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Thursday racing best bets – Tips for Pontefract, Ayr, Yarmouth & Chelmsford

Thursday’s horse racing in the UK takes in four more meetings on the flat and we give our Thursday racing best bets for Pontefract, Ayr, Yarmouth and Chelmsford.

Another four UK horse racing meetings head to post on Thursday where it is day one of the Ayr Gold Cup Meeting north of the border at Ayr; while there is also afternoon racing on the flat elsewhere at Pontefract and Yarmouth.

Completing Thursday’s quartet of UK horse racing fixtures is a twilight card on the all-weather at Chelmsford on their polytrack surface and we’ve taken a look over all four of the day’s meetings to give our Thursday racing best bets for each fixture.


1:45 Pontefract – Like Racing TV On Facebook Apprentice Handicap Cl5 (3yo+ 0-70) 6f

Although he’s been out of sorts of late it might be worth chancing PENNY POT LANE to bounce back returned to this venue where she is a dual-course and distance winner including this prize back in 20177.

Trainer Richard Whitaker also took this race twelve months ago and the Misu Bond mare shaped better for her reappearance at this venue in August when running well for a long way at Ripon at the beginning of the mont, eventually finishing six lengths’ behind Abel Handy crossing the line in ninth place.

That was a stronger race than this and her handicap mark is sliding as a result of her recent poor form where another 2lbs drop takes her to her last winning mark. She was last successful at Ripon last September under this rider who can claim 3lbs this time around.

While she’s risky given her current spell in the doldrums, she has the ability to go well if in the mood and she looks worth chancing.

2:20 Pontefract – British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 6f

GALE FORCE MAYA doesn’t know how to run a bad race and since reeling off a Carlisle hat-trick last term Michael Dods’ charge has made the frame in all four starts.

The Gale Force Ten filly was last seen finishing just over one length adrift of Angel Of The Glen at Thirsk who proved very well treated on her handicap debut where she was getting more than a stone from the selection.

However she lost no caste in defeat in that outing and she ought to be in the mix again at this venue where she has a win and a placed effort from her two visits to the West Yorkshire track. She could still have scope to defy this 2lbs higher mark and while this looks a pretty open contest she can continue to make her presence felt.

Thursday racing best bets. Michael Dods can saddle a winner at Pontefract.

Thursday racing best bets. Michael Dods can saddle a winner at Pontefract.

2:30 Ayr – Luxury Breaks At Western House Hotel Handicap Cl6 (3yo+ 0-55) 1m

BROCTUNE RED was trying to give the reopposing Ayr Poet 8lbs when beaten just over one length behind that rival last time, but on these revised terms the Haafhd gelding can gain some revenge.

Gillian Bonas’ charge has made the frame in all four starts back following almost a year off the track, latterly finding only his reopposing rival too good last time but he is weighted to turn the tables this time.

This looks a fair and open contest for the grade and he’s still a maiden after a dozen starts; but he’s shown enough to suggest he’s up to winning a small race and only raised 1lb in the ratings for his latest near miss he ought to give another good account and can make his presence felt.

3:00 Ayr – Dream Weddings At Western House Hotel Handicap (for the Kilkerran Cup) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m2f

SPIRIT DANCER has improved with each run, getting off the mark at the third attempt and the Frankel colt can quickly double up switching to the handicap ranks here.

The Frankel colt shaped smartly on his debut last term at Wolverhampton, finishing third and beaten only a half length; following a near-300 day absence he went one better back at that venue when finding only Ilaraab too strong by one length before getting off the mark at Ripon last month in soft ground.

He ran out a ready winner that day, seemingly enjoying the conditions as he romped to a near-four lengths’ victory; he has similar conditions here and his initial rating of 83 could underestimate him given he is open to further improvement so every chance he can step up again in a stronger race to double up his winning tally.

Thursday racing best bets. It is day one of the Ayr Gold Cup meeting.

Thursday racing best bets. It is day one of the Ayr Gold Cup meeting.

3:10 Yarmouth – Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m6f

GAS MONKEY tries a new trip for the first time having hit the crossbar on each of his last three starts over twelve furlongs and the Cityscape gelding looks worth chancing to get back to winning ways.

Julia Feilden’s charge won four times last term including at this venue last April and his best run this campaign saw him beaten only a half-length behind reopposing C’est No Mour at Newbury two starts ago last month at Newbury.

He was only run down late on that occasion and the form looks fair with the winner since going close at Goodwood in a more competitive contest and a 3lbs rise remains workable. Better off at the weights with his old rival in this latest encounter he could overturn that form and no surprise to see him going close if this longer trip doesn’t catch him out.

6:30 Chelmsford – Fairwood Novice Stakes Cl5 (3yo+) 1m

KHAALIS is bred to be a useful performer but the Muhaarar colt was too green to do himself any real justice on his debut over course and distance two weeks ago, eventually finishing fifth behind Gertcha and beaten around seven lengths.

Owen Burrows’ charge however is likely to step up markedly for that first outing which should have taught him plenty and he could prove a different proposition now with the potential for significant improvement to come.

He can step up for that first outing and he can show the benefit of the run to get off the mark at the second attempt.