Friday racing best bets – Tips for Ascot, Fontwell, Hexham and Newcastle

As we approach a top-class weekend of horse racing action, Friday’s fixture list sees a further four UK race-meeetings heading to post and we look over the day’s racing action to pick out our Friday racing best bets and tips as we chase down more winners.

There’s plenty more horse racing action to look forward to on Friday as we enter a top-class weekend of racing which sees flat racing action from Ascot in the afternoon where there is Listed action on the card with the Noel Murless Stakes; while there is also an evening card on the all-weather at Newcastle.

Meanwhile there are also two meetings over the sticks with fixtures at both Fontwell and Hexham.

Across Friday’s quartet of racemeetings punters will be treated to 29 races in all and we’ve picked out our Friday racing best bets and tips throughout the afternoon.


2:10 Fontwell – Sky Sports Racing Sky 415 Handicap Chase Cl2 (4yo+ 0-145) 2m5½f

COBRA DE MAI’s form figures make for uninspiring reading, but for the majority of those runs the Great Pretender gelding was competing in better races than this and he can bounce back to winning ways in this contest where he races from his last winning mark.

One of two in the race for Dan Skelton – and the choice of stable jockey Harry – he won twice during the 2018/19 campaign including posting a defeat of Rocky’s Treasure at Cheltenham in the April prior to running fourth in the Oaksey Chase on his final outing.

While he produced a mixed bag last term, he largely contested Listed and Graded company, finishing sixth in both the Skybet Chase and the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen.

This isn’t as strong a contest as he’s taken in in his last starts and while he has fitness to prove on his return he has run well fresh in the past. He could make his presence felt in this more suitable company where he’s handicapped to go close off his current mark.

Friday racing best bets. We give our tips for Ascot, Fontwell, Hexham and Newcastle on Friday.

Friday racing best bets. We give our tips for Ascot, Fontwell, Hexham and Newcastle on Friday.

2:55 Hexham – Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (3yo+ 0-130) 2m4f

PAGERO has really got his act together over hurdles and Jonjo O’Neill’s charge can quickly regain the winning thread having been beaten at Fontwell last month where he was bidding for a fourth successive win.

The Nathaniel gelding rounded off last term with a brace of wins at Huntingdon – over this trip – and Doncaster, and he returned from eight months off the track to strike a short-head victory over Hallings Comet at Newton Abbot in August.

Esprit De Baileys proved two lengths’ too good latest when finishing runner-up behind that rival last time, but he conceded first run to the winner having been hampered three out and losing his place. He rallied well but couldn’t quite peg back the winner and the form took a boost when the fifth won next time.

Only 2lbs higher in the weights here, he goes back up in trip and should be suited by this test so every chance he can continue his progression to get back on the scoresheet.

4:05 Hexham – Hexham Racecourse Holiday Home Park Novices’ Handicap Chase Cl5 (4yo+ 0-105) 3m

A chance is taken that PETER’S PORTRAIT Can bounce back from a lesser effort when last seen out over timber and the Portrait Gallery gelding could make his mark switching to chasing.

A winner between the flags for Philip Rothwell in Ireland, he showed steadily progressive form over timber without managing to get his head in front although he did make the frame three times last term from five starts prior to shaping as if amiss on his last run at Huntingdon.

Absent since, he makes his return to action from eight months off the track and tackling fences for the first time which could see him find further improvment given his point-to-point background.

While the yard has been quiet, Brian Hughes takes the reins and has a good record when teaming with Charlie Longsdon so a big effort wouldn’t come as a surprise and the pair can combine for the win.

3:05 Ascot – Racing Welfare Handicap Cl3 (3yo+ 0-95) 7f

ARBALET (each way) isn’t the most consistent of performers and it has been a long while since the Dark Angel gelding last got his head in front. That success came at Carlisle when trained by Hugo Palmer, but he is now with David O’Meara and recent outings suggest he might be coming to the boil so is chanced to go close here.

Runner-up over course and distance in the Porsche Handicap, beaten just a half-length by Documenting, he disappointed next time at Chelmsford although possibly was unsuited by the trip behind Laser Show.

Far from disgraced in the Ayr Silver Cup two weekends ago, finishing eighth he remains well-treated on his old form – 10lbs below his last winning mark – and his earlier run here where he was arguably unlucky having been hampered late on ought to see him on the premises again if he can replicate that performance.

Cheekpieces worn for the first time at Ayr are retained and Josephine Gordon gets on well with the five-year old with two wins and two placed efforts from six runs together. The pair can deliver another solid performance and this is a slightly lower class of race so every chance the pair can make their presence felt.

Friday racing best bets. Josephine Gordon can get a tune out of Arbalet at Ascot on Friday.

Friday racing best bets. Josephine Gordon can get a tune out of Arbalet at Ascot on Friday.

5:20 Newcastle – Handicap Cl5 (3yo+ 0-75) 1m2f

MY UKELELE got back on the winning trail when scoring in an apprentices’ contest at Hamilton eleven days ago and John Quinn’s charge could be hard to halt from following up here.

The Power filly won three times last term and she has largely been in good form this campaign, finishing third three times from her five prior starts before registering a half-length verdict over Mac Ailey latest when stepped up to nine furlongs.

Also a previous course winner, this longer trip looks well within range and she’s 6lbs well in at the weights given she escapes a penalty for that success and is due to go up 6lbs in future runs.

Assuming then that this doesn’t come too soon she can quickly strike again back on tapeta to continue her good run of form.