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Neil Morrice best bets and tips – Thursday 16 May 2024

Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips for Thursday’s racing coming your way from York, Salisbury and Fontwell Park on 16 May 2024.

Neil Morrice Thursday v2

Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips for Thursday's racing coming your way from York, Salisbury and Fontwell Park on 16 May 2024.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

YORK

Race 2 No8 METAL MERCHANT
Trainer: Jack Channon – Jockey: James Doyle

Breaking from stall 19 of 20 won’t make things easy for METAL MERCHANT, but the Newbury Spring Cup winner could actually find the draw an advantage should the forecast rain get into the ground. He’s worked with aplomb since that comeback triumph, and remains a well-handicapped horse. NORTHERN EXPRESS ran a little below expectations when favourite for the Thirsk Hunt Cup but could bounce back on a track where he’s excelled in the past. DUTCH DECOY enters calculations after a couple of near-misses for Charlie Johnston, while LOOK BACK SMILING could earn if overcoming a tendency to be slowly away.

Prediction: 1st METAL MERCHANT, 2nd Northern Express, 3rd Look Back Smiling, 4th Dutch Decoy

Race 3 AL BASTI EQUIWORLD DUBAI MIDDLETON FILLIES’ STAKES (Group 2)

No2 CAERNARFON (Each Way)
Trainer: Jack Channon – Jockey: James Doyle

FREE WIND boasts very good form on the Knavesmire, having easily landed the corresponding race 12 months ago before finishing second in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks. If tuned for this return to action she is a worthy favourite. BLUESTOCKING played the role of a perennial bridesmaid last season with a sequence of placed efforts in top company, and what appeals about her is how Ralph Beckett’s fillies are running into form ahead of the Classics and Royal Ascot. Godolphin’s SAPPHIRE SEAS ahead a four-race winning spree ended by English Rose in a Group 2 at Meydan and is something of a joker in this pack. For value in a race I’m greatly looking forward to the choice is CAERNARFON, who placed in two Classics last season and has needed time as well as an outing at Newmarket to become fully fit. The Cityscape filly had a good blow after the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket and put in her best work of the year earlier in the week. She’s carded to go off the outsider of the six runners and that seems wrong.

Race 4 AL BASTI EQUIWORLD DUBAI DANTE STAKES (Group 2)

No2 ANCIENT WISDOM (Nap)
Trainer: Charlie Appleby – Jockey: William Buick

Appleby has not held back his admiration for ANCIENT WISDOM, who though suffering a surprise defeat in a Listed race at Ascot was otherwise foot-perfect and ended up outclassing his rivals in the Doncaster Futurity (Group 1) in the autumn. The horse that beat him at Ascot is Rosallion, who finished third in the 2,000 Guineas, and Ancient Wisdom has according to his trainer done everything right in the build-up to what many believe is the best trial for the Derby. He can with another success elevate himself to clear favourite for Epsom, and do so at the expense of CAVIAR HEIGHTS.

Race 7 No4 WHISKEY PETE (Each Way)
Trainer: Ralph Beckett – Jockey: Rossa Ryan

WHISKEY PETE could be the way to go in what is potentially the best race of its kind run this season. The Night Of Thunder gelding spoiled his chance on a couple of occasions last season by running freely, but was more relaxed when opening his account on a final start here in the autumn, and has pleased his trainer through the winter and early spring. Respect is also afforded to the Coolmore top-weight LONDON CITY and TOKYO BAY, whose numbers will definitely go not my exact as and trifectas for this race.

SALISBURY

Race 2 No6 RATHGAR
Trainer: Jack Channon – Jockey: Charles Bishop

RATHGAR benefitted from a peach of a ride by David Probert when scoring at Goodwood. After confirming his ability to get this distance he’s the type that could now go on and graduate through the handicap ranks and is a horse to follow.

Race 4 No2 MISS STORMY NIGHT
Trainer: Clive Cox – Jockey: Richard Kingscote

MISS STORMY NIGHT is getting better race by race. She’s benefitted from the addition of a hood, and having troubled the judge on a first outing on grass, can make further improvement to open her account.

Race 5 No6 MASTER BUILDER (Nap)
Trainer: David Menuisier – Jockey: Benoit De La Sayette

MASTER BUILDER made a good fist of it when second to a horse that had greater experience. That Windsor effort was achieved with plenty of cut in the ground, suggesting this testing surface will be a help rather than a hindrance to the NAP.

FONTWELL PARK

Race 2 No2 ISLAND RUN
Trainer: Philip Hobbs – Jockey: Mickael Nolan

ISLAND RUN finished off his race strongly when second at Kempton last week and is back on a mark over hurdles off which he was last successful. As long as he enjoys a decent pace in this small field he can gain an overdue success.

Race 7 No12 GETAWAYS GIFT (Nap)
Trainer: Anthony Honeyball – Jockey: Rex Dingle

GETAWAYS GIFT ran into a decent foe when second to Crazierthandaisy at Plumpton, showing her liking for an easy track. That form makes her a worthy favourite for the concluding bumper, in which she can deliver.

Place Accumulator Perm (Races 1-7)

1 x 2 x 6, 5 x 10, 2, 8, 11 x 4, 3 x 5, 2 x 12

R32

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