Sunday horse racing tips 19 January – Elliott’s runner could be a perfect Ten at Ayr

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for all three of the day's UK and Irish racemeetings.

Sunday’s schedule of UK and Irish horse racing meetings takes in just three fixtures across the UK and Ireland, and the day’s jumps racing comes from the cards at Ayr and Thurles in Ireland where there is Grade Two action at the latter-named track.

Meanwhile, Wolverhampton holds an all-weather card on their tapeta surface.

Ayr (jumps) – 12.40 – 4.00pm (7 races)
Wolverhampton (flat,aw) – 12.50 – 4.10pm (7 races)
Thurles (jumps) – 1.00 – 4.20pm (7 races)

Brian Healy looks through all three of Sunday’s meetings and gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for each of the day’s racecards.



(1.15) Gordon Elliott does well with his runners here, and ESCARIA TEN (SP) can give the Meath handler another success at the Scottish track.

The Maresca Sorrento gelding was a point-to-point winner prior to joining this yard, and he shaped well in each of his first two outings for Elliott, finishing runner-up to The Little Yank in a Tipperary bumper before posting a very good third in a strong big-field contest at Fairyhouse in November.

He returned from a short break to get off the mark at the third attempt, stepping up to three miles at Cork and beating Atlantic Shore, and the front pair pulled five lengths clear.

Given that he appeared to win a shade readily, there likely is more improvement to come, and despite being penalised for this outing he ought to prove a tough nut to crack here.

(1.50) DALI MAIL (SP) ran out a cosy winner on his chase debut at Newcastle in December, delivering a near-seven lengths’ victory over a field that included the reopposing Glinger Flame and Donald Whillans’ charge can follow up here.

The Satri gelding boasts some very useful hurdles form, winning in heavy ground here back in Ayr 2018 before chasing home Whoshotthesheriff next time also at this venue. He also finished runner-up on his final outing at Newcastle prior to a break and wind surgery; and he returned to action with a very good third at Wetherby behind subsequent Grade One winner Cornerstone Lad.

He made a winning start to his chase career latest, beating I’m To Blame at Newcastle last month, and with the potential for significant improvement in this sphere as well as winning course and ground form then he could prove hard to beat here despite being worse off at the weights now with Nicky Richards’ reopposing rival.

12.40 – Zambezi Fix
1.15 – Escaria Ten
1.50 – Dali Mail
2.25 – Diamond Brig
3.00 – Aloomomo
3.30 – Hermanus
4.00 – Emma Beag

Aloomomo can win again quickly at Ayr.


(12.50) NELSON RIVER (6/1, William Hill) struck on his last visit to this venue back in September 2018 where Tony Carroll’s charge Daily Trader, and following that success the Mount Nelson gelding has proved himself a very smart hurdler with wins since at Bangor and Cheltenham before contested at Graded level.

Eighth back on the level at Kempton last September, he has had two hurdles starts since which includes the Fighting Fifth Hurdle; but back on the all-weather at the scene of his last success in this sphere, he could prove very well treated from a mark of 70 if able to bring something of his hurdles form to the table.

The longer trip here back on the flat could be just what the doctor ordered, and he can post a big effort here under his very good 3lbs claimer.

(2.35) FRENCH TWIST (13/2, William Hill) has a few duck-eggs to her name, but she won here over one mile back in August last year, and she was only beaten a neck over course and distance in December when touched off behind Reasoned.

David Loughnane’s Animal Kingdom filly latterly bounced back from a lesser run at Lingfield during the Festive period to find only Velvet Vision too strong by a neck over one mile at Southwell latest.

She was arguably unlucky not to win on that latest occasion as her rider briefly lost a rein and she was only run down late. But a repeat of that effort back over this course and distance could be good enough to see her get back on the scoresheet racing from the same mark

12.50 – Nelson River
1.25 – Waitaki
2.00 – Prompting
2.35 – French Twist
3.10 – Zapper Cass
3.40 – Murqaab
4.10 – Star Ascending

Wolverhampton is racing on Sunday afternoon.


(1.35) This looks a realy strong contest, and FESTIVAL D’EX (SP) can enhance his growing reputation as a very smart prospect having won both his starts in very good fashion for Gordon Elliott.

The Saddler Maker gelding routed a good field in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown last April, and he made a taking introduction to the hurdling sphere when beating a big field in comfortable style at Navan in December where be struck by two lengths over Fusain.

That contest has thrown up subsequent winners, and he is open to any amount of improvement on just his second start over hurdles with that outing under his belt. He holds a Grade One entry for Leopardstown in February so he is clearly well-regarded, and he looks sure to mount a bold bid for this prize enroute to better things.

(2.10) ACCIDENTAL REBEL (SP) is getting the hang of things over hurdles, and Henry de Bromhead’s charge posted a career-best effort latest when getting to within a half-length of Faugernon at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.

The Kayf Tara gelding had hinted at ability in starts previous to that run, and there could be further improvement to come from him on the back of that better effort where he made most of the running but was just unable to hold off the winner who has run well in defeat since.

That race has thrown up a couple of subsequent winners and a subsequent 4lbs rise looks workable despite a line through Faugernon suggesting he has to find a bit more against Texard who beat that rival last time out.

However, with Rachael Blackmore taking over in the saddle he could be set for a big run and every chance he can find the requisite progress to be a big factor in this contest.

1.00 – Behind The Curtain
1.35 – Festival D’Ex
2.10 – Accidental Rebel
2.45 – Footpad
3.20 – Cut The Mustard
3.50 – Cappacurry Zak
4.20 – Power Of Pause

Footpad can win the feature race at Thurles on Sunday.