Friday horse racing tips 3 January – Dennis’ 9/2 chance can strike at Musselburgh

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

Five UK and Irish horse racing meetings go to post on Friday, and the day’s jumps racing action comes from the meetings at Musselburgh and Hereford; while on the all-weather there is an afternoon fixture at Wolverhampton on their tapeta surface.

Meanwhile, in the evening there are fixtures under the floodlights at Southwell on their fibresand surface, and also from the polytrack at Dundalk.

Musselburgh (jumps) – 12.20 – 3.35pm (7 races)
Wolverhampton (flat, aw) – 12.30 – 4.20pm (8 races)
Hereford (jumps) – 12.40 – 3.55pm (7 races)
Southwell (flat, aw) – 4.40 – 7.45pm (7 races)
Dundalk (flat, aw) – 5.00 – 8.30pm (8 races)

BRIAN HEALY’S NAP OF THE DAY – FRIDAY 3 JANUARY

12.50 Musselburgh – Betway Novices’ Handicap Chase (Class 4) (5yo+ 0-105)

£10 RISK-FREE FIRST BET
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VEILED SECRET 9 /2
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MUSSELBURGH

(12.50) VEILED SECRET (9/2, Paddy Power) has made the frame in three of his four starts this term, and the Teofilo gelding can get back to winning ways here.

David Dennis’ charge struck his latest win back in April last year at Taunton, beating Nachi Falls, and he has finished runner-up at Exeter and Huntingdon earlier this season and he was last sighted beaten into third behind Pagero at Huntingdon last month.

That run came in a stronger race than he had been taking in previously, and he was beaten a fair distance; but that form looks decent now and he switches to chasing now from a potentially workable mark.

Assuming he takes to the larger obstacles at the first time of asking then he could post a big run under title-chasing Brian Hughes.

(3.00) IRISH ROE (7/4, Bet365) has plenty of smart form over hurdles, including twice finishing in the frame in Grade Two company in recent seasons and Peter Atkinson’s charge can make a successful switch to chasing where she sets out here for the first time over the larger obstacles.

The Vinnie Roe mare was a winner at Aintree back in May, and she stepped up on a fair reappearance at Haydock in November to find only Blu Cavalier too strong at Doncaster last month where she was beaten just over three lengths.

She is bred for chasing, and the switch to this discipline could unlock further improvement so she could be worth chancing in receipt of weight all round especially if if she can match her best hurdles form over the larger obstacles.

12.20 – Order Of Thistle
12.50 – Veiled Secret
1.20 – Safe Home
1.55 – Blooriedotcom
2.25 – Court Baloo
3.00 – Irish Roe
3.35 – Elios D’or

Musselburgh are racing on Friday.

WOLVERHAMPTON

(1.00) TONI’S A STAR (8/1, Coral) acts well on tapeta, and the Avonbridge mare can get back to winning ways having run well in defeat last time out.

Tony Carroll’s charge scored her last success at Brighton in September, and she has since found the frame in two of her next three starts which includes here latest when beaten just under two lengths into third behind Three Little Birds.

That run came in a better race than this, and she possibly wasn’t seen to best effect racing close to the pace; but back down in grade and having been eased slightly in the weights then she could go close here.

(1.30) ISABELLA RUBY (13/2, William Hill) finally broke her duck when scoring over this course last month, registering a half-length victory over Sagittarian Wind, and the Power gelding can follow up here.

Lisa Williamson’s charge had posted some solid runs in defeat prior to that breakthrough success, and a subsequent winner has come of the race.

She is 4lbs higher in the weights here as she returns to the handicap ranks, but she could be capable of posting another big run and every chance she can double her win tally with a repeat of that latest successful record.

12.30 – Jungle Capers
1.00 – Toni’s A Star
1.30 – Isabella Ruby
2.05 – Clap Your Hands
2.35 – Singing Sheriff
3.10 – Rock On Baileys
3.45 – Nehaall
4.20 – Mount Wellington

HEREFORD

(1.10) FIRST ASSEMBLY (3/1, Paddy Power) stepped up on previous efforts to finish runner-up at Fontwell back in November, and Richard Bandey’s gelding could find further improvement to get off the mark now.

The Arcadio gelding perhaps enjoyed the softer ground and switch to handicapping on that occasion having struggled in novice company and quicker conditions, and he failed to beat a rival home on either of his first two starts over hurdles last term before a summer break.

He has returned in better form though, and he could go one better than his most recent seven lengths’ silver medal finish behind Good News where he can race from the same mark as that last outing; while the drop in distance shouldn’t present a problem.

He remains with potential, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him produce a solid effort in what looks a winnable race.

(1.40) SAY THE WORD (15/2, BetVictor) offered something to work on when finishing fourth behind Group Stage on his hurdles debut, and Tom George’s charge could be worth giving another chance to having found himself outclassed in a strong race at Cheltenham latest.

The Authorized gelding failed to beat a rival home on that occasion, but it was a very warm contest and a big against against the likes of Botox Has and Elysian Flame. This is much more suitable, and every chance that he can bounce back.

He was a fair sort on the flat for Simon Crisford prior to joining this yard, and he perhaps isn’t one to give up on just yet where he could still have potential for better.

12.40 – Flying Garry
1.10 – First Assembly
1.40 – Say The Word
2.15 – Holly James
2.45 – Red Risk
3.20 – Kilcrea Bridge
3.55 – Getaway Totherock

Hereford are in action on Thursday.

SOUTHWELL

(5.45) SHINE BABY SHINE (3/1, William Hill) has made the frame in each of her last three starts, including twice finding only one too good in successive outings at this venue, and Phil Kirby’s charge could get back on the scoresheet here.

The Aqlaam mare hasn’t won on the level since scoring over course and distance back in January 2018, but recent efforts suggest he could be winning again before long, and his latest outing at Newcastle where he was denied into third by less than one length behind Bravantina was another good run.

That race has thrown up a subsequent winner, and he is only 1lb higher in the weights here so he ought to continue to remain competitive and he can continue his good spell of form where he can go close under his 7lbs claimer.

(7.15) BREAK THE SILENCE (4/1, Paddy Power) has been proving a very consistent customer since scoring back-to-back wins here in August and September last year, and Scott Dixon’s charge had finished third or better in all but two of his last ten outings, latterly finishing just two lengths’ runner-up behind Oblate over one mile here on New Years’ Day.

The Rip Van Winkle gelding was finishing runner-up for the third successive start, perhaps doing too much too soon; but he can race here from the same mark and eases back in trip so might be able to remain competitive and given recent performances could get back to winning ways.

4.40 – Merryweather
5.15 – The Weed Machine
5.45 – Shine Baby Shine
6.15 – Samovar
6.45 – Alex Gracie
7.15 – Break The Silence
7.45 – Irish Minister

Southwell race on Thursday.

DUNDALK

(5.30) MOONMEISTER (11/2, Paddy Power) isn’t the force he was at his peak, but Tony Martin’s charge could be worth siding with here to get back on the scoresheet, and the Mastercraftsman gelding can post a big effort if arriving here at something akin to his best form.

He snapped a two-year losing streak when popping up at the Curragh last July, beating Perfect Tapatino, and he almost followed up on his next outing when finding only Galeola too strong at Leopardstown.

He has struggled in two subsequent outings here over different trips, and he drops to one mile for this latest run which as a former course and distance winner could see him stage a revival in a much easier assignment than he’s contested of late as he now tackles a claimer where he could prove too good for his rivals if he can recapture something like his best form.

(7.00) It could be worth siding with PARKERS HILL (8/1, Paddy Power) to better his recent third over this course and distance, and the No Nay Never colt can give another good account.

Johnny Murtagh’s charge was beaten just under two lengths on that outing, possibly enjoying the drop back in trip having struggled over longer distances in earlier runs, and the application of eyeshields for this latest outing could have a positive effect.

He races here from the same mark, but he has a good 5lbs claimer up this time around and he could go close if the headgear has the desired effort.

5.00 – Arcanears
5.30 – Moonmeister
6.00 – Sheisdiesel
6.30 – Miracles In May
7.00 – Parkers Hill
7.30 – Boundless Power
8.00 – Bellepower
8.30 – Caronda