Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: International Racing - Thursday 28 January 2021

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Thursday 28 January 2021

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Thursday 31 December 2020

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets for Thursday's racing coming your way from Meydan, Fakenham, Newcastle and Southwell.

Check out Neil Morrice's video preview for Meydan below:


Race 2 No:11 LEOPARDO
Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: William Buick

Having made a cracking start to the year with his all-weather team at home, Johnston can signal he means business in the desert by taking out this Al Bastakiya Trial with LEOPARDO. The grey’s American pedigree should lend itself to the dirt surface in Dubai, and he looked very much at home on his three outings on Tapeta and Polytrack, scoring at Newcastle and placing in the other races. Being out of a mare by Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper he will surely benefit from tonight’s return to a mile and a quarter ?

Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: William Buick

Godolphin has its name etched on a race named after a Classic-winning filly who was a beaten favourite in the (Epsom) Derby, and with five of the nine jockeys donning a blue jacket its long odds-on that the trend will continue. While it wouldn’t surprise me to see ALTHIQA, STUNNING BEAUTY and LAST LOOK put in earning performances the one that has impressed most in training is SUMMER ROMANCE. The Kingman filly looked the part when landing a Group 3 at Epsom, only to bomb out when starting second favourite for the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville when something was clearly amiss. If back on her A-game she could be the one to benefit out in front from a likely speed-biased track, though I recommend having a saver on QUIET TIMES to make it an ‘all grey’ finish. Trained by Pia Brandt, the daughter of Reliable Man has a dirt pedigree on the dam’s side of her pedigree and can go well on this first outing outside her native France.

Prediction: 1st SUMMER ROMANCE, 2nd Quiet Times, 3rd Althiqa, 4th Stunning Beauty, 5th Last Look

Race 5:No:3 MNASEK
Trainer: Doug Watson - Jockey: Dane O’Neill

TThe first Classic of the 2021 Carnival can fall to American-trained MNASEK who takes strong stable confidence to post against a Godolphin assault that relies solely on SOFT WHISPER. The selection is part of a twin challenge on the prize from Watson’s red stables along with SUPER CHIANTI who herself is no slouch and defends a one race unbeaten record. But for Covid restrictions, Super Chianti would surely have raced since her debut success from Nayefah here in mid November, which in fairness to her was an eye taking effort. However, there was something out of the ordinary about the way Mnasek picked up from a slow start to humble that same opponent over seven furlongs before Christmas, suggesting she can shoot for the moon over this more suitable mile. Soft Whisper progressed from a couple of nursery triumphs on grass to score tidily on her dirt debut, but is certainly more exposed than the Watson duo who can dominate.

Prediction: 1st MNASEK, 2nd Super Chianti, 3rd Soft Whisper, 4th Nayefah

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies - Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

Twiston-Davies regularly patronises the selling chases and hurdles at the Norfolk course and is surely not bringing IMPERIAL NEMESIS on the long haul from Gloucestershire just for the benefit of his health ? The selection put in a good earning effort against Le Tueur in a non-seller on reappearance at Ffos Las, and if building on that he should make this a belated first career success.

Race 2 No:10 SHELDON (Each Way)
Trainer: Seamus Mullins - Jockey: Kevin Jones

Taken out at Plumpton on Monday because of unsuitable ground, SHELDON makes abundant each way appeal in this big field of maidens and can give us a good run for our money. The Shantou gelding ran a cracker behind Witness Protection at Chepstow and as that looked a strong race needs only to replicate the form to be in the thick of things at the business end today.

Race 6 No:6 AFTER THE FOX (Nap)
Trainer: Jane Williams - Jockey: Chester Williams

AFTER THE FOX found abnormal improvement to open his account at Warwick, which for a lightly-raced individual normally augers of better still to come. There seemed no fluke about the victory and he can put in an action replay from his revised mark.


Race 3 No:2 VAN DIJK
Trainer: Antony Brittain - Jockey: Harry Russell 

VAN DIJK has done well for his connections with two successes and two near-misses in as many starts since the turn of the year. The Cable Bay gelding is taking his racing well, and after scoring with plenty in hand at Newcastle over seven furlongs on a straight course can now repeat his liking for this turning mile.

Race 4 No1 EPIC PASS (Nap)
Trainer: Richard Fahey - Jockey: Barry McHugh

Western Symphony will be a popular order for Godolphin on the back of a pleasing effort on his only previous start at Kempton, but with the Johnston stable in unstoppable form a chance is taken on EPIC PASS to defy a penalty for his success at Wolverhampton. That looked a decent contest and the Awtaad colt stepped up markedly on his debut showing to put it to bed. He could just know too much for his foes.

Race 3 No:4 DAAFR
Trainer: Antony Brittain - Jockey: Cam Hardie

This can fall to the industrious DAAFR, whose trainer is not frightened to take advantage by going for quick follow-ups. The five-year-old scored by a wide margin here last week, put in a similarly dominating display on Tuesday and now tries for the hat-trick under a double penalty. He’s looked a different horse since being equipped with a visor.

Race 4 No:2 FABILIS (Nap)
Trainer: Ralph Beckett - Jockey: Richard Kingscote

Any one of the four can win this three-year-old only handicap, and while Apatite lacks the scope of the others she’s getting plenty of weight and could give FABILIS most the think about. The selection is a rare runner here for his trainer and ready to build on a cracking first season when scoring twice on turf and finishing fourth in a Group 3 at Newmarket at the back end. The son of Frankel has trained well on an all-weather surface ahead of this return.

Race 7 No:3 QAARAAT
Trainer: Antony Brittain - Jockey: Cam Hardie

Another busy bee is QAARAAT, who having been grabbed by Onebaba over six furlongs here on Tuesday now drops back to the minimum over which he readily prevailed earlier in the month. He rarely finishes out of the money on visits to the Fibresand surface and is poised for another big run.

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