JThings get busy on Friday with eight race meetings scheduled across the UK and Ireland, featuring 55 races over eight hours.
There are three afternoon flat cards in Brighton (1pm-4.25pm), Carlisle (1.10pm-4.30pm) and Chepstow (1.20pm-5.25pm), and three more in the evening from Fairyhouse (5.20pm-8.20pm), Haydock (6.25pm- 8.55 p.m.) and Pontefract (6.30-9.00 a.m.). Limerick (5.10-8.10) and Stratford (5.35-8.40) provide jump rates.
Friday’s siesta is coached by Kevin Philippart De Foy, runs at Haydock and looked like something of an improvement in the grass-court win at Redcar last month.
Horse racing predictions today: Haydock, Stratford and Chepstow
Enda McElhinney’s Friday fantasies are below. Scroll down to read the expert analysis behind them.
Odds are correct at time of publication and may be subject to change.
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Horse racing predictions: Haydock 6.55
Hughie Morrison holds a top claim with Our Jester, who finished second to Bath in a novice competition on a similar trip 16 days ago. It was his flat arc, but he won bumpers at Ascot and Lingfield (all time) and should be able to make his mark in that code before long.
He was just a small step into this Savvy Knight-led swim as the pair moved away from their two rivals. His claims are again valid and it is not surprising to see that he should take the lead in the market.
Our Jester conceded 12 pounds to Savvy Knight and it’s a similar story here with promising Kevin Philippart De Foy NICOLAS GEORGE 11lb better at weights for this 1m 3½f contest.
Nicholas George had a winter start as a juvenile, finishing second at Kempton over a mile in a fairly solid contest, and he looked at an upgraded improved model on the trip for his turf bow in April at Redcar (1m 2f, soft), putting plenty of daylight between him and a solid reference in Kevin Ryan’s Franz.
Faster ground shouldn’t hinder his progress now and there’s sure to be more to come from Daniel Muscutt’s mount. His weight advantage means he could once again relegate Our Jester to second place.
Selection: Nicholas George @ SP with Paddy Power
Horse racing predictions: Stratford 7.05
This 3m 3½f hunter pursuit drew a field of 10 decent contenders, no more than the seven-year-old VAUCELETthe youngest of the formation of David Christie and rider Barry O’Neill.
The gelding has won four of his six starts in hunter pursuits and, dating back to May 2021, has form figures of 11,113,112 when factoring in points to points in Ireland.
That latest silver came in the Champion Hunters Chase at the Punchestown Festival last month, when he was 1¼ seconds behind the unstoppable Billaway under Patrick Mullins.
It was a great effort in the loss and, having won the Champion Novices’ Hunters’ Chase on this map 12 months ago over course and distance, coming here has no fear.
The likes of Not That Fuisse, Le Breuil and Bob And Co – a faller at the Cheltenham Festival in March when he was fantasized in the Foxhunters – are all strong opponents, but Vaucelet should prove too strong.
Selection: Vaucelet @ SP with Paddy Power
Horse racing predictions: Chepstow 3.40
The thriving Way Of Life is aiming for a six-timer for Jonathan Portman and probably had more in hand than the neck margin suggested at Newbury a fortnight ago. That accepted, he’s still up 7lbs now and may find his winning streak coming to an end.
TIGER BEETLEby contrast, remains winless after seven races, despite having made the frame in four of six grass court appearances.
A promise last summer in Novice/Young Girl company saw him go into handicaps with an 81 rating and maybe that was pretty high for what he achieved.
He’s 3 pounds lighter now and should be matched by the fast ground expected after encountering soft ground in Pontefract on his last appearance in October.
Camelot’s gelded son of Sir Michael Stoute showed his best form during that 1m 2f journey last season and, if fully prepared for this seasonal return, he can be a key player in the hands of Richard Kingscote .
Selection: Tiger Beetle @ SP with Paddy Power
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