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A history of TV Horse Racing and tips for those watching



2017 has marked the return of horseracing to ITV for the first time in 31 years. New Years Day marked the start of the era with Ed Chamberlin making his ITV Racing debut at Cheltenham. The deal is thought to be around the £30 million mark as racing bosses hope to increase viewership.

Racing has been screened since the 1950s when television became a mass medium and has been a regularly broadcast sport ever since. Second only to football, racing is the second most televised sport.

Channel 4 have had the rights for racing coverage for more than three decades, however, since obtaining the rights to screen the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot from BBC in 2013, ratings for those prestigious fixtures have been highly unsuccessful to say the least.

The latter lost half its viewers whilst ratings for the Derby hit a record low in 2016. In addition to this, the audience for British Champions Day fell by almost two thirds from 1.1m in the BBC’s final year to just over 360,000 October.

Saturday the 21st of January marks Ascot’s Bet 365 Handicap chase which is set be screened on ITV 4 but what can we expect from the race?

Tips

At 7/1 Catamaran Du Seuil is one of the favourites to win the chase and with trainer Dr Richard Newland boasting a mightily impressive 33% strike rate for something of a lesser known yard, he will be hoping the five-year-old can do that favourite title justice by racing off bottom weight.

Despite his tender age, the Bay Gelding has a wealth of experience behind him having conquered many fences in him homeland France.

Catamaran Du Seuil may have only ran one race under trainer Dr Newland but it was a victorious one as he claimed the novice hurdle at Wincanton.

Go Conquer is also 7/1 and a lot of money has been placed on the eight-year-old in the early betting. Jonjo O’Neill’s Bay Gelding has finished second in two of his three runs this season.

The horse looked slightly one paced over three miles during his last run at Kempton with Double Shuffle easing to victory three and a half lengths ahead of the runner up.
 
Dark Flame is a slightly higher price at 12/1 but he also may be worth a punt. Richard Rowe is the man behind Dark Flame and it’s no secret that certain trainers like to certain races and it may just be that this Handicap Chase is Rowe’s forte.

The ex-jockey has won this race twice in the last five years so it may just be that he knows what’s needed to win the race.

The Bay Gelding is pretty lightly raced and has just two starts over the fences, both of which came this season. That said, he has a wealth of experience when it comes to point-to-points and looks competent over larger obstacles, as seen in his November win at Sandown, which will give trainer Rowe much confidence.

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