Wetherby Tips: Diamond Ri can shine bright in Friday’s finale

US Horse Racing Tips: Extra Place Race Picks for August 17

The two-day Charlie Hall Meeting at Wetherby begins on Friday with a seven-race card that runs from 12:40-16:10.

I’ve got a couple of tips for the afternoon – including an exciting youngster who makes his hurdling debut in the finale.

13:50 – Casa Loupi @ 4/1

It’ll come as no surprise when I say it’s going to be testing at Wetherby on Friday – if it even goes ahead. It’s currently soft ground with further rain in the forecast, and staff at the Yorkshire venue are monitoring the situation.

Conditions should be no bother for Casa Loupi, who is my fancy for this 0-140 handicap hurdle over two miles.

Gary Moore’s six-year-old hasn’t jumped a hurdle in public since October 2021, when well-beaten in a competitive handicap at Chepstow. That was off a mark of 131, which has been lowered by a whopping eight pounds.

That seems rather generous, even considering the lay-off. The selection had a run on the flat back in May and, at least relative to his most recent efforts on the level, he looks to have retained his ability, so he can hopefully make the most of this new rating.

The gelding hasn’t been seen since, so fitness concerns remain, but given the above he’s well worth chancing at the current price.

16:10 – Diamond Ri @ 13/8

The “exciting youngster” I referred to earlier is Joe Tizzard’s Diamond Ri, who goes in the lucky last – a novices’ hurdle over a couple of miles.

He looked a horse of immense potential when bolting up by 13L in a bumper at Warwick back in March, and he’s been the subject of some rave reviews heading into this season.

Tizzard says the four-year-old, who “is doing things that a lot of our horses don’t do”, has “all the potential in the world” and is “potentially my next Graded horse”. He’s even gone as far as suggesting that he “could possibly be a Tolworth horse or he could be one for the Challow.” As I said, rave reviews.

They don’t always back it up on the track, of course, but this looks a classy individual who ought to be winning this if he’s to tackle such targets in the near future.

His claims become even stronger when you consider Asta La Pasta is carrying a six-pound penalty for an ordinary win the last day and Realisation will likely be pulled having been engaged at Stratford on Thursday.

Little Miss Dante is interesting, but I expect the selection to have too much for her and the rest of this 18-strong field.