Friday Lucky 15 Tips: El Elefante can stamp authority on Ayr contest

 | March 07 | 

4 mins read

Ayr scaled

There's lots of racing in the UK and Ireland on Friday, with five meetings taking place across a busy day.

Jumps fare comes from Ayr (14:00-16:30), Exeter (13:40-16:10) and Leicester (14:20-16:50) in the afternoon before the Friday night lights come on at Dundalk (16:40-20:15) and Newcastle (17:00-2030) for some all-weather action to kick-start the weekend.

With lots of racing ahead, we've selected a Lucky15 for consideration across Friday's cards that might provide a timely pre-Cheltenham boost to the wallets.

Lucky 15 Tips - Friday, March 8

  • 14:10 Exeter – Donnacha @ 11/4
  • 16:30 Ayr - El Elefante @ 4/5
  • 17:30 Newcastle – Westmorian @ 7/2
  • 19:15 Dundalk – Ransom @ 6/1

14:10 Exeter – Donnacha @ 11/4

Recent course and distance winner Spirits Bay may prove popular for Nigel Twiston-Davies but he had to work hard enough to justify cramped odds last time and DONNACHA can give him plenty to think about for trainer Nigel Hawke.

He's got hurdles wins at Chepstow (2m, good to soft) and Warwick (2m, soft) already this season and ran well in a couple of decent handicaps around Cheltenham in November and December in between those victories, placing in both instances.

He tackled the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last time out but was well held in midpack. The very testing ground may not have helped there either and he should appreciate this slightly better surface. This is a drop in class and he can put his experience to good use.

16:30 Ayr - El Elefante @ 4/5

Looking at the Ayr finale, the EBF Mares' 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle appears a really positive opening for EL ELEFANTE to get back to winning ways for in-form trainer Lucinda Russell.

An easy winner of two bumpers in Scotland last spring after joining this yard having finished second on her sole Irish point start, she made a good introduction to hurdling at Perth (2m4f, good) in September with a dominant front-running win.

She wasn't disgraced next time in a decent Cheltenham novice and then finished fourth in Listed company at Haydock, while her most recent outing was a Doncaster Grade 2 won by unbeaten Supreme Novices' Hurdle contender Jeriko Du Reponet.

That latest form is strong – the second and third were the first two home in the Grade 2 Dovecote at Kempton next time – and this mare now drops markedly in class, while the return to this longer trip can only be a positive.

17:30 Newcastle – Westmorian @ 7/2

A course and distance winner in December 2022, following on from a 5f Southwell maiden win, WESTMORIAN toiled from ratings in the high 70s during 2023 on both all-weather and turf surfaces in six appearances.

He's already had three starts since the turn of the year and the best of those came here three weeks ago when finishing third. He was a long way clear of the fourth and that race has thrown up a next-time-out winner already.

Westmorian looks ready to strike again soon and has only inched up 1lb in the ratings for that near miss. One More Dream scored here earlier in the week but has to contend with a 5lb penalty and a quick turnaround now.

19:15 Dundalk – Ransom @ 6/1

RANSOM won a course and distance claimer last month before leaving Denis Hogan for pastures new. He turned up back here last Friday night over 7f and was never able to get into the contest having been out the back early on, over a trip shorter than optimal.

All three of his Dundalk wins have come at this distance and he's not badly treated off this mark of 79 on his return to a mile sporting a first-time hood.

Luke McAteer takes over in the plate and, if he can get Ransom closer to the early pace, a big run should be forthcoming.

This is an example of how to put together a Lucky 15 - if you can improve upon my selections (of course you can), then go for it!

The odds can fluctuate between publishing our pieces and race-time. As a guide, a £0.50p win Lucky 15 on today's selections, at the prices, and assuming all four won, would return around £600 for your total £7.50 stake.

Popular legend confirms that Fred, 'The Bonus King,' invented the 'Lucky' series of bets and their bonuses. Want the lowdown - all the ins and outs? My colleague Adam has set out all you need to know with this handy guide - take a look by clicking here.

Lucky 15 tips from Betfred Insights.

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