Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Friday’s racing coming your way from Dundalk, Huntingdon, Sedgefield, and Newcastle.
Race 1: No1 – WOODROW
Trainer: Chris Farrell – Jockey: Sam Ewing
WOODROW landed some good bets over course and distance earlier in the week which gives him a good shot at turning round last year’s defeat over the same trip by Hodd’s Girl. The Ivawood colt stepped back into maiden company to sail home ahead of Glow Worm, and the ultra-consistent second is a good yardstick by which to judge him as he goes for a swift follow-up.
Race 3: No3 – DANCES WITH STARS
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien – Jockey: Declan McDonagh
Not only is DANCES WITH STARS one of the least exposed candidates for this rated race, but he has a good draw, eye taking form, and represents top connections. Following back-to-back narrow defeats here last month he’s in the A1 position to go be better at the main expense of Spelga who should be added into all exotics.
Race 4: No8 – MOSALA (Nap)
Trainer: Henry De Bromhead – Jockey: Colin Keane
There would be no more deserving a winner of this maiden than MOSALA. The Kodiac gelding has troubled the judge on his last four outings, including near-misses on consecutive races on Polytrack. He has a tricky gate on the outside but if getting the rub of the green can deliver.
Race 7: No2 – SILK CRAVAT (Each Way)
Trainer: John Geoghegan – Jockey: Paddy Harnett
Although lacking consistency, SILK CRAVAT can take home a cheque at a decent price in this wide open affair. The Kyllachy gelding was beaten less than three lengths when finishing eighth over a mile here last time, weakening at the finish. He should enjoy being pulled back to seven and should not be underestimated.
Race 2: No1 – BIRCHDALE
Trainer: Nicky Henderson – Jockey: Aidan Coleman
Former high-class novice hurdler BIRCHDALE won’t get many better opportunities to put one on the board as a chaser than in this four-runner affair. He’s competed at the last two Cheltenham Festivals and was an early casualty when long odds on for his debut over fences at Catterick. With his stable getting back into the groove after a mid-season lull he can now deliver.
Race 3: No6 – WIGHTMAN
Trainer: Mick Channon – Jockey:
A strong pace enabled WIGHTMAN to settle and get the job done albeit by a narrow margin at Taunton last month. A miler on the Flat, he reappears on a similarly easy track and if again getting a decent pace can follow-up.
Race 4: No1 – PURE BLISS (Nap)
Trainer: Harry Fry – Jockey: Sean Bowen
A double penalty may not prevent PURE BLISS from completing a fine hat-trick in this mares’ novices’ hurdle. The former Irish point winner is three from four under Rules since joining her trainer and has been impressive in both races over hurdles at Uttoxeter and Exeter. This is partly down to a successful wind operation, and she’s strongly fancied to keep up the good work.
Race 5: No11 – GALACTIC POWER (Each Way)
Trainer: Robin Dickin – Jockey: Tabitha Worsley
GALACTIC POWER is racing for just a third time in more than a year but showed with a staying on second to Mr Washington at Ludlow that he’s still got a tune to play. An unconsidered 33-1 shot, the race will have brought him on and another earning run looks on the cards.
Race 6: No8 – ARTHUR’S REUBEN
Trainer: Sean Curran – Jockey: James Davies
ARTHUR’S REUBEN failed to menace on debut for his trainer but is almost certainly better than the bare facts indicate. Given that Southwell contest was his first in nine months, progression can be anticipated.
Race 1: No8 – WORD HAS IT
Trainer: Donald McCain – Jockey: Brian Hughes
With the yard in cracking form with its novices, WORD HAS IT can get backers off to the perfect start. Apart from failing to complete on debut for the stable he’s placed in each of his three races over hurdles and sets the standard for the others to aim at.
Race 4: No4 – HEARTBREAK KID
Trainer: Donald McCain – Jockey: Brian Hughes
The McCain/Hughes combo can also be on target with HEARTBREAK KID who defends a two race unbeaten record at this course. Those successes came in novice hurdles but the selection showed a good attitude when second to Cheddleton on chase debut at Carlisle and is expected to improve on that.
Race 6: No3 – EVENT OF SIVOLA (Nap)
Trainer: Tim Walford – Jockey: Thomas Dowson
EVENT OF SIVOLA would be a deserving winner of this long-distance handicap chase after hitting the crossbar on his latest outings at this course and Catterick. He ran into a snip at the weights when beaten by Sigurd last time and given the rub of the green can prevent Silent Man from completing a hat-trick.
Race 6: No1 – OO DE LALLY
Trainer: Andrew Balding – Jockey: William Carver
With his big weight alleviated by the 5lb claim of his apprentice pilot, OO DE LALLY can complete a hat-trick. He showed with a smooth victory at Kempton in October that he’s right at home on an artificial surface and has worked well ahead of this return from a three-month break.
Race 7: No4 – SIR TITUS (Nap)
Trainer: Brian Smart – Jockey: Graham Lee
Dandy Man colt SIR TITUS troubled the judge on both career starts here towards the end of 2020 and can utilise his experience of the Tapeta surface to outpoint stablemate Equate in this novice stakes. Equate gamely opened his account at Beverley but hasn’t run for four months and this is his first outing on the all-weather.