Welcome back to my column racing fans, I hope you’re all well and enjoying your week. The Friday meeting at Worcester is a very exciting one, so I have gone all-out and tipped up every race, meaning you have a total of six betting tips today.
Heading into the weekend, there is some fantastic action coming from Market Rasen and Gowran Park. But the big one for me will be seeing Ryanair Chase winner Envoi Allen back on track, which signals the start of the Jumps season, well almost.
We have Punchestown and Chepstow just around the corner and I have loads of goodies coming up for you, including my 2023/24 Countdown To Cheltenham series.
Get ready for the weekend with this fantastic offer from Ladbrokes. If you bet just £5 you’ll get £20 in free bets to use on the sport of your choice.
There is a very competitive Jumps card at Worcester on Friday and I have six selections for you to have a look at – one from every race on the card in fact!
Better still, good ground is expected at Worcester, which is going to be significant for a few of my selections. Among them are some who are also quite partial to the course here, so I’m feeling very positive about their chances.
Plenty of eyes are going to be drawn to Mofasa, who makes his debut here for the Paul Nicholls team. He is a very likeable type who has already won a Class 2 at Cheltenham and should be fine on his switch to fences. Although he is a very interesting contender, I’m far more interested in seeing how Coconut Splash fares.
Up until now, connections have avoided running him on a faster surface, but I think he will bowl along here and show his true ability, which we haven’t seen in a while. Admittedly he is one that needs to get into a rhythm early on, but if he does, we will more than likely see him in the winner’s enclosure here.
The two-miler looks competitive and there are some in with chances, but I’m going to side with a horse that has done plenty of winning for me in the last two seasons, which is Chess Player, for Ben Pauling.
He is already a course and distance winner and even though this race is a Class 4 again, the field doesn’t appear the strongest and carrying top weight won’t bother him at all here. He’s a very consistent type, he travels, he jumps well and I think he looks a solid option here, at a course he really likes.
This Maiden Hurdle has some very nicely-profiled horses and it looks like there is plenty of potential in the lineup. Push The Button, for the Twiston Davies team, is a lovely horse and the yard have started off well this season, so I expect a decent run from him. Mylesfromwicklow, who represents the Skelton team, has also shown promise in his four starts. However, my choice is Flying Fortune, who runs here for the Bowen team.
She may well be the only filly in the field, but she has some seriously good form in the book and I expect her to be fully wound up for this. Although she was seven lengths behind the highly-regarded Dysart Enos when they met at Market Rasen, Flying Fortune has since gone on to win two really good Bumpers and looking very smart in the process. I think with the allowance she gets here; she will be very tough to beat.
The Novices’ Handicap Hurdle could hardly be more competitive and you could make a case for most horses in the race. Young Merlin is at the top of the market as he tries to make it four wins from four, whilst Ike Sport has plenty of depth to his form and could go well, assuming he is ready first time out this season.
The one for me though is Ikarak, who is the only Worcester runner for the Milton Harris yard. He came over from France having won on his final start and he has run two blinders since joining Milton’s team. He carries 11st 13lbs here, which is not out of the way and I think he has been targeted at his race. Either way, Ikarak is a seriously interesting contender here.
There is just one mare that stands out to me in this field, and that is Harry Fry’s Ma Belle Noire, who won over course and distance last time out and clearly looks like she is going to improve again. The step up in trip last time seemed to work wonders for her and a repeat performance has her firmly in the mix. Expect another bold bid from this smashing mare.
This is a decent enough race to end the day, and I expect Evan Williams thinks he has it in the bag with Walkinthewoods, who won easily last time out at Ffos Las and is sure to go well again here. However, the one I fancy here is Emanate.
He won his last two here over the same distance and that’s a really important factor, because some horses really seem to relish the Worcester track, but others can’t handle it. Obviously, Emanate is one of the former and he has been very well-treated by the Handicapper. I think he will be a tough nut to crack here if he turns up in the same form.
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