Monday’s race-by-race tips – 11/4 chance Formidableopponent can live up to his name at Musselburgh

Plumpton, Musselburgh and Newcastle make up Monday's fixture list of horse racing.

Plumpton, Musselburgh and Newcastle make up Monday’s fixture list of horse racing.

Brian Healy gives his Monday race-by-race tips and best bets for the day’s racecards from Musselburgh, Plumpton and Newcastle.

After some top-class racing last week with the Cheltenham Open Meeting, a new week of equine action gets underway with a three-fixture line-up as horse racing fans gear up for Betfair Chase weekend later.

Monday’s action is relatively low-key, with jumps racing from Musselburgh as well as Plumpton; while on the all-weather there is a fixture on the tapeta at Newcastle.

Musselburgh’s fixture is a late-replacement for the lost card at Leicester, who were due to race on Monday but abandoned following concerns over the state of the ground.

Musselburgh (jumps) – 12.50 – 3.50pm (7 races)

Plumpton (jumps) – 1.05 – 3.40pm (6 races)

Newcastle (flat, aw) – 2.00 – 5.30pm (8 races)


(1.20) HALCYON DAYS (11/8, Bet365) gained just reward for a series of in-the-frame efforts when finally shedding his maiden tag with a neck-success over Supreme Asset at Ayr last month.

Rebecca Menzies’ Generous gelding was all out to score from the second, while Mumgos Debut – who fell early in the race – has won twice since. Racing there from 2lbs out of the handicap, a 4lbs rise for the win doesn’t seem overly harsh, and if able to replicate that effort here he can follow up.

Brian Hughes can get amongst the Musselburgh winners on Monday.

Brian Hughes can get amongst the Musselburgh winners on Monday.

(2.20) FORMIDABLEOPPONENT (11/4, Bet365) has been thriving in the latter part of the year, winning five of his last six starts before his winning streak was halted by the reopposing Proud Gamble to whom he failed by just a neck here earlier in the month.

William Young’s charge wasn’t helped in that contest by being hampered mid-race, but he finished to good effect to snatch the silver medal having conceded first run; he meets his conquerer on slightly better terms for that neck defeat, which should be enough to see a reversal in form, and he can gain revenge on Rose Dobbin’s rival.

12.50 – Mitcd

1.20 – Halcyon Days

1.50 – Bassarabad

2.20 – Formidableopponent

2.50 – Becky The Thatcher

3.20 – Boss In Boots

3.50 – Green Zone


(2.40) EARLS FORT (Evens, Bet365) has had the bit between his teeth in recent starts, finishing runner-up at Fontwell last month on the back of a short break; and the Kalanisi gelding has since posted back-to-back successes at Chepstow and Sedgefield, winning with something to spare last time over Vic’s Last Stand.

Neil Mulholland’s charge looks sure to go well again despite a 6lbs rise in the weights which doesn’t look enough of a burden to anchor his chances of a hat-trick, and the thriving sort could be hard to beat.

Comeonginger can resume winning ways at Plumpton.

Comeonginger can resume winning ways at Plumpton.

(3.10) COMEONGINGER (7/2, Bet365) could be the answer to a trappy contest, and the King’s Theatre gelding should go well.

Chris Gordon has his string in decent heart, and although his charge hasn’t won since scoring at Kempton in February last year, beating Cloudy Bob, he has run a series of solid races in defeat and he could be up to exploiting this lower mark.

His last win came from a higher mark than that which he races from here, while he has made the frame three times over the summer; the form of his latest runner-up effort behind Fear Glic at Stratford in June has received a couple of small boosts with that winner and a faller both scoring again since, and if fit to go on his return from five months off he can go close.

1.05 – Boudry

1.35 – Wishing And Hoping

2.10 – Blake Dean

2.40 – Earls Fort

3.10 – Comeonginger

3.40 – I’m Still Waiting


(3.00) DUBAI ELEGANCE (Evens, Bet365) stepped up on a promising debut on turf at Doncaster behind Dainty Dandy to get off the mark at the second attempt when scoring over Kingofmerrows at Chelmsford last month where she ran out an easy two-lengths winner.

Saeed bin Suroor’s Sepoy filly steps into handicap company now sporting a potentially lenient opening mark judged on the ease of her success last time.

This additional furlong promises to suit, and she can double her win tally here.

Can Holiday Magic give Mick Easterby a winner at Newcastle?

Can Holiday Magic give Mick Easterby a winner at Newcastle?

(3.30) A chance is taken that HOLIDAY MAGIC (10/3, Bet365) can bounce back to life returned to this surface, having been largely out of sorts on turf throughout the season.

Mick Easterby’s charge was a four-time winner on the all-weather when trained by Charlie Appleby, but the Dark Angel gelding has shown little since being moved to this yard although he did produce a better effort on his last visit here in July when finishing fourth behind Barracuda Boy.

As a result of his poor run of form, he had dropped markedly down the weights; but he very well-treated off this mark if recapturing his best, and the return to the all-weather could well be the catalyst that sparks him into life.

2.00 – Booshbash

2.30 – Alsacienne

3.00 – Dubai Elegance

3.30 – Holiday Magic

4.00 – Mon Beau Visage

4.30 – Wahaab

5.00 – Noble Star

5.30 – Sir Geoffrey