Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: International Racing - Thursday 7 January 2021

Neil Morrice: International Racing - Thursday 7 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 Ffos Los, Musselburgh, Southwell, and Wolverhampton. 


Race 3: No10 - MERE ANARCHY
Trainer: Robert Stephens - Jockey: Sean Houlihan

This looks the best opportunity yet for the luckless MERE ANARCHY to get his name onto the scoresheet over jumps. A winner of a staying handicap at Salisbury in the autumn, the Yeats gelding has run into a couple of tartars in Main Fact at Newbury and Sext Lot at Chepstow, but won’t find anything of their calibre against him this time.

Race 4: No4 - MUCKAMORE
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies - Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies

MUCKAMORE’s underwhelming display on chase debut at Market Rasen has mystified his connections, and this well-regarded winning pointer is worthy of another chance. Owned by a syndicate run by former jockey Noel Fehily that is having abundant success, he can add to its laurels by bouncing back.

Race 6: No13 - ONURBIKE (Each Way)
Trainer: John O’Neill - Jockey: Jordan Nailor

Veteran ONURBIKE proved unstoppable in the autumn of 2019 with three straight victories in handicap chases. His form then dipped until he chased home Silent Man on latest start at Lingfield in November. Before his golden spree he needed a couple of outings to bring him to the boil, and the same could prove true here.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Race 1: No5 - LANTY SLEA
Trainer: Nicky Richards - Jockey: R Day

Although facing a solid entity in Master Templar, who has the best credentials in the race, LANTY SLEA needs respecting on the back of a winning debut for the Greystoke stable at Carlisle back in March. The Beat Hollow gelding might have only inched home that day, but he’s shown in his work and schooling that he’s going to be an asset to his connections this winter.

Race 3: No6 - UMBRIGADO (Nap)
Trainer: David Pipe - Jockey: Tom Scudamore 

Probably the best horse in action over jumps in the UK today is UMBRIGADO. The former smart novice hurdler has had his problems, but after being heavily supported in the race run in honour of his trainer’s father at the Cheltenham Festival, he came back to run a cracker against War Lord over hurdles at Haydock and did little wrong in finding Northofthewall his match on chase debut at Uttoxeter. In hindsight that might have come a shade quick for him, and he can demonstrate he’s a fair bit better than he showed.

Race 4: No3 - ON A PROMISE
Trainer: Keith Dalgleish - Jockey: Craig Nichol

The grey ON A PROMISE showed an adeptness for fences to score here on his seasonal return last month and now makes abundant appeal returning to hurdling in this staying handicap hurdle. He can make it a fifth win from his last seven starts on the way to better things.


Race 1: No1 - LORD OF THE ALPS (Nap)
Trainer: Mark Johnston - Jockey: Oliver Stammers

LORD OF THE ALPS goes unpenalised for his pillar to post success at Wolverhampton last week, an effort that confirmed how much improved he is since returning from a break. His trainer’s decision to put him away after a first win at Beverley in June is paying off, and he looks one the follow through the early weeks of the New Year.

Trainer: John Mackie - Jockey: Graham Lee

CUSTARD THE DRAGON is a seven-time winner here, who showed when beaten in a desperate finish at the track before Christmas that he’s close to the level at which he last delivered exactly a year ago. Against the horse that beat him that day, Motawaafeq, he has a sound chance of turning the tables at a more attractive price than his foe.

Race 5: No1 - SAMOVAR
Trainer: Scott Dixon - Jockey: Jonathan Fisher

SAMOVAR has been a wonderfully consistent performer over the past four seasons in which 51 of his 64 career starts have happened on the Fibresand track here at Southwell. The blinkered six-year-old went through the pre-Christmas period with three earning runs followed by the gamest of success on New Year’s Day. And when bidding for a swift follow-up under a penalty on Monday he went down fighting against Zylan. He in the perfect slot to lead these into the stretch, and can regain the winning thread.

Jockeys Ride Horses


Race 1: No4 - UNCLE DICK (Each Way)
Trainer: Eve Johnson Houghton - Jockey: Charles Bishop

A market check is advised on UNCLE DICK as he makes a second foray into handicap company. Although well beaten at Lingfield last time, the Toronado gelding attracted quite notable support and is probably better than he showed. He’s worth another chance to recoup the losses sustained on him.

Race 3: No1 - CASTLEBAR (Nap)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby - Jockey: Adam Kirby

CASTLEBAR has made gradual improvement in his four outings in the Godolphin silks, stating with a first victory at Newcastle early last month that he’s operating at a better level now. The application of cheekpieces appeared to assist him in that clear-cut success, and off a revised mark of 84 he can go in again.

Trainer: Sean Curran - Jockey: Grace McEntee

From a stable that does well with its small all-weather string, UNFORGIVING MINUTE can make this a sixth success from just ten outings since moving there. Those races have happened exclusively on sand, and when posting a 33-1 shock at Lingfield when last seen in late November the ten-year-old demonstrated that he’s fully back in the groove.

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