Thursday’s racing tips and best bets – Volunteer can prove Chelmsford Point

Wincanton is one of five UK and Irish fixtures going to post on Thursday.

Wincanton is one of five UK and Irish fixtures going to post on Thursday.

Brian Healy has Thursday 17 November horse racing tips and best bets for every race across the UK and Ireland.

Thursday sees a five-fixture programme of horse racing fixtures, and the feature race of the day comes from Ireland where the Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase heads up the day’s action at the County Tipperary venue.

Further jumps racing action on Thursday comes from the cards at Market Rasen and Wincanton; while on the all-weather there is an afternoon racecard at Newcastle, while Chelmsford race in the evening under the floodlights.

Newcastle (flat, aw) – 12.20 – 4.10pm (8 races)

Clonmel (jumps) – 12.35 – 3.50pm (7 races)

Wincanton (jumps) – 12.40 – 4.00pm (7 races)

Market Rasen (jumps) – 1.00 – 3.45pm (6 races)

Chelmsford (flat, aw) – 4.40 – 8.00pm (7 races)


(1.25) SPANISH CITY (11/8, Bet365) won well over this course and distance when going in at the first time of asking following a four-month break, and Roger Varian’s charge can follow up.

The Exceed and Excel colt was also a winner at Windsor back in May, prior to running a shade below par next time at Doncaster which prompted the lay-off. But he bounced back to score with plenty in hand over Buccaneers Vault last time, and the neck verdict certainly flatters the runner-up.

Raised 8lbs on the back of his comfortable success, he looks to have solid claims again in this contest which represents a slight drop in class; and with many of his rivals arriving on the back of poor last-time runs, he is an unexposed sort who could have better to come.

Roger Varian's Spanish City can win again at Newcastle on Thursday.

Roger Varian’s Spanish City can win again at Newcastle on Thursday.

(3.00) MAULESDEN MAY (4/1, Bet365) was a winner on her return from a break earlier in the month, scoring at Redcar in April with a defeat of Albert Boy, and Keith Dalgleish’s charge can get back on the scoresheet here.

Although not quite in the same form since, she took a big step back in the right direction when finishing an arguably unlucky runner-up behind Musaanada over this course and distance earlier in the month, where she was denied a clear passage through and conceded first run to the winner.

Despite closing all the way to the line, she went down by just under a length, but would certainly have got a lot closer had she not encountered trouble-in-running and possible she might have won. She is unchanged at the weights for this latest outing, and due to go up 4lbs in future races she is well-in on these terms; a repeat of her last outing should suffice to see her gain compensation, and she can get back on the scoresheet here.

12.20 – Atteq

12.50 – Sutter County

1.25 – Spanish City

1.55 – Issue

2.25 – Glasgon

3.00 – Maulesden May

3.35 – Space War

4.10 – Faintly


(1.05) TORNADO WATCH (5/2, Bet365) landed a hat-trick of wins with a gutsy success at Downpatrick back in September, scoring by a neck; and Jonathan Fogarty’s charge can win again despite a further 7lbs rise in the weights.

The Selkirk gelding was scoring under a penalty last time, but this longer trip should suit given the way he battled last time and a slightly softer surface than he encountered last time will be no issue.

He could potentially have more to come, and given a break on the back of that last effort, which came just three days after an earlier Ballinrobe success, he can pick up where he left off.

Outlander can win the feature Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase.

Outlander can win the feature Grade Two Clonmel Oil Chase.

(2.10) A wide-open renewal of this classy contest can go the way of OUTLANDER (6/4, Bet365) who should build on his excellent runner-up effort back from a break at Down Royal last time where he was beaten just over three lengths behind Sub Lieutenant.

One of two runners in the contest for Gordon Elliott, the Stowaway gelding is one of several Grade One winners in the contest, and he beat the re-opposing Monksland in last season’s Flogas Novices’ Chase. While he meets that rival on worse terms, he should be better suited to this trip than Noel Mead’s charge whose sometimes-iffy jumping may cost him over this distance.

Not beaten far in Grade One contests at the tail-end of last term behind Kylemore Lough and Zabana respectively, the Gigginstown runner is still relatively unexposed as a chaser, having did extremely well in his novice season; and open to further improvement assuming this doesn’t come too soon, he can get back to winning ways under Bryan Cooper who has chosen him over the other Gigginstown runner, Clarcam.

12.35 – Berry Des Aulmes

1.05 – Tornado Watch

1.35 – Blackthorn Prince

2.10 – Outlander

2.40 – Westerner Lady

3.15 – By The Banks

3.50 – Vigil


(1.15) PRESENTING BERKLEY (10/3, Bet365) didn’t cut a great deal of ice in a trio of starts prior to a lengthy absence, but he did lock horns with a couple of useful rivals in those races, and Tim Vaughn’s charge could yet be capable of better.

He has had an inauspicious return, shaping as if in need of the outing at Newton Abbot in September when ninth of twelve runners behind Master Dancer; and there was still some rustiness about his subsequent eighth of eleven runners at Uttoxeter.

However, he left those runs well behind when going down only by a half-length behind Midnight Target at Ludlow earlier in the month, and quickly turned out on the back of that run he could go one better.

This slightly less taxing trip should help, as he was caught only late in the day having led from two out until close home; and racing off the same mark – he’s due to go up 4lbs in future races – he can go close again with a repeat.

12.40 – Saint Contest

1.15 – Presenting Berkley

1.45 – Brelan D’as

2.15 – The Yank

2.50 – Smoking Jacket

3.25 – Black Valentine

4.00 – Miracle Cure


(1.30) Having missed a Cheltenham engagement at the weekend, it should pay to side with hat-trick seeker ZARA HOPE (9/4, Bet365) who left behind some fairly useful form in maidens to score on her handicap debut at Chepstow back in April when running out a three-length winner over Glenariff.

Charlie Longsdon’s charge built on that effort back from a break to follow up over this course and distance in October, beating Vic’ Last Stand, and there could be more to come from the Stowaway mare.

The third horse home in that last win has gone on to win since, albeit at a lesser grade than this, and while the handicapper has reacted a shade harshly with a 8lbs rise she did win with something up her sleeve, so she could well be capable of defying her new rating.

Oscar Rock can make a winning return to action at Market Rasen.

Oscar Rock can make a winning return to action at Market Rasen.

(2.05) OSCAR ROCK (10/3, Bet365) makes his return to action from a break, and Malcolm Jefferson’s charge can resume winning ways.

A very smart hurdler, the Oscar gelding has reached a good level over fences with wins at Newcastle and Kelso, as well as here last September when beating Claret Cloak to win the Listed Prelude Chase.

Absent since running seventh behind The Young Master in the Bet365 Gold Cup, he returns to the smaller obstacle from a mark that certainly shouldn’t be beyond him given he achieved a much higher rating over fences; and representing a yard in excellent form, he can go well fresh so it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see him go close here despite the concession of weight all round.

1.00 – No Comment

1.30 – Zara Hope

2.05 – Oscar Rock

2.35 – Walking In The Air

3.10 – I Just Know

3.45 – Sneaky Feeling


(5.50) LINKS DRIVE LADY (11/4, Bet365) returned to form when posting an excellent runner-up effort at Newbury last month, finding only Dawaa too strong. That rival has since run well in Listed company, and the race has thrown up a next-time winner.

Dean Ivory’s charge was a winner earlier in the season at Windsor, and the Striking Ambition mare sets a solid standard dropping into a claimer from what was a fairly decent handicap contest last time. A repeat of that run should suffice to see her get back to winning ways despite being raised 3lbs in the weights, and she could prove hard to beat at this level.

Volunteer Point can resume winning ways at Chelmsford.

Volunteer Point can resume winning ways at Chelmsford.

(6.25) VOLUNTEER POINT (6/1, Bet365) was a prolific winner earlier in the season, winning three times in succession and posting several creditable efforts in defeat which included in Listed company.

Michael Appleby’s charge hasn’t been in the best of form since returning from a three-month absence in September where she failed to beat a rival home at Newbury; but she shaped as if coming back into form when fifth of ten at Lingfield last time behind Muffri’Ha.

Dropping back into handicap company, she should be competitive from this lower mark, and with a good course record – two wins from three starts – she may be able to pick up the winning thread again having won from considerably higher ratings in the past.

4.40 – Roundabout Magic

5.15 – Time To Study

5.50 – Links Drive Lady

6.25 – Volunteer Point

7.00 – Remember Me

7.30 – Makhfar

8.00 – Fearless Lad