Friday 18 October horse racing tips – Johnston’s 7/4 chance boasts Champion’s chance for Newcastle success

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for Friday’s UK and Irish horse racing meetings.

Five UK and Irish horse racing fixtures go to post throughout Friday with afternoon racing action over the sticks at both Uttoxeter and Fakenham.

Unfortunately there is no afternoon flat racing action after both scheduled cards at Redcar and Haydock have become victims to the recent wet spell of weather.

However, there is also plenty of evening all-weather action with fixtures on the tapeta at both Newcastle and Wolverhampton; while Dundalk in Ireland are racing on their polytrack surface where the Group Three Mercury Stakes is the feature race of the day.

Fakenham (jumps) – 1.55 – 4.35pm (6 races)

Uttoxeter (jumps) – 2.10 – 4.55pm (6 races)

Newcastle (flat, aw) – 5.00 – 8.05pm (7 races)

Wolverhampton (flat, aw) – 5.25 – 8.25pm (7 races)

Dundalk (flat, aw) – 5.45 – 8.45pm (7 races)



(2.25) TRAPPER PEAK (3/1, William Hill) carried on where he had left off last term when making a winning debut for new handler Justin Landry at Southwell, making it a hat-trick of successes following a brace of wins for previous handler Stef Keniry.

The Westerner gelding was returning from seven months off the track to out-point Applaus to land his latest success by only a short-head; but he should strip fitter for the outing, while a 3lbs rise in the weights remains workable and he can follow up to strike again and extend his winning sequence to four straight successes.

(3.00) ANGEL OF HARLEM (13/8, Bet365) ran out an easy winner on her chase debut at Uttoxeter last month, and Olly Murphy’s charge could follow up here with the potential to improve further in this sphere.

A four-time winner over hurdles earlier, she struck at the first attempt over the larger obstacles with a ten lengths’ success over Go Another One, making the most of the weight she received from her two rivals to put both to the sword.

She jumped well in the main and ought to improve for the experience, and she has the advantage of race-fitness over her rivals here which could prove decisive. She looks worth siding with again on the back of that recent success, and she can strike again here.

1.55 – Ballyellis

2.25 – Trapper Peak

3.00 – Angel Of Harlem

3.30 – Painted Cliffs

4.05 – Hepijeu

4.35 – The Wolf


Fakenham race on Friday



(3.15) DIABLO DE ROUHET (11/4, William Hill) has been in good form over the summer, winning at Perth in June and then going close to a follow-up when denied only by a half-length behind Gone Platinum at Bangor in August.

Nicky Henderson’s charge had been set some stiff tasks over hurdles by previous handler Jo Hughes, but the Great Pretender gelding looks to have a decent future as a chaser judging on those efforts and he could find further improvement having only been raised 1lb in the weights for that latest near-miss.

With the potential for better he could be worth chancing to quickly bounce back to winning ways here, and he could take advantage of his race-fitness to come home in front.

(3.50) MCNAMARAS BAND (5/2, Paddy Power) was last seen running out an easy ten lengths’ winner over Mercy Mercy Me, and Philip Hobbs’ charge could make a winning return to action following a break.

The Getaway gelding won a Worcester bumper on his debut back in June 2017, but he was subsequently absent for more than one year until returning to action in November last year where he fell at Chepstow behind Duke Of Kilcorral when still holding every chance.

Following another three-month break he ran a good third behind Dickie Diver back at Chepstow before getting off the mark over the same course and distance latest. That form might only be ordinary, but as a lightly-raced and potentially progressive sort he could be worth chancing on his reappearance to make a winning return in a handicap where a mark of 128 might prove to underestimate him.

2.10 – Veiled Secret

2.45 – Pop The Cork

3.15 – Diablo De Rouhet

3.50 – Mcnamaras Band

4.20 – Holly James

4.55 – Carlo Rocks


(5.30) TROOP (7/2, Ladbrokes) has made the frame in each of his last three starts, and the Lethal Force gelding can get back on the scoresheet if continuing in similar form.

Ann Duffield’s charge most recently was beaten only a neck over ten furlongs here earlier in the month behind Menin Gate, and he drops back to one mile for this latest outing from the same mark as last time although he’s due to go up in the weights in future runs.

The drop back in trip will be no issue, and he was beaten less than one length over course and distance the time before that latest outing. The reapplication of cheekpieces might help to focus his energies, and he could be worth chancing to add to his tally.

(6.05) ZABEEL CHAMPION (7/4, William Hill) made a taking debut at Bath last month, winning a shade comfortably over Bronze River, and with the potential to further improve on the back of that first run then Mark Johnston’s charge could double up and keep his unbeaten record intact.

The Poets Voice colt made all the running in that first outing, finding plenty for pressure and looking a useful prospect with the front pair pulling clear of the rest.

Sure to find progress with that experience under his belt, he looks worth siding with again and no surprise to see him strike again here with better to come.

5.00 – Granite City Doc

5.30 – Troop

6.05 – Zabeel Champion

6.35 – Onassis

7.05 – Buccaneers Vault

7.35 – Dubai Acclaim

8.05 – Peachey Carnehan


Newcastle are racing on Friday evening on the allweather



(5.45) SPRUCE MEADOWS (10/1, Bet365) has won two of his last three starts, and John Feane’s charge could continue with his current good spell by winning again here.

The Intikhab gelding was a Down Royal winner back in August, and following a lesser effort at Listowel next time where the trip might just have been too sharp he bounced back to strike over course and distance late last month when beating Daileo by a half-length.

He was drawn on the outside that day so did well to overcome his position where he appeared to win a shade readily, and a subsequent 4lbs rise for that success might not be enough to prevent a repeat if he turns out in similar fettle.

(8.15) PRIMO UOMO (20/1, Paddy Power, each-way) can usually be relied upon to run his race, and the Strategic Prince gelding could be worth chancing to get back on the scoresheet having just come out worst against the reopposing Blue Uluru over course and distance latest.

Gerard O’Leary’s charge posted his last success in a Listed contest at Navan last April, but he failed to back up the win including when tried in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes behind Blue Point and he was subsequently absent for almost nine months before returning to action back at Navan in March.

Winless in six outings this campaign, his form has been somewhat patchy, but his latest run can be deemed a shade unlucky as he was hampered and lost his position before running on late. He had conceded first run however, and wasn’t unable to overhaul the winner to whom he was conceding 5lbs.

He is better off at the weights now, and while this is a strong renewal of this Group Three contest he could go well again and ought to give his usual solid performance for all he’ll need a career-best if he’s to prevail. He could however snatch a place at big odds, and he’s worth chancing given he has a decent record at this venue.

5.15 – Major Reward

5.45 – Spruce Meadows

6.15 – Recall The Show

6.45 – She’s A Babe

7.15 – Luna’s Luck

7.45 – Dubai Rainbow

8.15 – Primo Uomo

8.45 – Shawaf


(5.55) MADE FOR ALL (15/2, Paddy Power) didn’t shape too badly on her debut at Haydock last month in heavy ground, finishing third of ten runners behind Whatabird and only beaten one length at the line; Karl Burke’s charge can build on that initial experience to get off the mark at the second attempt.

The Dabirsim filly was always in the firing line in that contest, perhaps just undone late by her inexperience; but she ought to have learned from the experience and if handling this different surface then every chance she can find progress on the back of that debut to get off the mark at the second attempt.

(6.25) POWER LINK (15/8, Unibet) might have needed his return to action from five months off the track following a spell in Dubai, and James Tate’s charge can get back to winning ways here.

A Newcastle winner last September, he spent a fruitless spell in the Emirates before returning to this yard, and following on from his reappearance he got back on the scoresheet at Kempton with a defeat of Busby, scoring by four lengths.

The Data Link gelding was subsequently far from disgraced in his follow-up bid at this venue earlier in the month where he was beaten just over two lengths behind Motagally, and a repeat of that effort might prove good enough here to see him quickly regain the winning thread from just 1lb higher.

5.25 – Too Hard To Hold

5.55 – Made For All

6.25 – Power Link

6.55 – Lets Go Lucky

7.25 – In The Night

7.55 – Tempus

8.25 – Sir Prize