Thursday 16 January horse racing tips – Moore’s 3/1 chance can land Market Rasen win

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

A line-up of four UK horse racing meetings will head to post on Thursday as racing in Ireland takes a day off; and there is afternoon jumping action from the meetings at Market Rasen, Ludlow and Wincanton.

Meanwhile, the day’s all-weather racing comes from Newcastle which races on their tapeta surface under the floodlights.

Market Rasen (jumps) – 12.40 – 3.50pm (7 races)
Ludlow (jumps) – 12.50 – 4.00pm (7 races)
Wincanton (jumps) – 1.00 – 4.10pm (7 races)
Newcastle (flat, aw) – 3.55 – 7.00pm (7 races)

Brian Healy looks through Thursday’s fixture list and gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for every meeting going to post.



(1.40) SLEEPY HAVEN (14/1, William Hill, each-way) hasn’t managed to win since scoring at Leicester back in December 2016, but Jennie Candlish’s charge has gone close in his last few starts and has finished runner-up in two of his last three starts.

The Indian Haven gelding might just have found himself stretched over three miles in heavy ground at Uttoxeter last month; but he had been beaten less than one length the time before over two miles at Hexham and that race has thrown up a subsequent winner.

He’s been eased 2lbs in the weights, while a return to a slightly longer trip will suit along with less testing ground, and while his overall win record tempers enthusiasm his recent spell of consistent efforts ought to see him continue to be competitive and he could make the frame.

(2.10) BALLINSLEA BRIDGE (3/1, Ladbrokes) was a winner in the point-to-point sphere prior to joining Olly Murphy, and the Pierre gelding showed a decent level of ability in bumpers and over hurdles where he won twice in the latter discipline with successes here and at Carlisle.

He beat Truckers Lodge on the latter occasion, scoring by seven lengths, but he was subsequently absent for more than 650 days before making his chase debut having moved yards to Gary Moore. He was entitled to have needed that effort, and he showed the benefit of the run to find only one too good on his next outing at Exeter where here was denied only by one length behind Tea Time On Mars.

That run came under a big weight, but the pair were clear and he could improve again to get off the mark over fences at the third attempt.

12.40 – Fix Sun
1.10 – Oscars Leader
1.40 – Sleepy Haven
2.10 – Ballinslea Bridge
2.45 – Hollymount Holly
3.20 – Out For Justice
3.50 – Madera Mist


(1.20) Tom Lacey has his string in decent fettle, and HUNTING PERCIVAL (SP) could follow up his debut success at Wincanton back in October and make it 2-2 over hurdles.

The Sir Percy gelding looked a potentially useful prospect in that first run, readily coming clear of runner-up Joseph Hobson to score by an easy two lengths although he was value for more; and while the form perhaps hasn’t worked out particularly well, he nevertheless is open to plenty of improvement.

He has different ground to deal with this time around, but if the softer surface doesn’t prove an inconvenience then every chance he can go close if finding improvement for that first run.

(1.50) I’M WISER NOW (SP) has had a few chances to get off the mark, but the Presenting gelding has proven largely consistent and might be able to open his account now.

Having unseated his rider at Perth on his first hurdles start, Fergal O’Brien’s form figures read 2332, and he perhaps just found the ground too testing when finishing around ten lengths’ runner-up behind Northofthewall at Hereford last month.

That winner has run well since in the recent Lanzarote Hurdle, and he in turn finished clear of the third horse home so there could be more in the locker to come and while he has to prove effectiveness on soft ground he should continue to give a good account.

12.50 – Hijack
1.20 – Hunting Percival
1.50 – I’m Wiser Now
2.20 – Almazhar Garde
2.55 – Winter Getaway
3.30 – Alcala
4.00 – Riggs


(1.30) FRESH NEW DAWN (13/2, Bet365) showed a fair level of ability over hurdles during the 2017/18 season, often making the frame, and the Flemensfirth gelding found some improvement switched to handicaps following more than a year off the track to get off the mark at Huntingdon in May.

Olly Murphy has his string in excellent form, boasting a 42% strike-rate with his runners over the past fortnight, and the selection possibly just found his revised mark beyond him when finishing down the field at Stratford back in July.

He switches now to chasing on his reapperance from a further six months off the track, and he could find improvement tackling the larger obstacles now having finished runner-up in an Irish point-to-point when trained by Jim Dreaper.

He has shown he can go well fresh, while he has placed over hurdles from this mark and he could deliver a big run on his chase debut.

(2.35) FORTUNATE GEORGE’s (7/1, Bet365) most recent form figures don’t inspire a lot of confidence, but the Oscar gelding could be worth chancing to bounce back returned to this venue where he boasts a very good record, and Emma Lavelle’s charge could leave his past form behind.

A three-time winner at this venue from five starts, he has also made the frame, and he struck his last success here back in February 2018 with a defeat of Watcombe Heights where he won from a considerably higher mark than his current rating.

Last seen finishing fifth at Ascot in heavy ground over this trip behind Mr Muldoon, he has been eased 3lbs in the weights and is now 11lbs below his last winning mark, and he can go close if coming back to form under his good 10lbs claiming rider.

Trainer Emma Lavelle (left) can saddle a Wincanton winner on Thursday.

(3.40) CHRISTMAS IN APRIL (11/4, William Hill) is turned out just eleven days on from his ready win in the Sussex Grand National, and if this run doesn’t come too soon Colin Tizzard’s charge can land a hat-trick of wins.

The Crillon gelding has already surpassed his useful hurdles form since being sent chasing, showing steadily progressive form, and he found another jolt of improvement when fitted with cheekpieces to score at Fontwell with a defeat of Gleno.

The third from that race has won since, and he scored a shade cosily when last seen out in the Plumpton feature so he could well prove up to the task of defying his 7lbs penalty here to land a hat-trick of wins.

1.00 – Never Learn
1.30 – Fresh New Dawn
2.00 – Fanfaron Dino
2.35 – Fortunate George
3.10 – Annsam
3.40 – Christmas In April
4.10 – Lydford Lad


(4.30) KODI KOH’s (5/1, William Hill) losing run stands at ten without success since scoring over ten furlongs at this venue last March, but Sheena West’s charge could end her barren streak here having run well on both recent starts back from a break.

The Kodiac mare has twice found Corked too strong in recent outings over ten furlongs at this course, finishing just over one length third to that rival in December and then beaten two lengths into fourth earlier this month although she wasn’t seen to best effect in that latter contest having perhaps been given too much to do.

A drop to one mile isn’t sure to suit, but this is an easier grade than she’s been contesting in recent starts and she may be able to take advantage if coping with the sharper trip.

(5.00) VENTURA DESTINY (SP) shaped as if amiss when thwarted in her hat-trick attempt at Wolverhampton back in November where the Outstrip filly failed to beat a rival, but Keith Dalgleish’s charge is forgiven that outing and is perhaps better judged on earlier successes here and at Southwell prior to that last run.

She appeared to find some improvement switched to a handicap over this course and distance back in October, beating Camacho Man despite being 2lbs out of the weights, and she followed up in good style at Southwell with an easy five lengths’ defeat of Red Maharani.

She failed to give her running latest, but having since been eased 1lb she returns to this venue which might help spark a bounce back to form, and she could get back on the winning trail here.

3.55 – Sulafaat
4.30 – Kodi Koh
5.00 – Ventura Destiny
5.30 – Foxy Forever
6.00 – Monya
6.30 – Gunmaker
7.00 – Jeffrey Harris