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Neil Morrice: UK Best Bets – 25 February 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 Chepstow, Huntingdon, Sedgefield, Meydan and Southwell.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone



Trainer: Evan Williams – Jockey: Isabel Williams

While his followers will be losing patience, CHAMPAGNE RHYTHM has the best form to his name from his course and distance second to Pozo Emery last month. He was subsequently floored by Firak when odds-on here on latest start, but needs to be given another chance.


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

This trainer’s jumper-bumper runners have fared well and VIENNA COURT’s effort in such a race at Kempton gives her claims of overstepping her predicted starting price as she goes back over fences. She finished just out of the money behind the useful Tomorrow Mystery, an effort that could serve to sweeten her up for this.


Trainer: Evan Williams – Jockey: Isabel Williams

Mot A Mot brought over with him a tall reputation from France, but his debut effort for his powerful stable at Exeter was underwhelming. He’s capable of raising his game, but PRIME PRETENDER has the points on the board after chasing home Super Six at this course, and is preferred.

Jockeys Ride Horses


Race 1 No3 INTERCONNECTEDTrainer: Dan Skelton – Jockey: Harry Skelton

INTERCONNECTED looked potentially useful when finishing a close second to Emitom in a Newbury novice hurdle when last seen two years ago. He returns from a new stable, and has shown plenty of his old gusto working in preparation for this. Fitness should not be an issue. 

Race 2 No4 FABLE (Nap)Trainer: Nicky Henderson – Jockey: Nico de Boinville

Former winning pointer FABLE shaped in eye taking style when chasing home the smart Rose Of Arcadia on debut under Rules at Wincanton. It was only by a neck that she failed to withstand the late rally of her more experienced opponent, and a repeat of that level of form would be good enough to see her open her account.

Trainer: Jeremy Scott – Jockey: Rex Dingle

One of the least exposed in the tricky nightcap, WAVERING DOWN hails from a yard that’s been amongst the winners and should have more to offer. He’s been highly tried and improved from race to race, now finding himself with his best winning opportunity so far.


Race 3 No3 SIDI ISMAEL (Nap)

Trainer: Keith Dalgleish- Jockey: Craig Nichol

This looks a hard puzzle to unravel but one that can give a good account is SIDI ISMAEL. He’s earned in three of four outings since undergoing wind surgery and has some solid form to bring to the table. I doubt that we have seen the best of him.

Trainer: Jennie Candlish – Jockey: Lilly Pinchin

Laskadine won cosily last time but that was back in December and he’s been put up 10lb. This could make him vulnerable to a horse like OSCARS LEADER, who never runs a bad race and takes form figures of 112-223 to post. He’s ridden by a capable conditional taking 5lb off his back, while he also receives first-time blinkers.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone


Trainer: Mike Murphy – Jockey: Daniel Muscutt

From a stable that has posted an exemplary record with its all-weather runners through 2021, GARTH ROCKETT can gain a deserved first win of the year following two solid efforts in defeat. Remarkably this is his first experience of Fibresand on a 49th career start, and if taking to it he can deliver.

Race 6 No1 ARIA ROSE (Nap)
Trainer: Mike Murphy – Jockey: Daniel Muscutt

It’s very hard to get away from ARIA ROSE, who can defy a 5lb penalty on the way to completing a four-timer. He absolutely hacked up over course and distance earlier in the month, taking little out of himself and coming back like a fresh horse. Winning runs are there to be broken, but he appears to be holding the whip hand.

Race 7 No1 TYGER BAY
Trainer: Conrad Allen – Jockey: Martin Dwyer

Horses that leave their previous form behind as TYGER BAY did at Kempton last week have to be taken seriously. He reacted to first-time blinkers to land some good bets and should again mean business on a belated first Fibresand start.

Place Accumulator Perm: Races 1-7

3, 6 x 4, 2, 5 x 4 x 4, 8 x 9, 1 x 1 x 1, 3, 5



Race 4 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (Group 3)


Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: William Buick

The winner of this contest in 2019, ISPOLINI lost his way a tad in two disappointing runs last summer but has shown gradual improvement in a couple of outings at the Carnival, latterly finishing fourth to Dubai Future in the Meydan Cup. If building on that sound course and distance effort he can regain the winning thread.

Race 5 Dubai Millennium Stakes (Group 3)


Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: William Buick

With Dream Castle now a light of former days this is best left to new kid on the block STAR SAFARI to confirm the promise shown in two recent starts here. The selection landed a handicap over a mile and a half and can handle this drop back to a mile and a quarter on the way to better things.

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