Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips for Friday’s racing coming your way from Cheltenham, Doncaster, Newcastle and Wolverhampton on 17 November 2023.
Race 1 No3 DOUGHMORE BAY (Each Way)
Trainer: Emma Lavelle – Jockey: Joe Anderson
This competitive opener could go to one of the novices, with DOUGHMORE BAY marginally preferred to Gentle And Kind. The selection makes just a third outing under Rules, having scored on his jumps debut at Worcester before finishing second on his latest start at the same venue. Gentle And Kind has a similar profile from her exploits in Ireland, and having converted at Tramore should have more to give for Henry de Bromhead.
Race 3 No2 JPR ONE
Trainer: Joe Tizzard – Jockey: Brendan Powell
If the Tizzard’s have an ace in their pack it could easily be JPR ONE, who put in a tidy performance when seeing a fences for the first time in public at Newton Abbot. The former smart novice and handicap hurdler derived plenty of confidence from that faultless display and is ready for this step up in grade.
Race 4 No2 DELTA WORK (Nap)
Trainer: Gordon Elliott – Jockey: Keith Donoghue
Galvin and DELTA WORK give Elliott a very strong hand in this cross-country race which is the visual highlight of the first day of the meeting. Delta Work is a dual scorer on the infield course, both triumphs coming at the Festival, and though facing both old adversaries and new is very much the one to beat. He’s beaten Galvin round here and can confirm his superiority whilst fending off the potentially strong challenge of Latenightpass, to whom he has to concede 22lbs.
Race 6 No2 IMPOSE TOI
Trainer: Nicky Henderson – Jockey: Nico de Boinville
IMPOSE TOI brings strong form to the table in the colours of JP McManus. His only defeat in three over hurdles came at the hooves of Brentford Hope who has boosted the form. He converted what was a penalty kick at Ludlow and carries a stack of potential into his first handicap assignment. A saver is recommended on MR MACKAY, who was out of his depth in a conditions hurdle here but can operate effectively now in calmer waters.
Race 3 No1 EASTER JUNCTION (Nap)
Trainer: Donald McCain Jnr – Jockey: Brian Hughes
Former Irish pointer EASTER JUNCTION hasn’t cut the mustard since being switched to hurdles but should have learned from those defeats at Bangor and Sedgefield. In the colours of the Noel Fehily Syndicate he can repair the damage at the main expense of hat-trick seeker Inoui Machin.
Race 4 No1 JOBESGREEN LAD
Trainer: Tom George – Jockey: Jonathan Burke
The strong travelling JOBESGREEN LAD lacks the benefit of a recent outing but could be sufficiently forward to get the job done. In a proper winter campaign last season he scored at Hereford and Ludlow this side of Christmas. He also troubled the judge when returning to those courses for his final two starts, and as an eight-year-old still has room for progression.
Race 7 No6 WELCOME DREAM (Nap)
Trainer: Kevin Ryan – Jockey: Tom Eaves
The unraced Ten Dimes brings a lovely plebe of speed and stamina into the equation but could find WELCOME DREAM too hot to handle. The selection has twice claimed a cheque in three career outings including when beaten a whisker by Alaskan Gold at Carlisle. He’s worked well on an all-weather surface at home.
Race 8 No3 UPPER HAND
Trainer: John Butler – Jockey: Luke Morris
UPPER HAND possibly wasn’t suited by the sprint trip when beaten at Chelmsford and should prove more effective over seven furlongs. He’s looked a different horse since engaging in handicaps and has more going for him than most in this bottom grade nursery.
Race 3 No1 TIMELESS CHARM (Nap)
Trainer: George Boughey – Jockey: Billy Loughnane
TIMELESS CHARM absolutely bolted up on her Kempton introduction in which she stretched six lengths clear in the home straight. The daughter of Nathaniel is impossible to oppose switching from Polytrack to Tapeta, and should make no mistake.
Race 6 No3 SUN FESTIVAL
Trainer: Joseph Parr – Jockey: Rossa Ryan
With figures of 134122 SUN FESTIVAL is one you can’t kick out of the money. He’s back for more off the same rating as when second over this course and distance last time, and has the added benefit of Rossa Ryan in his saddle.
Race 7 No3 POWER OF DARKNESS (Each Way)
Trainer: Charlie Fellowes – Jockey: Mikkel Mortensen
Though he’s been round the block a couple of times, POWER OF DARKNESS has shown on his last three starts that he’s far from finished. The eight-year-old made a valiant attempt to lead throughout here, and now competes off the same mark. Importantly, he doesn’t have to go to the front, and his chance might improve of he can tuck in through the early stages.