A busy Wednesday of UK and Irish horse racing meetings lie in store for punters with five scheduled UK and Irish fixtures going to post, and there is afternoon jumps racing from both Ludlow and Newbury where there is Listed action on the card at the latter venue.
Meanwhile, the afternoon all-weather racing comes from Lingfield’s polytrack surface; while in the evening further all-weather action takes place at Newcastle on tapeta, and also Dundalk in Ireland which hosts a fixture on it’s polytrack surface.
Lingfield (flat, aw) – 12.10 – 3.20pm (7 races)
Newbury (jumps) – 12.20 – 3.30pm (7 races)
Ludlow (jumps) – 12.30 – 3.40pm (7 races)
Newcastle (flat, aw) – 3.45 – 7.15pm (8 races)
Dundalk (flat, aw) – 4.30 – 8.00pm (8 races)
BRIAN HEALY’S NAP OF THE DAY FOR WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER
(12.40) DISCO FEVER (7/4, Coral) shaped encouragingly on her debut at Kempton earlier in the month, and John Gosden’s charge ought to improve for that experience to do better here.
The Oasis Dream filly finished three lengths’ fourth of nine runners, keeping on well from off the pace having raced green early, and that outing will have taught her plenty so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see her take a forward step now with the run under her belt.
This could work out to be quite a decent contest in time, and the expensive purchase can make her presence felt on just her second run where she could go close.
(1.10) BROUGHTON EXCELS (15/2, Unibet) was a Chelmsford winner over this trip back in September, after which the Kyllachy gelding reeled off a hat-trick of runner-up efforts over the same course and distance where he wasn’t beaten far in any of them.
Stuart Williams’ charge may not have been suited by tapeta on his latest outing at Newcastle earlier in the month, but he could be worth chancing to bounce back here returned to polytrack where the form of his latest runner-up effort two starts ago has been franked.
He’s been dropped 1lb in the handicap, while he has a good draw to operate from here where he races from the number two stall, and he can post an improved effort back on this surface.
12.10 – Prince Rock
12.40 – Disco Fever
1.10 – Broughton Excels
1.45 – Griggy
2.15 – Shimmering
2.50 – The Jean Genie
3.20 – Guroor
(1.20) NOTACHANCE (10/3, William Hill) showed some useful hurdles form in a handful of starts last term over timber which included a win at Newbury in March; but Alan King’s charge looks to have improved for the switch to chasing, and the Mahler gelding can improve again to double his win tally.
He returned from a break to go down only by a nose behind Fortescue on his chase debut at Southwell, caught on the line by the winner, and he stepped up on that reappearance to run out a neck winner over De Name Evades Me at Exeter last time out.
He jumped and travelled well in that race, but he appeared to idle in front and was all-out for the win; the front pair had pulled ten lengths clear, and the fourth from the race almost scored at Carlisle on Sunday so the form could prove decent.
A winner over hurdles at this venue, he could have more to offer over the larger obstacles and every chance he can find further improvement to strike again.
(3.00) LE COEUR NET (6/1, William Hill) is a largely consistent sort who rarely runs a poor race, and Anthony Honeyball’s charge can get back to winning ways here.
The Network gelding struck his latest win at Ffos Las back in November last year, beating Alf ‘n’ Dor by a wide margin, and he has made the frame in three of his four subsequent starts either side of a break which include both outings this term.
Third on his reappearance back at Ffos Las in November, he bumped into a well-handicapped rival at Plumpton eight days later, beaten three lengths’ behind Duhallow Lad, and the third from that race beat one of today’s rivals next time out.
The handicapper has left him alone at the weights, while the application of cheekpieces could well sharpen him up, and he should give another good account of himself here.
12.20 – Fraser Island
12.50 – Shishkin
1.20 – Notachance
1.55 – Magic Of Light
2.25 – The Big Breakaway
3.00 – Le Coeur Net
3.30 – Dreaming Of Glory
(1.00) It could pay to give MR ANTOLINI (11/4, Ladbrokes) another chance following a disappointing effort at Wetherby last time out; but Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge had shaped well in defeat previously at Stratford when finding only Black Op too strong, and he could bounce back here.
The Catcher In The Rye gelding lost his way over hurdles last term, but the 2018 Imperial Cup winner looked to take well to chasing when denied only by a half-length on his chase debut behind the former Grade One-winning hurdler.
However, he took a backward step at Wetherby where he didn’t always jump fluently. Both his wins over hurdles though have come on right-handed tracks, so he may be better suited to going this way round, and if able to jump with a bit more fluency in this latest outing then he could get off the mark over the larger obstacles now.
(2.05) BABY KING (4/1, Ladbrokes) bounced back from a couple of lesser efforts towards the end of last season by getting back to winning ways over this course and distance, and likely to come on for his reappearance at Aintree last month then Tom George’s charge could get back on the scoresheet.
The Ivan Denisovich gelding was returning from 200 days off the track when finding only The Last Day too strong at Aintree, finishing ahead of subsequent Grand Sefton Chase runner-up Wishfull Dreaming; he ought to come on for that effort, and the handicapper has left him alone at the weights ahead of his latest outing.
Suited by a soft surface and with winning form at this venue, he could go well back at the scene of his last success and he remains handicapped to go close so every chance he can return to winning ways.
12.30 – Garry Clermont
1.00 – Mr Antolini
1.30 – Proper Ticket
2.05 – Baby King
2.35 – Cresswell Legend
3.10 – Shetland Bus
3.40 – Lex Eleven
(4.15) ROYAL NATION (3/1, William Hill) stepped up on some encouraging efforts in novice company to find only one too good on his handicap debut at Kempton last month, and Archie Watson’s charge can find another jolt of improvement to get off the mark here.
The Nathaniel filly was beaten just one length behind Fantasy Believer, keeping on well without quite matching the winner; but a repeat of that effort may be good enough here where his subsequent 4lbs rise in the weights is offset by his promising young rider’s allowance.
He looks weighted to go close as a result, and with the potential for better still he looks worth giving another chance to get off the mark.
(6.15) LITTLE JO (4/1, Ladbrokes) has enjoyed plenty of success since moving to Brian Ellison from Chris Grant, winning five of his seven starts for that handler, and if his latest outing is any guide then he could be worth chancing to get back on the scoresheet here.
The Major Cadeaux gelding faced a stiff assignment on his reappearance from eleven months off the track when thrust into the Cambridgeshire on his reapperance where he beat only two home; but he showed the benefit of that run to go down only by a neck into third place behind My Target at this venue last month, and he can step up again.
A two-time course and distance winner, he wasn’t seen to best effect last time having been slowly away and not ideally placed although he ran on well for the bronze medal; but with a bit more luck here he could go close under his 7lbs claimer.
3.45 – Dancing Rave
4.15 – Royal Nation
4.45 – Xian Express
5.15 – Gold Brocade
5.45 – Waitaki
6.15 – Little Jo
6.45 – Lord Of The Glen
7.15 – Wasntexpectingthat
(5.30) SPELGA (3/1, Coral) goes from strength to strength, reeling of a hat-trick of wins here between 10-12f, and Mick Halford’s charge can continue her progression to keep her sequence going.
The Sir Percy gelding latterly ran out a three lengths’ winner over Early Strike over the longer trip here earlier in the month, appearing to do the job readily and a further 8lbs rise in the weights might not prove enough of a burden to prevent him from going in again.
Still unexposed over this longer trip, he should continue to run well and he looks to hold solid claims of striking a fourth successive success.
(7.30) OCEAN MONARCH (10/3, Bet365) stepped up on a promising debut over seven furlongs here in October to get off the mark at the second attempt when stepped up to this trip and Jessica Harrington’s charge could be worth chancing to follow up.
The Bungle Inthejungle colt had a head to spare at the line from Numberoneson on that occasion, keeping on well to land the win, and there ought to be more to come from him now given that he still looked inexperienced in that contest.
Well drawn in the number two stall, he is unexposed and can progress again to follow up that breakthrough success here.
4.30 – Bambari
5.00 – Hannon
6.00 – Dark Magic
6.30 – Masalai
7.00 – No Speed Limit
7.30 – Ocean Monarch
BRIAN HEALY’S BEST BETS FOR WEDNESDAY 18 DECEMBER
12.40 Lingfield – DISCO FEVER (7/4, Coral)
1.00 Ludlow – MR ANTOLINI (11/4, Ladbrokes)
1.10 Lingfield – BROUGHTON EXCELS (15/2, Unibet)
1.20 Newbury – NOTACHANCE (10/3, William Hill)
2.05 Ludlow – BABY KING (4/1, Ladbrokes)
3.00 Newbury – LE COEUR NET (6/1, William Hill)
4.15 Newcastle – ROYAL NATION (3/1, William Hill)
5.30 Dundalk – SPELGA (3/1, Coral)
6.15 Newcastle – LITTLE JO (4/1, Ladbrokes)
7.30 Dundalk – OCEAN MONARCH (10/3, Bet365)