Five UK and Irish horse racing meetings go to post on Friday with afternoon jumps racing from the meetings at Chepstow and Musselburgh, while all-weather action in the afternoon comes from the card at Lingfield on their polytrack surface.
In the evening, there are further all-weather fixtures under the floodlights at Newcastle on their tapeta surface, while Dundalk in Ireland are racing on their polytrack surface.
Lingfield (flat, aw) – 12.00 – 3.40pm (8 races)
Chepstow (jumps) – 1.10 – 3.55pm (6 races)
Musselburgh (jumps) – 1.20 – 4.00pm (6 races)
Newcastle (flat, aw) – 3.15 – 6.45pm (8 races)
Dundalk (flat, aw) – 5.30 – 8.30pm (7 races)
Brian Healy takes a look at all five of Friday’s scheduled UK and Irish racecards where he gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for every meeting.
BRIAN HEALY’S NAP OF THE DAY – FRIDAY 17 JANUARY
(12.30) Axel Jackson and PRINCE ROCK (7/2, William Hill) are both last-time winners, but Simon Dow’s charge is taken to follow up having appeared to win a shade readily latest behind Roca Magica over this course and distance last month.
The Society Rock gelding has a good record at this track with two wins and three efforts in the frame from his six starts here, and the runner-up from that last outing has won since to give the form a boost so a subsequent 3lbs rise in the weights looks far from harsh.
This is a weak race, and given he boasts a most consistent profile than his rivals then he looks worth siding with to strike again here.
(1.00) DEPECHE TOI (5/1, William Hill) hasn’t shown much in a trio of novice contests, but the Camacho filly could be worth an interest now she switches her attention to handicapping where a mark of 46 in a very weak affair might be exploitable by Jonathan Portman’s charge.
Not seen out since finishing tenth of 13 runners behind Odyssey Girl at Newbury, she has seen that form work out quite well, and returning from six months off the track to make her all-weather debut in first-time cheekpieces she could find improvement.
This isn’t a strong race, and the yard has been quiet of late; but she could have more to offer and might be worth chancing to deliver a better effort here.
12.00 – Haddaf
12.30 – Prince Rock
1.00 – Depeche Toi
1.35 – Cliff Wind
2.05 – Merhoob
2.40 – Superseded
3.10 – Normal Norman
3.40 – Rhubarb Bikini
(1.45) KEPAGGE (2/1, Bet365) has looked a useful recruit, winning both starts since arriving at David Pipe from the point-to-point sphere, and following an impressive bumper success at this venue in November the Getaway gelding followed up with another success on his first try over hurdles.
That win saw him beat Bendy Bow by just over one length at Leicester, overcoming some early mistakes to score a shade readily and he could improve again to land his hat-trick.
The form of that success is only ordinary, but he likely has better still to come and he can give a good account in this contest despite it being a stronger race than the one he took last time.
(2.15) KINGSPLACE (4/5, Coral) has run well on both his seasonal debuts, scoring in a Doncaster bumper on his first run for Nigel Twiston-Davies a year after his previous start in an Irish point-to-point; and he wasn’t beaten far on his reappearance last term when finishing fourth behind Birchdale.
The Ask gelding faced some stiff tasks over timber last term behind the likes of Dickie Diver and New Age Dawning before beating only three rivals on his final outing in a Grade One at Aintree won by Champ.
This is significantly easier back in maiden company, and he could prove a tough nut to crack if finding further progress on last season’s form on his reappearance and assuming lack of a recent run doesn’t prove a disadvantage.
1.10 – On The Road
1.45 – Kepagge
2.15 – Kingsplace
2.50 – Vision Des Flos
3.20 – Just A Thought
3.55 – Son Of The King
(1.55) WARENDORF (9/4, Paddy Power) could have better still to come as a chaser, and Stuart Coltherd’s charge is taken to get back on the winning trail here.
The Speedmaster gelding won between the flags for Pat Kelly prior to joining this yard, and he showed some ability over hurdles although his future was always likely to be over fences where he has shown up well on all five starts since going chasing.
He got off the mark in this sphere with a defeat of Hard Knocks at Wetherby back in December, and he was perhaps just undone by the lesser trip latest at Carlisle when finishing just over one length runner-up behind Mymilan although he was clear of the rest.
That form is working out fairly well and he’s only 4lbs higher in what looks a weaker race so he ought to continue to make his presence felt and could get back on the scoresheet.
(2.25) Richard Fahey doesn’t have too many runners over hurdles, but ROYAL COSMIC (SP) has shown a fair level of ability in both her starts over timber thus far where she has bagged bronze medals at Musselburgh and Catterick respectively.
A decent sort on the flat, she possibly needed the experience of hurdling on her debut over timber at this venue back in November, but she built on that next time at Catterick where she finished nine lengths adrift of the winner where she stayed on well but was unable to match the front pair.
She has won here in the past, and her best form on the level came in the mud so she could be worth chancing to find further improvement on the back of her two encouraging hurdles runs to date.
1.20 – Not The Chablis
1.55 – Warendorf
2.25 – Royal Cosmic
3.00 – Kajaki
3.30 – Izzy’s Champion
4.00 – Chuvelo
(3.45) OPTIMA PETAMUS (13/2, Ladbrokes) isn’t one for maximum faith, but he won over course and distance two starts ago and was run down only late in the day at Southwell latest so might be worth chancing to quickly revert to winning ways back at this venue.
Liam Bailey’s charge struck by a short-head here on his penultimate start, beating Calevade but looking suited by the step up in trip, and the runner-up has won since. The selection was subsequently beaten just over one length behind Telekinetic latest where he was just unable to sustain his effort to the line.
He can contest here from the same mark however, and he has a fair record on this surface with a win and three placed efforts to his name so it wouldn’t come as a huge shock if he were to quickly pick up the winning thread despite not always looking the most straightforward.
(4.45) HIGH FORT (9/2, William Hill) was arguably unlucky last time out when beaten less than one length behind Blazing Dreams over this course and distance, but the Acclamation gelding could be worth chancing to turn the tables here.
Karen Mclintock’s charge had won the time before, beating Mr Strutter by just over two lengths – again over course and distance – and he was doing his best work at the end of his last run having been caught for pace.
He turns out here from the same mark however, and he can take revenge on his penalised rival here to get back on the scoresheet.
3.15 – Foresee
3.45 – Optima Petamus
4.15 – Anif
4.45 – High Fort
5.15 – Commander Han
5.45 – Never Dark
6.15 – Etikaal
6.45 – She’s Easyontheeye
(5.30) ART OF AMERICA (9/2, William Hill) is 2-2 over course and distance, and the American Post gelding can land his hat-trick here.
Noel Meade’s charge hasn’t been the most consistent, but he did manage to win twice on turf during the 2018 season, and a switch to polytrack seems to have delivered a jolt of improvement where he has won both his starts.
He had a short-head to spare on his all-weather debut at Dundalk back in November, beating Queen Amidala, and he built on that effort to deby Muzbid by a head over this course and distance later under this rider.
That form is only ordinary and he was all-out to hold on; but a 4lbs rise in the weight might remain workable given he still has scope to do better, and every chance he can land the three-timer.
(8.30) ARCANEARS (SP) has been in good form back on the all-weather recently, winning over five furlongs back in November and finishing runner-up on each of his last two starts which includes over this distance on his penultimate outing.
Mick Halford’s charge was beaten less than two lengths latest behind Red Cymbal, slowly away; but he finished well from off the pace having not been ideally placed and the fifth from that race went on to beat the winner next time out.
He can race here from the same mark however as when last seen, and if making a better start this time around then he can remain competitive and he could get back on the scoresheet.
5.00 – Paistiul
5.30 – Art Of America
6.00 – Bated Beauty
6.30 – Dark Magic
7.00 – Eastern Racer
7.30 – Line Judge
8.00 – Power Ahead
8.30 – Arcanears