Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: International Racing - Friday 1 January 2021

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Friday 1 January 2021

Neil Morrice Best Bets & Tips

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Friday's New Year's Day racing coming your way from Exeter, Musselburgh and Southwell.

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Exeter Best Bets

Race 1: ORBYS LEGEND (1) (Nap)
Trainer: Philip Hobbs - Jockey: Richard Johnson

Former Irish pointer ORBYS LEGEND has run well in both starts for Hobbs, finishing second in a Newbury bumper before opening his account over hurdles at the first time of asking at this track last month. He showed a professional attitude in getting the job done, and as the only jumps winner in the field looks to have a good chance of defying a penalty.

Trainer: Philip Hobbs - Jockey: Richard Johnson

WESTEND STORY has proved an enigma to connections over the past two and a half years during which time his appearances have been infrequent. He looked to have a big future ahead of him as a novice over hurdles but his four efforts since going chasing have proved underwhelming. That said, he failed to get round in each of his last three starts and with few miles on his racing clock could be worth chancing to rediscover former glories.

Race 5: MUCKAMORE (7)
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies - Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Respect is paid to Mr Clarkson in this three-mile handicap chase but I’m sticking with MUCKAMORE to put behind him a disappointing first run over fences at Market Rasen. He went off a well-supported favourite before being beaten a country mile by Ballyhome, but is a lot better than that. Taking stock of the fact is stable has been a bit quiet, I shall therefore keep stakes low, and definitely add Mr Clarkson into the exotics.

Race 6: BRIANSTORM (3)
Trainer: Venetia Williams - Jockey: Charlie Deutsch

The dark horse in this handicap chase is BRIANSTORM. When with a different trainer he produced some very good form in novice hurdles, but in more recent times has been plagued with breathing issues. He comes back from a nine-month absence following a second wind op, and remains a budding talent if he can get his act together. A market check is accordingly advised.

Jockeys Ride Horses

Musselburgh Best Bets

Race 2: ACCOMPLICE (8)
Trainer: Paul Nicholls - Jockey: Bryony Frost

Long-distance traveller ACCOMPLICE is afforded abundant respect in this handicap hurdle. The grey was a smooth winner of his only start over hurdles in France, and after a couple of below-par efforts for Nicholls stepped up to the plate with a much-improved run to chase home River Bray at Wincanton. It’s doubtful that this unexposed individual is journeying from Somerset to Scotland purely for the goodness of his health.

Race 4: BUCKLED (9)
Trainer: Sandy Thomson - Jockey: Ross Chapman

There are a few in form candidates in the field but the value pick is BUCKLED. The 11-year-old may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but after some poor displays staged a renaissance when equipped with a first-time tongue-tie. That effort here saw him chase home Eagle Ridge, and suggests he’s on the way back.

Race 5: GARDE LA VICTOIRE (4) (Nap)
Trainer: Philip Hobbs - Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Even though he has reached the ripe old age of 12, GARDE LA VICTOIRE remains a horse with plenty to offer and examination of his record shows he rarely runs a bad race. The almost black gelding might have gone three years since his last win over fences at Sandown, but recent evidence suggests a lot of his natural ability remains. In fact on both starts this season at Hereford and Leicester he became outpaced before rallying strongly at the finish. He jumps with pinpoint accuracy, and has a better chance of getting the strong pace required in this bigger field.

Southwell Best Bets

Race 6: SILENT QUEEN (6) (Nap)
Trainer: George Boughey - Jockey: Ben Curtis

The best betting opportunities happen at the tail end of the Fibresand fixture and SILENT QUEEN can emerge as a worthy favourite for this novice median auction stakes. The daughter of Gutaifan has had a few chances, but in shaving the crossbar on three of those five starts brings a higher level of form to the table, while she came back with a valid excuse when flopping last time.

Trainer: Phil Kirby - Jockey: Ben Curtis

For a horse that runs with the consistency of a Swiss watch, MR CARBONATOR looks an each-way bet to nothing in the nightcap. His last six outings of 2020 happened here, and also saw him react favourably to the addition of cheekpieces in which his form figures read 233212. The unexposed Mister Blue will command a decent chunk of the betting handle on the contest, but could prove vulnerable.

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