Horse Racing Tips on Friday, March 25
There are four meetings spread across Britain on Friday, March 25th with the action coming from Hereford, Musselburgh, Newcastle and Newton Abbot. Our expert tipster has produced their top tips across the cards, which make up our advised Friday Lucky 15.
Big Difference (1:35 Hereford)
Despite finishing second at Taunton, jockey Luca Morgan deserved enormous credit for persisting with BIG DIFFERENCE at Taunton over hurdles last time out.
Ridden with over a circuit to go, the nine-year-old kept responding willingly under the jockey’s drive and somehow managed to finish an unlikely runner-up in the five-runner affair over 3miles. That creditable second was by far the nine-year-olds best run this campaign after finishing sixth in a pair of handicap contests at Hereford and Wincanton.
The addition of first-time blinkers could bring about further improvement from Big Difference on Friday afternoon and whilst the nine-year-old is an infrequent winner these days, trainer Ben Pauling has sent out a few notable winners in recent weeks and with the yard in better form, Big Difference can strike with headgear applied and can gain a deserved victory for connections as he returns to the larger obstacles.
Olympe De Gouges (1:45 Musselburgh)
It seems fairly significant that trainer David Pipe has decided to send recent Doncaster maiden hurdle winner OLYMPE DE GOUGES on the long journey up to Musselburgh on Friday after the four-year-old comfortably got off the mark over hurdles last time out.
The filly was contesting just her fifth start over timber on that latest occasion and despite showing little in her previous outings including in handicap company, David Pipe’s charge defied lengthy odds in comfortable fashion when defeating odds on favourite Oot Ma Way by 2l. There certainly didn’t appear to be any fluke about that victory as Olympe De Gouges always looked in control of proceedings under jockey David Noonan and was ultimately well on top as the winning post loomed.
The four-year-old should be well in under a mandatory penalty and with jockey Tom Scudamore returning to the saddle off a low riding weight, connections will be confident the filly can register another success after her breakthrough win at Town Moor just one week ago.
The Navigator (2:20 Musselburgh)
Cumbrian trainer Dianne Sayer runs a trio of runners in the Go North Series Final on Friday and although last year’s winner Iolani commands respect in his follow up bid, the vote goes to THE NAVIGATOR, who ran his best race since returning to this sphere at Sedgefield last time out and certainly looks on the cusp of winning from his current mark of 100.
Known more for his exploits on the flat, The Navigator ran some respectable races in defeat on the level last season and whilst his form tailed off somewhat towards the end of the year, connections wisely opted to tweak the seven-year-olds wind on his return to hurdling.
Dianne Sayer’s charge shaped in need of his first outing after wind surgery at Carlisle following a 130-day break, but certainly produced an improved effort at Sedgefield when last seen, travelling well in the rear of the seven runner contest before staying on determinedly in the closing stages to snatch second ahead of The Dancing Poet.
The Navigator looks primed to go well off the back of that encouraging return to form, and if getting a strong pace to aim at on Friday afternoon, the seven-year-old should be going close from an unchanged mark with the return to a less undulating track also in his favour.
Akentrick (2:55 Musselburgh)
AKENTRICK is yet to get off the mark over hurdles for trainer Donald McCain but perhaps a return to Musselburgh can spark the necessary improvement for him to belatedly get off the mark.
The six-year-old has certainly struggled in the majority of his hurdle outings but interestingly ran his best race to date when lining up over course and distance back in December. Donald McCain’s charge only found one too good on that particular occasion, ultimately unable to overhaul a well-backed favourite to go down by 1l at the line under jockey Theo Gillard.
3lb out of the handicap on Friday, Akentrick will have to improve to figure in this contest now pitched into Class 2 company for the first time. However, it seems significant that Brian Hughes takes the ride for the first time over hurdles on board the lightly raced six-year-old and with further improvement potentially to come, Akentrick is not one to dismiss at towards the foot of the weights and gets the vote to come out on top on his eighth start over hurdles.