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Neil Morrice best bets and tips – Friday 14 January 2022

Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips from Friday’s racing coming your way from Meydan, Huntingdon, Sedgefield, Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton.

Neil Morrice Friday

Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips from Friday's racing coming your way from Meydan, Huntingdon, Sedgefield, Lingfield Park and Wolverhampton.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Meydan

Race 2 No1 BET LAW
Trainer: Antonio Cintra Pereira – Jockey: Vagner Leal

It’s hard to rule out any of the field for this Festival City Stakes, but my gut instinct is to go with the only four-year-old BET LAW to remain unbeaten. The colt completed a hat-trick when moved into Listed company in his native Uruguay last month, and hails from an outfit that have done well in past Carnivals. SUMMER IS TOMORROW impressively opened his account before Christmas and can make further improvement while TAKING NAMES needs to bounce back from after failing to get the trip last time.

Prediction: 1st BET LAW, 2nd Summer Is Tomorrow, 3rd Taking Names

Race 3 No9 WIRKO (Nap)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: William Buick

One time Cazoo Derby hope WIRKO can prove the pick of a five-pronged Godolphin challenge on this Listed prize on turf. Gelded since his defeat in the Chester Vase, he’s typical of the horses his trainer has excelled with in this race, being an unexposed four-year-old. He’s impressed in his build-up to this and can play the starring role in a finish dominated by the ‘Boys In Blue’. Three-times course winner STAR SAFARI must never be underestimated, while PASSION AND GLORY brings solid European form to the table, having plundered a Group 3 at Goodwood and finished third to Arc winner Torquator Tasso in the Grosser-Preis Von Baden.

Prediction: 1st WIRKO, 2nd Star Safari, 3rd Passion And Glory

Race 4 No2 HOME CITY
Trainer: Saeed Bon Suroor – Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Profitable colt HOME CITY is going to enjoy an advantage on his foes in this Jumeirah Classic Trial if this is as I anticipate a speed-biased track. Recent Carnivals have favoured front runners, and although the selection needs to step up on previous form to win, he could easily do it. SOVEREIGN PRINCE was a consistent earner before opening his account at Epsom and should improve, while unbeaten-in-one KIWANO is impossible to rule out after his eye taking performance at Kempton in the autumn.

Prediction: 1st HOME CITY, 2nd Sovereign Prince, 3rd Kiwano

Race 5 AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE (Group 2)

No1 AVANT GARDE
Trainer: Bhupat Seemar – Jockey: Richard Mullen

Two that return from identical breaks can earn in a cracking highlight, with AVANT GARDE taken to outpoint HYPOTHETICAL and course specialist SECRET AMBITION. The latter gamely landed the Godolphin Mile at last year’s Carnival and is yet to finish out of the first three in seven races at Meydan. The nine-year-old entire has twice won off a break in the past, though needed his comeback run last year. As he gets older that could prove to be the case again. Former US star Avant Garde has more than six lengths to make up with Secret Ambition from World Cup night but importantly is with new connections. If that’s brought about some improvement, first time is the time to find out. Hypothetical reverts to a mile after finishing fourth to Mystic Guide in the World Cup and was a dual course and distance winner at the 2021 Carnival.

Prediction: 1st AVANT GARDE, 2nd Hypothetical, 3rd Secret Ambition

Race 6 CAPE VERDI (Mares’ Group 2)

No10 WEDDING DANCE
Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: William Buick

Last year’s UAE 1,000 Guineas heroine SOFT WHISPER sets the standard but might have to play second fiddle to another Godolphin filly in WEDDING DANCE, whose trainer has landed the last three runnings of the race. On paper, the selection has it do, as she finished well behind Soft Whisper in a Listed race at Newmarket in the late summer, while it was in a run of the mill contest at Wolverhampton that she posted a winning end to her 2021 campaign. However, the daughter of Invincible Spirit looks to have improved judging from her track work and may have narrowed or even leapfrogged the gap with her Frankie Dettori-ridden foe. MNASEK was a wide margin winner of a Group 3 here last February, and can also take home a cheque.

Prediction: 1st WEDDING DANCE, 2nd Soft Whisper, 3rd Mnasek

Race 7 No2 MAN OF PROMISE
Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: James Doyle

An ability to operate effectively after a layoff can serve MAN OF PROMISE well in this clash with a couple of well regarded American sprinters. The Into Mischief gelding was a well-backed winner of a Listed handicap at last year’s Carnival, and though underwhelming in his two subsequent outings is a value alternative to the Doug Watson stablemates MOTAFAAWIT and veteran WAADY.

Prediction: 1st MAN OF PROMISE, 2nd Mota faawit, 3rd Waady

Take a look at Neil’s video previews for Meydan’s racing below:

HUNTINGDON

Race 2 No9 WALKONTHEWILDSIDE (Each Way)
Trainer: Olly Murphy – Jockey: Aidan Coleman

Although beaten a long way on each of his four career starts, WALKONTHEWILDSIDE ran better than his finishing position suggests at Hereford last time and may progress to trouble the judge at a working man’s price. He’s a work in progress that can only get better with experience.

Race 4 No5 PARLIAMENT HILL (Nap)
Trainer: Olly Murphy – Jockey: Aidan Coleman

PARLIAMENT HILL is a more obvious advice from the Murphy stable, based on his impressive debut triumph for the trainer at Leicester. He looked better the further he travelled that day and should have learned bundles from the experience. This recognised trial for the Triumph Hurdle is warmly contested, but he is the one with the most scope for progression.

Race 6 No1 LOUD AS LIONS (Each Way)
Trainer: Tom Symonds – Jockey: Jordan Nailor

From a stable amongst the winners this week, LOUD AS LIONS can make a successful return from a second wind operation. Interestingly he is unbeaten in completed outings over fences, strongly suggesting that when right he is a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, he has shown that he’s fully effective returning from a long absence.

SEDGEFIELD

Race 3 No5 SON OF THE SOMME
Trainer: Brian Ellison – Jockey: Henry Brooke

SON OF THE SOMME put in a career-best first time back on handicap debut at Doncaster, where he went down by just a neck in a driving finish.
That was only a second run under the tutelage of the shrewd Ellison, and one that begs to be improved on.

Race 7 No1 LIME DROP (Nap)
Trainer: Henry Daly – Jockey: Tom O’Brien

Daly has his horses in the form of their lives, with multiple scorer LIME DROP a case in point. She’s taken a hike in the weights after recording a fine hat-trick over two miles and has the skills to cope with the tight Catterick turns and defy her welter burden.

LINGFIELD PARK

Race 2 No2 RACE CARD (Nap)
Trainer: David Simcock – Jockey: Hayley Turner

The hooded RACE CARD takes a first trip away from Wolverhampton after smoothly opening his account at that course last week. He makes considerable appeal on this swift reappearance under a 5lb penalty, and can follow up.

Race 7 No6 MAHALE
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey: George Bass

Nothing stands out in this maiden, suggesting that MAHALE could finally put her best for forward at the 16th attempt. She’s shown a preference for this track at which her stats are 223, and having worked well on her trainer’s all-weather strip is ready for this assignment.

WOLVERHAMPTON

Race 2 No1 NEVER SAID NOTHING
Trainer: Mark Loughnane – Jockey: Philip Prince

NEVER SAID NOTHING makes plenty of sense as the only recent winner in this humble seller. The hooded selection landed some good bets over course and distance last week, a win that should have boosted his confidence for this quick return to Dunstall Park.

Race 6 No11 THE TRON (Nap)
Trainer: Derek Shaw – Jockey: Morgan Cole

THE TRON looked to score with more in hand than the narrow margin suggests at Southwell on Tuesday under an intelligent ride from Cole. There’s no surprise that after that first career success his connections are hungry for him to grab more on this 72-hour turnaround.

Place Accumulater Perm (Races 2-8)
1, 7 x 4, 2 x 1 x 4 x 11, 10 x 2, 5, 6 x 1, 4
R48
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