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Neil Morrice: UK & Irish Tips – Saturday 23 March 2019

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Neil Morrice bring us all of his tips for Saturday 23 March’s racing across Ireland and the United Kingdom. UK Racing comes your way from Bangor-On-Dee, Kelso, Lingfield, Newbury, and Kempton while Irish racing comes to you from Thurles. Neil also previews two feature races: the EBF and TBA Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle Series Final as well as the Doom Bar Handicap Chase; both of which are hosted by Newbury. 

EBF & TBA Mares’ ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle Series Final preview

The day’s feature doesn’t quite have its usual competitive look but several go into battle off recent wins. The ground is on the change which adds another element of uncertainty for bettors.

THE WHITE MOUSE has headed the ante-post market and Lucy Wadham’s charge needs to be taken very seriously taking into account her relatively light campaign which points to assured further improvement. She readily dispatched OSCAR ROSE at Doncaster earlier in the month and should have no trouble confirming the form as that race has unearthed pointers to this Final including Briery Queen who did the double three years ago.

The pick of the local challenge can stem from SHE MITE BITE who some will consider a winner without a penalty remembering how well she was going when brought down in a Ludlow handicap last time. Her trainer Nicky Henderson looks to have targeted her at this.

OUR DOT’S BABY looks more assured in the jumping department after falling in two of her first three hurdles, but has won two of three completions under aggressive tactics including here last time, but if the ground livens up it won’t be in the favour of Jeremy Scott’s runner.

At a working man’s price hat-trick seeker A LITTLE CHAOS looks interesting for trainer Stuart Edmunds. This is a step up in class for the confirmed front runner but with her tail up she needs considering.

Neil Morrice’s Predicted Finish

2nd She Mite Bite
3rd Our Dot’s Baby
4th A Little Chaos
5th Oscar Rose

Doom Bar Handicap Chase preview 

One of the noticeable developments over the past fortnight has been the good form shown by Alan King’s horses and that trainer fires a solid arrow at this £20,000 heat in the shape of the rarely seen VALDEZ.

The veteran spent several weeks all dressed up with nowhere to go, but when reappearing in the Greatwood Gold Cup here three weeks ago didn’t let the side down, running a race full of promise and looking a shade unlucky in the process.

He was bang in contention in that fiercely competitive feature only to get hampered by a loose horse, but it didn’t prevent him staying on into an honourable third behind winner San Benedeto.

Pleasingly he has come out of that with no ill effects and the ground should be like a carpet following a clement week in that part of Berkshire that has contributed to the race cutting up.

GALA BALL was returning from a long lay off when finishing a couple of lengths in front of Valdez in the Greatwood in which he looked the likely winner when smuggled into the race to challenge and lead before two out. Before going onto the injury list he was an absolute model of consistency, and if avoiding the ‘bounce’ factor has to be a major player for Philip Hobbs.

In receipt of plenty of weight from the others, FOXTAIL HILL comes into the argument. As the only front runner in the race he should maintain an easy lead, though he is sometimes a weak finisher.

Neil Morrice’s Predicted Finish

2nd Gala Ball
3rd Foxtail Hill

Here is a list of the racing on offer at Hollywoodbets on Saturday 23rd March 2019. Click the venue link to view the current betting at Hollywoodbets. (Scheuduled time of first race). More links will be added as they become available.

16:20 – Thurles

15:40 – Bangor-On-Dee
15:50 – Kelso
16:00 – Lingfield
16:05 – Newbury
19:25 – Kempton Park


12:25 – Turffontein
13:50 – Durbanville

Starting Prices to be added on release.

Bangor-On-Dee Best Bets 

Trainer: Julian Smith
Jockey: Mark Grant

As a 12-year-old that was well beaten last time EMERALD ROSE is going to represent a bit of Each Way value and can prove a surprise packet. Her form has a consistent ring to it, as apart from that blip at Market Rasen she’s rarely failed to get into the money, and her trainer has been wisely parsimonious in opting for a selective campaign. Apart from Biddy The Boss, most of her rivals have been out of form.

Race 7: GALWAY JACK (1)
Trainer: G Bailey
Jockey: Mr T McClorey

Talking about veterans, there’s every reason to think the 14-year-old GALWAY JACK can show a clean pair of heels to his foes in this hunter-chase. Admittedly he was reeled in by Pass The Hat when long odds on when last seen at Southwell last May, but as a horse that goes best fresh he will take plenty of catching.

Kelso Best Bets

Race 2: JOKE DANCER (6)
Trainer: Sue Smith
Jockey: Danny Cook

In a fiercely competitive two-miler in which several go into battle with solid recent form to their names, the most compelling case concerns JOKE DANCER. The six-year-old has a progressive profile and with just one outing this season is fresh on the block and capable of adding to his laurels. He was impressive on that occasion at Newcastle, displaying a good turn of foot that should stand him in good stead at the business end here.

Race 3: BLUE FLIGHT (1)
Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Jockey: Callum Bewley

Having gone from strength to strength this season, the gigantic BLUE FLIGHT can continue his progression and stretch his winning sequence to four. At the age of six he has scope for further improvement and there looked to be no fluke about his defeat of the much vaunted Black Corton here earlier in the month. As he showed no signs of stopping the step up in trip should prove an added plus.

Lingfield Best Bet

Race 3: SHA LA LA LA LEE (7)
Trainer: Ton Dascombe
Jockey: Richard Kingscote

With her proven liking for this course and jumping from a good stall for a filly that likes to get on with things, SHA LA LA LA LEE can confirm her superiority over the equally consistent Family Fortunes and Insurgence. On the book you could throw a blanket over the three, but Dascombe’s filly worked well in her final spin for this which tips the scales in her favour.

Thurles Best Bets 

Trainer: Harry De Bromhead
Jockey: H Morgan

This could develop into a match between Kolumbus and GENERALISATION but the latter, who ran a big race for much of the way over the course and distance last time, looks the more tempting option. His fourth placing that day is arguably stronger form than Kolumbus showed at Bellewstown, whilst the receipt of a handy 8lbs from the latter is not the be sneezed at either.

Race 4: BENRUBEN (3)
Trainer: J Nicholson
Jockey: Mark Enright

Certain to start the roughie in this small field, BENRUBEN can upset the applecart against three rivals that have question marks against them. Jetz gave an eight and a half-length beating to the selection over two miles at Navan, but my selection was closing at the finish having come from well off the pace under a patient ride. Over a further 400 metres today and with Jetz having subsequently unseated at Naas, I fancy Benruben to prevail.

Kempton Park Best Bet

Race 2: SARASOTA (6)
Trainer: Jamie Osborne
Jockey: Nicola Currie

Whilst it’s hard to evaluate the ability of newcomer Gaith, of those with the points on the board SARASOTA stands out. Jamie Osborne has his all-weather team in good order and this filly finds herself in a less competitive race than that in which she troubled the judge for the third time in a row at Wolverhampton.

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