Thursday’s UK racing tips come your way from meetings at Huntingdon and Lingfield on 8 February 2024.
Race 2 – GOBLET OF FIRE 2/1
Nicky Henderson has a likely type in GOBLET OF FIRE, who contests the Mulberry Developments Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
He made the leap from an initial fourth to win at Hereford last month, accounting for Maasai Mara by two and a quarter lengths, with that one subsequently boosting the form with a cosy Catterick triumph last week.
His four-year-old weight allowance could prove very handy here.
Race 4- JANGO BAIE 83/100
JANGO BAIE can rubber-stamp his Cheltenham Festival ticket with victory in The M1 Agency Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle among a small field.
The five-year-old has won each of his two starts under rules for Henderson, claiming a nose victory over Tellherthename on his initial start at Ascot in November before powering to Grade One glory in the Formby Novices’ Hurdle – formerly known as the Tolworth – at Aintree on Boxing Day.
He may have enjoyed a slice of fortune in that Farren Glory fell when still travelling well at the penultimate flight, but there could be little arguing with the way he stayed on resolutely on very testing ground for a near three-length verdict.
The Listed race sees Jango Baie step up to just short of two and a half miles for the first time, but he finished a fine second over that sort of trip in the point-to-point field, chasing home well-regarded fellow Festival hope No Flies On Him.
Henderson’s runner must also should a 5lb penalty dropping back to Listed company, but he remains clear on the ratings and certainly does not appear to have reached the end of his ability yet.
Race 5 – URBAN SOLDIER 2/1
URBAN SOLDIER showed plenty of ability at Doncaster in December when third attempting a 3m novices handicap hurdle. Open to further improvement and rates a serious player.
Barricane won at Uttoxeter two runs ago tackling this handicap hurdle grade over 2m6f on heavy ground and may go close again.
Spitalfield produced a decent fourth in a 2m3f handicap hurdle at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. One to note after some fair efforts this season.
Race 7 – DUNKSAY 9/4
DUNKSAY won on debut in November in a 2m1f jumpers flat race at Exeter before running downfield among Listed company at Ascot.
This is an easier contest and the Ben Pauling-trained five-year-old can bounce back with Harry Cobden on board.
Absolutely Fine represents a notable stable and profiles well and will be popular in the market.
Shy Love placed third tackling an Irish point-to-point last March and rates an interesting rules newcomer.
Race 2 – KINAKO MOCHI 5/4
KINAKO MOCHI chased home the ill-fated Hellfire Bay on her only start to date and she takes the eye returning from a lay off in the Win £2,000,000 With BetMGM’s Golden Goals Fillies’ Novice Stakes.
Beaten just over a length in second, four subsequent winners finished behind her that day, including the admirable Woodhay Wonder who went on to place at Group Two level and win two richly-endowed sales events.
A 350,000 guineas as a yearling, the Roger Varian-trained Kinako Mochi holds an Irish 1,000 Guineas entry and should be more than capable of winning something like this.
Race 3 – ALJARI 15/4
ALJARI can thrive for a return to seven furlongs in the Stay Golden With BetMGM Safer Gambling Handicap.
Tom Clover sent him over six for his first start of 2024 and while he kept on to be third, beaten just a length, he did not have that extra bit of sprinting pace on the all weather.
Moving back up looks a wise move off an unchanged mark of 88.
Race 5- BAILEYS WARRIOR 28/10
BAILEYS WARRIOR brings strong form from last month with a Wolverhampton second preceding another runner-up effort at Kempton tackling the trip seven days later.
Foinix ran well in a course and distance handicap finishing second among this company on Friday and holds every chance.
New York Bay won a 1m5f handicap at Chelmsford two runs ago and should go on the shortlist along with Triple Nickle.
Race 7 – NIGHT ON EARTH 17/10
NIGHT ON EARTH arrives in strong form following a course and distance handicap second beaten only a nose preceding a track and trip handicap success by 1L at this level last month.
Star Of Lady was a good second that day behind the main selection and could prove a danger again.
Harb ran well at this venue finishing behind the pair in the aforementioned handicap when third and should be on the shortlist too.
Level Up has been going nicely in recent attempts, so is worth a second look.