Our racing expert marks your card for Friday's action.
Faugheen is the star turn on show at Leopardstown this afternoon and he looks to face a very easy task in the Grade 1 Ryanair Hurdle, for which he’s no bigger than 1/5.
We can let him win at that price and with a doubt hanging over the sole domestic jumps card at Doncaster – the track must pass a 7.00am inspection – I’m turning to the all-weather fare at Southwell for today’s betting fix.
There is a seven-race card on offer starting off at 12.15pm with a 1m nursery, in which MR CARBONATOR is taken to confirm recent course and distance form with Medici Oro and reward favourite backers. The pair were separated by just half a length on that occasion with a big gap back to the third and while the runner-up enjoys a big pull at the weights, the winner/selection was value for more than the official winning margin as he was hampered on the bend from his wide draw and had to be delivered late.
His form tailed off on turf after a run of three placed efforts during July/August, which were following a gelding operation, and the son of Bated Breath should have more to offer on this surface. He’s also reunited with Jamie Gormley who gave him a good ride last time and whose 5lb claim comes in handy.
I’m happy to wait until the Betway Sprint Classified Stakes (due off 3.00pm) for the second selection in the shape of Richard Fahey’s SCOTCH MYST, who is a very backable 7/2. That seems a perfectly fair price given he’s the joint-top rated runner in the race (along with Dusty Bin) and caught the eye last at Wolverhampton 16 days ago when running on steadily into fourth without being a hard time by his claiming rider.
Jack Garrity takes over on him this afternoon and the return to Southwell is another thing in his favour as he’s 1-3 here with the victory coming over today’s distance off a 1lb higher mark than today’s. He has finished second and third on the other two occasions he has raced on Fibresand, so this surface clearly brings out the best in him, and his in-form trainer looks to have found him a good opportunity against mainly inferior rivals to double his tally.
All odds were correct at time of posting.