Neil Morrice shares all of his best bets and tips for Monday’s racing coming your way from Plumpton, Catterick and Wolverhampton on 12 February 2024.
Race 2 No2 PRINCE QUALI
Trainer: Robert Walford – Jockey: Harry Kimber
PRINCE QUALI was a three-time scorer for a top yard in France before joining his current trainer. Equipped with a hood, he signalled when returned to fences and finishing second to Fast Buck at Wincanton that he can soon open his UK account.
Race 3 No3 HMS PRESIDENT
Trainer: Alan King – Jockey: Tom Cannon
The best jumps form in this maiden hurdle belongs to locally-trained Koenigsstern who looks sure to go well but HMS PRESIDENT may have his measure. The seven-year-old had a habit of finding one to beat him on the Flat but was on the mark at Newmarket in the spring, showing his liking for plenty of cut in the ground on that occasion. He is a strong stayer, and can deliver on this belated first outing over jumps.
Race 4 No4 BALLYBEEN
Trainer: Sam Thomas – Jockey: Charlie Deutsch
BALLYBEEN has managed to finish second in five of his seven starts over fences and third in the other two. That is a good earning record, and though it raises doubts about his resolve he can put the record straight with a belated success under Rules on his first visit to this course.
Race 6 No3 GEARING’S POINT (Nap)
Trainer: Sheena West – Jockey: Marc Goldstein
GEARING’S POINT catches the eye on her handicap hurdle debut, and only third outing over jumps. A winner on the all-weather who completed a fine hat-trick on turf in the summer, she showed a liking for this course when third to Junkanoo at the end of January and can prove a bet worth waiting for.
Race 1 No3 PICKSNUMBER
Trainer: Olly Murphy – Jockey: Sean Bowen
Bowen is clinging on to the lead in the race for the jockeys’ title and can put another winner on the board courtesy of PICKSNUMBER, who having finished second in a maiden hurdle at Wexford makes his debut for a very much in-form stable that does well with its runners here.
Race 5 No1 HOLLY (Nap)
Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill – Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr
The free-running For Pleasure defends a two-race unbeaten record for his trainer but may have problems coping with another recent scorer in HOLLY. The seven-year-old sprang a 16-1 surprise with an emphatic delivery at Market Rasen, and though the assessor has had his say the mare is strongly fancied to follow up.
Race 2 No10 BIG NARSTIE
Trainer: Mike Appleby – Jockey: Luke Morris
BIG NARSTIE brings solid form to the table and is well-drawn for this race around a lap of the Dunstall Park track. He started favourite for each of his three runs in January, sandwiching a success over tonight’s course and distance with a couple of near misses at Southwell. A return to this venue can contribute to him getting back to winning ways.
Race 4 No4 ETRETAT (Nap)
Trainer: Charlie Johnston – Jockey: Joe Fanning
ETRETAT is unexposed on handicap debut in this three-year-old-only handicap. He showed ability on his last two outings on turf and has worked well on an all-weather facility at home. His stable do well with horses of his ilk, though market support for him would increase confidence.
Race 5 No4 TIGER BEETLE (Each Way)
Trainer: Mark Rimell – Jockey: Rob Hornby
TIGER BEETLE wasn’t able to back up a good first run of 2024 when out of the money at Southwell, though he was beaten just three and a half lengths and now drops two rungs down the class ladder. The Camelot gelding can play a part in this, and rates an attractive win and place betting opportunity.