Friday’s best bets and race-by-race tips – Cash in with Master of Finance at Hexham
Brian Healy looks ahead to Friday’s horse racing action across the UK and Ireland, and he has tips and selections in every race.
The fixtures step up a gear moving into Friday, and there are six meetings going to post as the weekend gets underway.
The day’s flat racing action comes from Ascot, while there is plenty of jumps racing action with fixtures from Fontwell and Hexham, and from Gowran Park in Ireland on the schedule.
There is also all-weather action in the evening, with fixtures at Newcastle on tapeta, and Dundalk on polytrack.
Hexham (jumps) – 1.50 – 4.45pm (6 races)
Ascot (flat) – 2.00 – 4.55pm (6 races)
Gowran Park (jumps) – 2.05 – 5.30pm (7 races)
Fontwell (jumps) – 2.15 – 5.10pm (6 races)
Newcastle (flat, aw) – 5.20 – 8.20pm (7 races)
Dundalk (flat, aw) – 6.05 – 9.05pm (7 races)
(2.25) MASTER OF FINANCE (9/4, Ladbrokes) was the best of these on the flat, and the ex-Mark Johnston runner could prove hard to beat if taking to obstacles.
Now with the shrewd Malcolm Jefferson, the Mastercraftsman gelding posted some solid form on the level, including when finishing runner-up in a competitive Newmarket maiden back in May, and winning at Pontefract earlier in the year.
While Cloud Monkey sets a fair standard, the 108-rated rival could prove vulnerable to the selection if he takes to this sphere, given he was rated much superior to Martin Todhunter’s charge on the flat; and if the Jefferson runner can run to a similar level over timber then he surely won’t be far away.
(3.35) DOUBLE W’S (11/2, Betway) could land a double for Malcolm Jefferson, and the Fruits Of Love gelding is taken to get back on the scoresheet after disappointing at Cheltenham when last seen in April.
Prior to that run, he had been in excellent heart, getting just reward for a string of in-the-frame efforts by scoring over Altruism at Haydock in March, winning by just over two lengths.
Still unexposed, he could have more to offer over this trip, having ran too freely at Cheltenham when last seen behind Matorico; forgiven that effort and eased slightly in grade, he can bounce back.
1.50 – Cotillion
2.25 – Master Of Finance
3.00 – Presenting Streak
3.35 – Double W’s
4.10 – Formidable Opponent
4.45 – Mad Money
(2.35) FASTNET TEMPEST (4/1, Coral) has been in excellent heart this term, winning twice at Haydock and Yarmouth, and finishing in the runner-up spot on his remaining trio of starts.
William Haggas’ Fastnet Rock gelding most recently beat Misty Lord by a neck over this trip last time out at Yarmouth under Frankie Dettori, who again is in the saddle, winning with something in hand.
He has shown ability to handle both soft ground and quicker underfoot conditions, so this ground won’t pose an inconvenience, while both wins have come over this trip; and likely to have further progression, he can give his in-form yard another winner.
(3.45) It could be significant that Dermot Weld elects to send AYDOUN (11/4, Ladbrokes) on an Ascot raid, and the decision can pay dividends for the Mastercraftsman gelding who looked a very smart prospect when easily landing a Listowel maiden earlier in the month.
A five-length winner there over Burning Sword, scoring comfortably in the mud, he won with plenty up his sleeve and could well be up to making his presence felt upped to this grade if handling the quicker conditions.
Bred to make a very smart stayer, he is open to plenty of improvement on the back of that taking debut run, and no surprise if he were to go close here.
2.00 – Red Tea
2.35 – Fastnet Tempest
3.10 – Mazzini
3.45 – Aydoun
4.20 – Fighting Temeraire
4.55 – Life Less Ordinary
(3.15) ICELIP (9/2, Stan James) has been posting some good efforts in defeat since his last success at Tramore back in June, and the Urban Ocean gelding was a shade unlucky not to have won last time out at Down Patrick when beaten just over one length behind Tornado Watch.
Dermot O’Brien’s charge came with what looked like a race-winning run after the last hurdle, but he was squeezed up badly and forced to switch inside, costing him momentum and ground; and he again met trouble when trying to renew his challenge up the rail.
He arguably would have won but for that interference, and the handicapper has raised him just 2lbs for that effort; the strong-travelling gelding looks to have been found a good opportunity for compensation, and he can take advantage of the handicapper’s clemency to resume winning ways.
2.05 – Sanibel Island
2.40 – Mr Antolini
3.15 – Icelip
3.50 – Airlie Beach
4.25 – Sea Light
5.00 – Ash Rowe
5.35 – Takeittothelimits
(3.25) Excellent Team sets a fairly solid standard, winning his penultimate start and finishing runner-up on five other occasions. Dan Skelton’s charge is sure to go well, but he may struggle to concede 20lbs to HYGROVE PERCY (Evens, Stan James) who has made a very promising start to his hurdles career.
Neil Mulholland’s charge was a winner on his hurdles debut at Newton Abbot back in July, following up with a solid runner-up finish at Uttoxeter next time.
The third home in that race has since racked up a hat-trick of wins, and the Sir Percy gelding resumed winning ways himself with a five lengths beating of Linger at Cartmel last month. Not beaten far behind Nachi Falls at the weekend past, he steps into handicap company receiving a very healthy weight allowance; and with a top amateur in the saddle claiming a further 7lbs, he has plenty in his favour in this contest, and he should go close.
(4.00) WORKBENCH (2/1, William Hill) goes well here and he won this race twelve months ago; and Dan Skelton’s charge can repeat the dose in a winnable renewal.
The Network gelding is 4lbs higher than when beating Purple ‘n Gold in this contest last year, following up with a sound runner-up effort at Cheltenham behind Boondooma. However, he posted a mixed bag of results thereafter, although he was tried in Graded company a couple of times and should find this easier.
Having shaped as if in need of the run at Worcester last month, he stepped up on that outing to go down by only three lengths behind Crimson Ark over hurdles here earlier in the month, but reverting to fences he can resume winning ways and take this race for a second consecutive year.
2.15 – Sisania
2.50 – Frodon
3.25 – Hygrove Percy
4.00 – Workbench
4.35 – Indiana Bay
5.10 – At First Light
(6.50) ZAMADANCE (3/1, Ladbrokes) is still relatively unexposed, but the son of Zamindar already boasts an all-weather win when successful at Kempton last month, beating Booshbash by a half-length.
Runner-up next time at Bath, Sylvester Kirk’s charge was far from disgraced in a much stronger race than this when finishing fourth behind Sea Shack at Goodwood nine days ago, beaten two lengths. He belied long odds of 50/1 on that occasion, and the fifth horse home gave the form a small boost when going close next time out.
Racing off the same mark, he drops considerably in class for this latest outing; and due to go up 8lbs in future contests, he is well-in at the weights here. Assuming he builds on that last-time run on his first try on tapeta, he shouldn’t be far away under Champion Jockey-elect, Jim Crowley.
5.20 – The Resdev Way
5.50 – Roman De Brut
6.20 – All The Rage
6.50 – Zamadance
7.20 – Mandarin
7.50 – Remal Dubai
8.20 – May Rose
8.50 – Cosmic Chatter
(6.35) CUL AN TI (4/1, Bet365) hinted at ability on debut when finishing third behind Jose Echegaray at Sligo last month, and the Sir Prancealot filly duly stepped up on that effort to fill the same spot next time at Down Royal, finishing less than one length behind Trevanna.
Emmet Mullins’ charge ran a shade too freely on the soft ground, where she helped to force the pace and perhaps just failing to last home; but it was a hugely encouraging run, and she may do better here faced with a quicker surface and if settling better.
Open to improvement, she can get off the mark at the third attempt.
(7.05) MOVIESTA (5/6, Bet365) took advantage of the drop in the weights and class to resume winning ways here last month, beating The Happy Prince – a dual-winner since – and another two-time winner readily, and Ed Lynam’s charge will be hard to beat with a repeat of that run.
The Hard Spun gelding is a smart sprinter at his best, winning the Group Three Renaissance Stakes last term, and the first-time cheek-pieces he wore in that latest success seemed to revive his fortunes after a spell in the doldrums. Assuming the headgear works again, he’ll take plenty of beating if running to a similar level as last time despite a not-inconsiderable hike back up the weights.
5.25 – Six Silver Lane
6.00 – Selati
6.35 – Cul An Ti
7.05 – Moviesta
7.35 – Long Island Sound
8.05 – Windsor Beach
8.35 – Creeping Ivy
9.05 – Danequest