Friday racing best bets – Tips for Ayr, Newmarket, Fontwell, Exeter and Bath

Friday racing best bets. Exeter is one of five meetings heading to post.Friday racing best bets. Exeter is one of five meetings heading to post.

Friday horse racing best bets and tips

Five UK horse racing fixtures heads to post on Friday with some classy action both over the sticks and on the flat. We’ve picked out our Friday racing best bets and tips for the day’s meetings.

Friday sees another five UK horse racing action heading to post over the sticks and on the flat and there is some classy stuff taking place in both disciplines where Ayr’s Scottish Grand National Meeting gets underway; while the Spring Trials meeting heads to post at Newbury on the flat.

In addition to Ayr’s classy fixture there is further jumps racing at Exeter and Fontwell, while an evening turf racing card on the flat heads to post at Bath. We’ve looked over all four of the day’s fixtures to pick out our Friday racing best bets and tips.

FRIDAY RACING BEST BETS – TIPS FOR AYR, NEWMARKET, FONTWELL, EXETER & BATH

1:30 Ayr – S.T. Andrew Plant Hire Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 3m½f


SOYOUTHINKSOAGAIN won readily at Southwell last month and while the handicapper has hiked the So You Think gelding up 11lbs for that success it is feasible to think Dan Skelton’s charge could have more to come and he can follow up here.

A winner at Stratford in October he made the frame in a trio of successive starts including finishing less than one length behind Coeur Serein at Newbury in March prior to getting back to winning ways five days later.

That form has since been boosted by the runner-up going one better at Warwick earlier this month and there could be further improvement to come from the Skelton runner despite his big hike up the ratings. The step up to three miles clearly suits and while he steps up in grade he can go close for his in-form yard.

Friday racing best bets. Mark Johnston can get among the winners at Newbury.

Friday racing best bets. Mark Johnston can get among the winners at Newbury.

2:15 Newbury – Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd Silver Bar Handicap Cl2 (4yo+ 0-105) 2m½f


HOCHFELD is tough and consistent performer who got back on the up on his recent reappearance with a close third at Musselburgh earlier in the month and Mark Johnston’s charge can get back on track here.

A winner at Goodwood last August the Cape Cross gelding filled the frame in three of his next six starts in competitive long distance handicaps including finishing third over this trip at York in October before shaping as if the long season had taken something out of him at Doncaster where he was disappointing in the soft ground.

The conditions were better when last seen finishing just one length off Themaxwecan where he was run down late having made all the running and he’s worth another try at this longer trip despite being 3lbs higher in the weights.

He’ll be sharper with that run under his belt and the yard is in good form so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he were to turn in a big performance in an open race.

2:25 Fontwell – MansionBet Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap Hurdle Cl5 (4yo+ 0-105) 2m1½f


BIG JIMBO might have been amiss when pulled up on his last hurdles start here in October where the ground was testing; but having since been sharpened up following a break by a recent spin on the flat Gary Moore’s charge could bounce back here returning to a better surface.

The Helmet gelding has had just three starts over hurdles to date, twice finishing in the frame at Bangor and over this course and distance in September. The winner of the latter has proved highly progressive and has won three time since including twice at Listed level where he’s now rated 132, while the third horse home has also won twice since so that form is strong and he can be forgiven his disappointment next time in the mud.

He makes his handicap debut here in the wake of that recent all-weather spin which will have him spot on now and a mark of 94 could prove lenient so he could well exploit this rating where he’s open to improvement after just three hurdles starts.

2:50 Newbury – Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-100) 7f


Richard Hannon has a decent record in this contest and it could be worth chancing the progressive DINGLE to continue his progression on his reappearance.

The Footstepsinthesand colt improved with each run last term, finishing third to Naval Crown at York in a strong maiden contest from which the winner, runner-up and fourth have all won since with the winner also placing in Pattern company. He then stepped up on that solid effort to open his win account at Kempton in September where he beat Recovery Run by a half-length.

That win came over one mile but he’ll have no issue dropping back to seven furlongs with the good ground here ideal and the runner-up and fourth horses from that winning run have both gone on to score.

There’s surely more to come from him and while he has more to find having been raised 4lbs in the weights and now tackling a stronger grade he can make his presence felt here.

Friday racing best bets. Nietzsche can get back to winning ways at Ayr.

Friday racing best bets. Nietzsche can get back to winning ways at Ayr.

3:15 Ayr – Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase (Listed Race) (GBB Race) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4½f


It could be worth chancing Brian Ellison’s NIETZSCHE in receipt of weight all round to get back on the scoresheet over fences and the Poet’s Voice gelding can post a big run.

A very versatile performer in all disciplines he has shown a decent level of form over fences, winning twice during the 2019 summer and he’s continued in good heart this term where he finished third in each of a trio of starts in the latter part of 2020 following a spell back on the flat.

Returning from three months off the track at the Cheltenham Festival he ran better than the bare result despite appearing stretched by the trip when finishing eighth in the Ultima Chase and he’ll be better suited back at this shorter trip where the handicapper has eased him 2lbs.

Ground conditions will be fine for him and he’s shown this intermediate trip to be no issue so he could go well in a more suitable grade.

5:40 Bath – Whitsbury Manor Stud / British EBF Lansdown Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 5f


Despite not being well drawn for this contest it might be worth sticking with the progressive DECLARING LOVE who has won two of her last three starts and John Butler’s charge can add another win to her record here.

The Dubawi filly failed to score in four starts for Charlie Appleby, but she showed up well in defeat and since being dropped to sprinting she has taken her form up a level with a pair of wins at Wolverhampton over six furlongs.

Her latest came last month when readily beating Kapono by two lengths over six furlongs, but she’s shown enough speed to suggest the drop to the minimum trip is unlikely to be an issue and there could be more to come from her although this represents a rise in class.

She’s clearly going the right way though and she can gain some black type with another victory here.

5:50 Exeter – Racecourse Live Streams On RacingTV Extra Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 2m7f


JARVEYS PLATE appeared to relish the extra distance when getting back to winning ways at Newbury last month and Fergal O’Brien’s charge can follow up here with a repeat.

A Listed hurdle winner earlier in his career he was thought good enough to have a crack at a Cheltenham Festival prize in the 2019 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle where he finished ninth. He was sent chasing the following season where he beat Reserve Tank on his debut over fences at Chepstow but he failed to match that level in subsequent starts.

Back over hurdles this term he finished sixth at Kempton on Boxing Day and having gone close in a jumpers’ bumper at Kempton stepped up to three miles for the first time at Newbury latest where he beat Storm Goddess by just over one length.

That form looks solid with the runner-up filling the frame at Cheltenham on Wednesday past and a 4lbs rise for that victory has been offset by his rider’s claim so it wouldn’t be a huge shock if he were to go close here.

Friday racing best bets. Fergal O'Brien can saddle a winner on the Exeter card.

Friday racing best bets. Fergal O’Brien can saddle a winner on the Exeter card.

6:20 Exeter – Duralock Made In Britian Handicap Chase Cl4 (5yo+ 0-115) 2m3f


DELIGHT OF DUBAI won between the flags in Ireland prior to joining Noel Williams where she made an instant impact when winning on his hurdling debut at Lingfield and the Dubai Destination mare subsequently ran well in defeat in three further starts last term including over fences where she shaped better than the bare result despite beating only one home.

She might have been amiss on that occasion and she was subsequently absent from the track for more than one year before returning at Ludlow last month where she was clearly rusty in the jumping department with a number of mistakes and she likely needed that run in any case.

The handicapper has dropped her 2lbs for that latest run so she could be worth chancing from this reduced mark with fitness now assured following that outing and still low mileage over the larger obstacles it is feasible to think she could improve.

This isn’t the strongest race and question marks linger over each of the runners; but she could prove the one to side with here and she can open her account over fences.

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