There are five race meetings taking place across the UK and Ireland on a busy Friday as the penultimate weekend of racing before the Cheltenham Festival looms large.
Jumps fare is from Doncaster (1.25-4.50) and Newbury (1.40-5.05), while there is all-weather action at Lingfield (1.15-4.40), Dundalk (4.55-8.30) and Newcastle (5.15-8.15).
Friday’s nap looks to have untapped potential over hurdles and has plenty going for her at Doncaster.
Horse racing predictions today – Doncaster and Newbury
Enda McElhinney’s picks for Friday are below. Scroll down to read the expert analysis behind them.
Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
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Horse racing predictions: Doncaster 3.45
It is a mild surprise to find the forecast market for this Virgin Bet EBF Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster over 2m 3½f has Ilovethenightlife inserted as the favourite ahead of MOVIDDY.
The former has shown some promise over timber, including a maiden win at Ffos Las in October, but unseated last month in a Wincanton novice after a bad blunder. Joe Tizzard’s charge now has to put that behind her.
Moviddy, meanwhile, has just two starts behind her over hurdles. She was 25/1 on debut at Exeter (2m 2½f, good) in November and ran well behind the front pair – form that looks solid in the context of this race.
Since then, the Urban Poet mare has been to Lingfield last month and justified some market support in good style, pulling readily clear despite some early keenness. She has scope for better and can lead home her younger rival en route to doubling her tally over timber.
Selection: Moviddy @ SP with Sky Bet
Horse racing predictions: Doncaster 4.50
Not dissimilarly, it is going to be intriguing to see how the market judges the claims of AILES D’AMOUR and Seigneur Des As for this Virgin Bet Daily Price Boosts Novices’ Handicap Hurdle over the extended three miles in the Town Moor finale.
They are forecast to share the favourite berth, or close to that, but Ian Williams’s charge makes a far stronger appeal in that case.
Seigneur Des As won at Ludlow over fences nine days ago and should make a bold attempt back over timber, but even allowing for Bradley Harris’s claim he is giving plenty of weight to the selection.
Ailes D’amour is unexposed over this sort of staying trip and was a good winner over 3m 2f at Warwick recently. That came in a “Hands & Heels” Handicap Hurdle for conditionals/amateur riders, so he can race off an unchanged mark now. He can make it two wins in a week.
Selection: Ailes D’amour @ SP with Sky Bet
Horse racing predictions: Newbury 4.30
The West Berkshire Mencap Handicap Chase at Newbury looks like a good opportunity for GALLIC GEORDIE to get his head in front after some near misses this season.
He won three on the trot between November and December 2021 and has held his form together quite well in six runs since. This season he has had runner-up finishes at Lingfield and here over course and distance, either side of a late fall at the former track when still right in contention.
The New Year’s Eve race he ran here was a stronger event on paper, and the third home has won both starts since. The handicapper has put Gallic Geordie up 2lb for that silver medal, but a repeat showing may be good enough to see him upgraded on the podium now.
Selection: Gallic Geordie @ SP with Sky Bet