It’s a busy Friday for racing fans with seven meetings taking place across Britain and Ireland.
Afternoon fare is on the Flat from Thirsk, Musselburgh and Brighton before evening action at Tipperary, Newmarket and Haydock – while the sole Jumps offering comes from Wexford.
Amongst our fancies to kick-start the weekend is an improving sort for Joseph O’Brien who’s fancied to land the feature Churchill Stakes this evening at Tipperary en-route to better things.
4.00 Brighton – Captain Cuddles @ 9/2
The Harry Bloom Memorial ‘Brighton Bullet’ Handicap could be a chance for Richard Hannon’s Captain Cuddles to build on his recent pleasing effort at Ascot.
The son of Kodiac won a Salisbury novice (6f, good to firm) last summer and outran his odds to be third at Ascot (7f, good to soft) a fortnight ago on return from a short break / gelding operation.
He very much shaped as though this drop back in trip could suit and, while left alone on a mark of 80, he is now benefitting from the useful 5lb claim of Alec Voikhansky in the saddle.
If he does build on that first start post-gelding, he can make his presence back sprinting at the Seaside and he’s on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder for today’s action.
7.00 Tipperary – Warnie @ 6/1
Listed Friday evening fare from Ireland via the Coolmore Stud Churchill Stakes at Tipperary, in which six of the seven are last-time-out winners.
Possible improvers include Bremen (Donnacha O’Brien), Captain Maverick (Dermot Weld) and Brilliant (Aidan O’Brien), while twice-raced unbeaten colt Deepone for Paddy Twomey has gone in as favourite, but there ought to be more forthcoming from Joseph O’Brien’s promising Warnie.
The son of Highland Reel was pitched into the Chesham at Royal Ascot in June on his debut and was beaten just three-lengths as a 40/1 poke there, a more than decent effort for a first-timer.
On foot of that he was odds-on to collect at Bellewstown in maiden company last month and he duly put the best part of four-lengths between himself and re-opposing Captain Maverick as they filled the first two spots.
Dermot Weld’s charge has won convincingly himself since and Warnie should have more to come. He holds an entry in next month’s Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend and another step up will be needed here if that target is to come into focus.
7.25 Haydock – Alshinfarah @ 15/8
Alshinfarah made a winning start at Doncaster (7f, good) last month despite things not going ideally on the day for the well-backed favourite.
She had to work hard coming around rivals but ultimately was doing best at the line to get on top and there’s a strong chance she will improve significantly for that experience.
The form hasn’t got a strong look about it, but trainer Kevin Philippart De Foy has his team in superb order right now, boasting a 39 per-cent strike-rate with seven winners from 18 starters lately.
This daughter of Noble Mission must step up under a penalty now tackling male rivals for the first time, but it’s very likely she can do just that.