Neil Morrice: UK Racing Tips - Friday 17 May 2019

Jockey rides horse

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips from Friday's racing at York, Newmarket and Newbury. 


Matchbook Yorkshire Cup (Group 2) preview

It takes a super stayer to win this twice and automatic favourite STRADIVARIUS will try to emulate 1981 and 1982 victor Ardross. Carrying a 3lb Group 1 penalty, John Gosden's charge is sure to start at prohibitive odds but there are grounds for at least one of his foes to cause him problems - but problems he can overcome.

Granted, Frankie Dettori's mount will almost certainly get the fast underfoot conditions he enjoys following a clement week in this part of Yorkshire. And further to that he had an unblemished record on the Knavesmire last year, winning both this race and the Lonsdale Cup at the August meeting. As befits all true champions, he coped with saturated conditions at Ascot on his final 2018 start on Champions Day.

Dual Classic winner CAPRI is replaced in the line up with Aidan O'Brien preferring to field SOUTHERN FRANCE and that in itself can be taken as a tip but this colt needs to step up under Ryan Moore.

A more potent threat might therefore stem from ISPOLINI.

Ispolini landed two of his four starts at the Dubai Carnival before being outclassed by stablemate Cross Counter in the Dubai Gold Cup. For much of that race he travelled like the winner and Charlie Appleby will have kept the fitness edge on him which isn't easy given World Cup night coming towards the end of March.

Mark Johnston had Dee Ex Bee in this but goes instead with the giant MILDENBERGER who is improving with racing and after two runs this year should now be cherry ripe. Add to that the booking of Silvestre de Sousa and he's in there with a definite Each Way shout.

Neil Morrice's Predicted Finish:

First: STRADIVARIUS 
Second: Ispolini
Third: Mildenberger
Fourth: Southern France

York Day 3 Undercard Best Bets

Race 2: MODERN MILLIE (9) (Each Way)
Trainer: Mick Channon
Jockey: Ben Curtis

Channon must never be underestimated with his 3yo fillies and this daughter of his own stallion Sixties Icon is getting better race by race. Winner of a normal Leicester maiden on her only juvenile start, she found the Fred Darling Stakes coming too quick for her but improved on that when finishing third to Muchly in Listed company at Ascot. She started 20-1 that day and will be a similar price here, but she doesn't know it.

Race 7: LAAFY (2)
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Jockey: Ryan Moore

Stoute excels with fillies of this ilk and granted normal improvement LAAFY can give us a joyous end to the meeting. Her clear cut Leicester triumph confirms she's gone the right way and in an admittedly warm heat she can prove best of three recent winners in the field.

Newmarket Best Bet

Race 5: MEDIEVAL (5)
Trainer: Paul Cole
Jockey: Cameron Noble

The book says there won't be too much between MEDIEVAL and his Ascot conqueror Enigmatic but at likely prices, the former is worth backing to turn the tables. He was doing his best work at the finish and has a winning course form on the Rowley Mile which is a major boost to his chances.

Newbury Best Bets

Race 5: AFTER JOHN (3)
Trainer: Mick Channon
Jockey: Callum Shepherd

AFTER JOHN didn't know what was required of him when making his racecourse debut at Salisbury but nevertheless shaped with plenty of promise to weave his way into a never nearer third in the race won by Oxted. This doesn't look the hottest Novice run at this track and if he puts his best foot forward he'll be on the premises.

Race 6: HIGH COMMISSIONER (8)
Trainer: Paul Cole
Jockey: Raul Da Silva

Hailing from a stable that has done well with its three-year-olds at this course, HIGH COMMISSIONER is a fascinating prospect whose first offering over an inadequate mile here last October was better than it looked. Problematic to the selection that day was that his pilot chose to follow the suicidal early pace set by a well-backed favourite, meaning that from traveling best his fuel gauge flashed red inside the final furlong. With a different jockey on board, and moved up to a mile and a quarter, the colt can show his true merits on the way to better things.

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