home when they clashed at Chepstow, having finished fifth on his hurdles debut in the Persian War. Philip Hobbs' charge has kept classy company this season, but he's never challenged for a win over hurdles, and I feel he's worth siding against at odds-on.

I'm going to take a chance on hurdling debutante ERNESTO, who won a Listed race on the flat in Germany before joining Ian Williams. Ernesto was then handed an inflated mark of 103 when he arrived in England, and was forced to lumber plenty of weight in high-quality staying handicaps throughout the flat season.

Ernesto's only sibling who has gone jumping won on his second hurdles start for Charlie Mann in 2015. His sire, Reliable Man has also produced a couple of winners over hurdles, so you can see why Williams and his team have decided to go over hurdles. He's got the quality to out-run his odds in this wide-open maiden.

Race 2 - Navan Novice Hurdle Tips


Holymacapony1:35pm Navan BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m4fGET 15/8 HERE
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Fakiera beat Eskylane and Lieutenant Command in the Monksfield Hurdle over course-and-distance, but Gordon Elliott's charge will have to carry a penalty for that course-and-distance triumph. Fighter Allen, who ran in a Grade Two for Gordon Elliott last season, won on his first start for Willie Mullins at Punchestown, and there's plenty of improvement left in his locker. 

Both are respected, but HOLYMACAPONY looked a really smart prospect when bolting up at Punchestown last month, and Henry De Bromhead's four-year-old gains weight from all his rivals. 

Rachael Blackmore made the running that day. 5/4 favourite, Gailard Du Mesnil loomed up on the leader's shoulder going easily three-out, but when Blackmore asked her mount for an effort, Holymacapony surged clear, beating his highly-regarded rival by a comfortable nine-lengths. 

De Bromhead's budding star is already the favourite for the 2021 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle, and a Grade Two win here would strengthen Holymacapony's position at the head of that Cheltenham Festival market.

rachael blackmore
Rachael Blackmore can ride another big-race winner in those silks for Henry De Bromhead on Friday. (Getty)

Race 3 - Novices' Limited Handicap Chase Tips


I'm going to take another chance on FLEGMATIK, who could only finish fifth over a longer trip at Sandown last time out. I really fancied Dan Skelton's charge that day on the back of a smart win on his chase debut at Carlisle, where he beat a future winner in Whoshotthesheriff by a couple of lengths.

Harry Skelton's mount was on the back-foot from the get-go, after being hampered by a faller at the very first fence. Flegmatik was just making headway on the inside rail when he was hampered badly again two from home, and could make any inroads after that. 

Despite that defeat, he remains a progressive handicap chaser worth following, and this drop in trip should suit.

Race 4 - Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle Tips


Llandinabo Boy has been pushed into solo-favourite for this tightly contested Grade Two. My Drogo is not without support. Neither is No Ordinary Joe, who'll try to hand Nicky Henderson a seventh win in this Grade Two on his first start over hurdles.

Read our full preview of the 2020 Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle to see which novice we think will come out on top at Ascot.

If you want to watch any of Friday's races live on your mobile or tablet, check out our UK Horse Racing Live Streaming page.

Race 5 - Noel Novices' Chase Tips


Pic D'Orhy3:05pm Ascot Noel Novices' Chase (Grade 2) 2m3fGET 9/4 HERE
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Fiddlerontheroof hasn't been as good over fences as I expected him to be at the start of the season. Colin Tizzard's charge made hard work of his only win at Exeter, and Robbie Power had to stoke him along all the way in the Berkshire Novices' Chase, where he finished four lengths behind Caribean Boy in second.

I still think there's more to come from Fiddlerontheroof, but his performances this term have been offputting, and Colin Tizzard's stable can't find any consistency this season, so I'm going to come down on the side of PIC D'ORHY.

I was really excited to see what Pic D'Orhy would produce on his chase debut here last month, where he clashed with Chantry House in a three-runner race. As his two rivals started to show signs of distress, Pic D'Orhy was still going well out in front, until he got in a little short at the third-last, landed in a heap and met the canvas head-first.

Thankfully, both horse and rider jumped up quickly after that tumble and, despite that early exit, Pic D'Orhy showed enough to suggest he can be a Graded performer over fences. I put Paul Nicholls' star up as a horse to follow with the Arkle in mind at the start of the season, and victory in this Grade Two would get Pic D'Orhy's season back on track.
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