Saturday 18 January horse racing tips – Elliott’s 9/2 chance can Boss rivals at Navan

Gordon ElliottGordon Elliott

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for each of Saturday's UK and Irish horse racing fixtures.

Saturday’s UK and Irish fixture list of horse-racing action sees six meetings going to post, and the day’s feature meeting comes from Ascot where the Grade One Clarence House Chase dominates the racecard at the Berkshire track.

There is also Grade Two action on the card at Ascot, while Grade Two action also features heavily on the card at Haydock with the Champion Hurdle Trial and Peter Marsh Chase both on the agenda.

Elsewhere meanwhile, Taunton and Navan in Ireland are both also racing over jumps.

Saturday’s all-weather racing action meanwhile takes in Lingfield in the afternoon, while Chelmsford are racing in the evening with both meetings on polytrack.

Lingfield (flat, aw) – 12.00 – 3.50pm (8 races)
Ascot (jumps) – 12.40 – 4.05pm (7 races)
Navan (jumps) – 12.45 – 4.10pm (7 races)
Haydock (jumps) – 12.55 – 4.15pm (7 races)
Taunton (jumps) – 1.05 – 4.25pm (7 races)
Chelmsford (flat, aw) – 4.45 – 7.45pm (7 races)

Brian Healy assesses all six of Saturday’s UK and Irish horse racing fixtures where he gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for each racecard.



(1.00) FURZIG (9/2, William Hill) has won two of his three starts over this course and distance, and Richard Fahey’s Monsieur Bond gelding can follow up his latest success here on New Year’s Eve with another win.

He was winning for the first time since going in at Newcastle last July when gaining a neck verdict over Original Choice latest, appearing to win a shade cosily and looking well suited by the step up in trip.

That was a career-best effort, and he is only 2lbs higher in the weights for this latest outing so it wouldn’t come as much of a shock to see him firmly in the mix again and he can add to his tally here.

(1.35) MAQBOOLA (5/2, William Hill) arrives here on a hat-trick of wins having already struck over seven furlongs at this venue, and also over this trip at Kempton last time; Richard Hughes’ charge can land the three-timer now with the potential for better to come.

The Tamayuz filly had one length to spare over Mont Kiara on her last visit here, and she appeared to find improvement over this trip latest to beat Azets by almost four lengths with a ready success having travelled well into the race.

The handicapper hasn’t missed her with a 10lbs rise in the weights which forces her up in grade, but there could be better still to come from her and she ought to be firmly in the mix so every chance she can collect a third straight win.

12.00 – Subliminal
12.30 – Famous Dynasty
1.00 – Furzig
1.35 – Maqboola
2.10 – Taste The Nectar
2.45 – Morning Fury
3.20 – Sandridge Lad
3.50 – Chocco Star

Lingfield race on Saturday afternoon.


(1.15) GRACEFUL LEGEND (10/3, William Hill) possibly just found Listed company too much latest when unseating behind Magic Of Light at Newbury last month, but Ben Case’s charge had won readily the time before at Bangor and could bounce back in this easier grade.

The Midnight Legend mare had also won at Newbury back in March last year, and she was held when stumbling on landing and falling three out. This is easier however, and she appeared to revel in properly testing ground the time before where she beat Arthur’s Gift by five lengths.

Her current mark is no gimmie, but she has a good amateur rider booked whose 7lbs claim could prove invaluable, and back on heavy ground she could prove the one to be with here.

(3.00) DOMAINE DE L’ISLE (11/2, Unibet) is on a hat-trick coming into this race and Sean Curran’s charge gets a narrow vote to come out on top over fellow hat-trick seeker Espoir De Guye.

The Network gelding is a lightly-raced sort, having had just four runs for his current handler since arriving from France where he was a fairly useful sort. He made his debut for Curran over hurdles at Kempton last May, and having looked in need of his reappearance and chase debut at Newbury in October he has gone on to register successes at Chepstow and Newcastle respectively.

The latter saw him run out an impressive winner over three miles, beating Sam’s Adventure by almost six lengths; but he had also been a good winner the time before with a ten lengths’ victory over Indian Brave.

He certainly has more on his plate here with a 10lbs rise in the weights forcing a step up in grade; but there is a suspicion that he has more to offer given his lightly-raced profile, and he handled heavy ground in France so these conditions shouldn’t present an issue.

Open to further improvement he looks worth chancing to take this step up in class in his stride with the drop in trip no issue, and he can land the three-timer.

12.40 – Goshen
1.15 – Graceful Legend
1.50 – Magic Of Light
2.25 – Song For Someone
3.00 – Domaine De L’isle
3.35 – Un De Sceaux
4.05 – Blackfinch


(1.20) VILLAGE MYSTIC (SP) was entitled to have needed his reappearance at Naas earlier in the month, and if this doesn’t come too soon then Noel Meade’s charge can get off the mark over hurdles with the potential to improve plenty.

The Saint Des Saints gelding won a strong bumper contest for Willie Mullins back in January 2016, but subsequently off the track for two years before his return to action and first start for Noel Meade he beat only one rival home behind Blackbow in a Grade Two bumper at Leopardstown.

He’s clearly had problems, but connections have persevered with him and he returned from another near-two years’ break to finish third behind Asterion Forlonge two weeks ago, beaten almost twenty lengths but fully entitled to come on for the outing.

He should strip much fitter now, and he can build on that promising hurdles debut to land this prize with the longer trip a potential source of improvement.

(1.55) THE BOSSES OSCAR (9/2, Coral) has shown a good level of form over hurdles to date, winning two of his three starts since joining this yard from the point-to-point sphere with his only defeat coming behind Blue Sari at Punchestown in November.

Gordon Elliott’s charge ran out a ready winner of a Thurles bumper prior to that defeat, but he quickly bounced back to score at Leopardstown with a four lengths’ defeat of Fun Light and a mark of 132 on his handicap debut looks very workable given his potential for improvement.

He looked to win with a bit in hand last time, while his previous narrow defeat behind Blue Sari came off level weights so he may well prove to be a bit better than his initial mark and he can follow up that latest win.

12.45 – Tronador
1.20 – Village Mystic
1.55 – The Bosses Oscar
2.30 – Cherif De L’Isle
3.05 – Minella Indo
3.40 – Open To The World
4.10 – Battle Of Actium

Navan are racing on Saturday.


(1.30) WINDSOR AVENUE (9/4, Ladbrokes) shaped like a non-stayer over three miles when last seen in a Grade Two contest at Doncaster, but the Winged Love gelding had looked a very promising chaser in racking up previous wins around this trip at Sedgefield and Carlisle, and he may be able to bounce back here.

Brian Ellison’s charge had beaten the Ballymoy by twelve lengths on the latter occasion, and a line through that rival matches him closely with fellow hat-trick seeker Knight In Dubai, and he bumped into Sam Spinner latterly where he failed to see out the longer trip in the December Novices’ Chase.

He has to bounce back from that effort, but he is proven in the ground and should appreciate the drop to a more suitable distance so is chanced to atone for that lesser run here.

(2.40) Assuming his recent battle with Regal Encore for the recent Ascot Silver Cup hasn’t left a mark, ACTING LASS (11/2, Bet365) could be the one to side with given she is proven in the conditions, and the King’s Theatre gelding can get back on the scoresheet.

Harry Fry has been relatively quiet of late, but there are signs the yard is coming back into form and the nine-year old remains relatively unexposed as a chaser where he has won four of his eight starts over the larger obstacles.

He had won the time before in soft ground at Chepstow earlier in December, beating Another Venture and battling strongly to the line in first-time cheekpieces. The headgear had a positive effect again latest where he was beaten less than one length behind Regal Encore, keeping on well but just unable to match the winner.

This longer trip should be within his range, and with conditions no problem then he could post a big effort here if the headgear continues to draw improvement out of him.

12.55 – Le Ligerien
1.30 – Windsor Avenue
2.05 – Stolen Silver
2.40 – Acting Lass
3.15 – Darasso
3.45 – Billingsley
4.15 – Duc De Grissay


(1.40) KARAKORAM (13/2, Paddy Power) has been largely consistent this term and the Excelebration gelding managed to get his head in front and shed his maiden tag with a win at Ludlow back in October, building on an encouraging return the time before at the same track.

Grace Harris’ charge followed up that success with a creditable third to Mack The Man at Warwick and that form is working out really well. Not seen at his best next time, he bounced back in a first-time tongue-tie to find only Lightly Squeeze too strong latest at Plumpton, and he could be worth chancing to go one better despite reservations over the heavy ground.

It was heavy ground when he disappointed on his penultimate start, and he probably would prefer a less testing surface. However he bumped into an in-form rival last time and that run is perhaps better than it appears at face value given he finished some way behind the winner.

Assuming the heavy ground doesn’t inconvenience too much then he could go well here, and he can get back on the scoresheet.

(3.55) TROUBLED SOUL (7/2, Bet365) has proven to be a consistent sort over fences, finishing runner0up in five of her last six starts and she was beaten only one length latest behind High Counsel at Warwick on New Years’ Eve when last seen.

The veteran Definite Article mare handles heavy conditions well, and while there is a slight suspicion Fergal O’Brien’s charge might need a little respite from the handicapper she ought to give her running once again, and it wouldn’t come as a shock to see her in the mix again.

She is 3lbs higher here than last time, but given her consistent profile she looks worth chancing to go one better than in recent runs and get back on the scoresheet.

1.05 – My Lady Grey
1.40 – Karakoram
2.15 – Shang Tang
2.50 – Yala Enki
3.25 – Mr Antolini
3.55 – Troubled Soul
4.25 – Coquelicot

Yala Enki (centre) can win the feature race at Taunton on Saturday.


(5.15) LEXINGTON DASH (5/4, Bet365) sets the standard on his two outings to date, and while he wasn’t seen to best effect at Newcastle last time out Richard Hannon’s charge could nevertheless be the one to side with here where the Siyouni colt can get off the mark at the third attempt.

Runner-up on debut at Lingfield where he was beaten just over one length behind Dancin Inthestreet, he latterly finished fourth and beaten just over two lengths behind Splendidly when last seen in action.

He was perhaps just caught for pace there, and this extra furlong could prove a catalyst for improvement so he may well be up to the task of opening his win account now.

(6.15) KATHEEFA (6/1, Coral) arrives here on a hat-trick of wins having struck earlier successes at Wolverhampton and Southwell following a four-month absence, and Ruth Carr’s charge can land the hat-trick here.

The Street Cry gelding latterly beat Zylan by almost two lengths when last seen earlier in January on fibresand, but he handles this surface well and has a course and distance win to his name from last summer.

He has another 5lbs rise in the weights to defy here, but given he has looked progressive since returning to action and is thriving at present he looks worth sticking with to find another jolt of improvement and land the three-timer.

4.45 – Sugar Plum Fairy
5.15 – Lexington Dash
5.45 – Dreaming Away
6.15 – Katheefa
6.45 – Brains
7.15 – Strawberry Jack
7.45 – Bill Cody