Tuesday 17 December – Greatrex’s 7/4 chance can prove too Speedy for Fakenham rivals
Get Brian Healy's Tuesday horse racing tips, best bets and selections in every race going to post from the meetings at Catterick and Fakenham.
The loss of Tuesday’s fixture at Lingfield leaves just two UK jumps racing fixtures to go to post, and the day’s action takes place at Catterick and also Fakenham on a low-key afternoon where there is no fixtures in Ireland or on the all-weather.
Catterick (jumps) – 12.25 – 3.25pm (7 races)
Fakenham (jumps) – 12.40 – 3.10pm (6 races)
BRIAN HEALY’S NAP OF THE DAY FOR TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER
(1.25) POGUE (3/1, Bet365) won a point-to-point to Ireland for Colin Bowe prior to being bought for a six-figure sum, and having joined Donald McCain the Stowaway gelding has shaped with some promise to make the frame in all four starts over hurdles to date.
Last seen finding only one too good in Do Not Disturb at Kelso, beaten two lengths, he has since had wind surgery and returns from a couple of months off the track where his attentions are switched to chasing.
He could improve then switching to the larger obstacles now given his background, and with a tongue-tie now applied he ought to go well and can get off the mark under Rules.
(1.55) Quite a disappointing bunch, but BHUTAN (7/4, William Hill) arrives here on the back of a last-time win, and the Galileo gelding could be worth keeping onside where he can follow up again here.
Jonjo O’Neill’s charge had been out of sorts for some time and he had yet to show any of his previous form for Joseph O’Brien when popping up somewhat unexpectedly at Ludlow latest where he ran out a half-length winner over Wilde Spirit.
Not the most consistent, it has to be taken on trust that he can replicate the form of that last outing upped 5lbs; but if he can run to a similar level then he could double up in what looks a relatively poor contest.
(2.25) MERCIAN PRINCE (11/4, Bet365) showed some progress as a chaser last term, winning twice and contesting at Grade Three level without success. Amy Murphy’s charge however has been disappointing in both outings over the larger obstacles since returning from a break and wind surgery, but to be fair to the Midnight Legend gelding he has faced stiff tasks on each occasion.
Possibly in need of his return in the BetVictor Gold Cup, he failed to fire at Aintree next time although may have gone off too hard before fading into fifth behind Flying Angel.
Back over hurdles here for the first time since racing in France for his previous handler, this looks a decent opportunity for him to bounce back with a confidence-boosting win, and he can do better than has been the case in recent starts.
12.25 – Rockliffe
12.55 – Artistic Language
1.25 – Pogue
1.55 – Bhutan
2.25 – Mercian Prince
2.55 – Maxed Out King
3.25 – Blueskyandsunshine
(1.10) PERFECT MOMENT (2/1, Bet365) and Todd look the pair to concentrate here, with the Milan mare just getting the nod to come out on top given she gets weight from her likely principal rival.
Michael Roberts’ charge was a winner here last month on her reappearance following almost seven months off the track, running out a wide margin winner after being left clear at the last by the departure of Viking Ruby who arguably would have won.
As such, this looks a harder task now faced with a 6lbs hike in the weights; but she gets an aggregate 5lbs weight concecssion from her chief rival, and that might be enough to secure her back-to-back wins for all the form of her win last time doesn’t look quite as strong as that of Olly Murphy’s rival.
(1.40) KILBREW BOY (5/2, Paddy Power) chased home the useful Beakstown in a point-to-point in Ireland before moving to this yard where he was a steadily progressive sort over hurdles, scoring at this venue last December and largely running well in defeat following that success.
Ben Case’s Stowaway gelding has shaped well on both starts over fences, finishing third on his chase debut at Kempton and duly stepping up on that effort to beat Duc Kauto at Wincanton earlier in the month, scoring by just over one length.
A 5lbs rise in the weights doesn’t look harsh given that he remains an unexposed sort over the larger obstacles, and he could have further progress to come so it would be no surprise to see another big effort here if the outing doesn’t come too soon.
(2.40) SPEEDY CARGO (7/4, William Hill) ran some solid races in defeat for Harry Whittington, and the Stowaway gelding could take his form up a notch now he tackles fences for hew handler Warren Greatrex.
He possibly needed his return over hurdles at Southwell in October on his first outing for his new yard following wind surgery, and he stepped up on that run to finish third in first-time cheekpieces at Hereford in November although he finished some 13 lengths behind the winner.
His focus now switches to chasing for this latest outing, and having placed three times in points when trained in Ireland then he could be worth chancing in this sphere to find some improvement faced with the larger obstacles while a step up in trip ought to suit.
12.40 – Eva’s Diva
1.10 – Perfect Moment
1.40 – Kilbrew Boy
2.10 – Olympic Honour
2.40 – Speedy Cargo
3.10 – Moorsholme
BRIAN HEALY’S BEST BETS FOR TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER
1.10 Fakenham – PERFECT MOMENT (2/1, Bet365)
1.25 Catterick – POGUE (3/1, Bet365)
1.40 Fakenham – KILBREW BOY (5/2, Paddy Power)
1.55 Catterick – BHUTAN (7/4, William Hill)
2.25 Catterick – MERCIAN PRINCE (11/4, Bet365)
2.40 Fakenham – SPEEDY CARGO (7/4, William Hill)