Friday’s best Irish racing bets – Tips for Down Royal and Cork

Friday's best Irish racing bets at Down Royal and CorkFriday's best Irish racing bets at Down Royal and Cork

Two more Irish horse racing fixtures head to post on Friday and we give our best Irish racing bets for the meetings at Down Royal and Cork.

While four UK horse racing fixtures head to post on Friday there are also two supporting racecards taking place in Ireland with an afternoon flat racing fixture from Down Royal; while the evening action sees jumps racing taking place at Cork.

In all 15 races will unfold on Friday in Ireland and we’ve looked over both racecards to give our best Irish racing bets for Down Royal and Cork.


2:35 Down Royal – BoyleSports Irish EBF Ulster Oaks Fillies Handicap (3yo+) 1m2½f

This looks competitive but Joseph O’Brien’s BLACKCATBLACKITTEN is chanced to follow up her recent Leopardstown win where the Kitten’s Joy filly ran out a half-length winner over Toora Loora.

She had shown some ability prior to that breakthrough success, finishing fourth on her seasonal return at Roscommon and there could be more to come from her as she switches her attentions now to handicapping where a mark of 83 may not prove too prohibitive.

Likely to have further improvement to come after four career starts, these conditions should pose no issue and with scope for better still she can take a forward step here to make her presence felt in a trappy contest.

3:45 Down Royal – BoyleSports Ulster Derby (Premier Handicap) (3yo) 1m4½f

BABY ZEUS has shaped with considerable promise on all three starts which includes a debut win at Killarney last July when outpointing Arthur’s Kingdom by a nose; Ger Lyons’ charge might have needed his reappearance at Navan earlier this month when finishing fourth behind Delphi on his handicap debut.

The Footstepsinthesand gelding was always on the back foot in that contest having missed the break; but he did solid late work having lost his place mid-race and he crossed the line little under four lengths behind the winner.

That form looks solid with the winner and third horses home both posting subsequent wins and he should make a bold bid for his in-form yard from this mark. With the potential for better still he looks worth chancing to get back on the scoresheet here and no surprise if he goes close.

Ger Lyons can continue his good spell with a win at Down Royal on Friday.

6:45 Cork – Churchfield Handicap Hurdle (Div II) (4yo+ 80-95) 2m4f

It has been two years since NATURALLY BLOND last tasted success and with only two career wins from more than fifty starts he perhaps isn’t one to place maximum faith in.

That said, his last win at Wexford two years ago came from a higher mark than this and he’s ran well on both starts since returning from almost a year off the track where he’s made the frame in both outings at Tipperary and Tramore respectively.

Patrick Cronin’s Bach gelding was only beaten a short-head in that last run, just failing to overhaul the winner. He’s only 2lbs higher here and if continuing in similar vein then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be competitive again.

7:15 Cork – Pencil Hill Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 80-109) 3m

SHANNON FIELDS has finished third on each of his last two starts and the Scorpion gelding can show further progress to get off the mark here having been taken out of his intended run at Gowran Park on Monday.

Eric McNamara’s charge latterly returned from a break upped up trip at Tipperary to finish a good third behind Slainte And Thanks, beaten five lengths. He’s only been raised 1lb in the weights following that run and a repeat of that effort might be good enough to see him open his account.

This doesn’t look a particularly strong contest, but he’s less exposed than many of these rivals and appears to be going to the right way so is taken to progress again under Mark Walsh to register a first career success here where he steps up again in distance which could deliver another jolt of improvement.