Friday racing best bets 31 January – Smart’s 9/4 chance can land Newcastle victory

Brian Healy takes a looks at Friday’s UK and Irish horse racing meetings where five fixtures go to post over the sticks and all-weather, and he gives his Friday racing best bets and selections for every race throughout the day.

There are five UK and Irish horse racing fixtures going to post throughout the day on Friday where the day’s jumps racing action comes from Catterick and Chepstow; while on the all-weather there is an afternoon fixture on the Lingfield polytrack, while in the evening Newcastle are racing under the floodlights on tapeta alongside Dundalk in Ireland who are racing on Polytrack.

Brian Healy assesses all five scheduled cards and gives his Friday racing best bets and selections for all 36 races throughout the day.

Catterick (jumps) – 1.00 – 4.10pm (7 races)
Lingfield (flat, aw) – 1.10 – 4.20pm (7 races)
Chepstow (jumps) – 1.20 – 4.30pm (7 races)
Newcastle (flat, aw) – 4.15 – 7.15pm (7 races)
Dundalk (flat, aw) – 5.00 – 8.30pm (8 races)



1.30 Catterick – QUART DE GARDE (11/4, Bet365)
1.40 Lingfield – UNFORGIVING MINUTE (5/4, William Hill)
1.50 Chepstow – EDEN DU HOUX (10/11, Ladbrokes)
2.00 Catterick – VEILED SECRET (7/4, Coral)
2.20 Chepstow – WALK IN THE MILL (9/4, Unibet)
2.45 Lingfield – DANA FOREVER (15/8, William Hill)
4.45 Newcastle – LUKOUTOLDMAKEZEBAK (7/2, William Hill)
6.00 Dundalk – BOWERMAN (11/10, William Hill)
6.15 Newcastle – SLINGSHOT (9/4, William Hill)
7.30 Dundalk – PARIS DUVET (9/4, Unibet)


(1.30 Catterick)

QUART DE GARDE (11/4, Bet365) was only a beaten a neck over this course and distance on his UK debut for Donald McCain and with that outing under his belt the Kapgarde gelding can go one better.

A useful sort in France prior to joining this yard he made most of the running in that latest outing although his cause wasn’t helped by a couple of late mistakes and he might just have lacked some sharpness towards the finish.

The front pair were clear however and he was giving the winner lumps of weight so it was a creditable run in the circumstances. That outing won’t have been lost on him and he can show improvement to get off the mark at the second attempt for his new handler.

(2.00 Catterick)

VEILED SECRET (7/4, Coral) rounded off last campaign with a win at Taunton and the Teofilo gelding has returned to action this season in good form where he has failed to make the frame just once from his five starts.

His latest outing saw him find only High Noon too strong at Musselburgh earlier in January on his chase debut where he showed an aptitude for the larger obstacles although he was no match for the easy winner.

The pair had pulled well clear however and he turns out here only 2lbs higher where he has the potential for plenty of improvement so every chance he can go one better here and open his chase win account at the second attempt.

1.00 – Black Abbey
1.30 – Quart De Garde
2.00 – Veiled Secret
2.35 – Reve
3.05 – Bering Upson
3.40 – Alohamora
4.10 – Global Anchor

We have Friday racing best bets for Catterick's meeting over the sticks.

Catterick are racing on Friday.


(1.40 Lingfield)

The outside draw was of no help to UNFORGIVING MINUTE (5/4, William Hill) who was thwarted in his hat-trick attempt two days ago at Kempton. However it could be worth chancing on Sean Curran’s charge to quickly bounce back to winning form.

The Cape Cross gelding had earlier won starts at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton with both those successes coming in claiming company.

It was a much harder contest he took in latest, but he’ll be happier back down at this level and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a big effort now in this more suitable contest.

(2.45 Lingfield)

DANA FOREVER (15/8, William Hill) is still a maiden after five starts but the Requinto filly has finished fourth or better in each of her outings and latterly finished just over one length third behind Batchelor Boy on her return from a break.

Tom Dascombe’s charge perhaps wasn’t helped by racing wide that day, but she has shown enough in her starts to date to suggest she is up to winning a small race.

This shorter trip could coincide with some improvement, and if the switch to polytrack doesn’t prove an inconvenience then every chance she can break her duck.

1.10 – Noble Peace
1.40 – Unforgiving Minute
2.10 – King’s Advice
2.45 – Dana Forever
3.15 – El Ghazwani
3.50 – Alborkan
4.20 – Pilot Wings


(1.50 Chepstow)

EDEN DU HOUX (10/11, Ladbrokes) was a winner between the flags prior to joining David Pipe and the Irish Roe gelding wasted no time in rattling off a pair of successes in bumpers which included a Listed win at Ascot back in December 2018.

The six-year old returned from ten months off the track following that win to find only IK Brunel on his first hurdles start; but he shaped as if amiss when next seen at Cheltenham in the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle where he beat only one home and crossed the line almost twenty lengths adrift of the winner.

He’s since had a break and undergone wind surgery, and returning here in a much less taxing contest then he can get back to winning ways.

(2.20 Chepstow)

Becher Chase winner WALK IN THE MILL (9/4, Unibet) is likely to be hard to beat returing to the smaller obstacles for this latest outing and Robert Walford’s veteran can follow up his recent success over the Aintree Grand National fences.

The Walk In the Park gelding has had just two career starts over hurdles, instead plying his trade over fences with a degree of success. But he was a good third behind Truckers Lodge on his last start over hurdles at Exeter back in March last year where he raced from just 2lbs lower than his current mark.

Only 1lb below the rating from which he won the recent Becher Chase he looks sure to go close if running to a similar level back over hurdles where he can land this prize.

1.20 – Seaston Spirit
1.50 – Eden Du Houx
2.20 – Walk In The Mill
2.55 – Summit Like Herbie
3.25 – Le Cameleon
4.00 – Air Navigator
4.30 – Honor Grey

Walk In The Mill features in our Friday racing best bets at Chepstow.

Walk In The Mill can strike over hurdles at Chepstow.


(4.45 Newcastle)

LUKOUTOLDMAKEZEBAK (7/2, William Hill) has rattled the crossbar the last twice as he seeks a return to winning ways and the Arabian Gleam gelding could get back on the scoresheet in this contest.

David Thompson’s charge has a decent record here, winning three times which includes one of this distance. He has also made the frame on seven other occasions from his 17 starts at Gosforth Park; his last run saw him denied only by a length behind the reopposing Al Ozzdi where he conceded first run.

He is due to go up 2lbs in the weights following that outing so he could still take advantage of this mark ahead of his rise in the handicap and a repeat of that last run should see him firmly in the mix again where he meets his last-time conqueror on better terms now.

(6.15 Newcastle)

SLINGSHOT (9/4, William Hill) seemed to show improvement fitted with eyeshields ahead of his recent handicap debut at Southwell, and if the headgear has a positive effect again then Bryan Smart’s charge could get off the mark.

The Due Diligence filly failed to cut much ice in a trio of novice starts which included twice over this course; but he was beaten only around two lengths into third last time behind Speed Merchant and this step up in trip could suit.

He perhaps didn’t help his chances last time by racing wide; but the way in which he finished suggested a longer trip might well be the key. He can win an uncompetitive event from 1lb lower than his last outing with a hood also deployed.

4.15 – Matewan
4.45 – Lukoutoldmakezebak
5.15 – Al Maysan
5.45 – First Response
6.15 – Slingshot
6.45 – Dancing Rave
7.15 – Blackcurrent


(6.00 Dundalk)

Kasperenko and Princess Yaiza are both interesting returning from absence, but BOWERMAN (11/10, William Hill) arrives in good form and has the advantage of race-fitness so is taken to follow up his recent success over this course three weeks ago.

The Dutch Art gelding had also won at Gowran Park last September and his recent success came following three months off the track. He ran out a near-three lengths’ winner over No Needs Never that day, but that was over one mile and he has to reproduce that effort over this longer trip.

He has only once raced beyond a mile in his career where he finished fourth over twelve furlongs at Cork in September so this trip ought not to present too much of an issue, and the handicapper might be taking a chance only pushing him up 2lbs for that last success.

(7.30 Dundalk)

PARIS DUVET (9/4, Unibet) ran out a comfortable course and distance winner when last seen in December and Henry de Bromhead’s charge can follow up here.

The Clodovil filly had two lengths to spare on that occasion from Annie B and her subsequent 4lbs rise is offset by her young rider’s claim which leaves her on a very attractive racing weight.

She has the plum position racing out of the number one stall and she can follow up here if turning out in similar mood.

5.00 – Billyfairplay
5.30 – Sage Bolton
6.00 – Bowerman
6.30 – Basrah Breeze
7.00 – Mr Mooj
7.30 – Paris Duvet
8.00 – Tynamite
8.30 – Red All Star


1.30 Catterick – QUART DE GARDE (11/4, Bet365)
1.40 Lingfield – UNFORGIVING MINUTE (5/4, William Hill)
1.50 Chepstow – EDEN DU HOUX (10/11, Ladbrokes)
2.00 Catterick – VEILED SECRET (7/4, Coral)
2.20 Chepstow – WALK IN THE MILL (9/4, Unibet)
2.45 Lingfield – DANA FOREVER (15/8, William Hill)
4.45 Newcastle – LUKOUTOLDMAKEZEBAK (7/2, William Hill)
6.00 Dundalk – BOWERMAN (11/10, William Hill)
6.15 Newcastle – SLINGSHOT (9/4, William Hill)
7.30 Dundalk – PARIS DUVET (9/4, Unibet)