Nothing to write home about yesterday - an early non-runner and then it went decidedly downhill at Dundalk. In a separate piece I tipped up a nice 5/2 scorer at Wetherby but all eyes are now on today's selections.
National Hunt fare dominates, with meetings at Thurles in Ireland; and Musselburgh, Taunton and Lingfield in the UK. Enjoy your sport on this chilly old day.
Prices can of course 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 were successful, would return around £319 for your total £7.50 stake.
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13.15 Thurles - Dundaniel @ 11/4
An 8-yr-old that's turned fairly late to racing under rules, after a successful time in points. He then took a maiden hunter chase before joining the pro ranks as it were.
Last time out at Cork he got to within 3+ lengths of the 128-rated Percy Warner. Having been reassessed, the winner is now on 133. This is a far more modest contest, and the selection finds himself carrying topweight of 12st; but in the context of this company he's earned it in my book.
A reproduction of Cork can suffice very nicely.
13.35 Musselburgh - Nowinittowinit @ 7/2
Stuart Crawford trains this 7-yr-old daughter of Flemensfirth in County Antrim, and she arrives following a thumping success at Perth - but that was back in May.
The stable has had a couple of winners in the last few weeks so we'll hope she's cherry-ripe for this Scottish raid. Nowinittowinit improved rapidly last spring and could be in for a very fruitful season if consolidating that improvement, or even continuing it. Gets a nice chunk of weight from likely fav Autumn Return, too.
14.10 Musselburgh - Scots Poet @ 5/1
A course-and-distance scorer, a gelded son of the great Yeats, and takes a slight drop in class after an excellent close-up run three weeks ago. What's not to like?
Scots Poet is an experienced 7-yr-old handicap hurdler who has really blossomed in 2023. He began the year in Feb racing off 95, and finds himself on 104 today - but only up a pound from that last excellent showing on this very track. Craig Nicholl rides, Ewan Whillans trains. Great chance.
15.00 Thurles - Daddy Long Legs @ 6/4
Time to blindly put our faith in the greatest National Hunt trainer who has ever lived, in my humble opinion. Willie Mullins is that gentleman, and Daddy Long Legs is the horse.
This is a maiden hurdle, and the horse is owned by Mrs Donnelly, of Shishkin, State Man and countless others fame. The horse had one spin in France on the flat in May '22, was gelded in the October, and transferred to Willie's care at the beginning of this month.
He has a Grade 1 entry over Xmas at Leopardstown, which I'm taking as a massive positive. Today is his first day at hurdling school, but I'm sure the engine is there and he couldn't be in better hands.
Lucky 15 tips, from Betfred Insights