Sunday’s Lucky 15 – Our UK Racing Best Bets on January 9

Fairyhouse is the feature meeting in Ireland on Sunday.Fairyhouse is the feature meeting in Ireland on Sunday.

Horse Racing Tips on Sunday, January 9

Ayr over jumps, Southwell on the all-weather and Fairyhouse in Ireland are the three meetings on Sunday. All three are represented in our editor’s 15,190/1 Lucky 15.

Danni California (1:10 Southwell)

The excellently-named DANNI CALIFORNIA got off the mark on Southwell’s new tapeta surface last month, which bodes well for a follow-up.

That’s been her only run on these underfoot conditions having had two runs on the separate polytrack surfaces at Lingfield and Chelmsford. She was not quite as good on those tracks, though not terrible, and her third run in a handicap comes now off a career-low mark.

That is despite her having finished second on turf at Newmarket in June off 2lb higher. Her form since has led to the fall in rating, but given her recent victory in a novice auction event, one admittedly she was entitled to win, there is still every chance she can go in again.

Eclair De Beaufeu (2:20 Fairyhouse)

After falling in a Grade 2 chase in November 2020, ECLAIR DE BEAUFEU was rerouted to hurdles, over which he has remained exclusively since.

Despite a far lower rating over timber, he was not able to take advantage, although he did finish a close fourth in the County Hurdle at last season’s Cheltenham Festival. E was also second in a conditions race in August.

His last run in a handicap came at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival where he was second in the Grand Annual. That was off this same mark of 149 and he has no issue with soft or heavy ground. 

He had a pipe opener recently at Fairyhouse, again over hurdles, and he should give a much better account in terms of fitness here.

Vengeur De Guye (2:30 Ayr)

He might be a 13-year-old now, but VENGEUR DE GUYE’s best efforts in the last two years have all come over course and distance. Indeed, overall, his form over track and trip is F1232.

His last win may have come in 2019, but there have been several close calls. In his three runs in the autumn, he finished within nine lengths of the winner and in the first four.

He was disappointing on heavy ground at Hexham last month, but this type of surface has not proved an issue in his home country. Lucinda Russell is also already within six winners of last season’s total.

None of his rivals can claim a recent victory either and this looks one of his more winnable opportunities, especially as he has dropped to his lowest ever mark in his advancing years.

Fame Valley (3:00 Ayr)

Of the six runners, Simon Crawford’s Kinnegad Lad is surely the most interesting coming over from Ireland.

Keep your eye on any market support for him, but FAME VALLEY, currently the rank outsider, appeals most running in his first handicap.

Trained himself in Ireland formerly by Colin Bowe, his three runs for Ian Duncan have produced form figures of 544, not being beaten far in any of those. His stamina probably evaporated on his latest run when upped in trip, but the combination of ground and trip now looks ideal.

His mark of 103 certainly leaves leeway for improvement and potential.