New year’s day best bets – Friday tips for Musselburgh, Exeter and Southwell

New Year's Day tips and best bets at Musselburgh, Exeter and Southwell.New Year's Day tips and best bets at Musselburgh, Exeter and Southwell.

New Years Day best bets and tips on Friday 1 January

We look through the Friday horse racing schedule to pick out our New Years Day best bets and tips for each of the day’s meetings.

Happy new year to all readers!

Friday sees three UK horse racing meetings going to post to herald in 2021 and while we’ve lost Cheltenham’s jumps racing fixture we still have three racecards going to post for punters to enjoy and hopefully get the new year off to a profitable start.

The New Years Day action sees jumps racing from Musselburgh and Exeter where both meetings will contribute to the day’s ITV Racing schedule; while there is also all-weather action taking place on the Southwell fibresand.

We’ve looked through the day’s horse racing action across the UK and pick out our New Year’s Day best bets and tips on Friday as we hope to get 2021 off to a profitable start.


1:05 Exeter – Paddy Power ‘National Hunt’ Maiden Hurdle (GBB Race) Cl4 (4yo+) 2m2½f

POZO EMERY finished runner-up in an Irish point-to-point prior to switching to Paul Nicholls and the Le Havre gelding looked in need of the outing on his first start at Newton Abbot in October when finishing third behind Onemorefortheroad.

Beaten around eight lengths on that occasion he possibly went off too hard and failed to get home as his lack of fitness told. However that form looks solid with the winner since landing a brace of bronze medals while the runner-up went on to score next time out in a Listed bumper at Cheltenham.

The fifth and eighth horses home have both also won since and the selection could be capable of better if a subsequent further three months’ absence doesn’t prove a concern.

Testing ground shouldn’t be a worry given his point-to-point silver medal came in similar ground and he could be worth chancing for his in-form yard switching now to hurdling for this latest start.

New Year's Day best bets. Paul Nicholls can saddle a winner on the Exeter card.

New Year’s Day best bets. Paul Nicholls can saddle a winner on the Exeter card.

1:20 Musselburgh – Betway Handicap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-140) 2m4f

SEBASTOPOL doesn’t have many miles on the clock and the Fame And Glory gelding can get back to winning ways having ran better than the bare result on his recent return behind Floressa in a Listed contest at Newbury in November.

Tom Lavey’s charge was 2-3 in handicap company last term which included a win over this course and distance in the Scottish County Hurdle where he sported a first-time tongue-tie and he should come on for his run last time where he finished sixth and beaten around ten lengths.

The winner of that contest has since run well in a Grade One and likely to be much sharper now with that run under his belt he could take some stopping back at the scene of his last victory having been dropped 2lbs and returning to calmer waters with the step up in trip a potential source of improvement.

Assuming the softer conditions don’t catch him out then it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him going close.

2:25 Southwell – Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap Cl5 (4yo+ 0-75) 5f

MULZIM has won three of his last four starts, all over course and distance and the Exceed and Excel gelding can continue in winning form having scored a shade readily latest when beating Giogiobbo by a neck.

Michael Murphy’s charge is turned out under a 4lbs penalty and the extra burden may not prove enough of a burden to preventing a repeat given his affinity with this surface and Darragh Keenan’s 3lbs claim helps to offset the bulk of that raise in the weights.

His last time win came on the back of a much-needed reappearancve and likely to continue in form he can strike again where he can confirm last-time form with reopposing Samovar.

New Year's Day best bets. Southwell race on the all-weather.

New Year’s Day best bets. Southwell race on the all-weather.

2:30 Musselburgh – Betway Casino Handicap Chase (Qualifier For The Northern Lights Staying Chase Series) Cl4 (5yo+ 0-115) 3m

EAGLE RIDGE likes it at the Scottish track where he’s won his last two starts here and the Oscar gelding can follow up his latest success where he swept aside the reopposing Buckled by almost eight lengths.

Nicky Alexander’s charge had also won here back in February so these conditions should hold few fears for the ten year old who is turned out under a penalty but is still well-in at the weights and he can repeat the dose.

Earlier runs this term were less encouraging but he stepped up on those to overcome being hampered four out before running on well and he won a shade readily from Sandy Thompson’s charge who bids for revenge.

A 7lbs penalty makes life a shade tougher but given the manner of that success last time he could be capable of defying the additional burden and partnered again by Brian Hughes the pair can combine for another win.

3:25 Exeter – Passage House Inn Handicap Chase Cl4 (5yo+ 0-120) 2m3f

NATIVE ROBIN doesn’t know how to run a bad race and Jeremy Scott’s veteran can get back to winning ways here.

The Robin Des Pres gelding rounded off last term with a win at Fontwell over further than this in heavy ground and having looked in need of his reappearance back at that venue in October he duly stepped up to resume the winning trend back at Wincanton in November where he saw off Flagrant Delitiep by one length.

Although he proved no match for the same rival in a December rematch at the same venue, there is a suspicion the winner is a progressive sort and there was no caste lost in that defeat.

He can quickly bounce back here from the same mark with more testing ground no issue and his consistency should stand him in good stead with most of his rivals having something to prove so no surprise to see him going close.

3:30 Southwell – Play 4 To Score At Betway Handicap Cl6 (4yo+ 0-65) 1m3f

COLD HARBOUR usually runs well at this venue and the North Light gelding is a four-time course winner who ought to give another good account in this contest.

Robyn Brisland’s charge hasn’t won since scoring over this course and distance twelve months ago, beating Seven Clans; but he’s been largely consistent and he made the frame in all three starts following that win prior to a break.

He had excuses for his first couple of runs back this term but returned to this surface he has finished third over course and distance in November and then fourth latest over 1m6f when beaten four lengths by Shine Baby Shine where he might have made his effort earlier than ideal and perhaps didn’t quite get home.

Now dropped 2lbs in the weights and returning to a more suitable trip he can regain the winning thread in a competitive closer and he should make his presence felt.

New Year's Day best bets. Bryony Frost can ride a winner at Musselburgh on Friday.

New Year’s Day best bets. Bryony Frost can ride a winner at Musselburgh on Friday.

3:35 Musselburgh – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle (Northern Lights Stayers Hurdle Series Qualifier) Cl4 (4yo+ 0-110) 3m

WHISKEY LULLABY has made the frame on all three starts under Rules since joining Paul Nicholls following a runner-up effort between the flags in Ireland for Colin Bowe and the Stowaway mare can get off the mark now.

Runner-up on her Ditcheat debut at Newbury last February she filled the same spot at Ayr in October on her first start over hurdles and ran at least as well upped to this yardage at Exeter latest where she finished five lengths’ third to Go Millie Go.

She still looked a shade inexperienced on that occasion but the form has largely been upheld with the runner-up filling the same spot next time and now switching to the handicap ranks she could be well treated from a mark of 111.

First-time cheekpieces are also applied which could help her find some improvement and much less exposed than most of her rivals she can give a good account here.