We head to Newcastle today for our race of the day feature, where I like the look of a potentially well-handicapped and smart Hugo Palmer horse. There’s a competitive card at Huntingdon where Gary Moore’s Manucci quickly turns out and will look to follow up his impressive Sandown win. At the same time, The Goffer and The Little Yank are interesting runners for future purposes at Thurles.
Let’s get cracking…
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
13:35 Huntingdon – At A Pinch 7/2 into 5/2
14:02 Southwell – Naadyaa 9/2 into 7/2
15:55 Huntingdon – Honorary Colonel 11/2 into 9/2
The morning market drifters
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
14:45 Huntingdon – Galop De Chasse 5/6 OUT 1/1
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
In the 13:35 at Huntingdon, Nicky Henderson has a 34% strike rate over hurdles and saddles Quickbuck 3.02/1 in a race that has seen his runners priced under 3/1 place first and second in the last three years.
Trainer Harry Eustace is still looking for his first jumps trained winner and today enters Astroman 6.05/1 in the 14:10 at Huntingdon. His runner likes it here, and if today’s favourite Manucci 1.84/5 is feeling the effects of a hard race at Sandown, he is the one to pick up the pieces.
Betfair Ambassador Bryony Frost and trainer Lucy Wadham have a 19% strike rate when partnering. Today they team up with Code Name Lise 4.03/1 in the 15:20 at Huntingdon. You can get Bryony’s thoughts on her chances in this week’s exclusive column.
This season, trainer Gary Moore has a 20% strike rate in Chase races and saddles Dorking Lad 2.915/8 in the 15:55 at Huntingdon, who drops in class after scoring at Wincanton last time out.
At Sedgefield, trainer Christian Williams has a whopping 44% strike rate over fences. His runner Powerful Position 2.68/5 looks for back to back wins in the 14:20.
Jockey Brian Hughes has a 23% strike rate when riding for trainer Keith Dalgleish and is back in the saddle on Three Castles 9.08/1 in the 14:55 at Sedgefield.
In the 16:40 Handicap at Sedgefield, Roxyfet 8.07/1 won this race in 2020, 2019 and 2016, filled the frame in 2018 and 2017 and could be an all-way play today.
Trainer William Haggas is 36% with his three-year-olds at Newcastle and today runs Queen Aminatu 1.910/11 in the 18:00.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks and could be in with a chance today.
15:12 Southwell – Patsy Fagan – Has won here twice (67%)
15:55 Huntingdon – Lord Sparky – Has won here four times (57%)
16:57 Southwell – Maharashtra – Has won here twice (67%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
16:05 Sedgefield – Lostnfound – Has won off 95 runs off 82
17:30 Newcastle – Equidae – Has won off 64 runs off 52
18:30 Newcastle – Tathmeen – Has won off 77 runs off 64
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Jockey David Bass has had six winners from his last 20 rides for a 30% strike rate. Today he rides at Huntingdon with his best chance, perhaps Lots Of Luck, in the 15:55. Bass is profitable £31 to a £1 level stake at this track.
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Mark Gillard, who sends one runner 313-miles to Sedgefield in the 16:05. He runs Avithos 7.513/2 and has booked Brian Hughes 50% (one for two) for the yard.
Race of the day
We head to Newcastle, back on the flat today for their competitive 19:00 Handicap (Class 4). Six runners head to post, and I quite fancy one to outrun their odds and their opening handicap mark.
Noman is the horse in question that returns off the back of a ten-month absence for trainer Hugo Palmer who makes the 245-mile journey for his four-year-old’s first start of the season.
This horse impressed in three starts last term, including on debut when looking all at sea on the Newmarket track behind a useful 100 rated horse beaten just five lengths. He was green as grass that day but put the experience to good use the next twice, impressively scoring both times under a hand and heels ride.
His penultimate start on the all-weather at Wolverhampton has worked out well. The fourth is rated 77, the fifth 84, the sixth 77, the seventh 86, the eighth 79, and he won that contest going away off a 192 day-break which gives confidence he can do himself justice off today’s break off an opening handicap mark of 85.
Today he must concede race fitness but has been gelded, and he should be comfortably ahead of the handicapper, and Ross Coakley is a positive jockey booking. This is Coakley’s only ride of the day, and he has a 24% strike rate for Hugo Palmer.
Coase had his recent form knocked yesterday when the winner was well held at Kempton, and he needs to take another step forward to land this contest.
This is a step up in class and his first run at the Newcastle track, while all of his best form has come at Lingfield and Chelmsford.
The drop back in trip could be viewed positively, but his recent RPRs have risen for the step up in distance, so it’s mixed messages about his ideal distance, and he is a risky proposition.
Fox Power may not be granted the soft lead that saw him get back to winning ways at Wolverhampton last time, but he remains well treated on old form and could have more to offer after getting his head in front.
He has gone well on both occasions at this track, filling the first two positions in two outings off of higher handicaps marks including in Listed company in his youth, and his claims are there for all to see.
It would be no surprise would he be vulnerable to an improver, though, but he should be making his presence felt.
Big race verdict
Fox Power will have a say in matters, but the ready preference is for Noman, who shaped with considerable promise when last seen, and if the gelding operation improves him further, the handicapper could be well wide of the mark with his opening rating. Given the distance connections are willing to travel for his seasonal return, he gets a confident vote to be fit and ready the first time up.
Timeform hoping for a magic show at Southwell
Timeform’s Andrew Asquith highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each Way selection at Southwell on Thursday.
Read Timeform tips here.
Bryony Frost’s latest column, including on her rides today
Betfair Ambassador Bryony Frost explains how the storm chaos affected her riding plans, describes what it’s like to be unshipped and kicked by a horse and looks ahead to Huntingdon on Thursday…
Read Bryony’s column here.
Final Word – The Cheltenham experience
The Friday feeling on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival is not quite the one you get when working your day job. It’s better described as a Sunday morning feel, when you have a free day ahead, but also know the evening is filled dread knowing you have work the next day, but in this case, the excellent Cheltenham Festival comes to a close for another year.
It’s stick or twist time for many punters. You have either had a good week and want to maintain the profits, are slightly up and want to be greedy, or are looking for a get out of jail free card (bet responsibly).
The best thing you can do is continue to be confident, and don’t change your mind! The last thing you want to do is change your approach on the final day. There’s nothing worse than chaging your mind because you felt your method wasn’t working, only for the big one you fancied to land in your absence.
Make sure you savour the moments, especially in the Gold Cup where the atmosphere is electric. Don’t watch it on a screen, get down to the track and get in position on the rail during the race before and don’t move!
The Gold Cup leaves racegoers with forever moments, and if you’re on course, you want to see it first hand, otherwise you may as well been at home.
Scream and shout! Be apart of the atmosphere that makes racing and the Cheltenham Festival great.
Don’t leave before the last race. It’s usually a cracker, and everyone does this technique thinking they will beat the traffic, when it’s actually quieter after the event.
Whatever you do, enjoy the moment and make memories.
Until tomorrow, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7