It’s an exciting day on the racing front in Britain and Ireland, headlined by day one of Newmarket’s Future Champions Festival, which includes the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile.
Joining Newmarket on the flat will be York, as they start their two-day season finale, as well as Friday Night Lights action from Newcastle and Dundalk – while a new season of jumps racing starts at Chepstow, with the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle is the feature on Friday afternoon.
Our fancies include one for Ollie Sangster and Tom Marquand in the big race at Newmarket.
13:35 Chepstow – Aye Right @ 7/2
A certain sign that the National Hunt season is awaking from summer slumber is the two-day Chepstow meeting that takes places on Friday and Saturday.
Some quality action from the Monmouthshire venue and a meeting the likes of champion trainer Paul Nicholls loves to target.
He sends out Champion Bumper third Captain Teague in the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle (14:10), but ahead of that look out for Aye Right in the opening Veterans’ Handicap Chase over just shy of three-miles.
He has top-weight on his first start in this company and, while winless last season, he was running in strong company in those four runs and certainly wasn’t disgracing himself.
He has a fine record when fresh and is on a very workable mark now moving into veterans’ company. He is taken to score from the front under Ryan Mania in what is Betfred Free Bet if 2nd contest at Chepstow.
16:10 Newmarket – Shuwari @ 9/4
Ollie Sangster has a quality filly on his hands in Shuwari and, despite losing her unbeaten in the Group 2 Rockfel over course and distance a fortnight ago, the New Bay filly may get right back on track by landing the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket this afternoon.
She impressed on second start, making it 2-2 as she defeated subsequent Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Fallen Angel at Sandown in their Listed Star Stakes in July.
That’s a strong piece of form and, coming as it did on soft ground, the forecast rain for Newmarket today won’t be a worry.
The Rockfel didn’t pan out anything like ideally. She was too far back early on in a race in which the winner was always handy and, thus, gathered a key tactical advantage. She did well in the circumstances to get up for second ahead of today’s rival Ylang Ylang.
Shuwari is likely to be closer to the action now and the extra furlong will help. As short as 7/4 when the market opened, the current 9/4 on offer for her to get back to winning ways looks more than fair.
20:00 Newcastle – Top Gun Tina @ 14/1
There might be some each-way value in siding with Top Gun Tina for trainer David Thompson as the Mondialiste filly makes her handicap bow at Newcastle this evening.
She’s had her three qualifying runs for this and the middle effort saw her beaten four-lengths when third in a C&D novice contest in early September.
The 70-rated winner made all and won easily for the Archie Watson team, but, having been reluctant to go in the starting gates and slow to come out, Top Gun Tina ran on with some promise for a never-nearer third at the line.
Turf runs at Doncaster and Thirsk flanked that run and weren’t anywhere near as promising but an opening mark of just 55 is the result ahead of this Class 6 contest and she’s further assisted by Aiden Brookes taking off 5lb in the saddle for this Northumbria Leisure Handicap.
She is on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder for today’s racing and could well outrun a big price.