Yes, six meetings for punters to get stuck into today with Ayr and Wexford, your two jumps meetings, while the flat season goes on with four meetings from Redcar, Leicester, Galway and Newcastle.
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.
14:15 Leicester – Fast Glory – 10/1 into 13/2
16:00 Leicester – Young Fire – 14/1 into 9/1
16:15 Ayr – Midnight Antics – 9/1 into 7/1
16:25 Redcar – Lady Monica – 8/1 into 11/2
The market says LAY!
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
16:00 Leicester – Afaak – 7/4 OUT 2/1
Afaak is friendless this morning in the markets as he continues to drift out in the betting. Support for Dashing Roger and Young Fire continues to push his price out.
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
It’s pretty low graded action today at Ayr. Still, jockey Tom Scudamore has a 57% strike rate when riding for trainer Lucinda Russell and the combine with Operation Overlord 10.09/1 in the 13:55 Ayrshire Cancer Support Novices’ Hurdle.
At Redcar, Give It Some Teddy 7.513/2 will look for his sixth-course win in the 14:05 Join Racing TV For The Jumps Season Handicap.
Trainer Keith Dalgleish will attempt to win the 14:40 EBF “Double Trigger” Novice Stakes at Redcar for the third time and keep up his 100% record in the race with Belle Of Annandale 8.07/1.
Trainers Simon and Ed Crisford have a 50% (five for ten) record at Redcar. Today they saddle one runner Saleymm 2.915/8 in the 15:50 Market Cross Jewellers Maiden Stakes.
Jockeys that are claiming weight off of their horses back have won all nine renewals for the 16:25 Watch Race Replays At racingtv.com Apprentice Handicap.
Jockey Silvestre De Sousa has ridden two winners from six rides for trainer Nigel Tinkler at Leicester (33%) and has a return of investment of 204.2%. Today they partner in the 13:40 @leicesterraces Ideal Self-Hire Wedding Venue Nursery Handicap with Acklam Gold 5.04/1.
In the 14:50 at Leicester, Charlie Appleby saddles his only runner of the day with Secret Jewel 2.111/10, and he will look to keep up his 21% strike rate at the venue.
Trainer Stella Barclay has been operating at a 25% strike rate in the last 14 days, and her runner Glorious Rio 4.57/2 at 19:00 has won his last three starts at Newcastle, taking his record to three for five at this venue.
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.
14:05 Redcar – Give It Some Teddy – Has won here five times (42%)
17:25 Newcastle – Masque Of Anarchy – Has won here twice (67%)
19:00 Newcastle – Buniann – Has won here five times (45%)
19:00 Newcastle – Glorious Rio – Has won here three times (60%)
Weighted to go well
“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
17:25 Newcastle – Boy In The Bar – Has won off 82 runs off 59
20:00 Newcastle – Beachwood Emily – Has won off 60 runs off 48
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Trainer Donald McCain has been operating at a 33% strike rate in the last 14 days. Today he heads to Ayr – a course he has a 23% strike rate at – with three runners.
Today’s furthest traveller is trainer Roger Charlton. He makes the 313 mile journey to Newcastle with his only runner of the day Najeeba 2.89/5 ridden by Hollie Doyle in the 16:55. This will be the first time the pair have combined at this track.
Race of the day
Leicester’s 16:00 Light Brigade Handicap looks like a very tricky puzzle for punters to solve with just the seven runners reducing each-way terms to just two places.
Afaak has failed to build on his excellent Royal Hunt Cup victory off a handicap mark of 103 back in 2019, but he did show some of that spark last time when a strong finishing second at Haydock behind a progressive rival.
That was just his second run of the season, with connections rubbishing any talk of a setback by explaining, “It’s just how his season has worked out”.
Today’s conditions replicate that of his Royal Hunt Cup victory, and he is two for two on soft ground, albeit both of those runs have come on Ascot’s straight course.
He figures on a handy mark here and is the fresher horse at a time of year when most are at the end of a long season. He looks the one to beat with valid claims.
Dashing Roger is easily the most progressive horse in this field, and if forgiving his latest flop in the Balmoral at Ascot, his profile is an appealing one.
He won this race in 2020 off a handicap mark of 88 and now must defy a lofty mark of 104, but he has failed to finish outside of the first two over this trip on soft ground, and there is no telling where his limitations lie.
His form suggests he must improve again to defy this top-weight, but it’s plausible back here at Leicester, where he holds a 100% record.
Young Fire could be a fly in the ointment here at big odds. He only has 1 3/4 lengths to find with Dashing Roger from their meeting in the Shergar Cup, and he wasn’t best positioned to run down the winner.
He has conditions to suit and is now six pounds better off with the above mentioned, but he needs to be forgiven two lesser efforts in big field handicaps, including latest when heavy ground should have seen him to good effect.
However, he has failed to give his running in any race with 14 or more runners running well below par on each occasion, and the return to a smaller field will see him to best effect.
He would be the tentative selection, but for the lack of an eighth runner, the terms are not favourable in this instance.
Three of the best at Newcastle from Timeform
The Timeform team head to Newcastle and offer up their NAP, NB and each-way shout.
Read Timeform tips here.
Suroor to score with Last Look at Redcar
The 14:05 Join Racing TV For The Jumps Season Handicap at Redcar looks like an excellent opportunity for the unexposed Last Look to get back to winning ways.
The five-year-old was unbeaten in three starts before heading to Meydan earlier this year, where she flopped in two runs but returned to the UK with an excellent effort at York in first time cheek-pieces earlier this month.
She was forced wide for much of the contest after coming out of stall 17 of 20 at York and made her effort earlier than ideal – hitting the front easily before fading close home.
That run came off the back of a 233-day break off one pound lower, and she is entitled to improve for fitness.
Today’s drop back to 1m from 1m2f looks a good move given the speed she showed on that occasion, and she should have no issues with the ground, so she gets a confident vote in this weaker event.
Third Time Lucki and Before Midnight the two to take from Cheltenham
It was a blistering performance from chase debutant Third Time Lucki on Friday at Cheltenham as he blew away his rivals to win by eight lengths hard held.
Before Midnight a similarly impressive six-length winner of the Handicap Chase on Saturday over the same trip off a handicap mark of 136 suggests he could easily have more to offer even with a rise.
Comparing the two is not ideal, given they raced a day apart, but Third Time Lucki, from the seventh to the finish, recorded a time figure of 2.08.53, almost half a second slower than Before Midnights 2.08.09.
Three out to the finish saw Before Midnight run 11 lengths faster than Third Time Lucki. The latter was carrying 13 pounds more on his back and did do it in a canter, but it reflects well on Before Midnight, who could have a big handicap in him this term.
Third Time Lucki was cut into 14/1 with Betfair for the Arkle in March, and with improvement forthcoming, that looks about right – he sets the standard for UK Novice Chasers at the moment.
Final Word – It’s not cool man!
For some reason, we have entered this new phase in National Hunt racing where it’s now not “cool” to get excited about a horse’s performance with a view to the Cheltenham Festival.
There’s even been an advert played out to make light of the situation.
Suddenly, the “cool” kids on social media have decided to go on the hunt for any social account that even mutters the words of the Cheltenham Festival in October.
I say, get excited, go over the top, express your passion that you enjoyed a race so much that you are willing to lay money on the line at a good price for a race at a later date.
The same “cool” people on social media who down peoples’ enthusiasm for a performance this early in the season because they “know everything” are usually those that play the long game poorly and then moan in March by saying, “I can’t believe he was 20/1 in November”.
Make your own decisions, and don’t be put off having a long term punt just because it’s not “cool” to do so. Cheltenham ante-post markets here FYI.
Until tomorrow, be lucky.
Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7