The weekend is almost here and there are six race meetings across the UK and Ireland to kickstart the Friday feeling. The action begins at Gowran Park (11.45am-3.40pm), with further National Hunt meetings at Catterick (12.05-3.33), Ascot (12.20-3.45) and Chepstow (12.30-4.00). Later, there’s all-weather fare on the level at Dundalk (3.55-7.30) and Newcastle (4.15-8.15).
Our nap has a fantastic record around Newcastle and could be set for success in one of six sprint races at the Gosforth Park track.
Horse racing tips today: Ascot, Chepstow and Newcastle
Enda McElhinney’s Friday fancies are below. Scroll down to read the expert analysis behind them.
Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
Horse racing tips: Newcastle 6.15
Formerly trained in Ireland, DANDYS GOLD made a winning start to her time with Roger Fell when scoring here over today’s trip of 6f in February, then finished second over a mile here later that month from this mark of 83, after a 7lb rise for that win, before lockdown interrupted her progress.
Soft ground at Hamilton meant we didn’t see her to best effect on her return in July, but she again went close over course and distance here nine days later, finishing second again. She has run only once since, finishing in midfield around the bends of Wolverhampton last month.
The straight track at Newcastle really seems to be to her liking, with those form figures of 122, and with in-form claimer Tyler Heard (2-9 lately) taking off 7lb, she is effectively on a winning mark again around a favourite track. Her last three all-weather starts have come in a higher grade and Dandys Gold should be in contention back at this track.
Tip: Dandys Gold @ 10/1 with bet365
Horse racing tips: Chepstow 4.00
A convincing winner at Ffos Las 12 days ago, Sexy Lot is forecast to be a short-priced favourite for this 2m 3½f handicap hurdle.
Ridden patiently by Kevin Brogan, the Camelot filly came through with a strong run and went away to score by eight and a half lengths. That was a Conditional Jockeys’ contest and so she looks well in off an unchanged mark now that will rise by 12lb in future.
She may not be bombproof, however. The leaders faltered late on in that contest and Sexy Lot was far from convincing at the final flight with the race at her mercy.
As such, MADE FOR YOU is put forward as an alternative here for Olly Murphy. A wind operation last season appeared to help him turn a corner, preceding a win at Musselburgh (2m, soft) in February and a good second at Fontwell (2m 3f, heavy) the next month.
He was runner-up again at Kelso (2m 5f, good to soft) on last month’s return to action and looks still to have better days in front of him in this sphere. Former champion jockey Richard Johnson returns in the plate and the combination should ensure the jolly has no easy time of it.
Tip: Made For You @ 5/1 with bet365
Horse racing tips: Ascot 3.45
It’s perhaps worth waiting until the finale at Ascot to back SILVER NICKEL from Seamus Mullins’ yard. This Novices’ Handicap Hurdle will be his fifth start over timber and just his second in a handicap.
He had some tough challenges last winter, including finishing down the field behind subsequent Grade 1 winner Fiddlerontheroof on his second start at Sandown, but rounded out his season with a promising third on soft ground over the minimum trip at Wincanton, when he was a 40/1 shot. Paul Nicholls’ Fidelio Vallis, the winner, has since franked that form.
Silver Nickel was back in action here last month over 2m 3½f (good to soft), when he was under the pump some way from home and doing his best work late in the race.
The front two stretched well clear of the remainder but Daniel Sansom got his mount up for fourth, and may even have grabbed third in another few strides.
He should be sharper for that run and also, on that evidence, looks certain to relish today’s step up in distance to just shy of three miles. Sansom can make use of his 3lb claim here and, in a wide-open event, Silver Nickel is fancied to have a say in the finish.
Tip: Silver Nickel @ 7/1 with bet365
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