Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for all of Saturday’s UK and Irish racemeetings.
Seven UK and Irish horse racing meetings head to post throughout Saturday, with afternoon action on the level from the cards at York and Newmarket where the Group One Dewhurst Stakes takes centre stage of the afternoon at Flat HQ.
There is also flat racing in Ireland with a fixture at Limerick in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, over the sticks there are meetings at Hexham and also Chepstow where the Grade Three Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle is the feature of the day. There is also jumps racing at Fairyhouse in Ireland
Wolverhampton’s fixture on their tapeta surface on Saturday night completes the Saturday line-up.
Hexham (jumps) – 1.25 – 4.50pm (7 races)
Fairyhouse (jumps) – 1.40 – 5.10pm (7 races)
Newmarket (flat) – 1.45 – 5.20pm (7 races)
Limerick (flat) – 2.00 – 5.30pm (7 races)
York (flat) – 2.05 – 5.35pm (7 races)
Chepstow (jumps) – 2.10 – 5.40pm (7 races)
Wolverhampton (flat, aw) – 5.25 – 8.30pm (7 races)
SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER NAP SELECTION
(1.55) WELL JOEY (4/1, Bet365) bids for a four-timer of victories and the Kayf Tara gelding could prove hard to beat if continuing his upward curve.
The Irish raider kicked off his winning spree over this course back in March, and he has since added further wins either side of a break at Downpatrick and Ballinrobe where he latterly beat Captain Cobajay by two lengths.
That form has taken a few knocks, but the handicapper has hit him with a big rise in the weights following that success which will demand more from him. But given his current vein of rich form he could be worth chancing to defy his hike up the ratings with the benefit of chase experience over some of his rivals.
(4.15) ROLL OF THUNDER (11/4, Bet365) is holding his form well, and the Antonius Pius gelding could follow up his recent success over course and distance.
James Walton’s charge has finished third or better in each of his last seven starts following a much-needed reappearance at this venue in March, and that sequence included three wins. His most recent saw him beat Ringaringarosie by ten lengths despite making a bad mistake mid-race, but he was was ultimately well on top at the finish.
The runner-up from that race has won since, and while he is 8lbs higher in the weights now he could strike again if continuing his good spell.
1.25 – Darry Desbois
1.55 – Well Joey
2.30 – Military Hill
3.05 – Misfits
3.40 – Lantiern
4.15 – Roll Of Thunder
4.50 – Dakota Beat
(3.25) GLINT IN HER EYE (10/1, Unibet, each-way) might have needed the experience of hurdles when disappointing on her debut over timber at Listowel last month, but Noel Meade’s charge could show the benefit of that outing to do better at the second attempt.
A Killarney bumper winner back in June, beating Celine Soprano, she made a series of mistakes early which always had her on the back foot and she had no real opportunity to show what she could do.
However, likely to have learned from that experience she might be worth chancing to show improvement now with the run under her belt and she could post a better performance this time around.
1.40 – Agusta Gold
2.15 – Champagne Classic
2.50 – Thisonesforollie
3.25 – Glint In Her Eye
4.00 – The Abbey
4.35 – Select Opportunity
5.10 – Wingin A Prayer
(2.55) The progressive MOLATHAM (9/4, Coral) can take another step up the ladder and enhance his exciting reputation by winning this Group Three prize and landing a hat-trick of wins in the process.
Roger Varian’s Night Of Thunder colt was denied only by Mum’s Tipple on debut at York back in July, and that form has been franked; he duly stepped up on his near miss to beat Celtic Art at York, and that form also has been boosted since.
The Varian runner then made it two wins from three starts with a defeat of the smart Wichita at Doncaster last month to take the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes. That runner-up won a Group Three next time out, and there ought to be more to come from him as he steps up to one mile.
Entries in the Vertem Futurity Trophy and next season’s Irish 2000 Guineas mark him out as a smart prospect, and he has done nothing to dissuade that impression his runs to date. With the potential for better still, he can land his three-timer here.
(4.45) LAST EMPIRE (15/2, Unibet) could be worth chancing to get back on the winning trail having possibly found five furlongs too sharp at Ayr last time out, and the Pivotal filly can quickly resume earlier progress.
Kevin Ryan’s charge had reeled off a hat-trick of wins earlier in the season, scoring at Hamilton in soft ground before returning to the Scottish track in July to win again on better ground with a defeat of Delachance.
However, she bettered that performance at Haydock when routing Fantasy Keeper and others in heavy ground prior to her run at Ayr latest where she was beaten less than two lengths but wasn’t quite able to muster the speed to challenge.
But a return to six furlongs and the prospect of softer ground are both positive points for the chances of the Pivotal filly and she can bounce back from her defeat last time out to quickly regain the winning thread here.
1.45 – Bravo Faisal
2.20 – Tritonic
2.55 – Molatham
3.30 – Pinatubo
4.10 – Ranch Hand
4.45 – Last Empire
5.20 – Pincheck
(3.10) PINK DOGWOOD (5/4, Ladbrokes) has gone the wrong way since her Epsom Oaks runner-up, but the Camelot filly has faced some tough tests including the Prix de l’Opera last weekend where she finished eighth.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge had earlier finished third in successive Group Ones prior to a couple of lesser efforts in France more recently; but this drop to Listed class could spark a revival of fortunes and she ought to find this grade a bit easier having won on her last outing at this level back in April when beating Encapsulation at Navan in the Salsabil Stakes.
She was a heavy ground winner as a juvenile at Gowran Park last term, so these conditions ought not to be a problem and she can take advantage of the drop in class having come up short in better company to get back to winning ways.
(5.30) DARE TO FLARE (5/2, Bet365) is a dual-winner this term, scoring at Fairyhouse and Killarney respectively, and Andrew Slattery’s charge can get back on the scoresheet in the wake of a creditable runner-up effort at Tipperary latest behind Onlyhuman.
The Dandy Man gelding shaped better than the result given he was left with too much to do on that occasion, crossing the line three lengths adrift of the winner; but the drop back to one mile might suit, and he remains with scope despite being raised 2lbs in the weights.
The prospect of a strong pace could help also, and given his largely consistent profile then he could be worth chancing to get back to winning ways.
2.00 – Call Of The Jungle
2.35 – Frank Arthur
3.10 – Pink Dogwood
3.45 – You’llfindandsee
4.20 – Titanium Sky
4.55 – Blacklooks
5.30 – Dare To Flare
(2.40) Unbeaten LAMPANG (6/4, Coral) can land a hat-trick of wins stepping up in grade having ran out an impressive winner at Ripon latest with a five lengths’ defeat of Intrinsic Bond late in September.
Tim Easterby’s Dandy Man colt had made a good first impression when beating Panic Room at Carlisle back in August, and that form has been boosted since by the runner-up and fourth horses home both winning since.
However, he stepped up considerably on that debut success to score comfortably next time out, always travelling strongly and only needing to be pushed out to score impressively. He had daylight back to the runner-up and third who had in turn pulled clear of the rest, so it was a smart effort.
That may not be the strongest form, but he was a dominant winner and he can take the step up into Listed company in his stride to land a hat-trick of successes, and he could prove a tough nut to crack here.
(3.15) Richard Fahey could hold the key to this contest, and COOLAGH FOREST (6/1, Coral) gets the vote to follow up his latest success over course and distance where the Elzaam colt ran out a two lengths’ winner over Poets Dawn early last month.
A dual-winner earlier in the campaign, latterly running out an impressive winner of a Musselburgh handicap, he went off the boil somewhat in later runs following a break, although he perhaps had excuses to back up his poor runs including when failing to handle the track at Goodwood in August behind Forest Of Dean.
A change of tactics for his last outing appeared to work well, and he made all the running before finding plenty for pressure to run out a cosy winner, and a subsequent 6lbs rise could still be workable given he remains unexposed over this longer trip.
While his last win came in a slightly lower grade than this, he could be capable of making his mark back up in class and Paul Hanagan is 3-4 on the Elzaam colt so every chance the pair can combine again for another win if similar tactics are deployed.
2.05 – Convict
2.40 – Lampang
3.15 – Coolagh Forest
3.50 – Gunmetal
4.25 – Colour Image
5.00 – Rubenesque
5.35 – Dubai Icon
(2.45) CROOKS PEAK (8/1, Bet365) took his very useful bumper form and translated it to hurdling last campaign, winning three times over hurdles in competitive novice and handicap company prior to disappointing in the County Hurdle behind Ch’tibello.
Philip Hobbs’ charge again ran disappointingly when sent to Newton Abbot in May where he beat only two home behind Beltor; but the Arcadio gelding could be worth chancing on his reappearance having been freshened up by a break, while the handicapper has also eased him 2lbs in the ratings.
Forgiven those two lesser runs, he could be worth chancing on his earlier efforts to bounce back here, and if coming back to the sort of form that saw him beat the useful Champagne City at Newbury back in March then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going close here.
(3.20) CLOTH CAP (4/1, Bet365) could be worth siding with to make a winning reappearance, and Jonjo O’Neill’s charge was progressive as a novice last term, winning twice with successes at Stratford and Catterick prior to an excellent third behind Takingrisks in the Scottish Grand National on his final outing.
That performance came on the back of a similar break to the one he’ll be looking to overcome on his return; but he has looked a very promising staying chaser in his four outings to date and he could take another forward step in this contest where he is only 3lbs higher than at Ayr last term.
Assuming he is fit to go on his reappearance, then he looks one to be positive about this campaign and every chance he can make his presence felt in this contest where all but one of the runners lacks a recent run.
2.10 – Nordano
2.45 – Crooks Peak
3.20 – Cloth Cap
3.55 – Reserve Tank
4.30 – The Knot Is Tied
5.05 – The Bay Birch
5.40 – Gastara
(6.00) KOCASANDRA (11/10, William Hill) showed some fair form in Ireland for Johnny Murtagh, twice finishing third prior to a switch to Olly Murphy; and although the Kodiac filly perhaps hasn’t set the heather alight in three starts to date for her new handler, she could be worth chancing dropped into selling company.
Last seen finishing eighth in a Bath handicap where she sported first-time blinkers, she held every chance before weakening out of the picture where the fast pace might have gone against her; but her overall form gives her solid claims, and she could take advantage of the drop to this grade where she can strike for her in-form yard.
(7.00) GREAT BEAR (13/8, Bet365) won on his previous visit to this track, and Roger Charlton’s charge can go one place better than his near-miss at Kempton last month with another win back at this venue.
The Dansili colt was beaten by only one length behind Trouble Shooter latest, unable to sustain his effort; but the winner has won again since, and he looks well weighted here despite being raised 1lb in the handicap with his rider’s 5lbs claim taking off a chunk of his burden.
There is a chance he’ll get taken on for the lead, but assuming he doesn’t get embroiled in a battle up front then he could bounce back returned to this venue where he can return to winning ways back down in trip.
5.25 – Ty Rock Brandy
6.00 – Kocasandra
6.30 – Obsession For Gold
7.00 – Great Bear
7.30 – Pot Of Paint
8.00 – Jack D’or
8.30 – Viola Park