There is lots of racing action in store across Britain and Ireland on Friday, including the return off all-weather fare following a short absence.
There are five meetings in total, with jumps action from Musselburgh, Newbury and Hereford preceding the all-weather action from Dundalk and Newcastle in the evening.
Amongst our Friday fancies is an improving Irish mare heading for a big afternoon at Musselburgh.
- Musselburgh 1.50 – Maimie’s Magic @ 4/1
- Musselburgh 3.30 – Ivetwiggedit @ 2/1
- Hereford 2.50 – Kestrel Valley @ 6/4
The Mares’ Hurdle Series Final is one of the excellent races on offer at Musselburgh on Friday afternoon, with a field of 11 set to engage in battle over the near two-and-a-half-mile distance.
It’s also a Betfred Super Extra Place Race (four places) and Irish raider MAIMIE’S MAGIC (4/1) looks a key player for the Stuart Crawford team.
The lightly-raced sort took a major step forward when scoring at Kelso (2m2f, heavy) on her handicap bow in December at odds of 33/1.
She has followed that up with another success at Newcastle (2m1f, soft) in January and a 5lb rise for that looks tolerable with JJ Slevin crossing the Irish Sea to maintain the partnership.
Phil Kirby’s Lone Star is bidding to complete a four-timer after her facile C&D success three weeks ago, but the handicapper has put her up 10lb and she’s giving plenty of weight to the improving Irish raider.
Later on the same Musselburgh card, look out for progressive mare IVETWIGGEDIT (2/1) for trainer Tom Lacey in the Go North Sea Pigeon Hurdle Series Final (3.30).
Her form in four starts in bumper/novice hurdles company for Ben Pauling in late 2021/early 2022 didn’t amount to a lot, but she returned from 382 days off and looked a different proposition when scoring at Doncaster (2m½f, good) on stable bow last month, off a lowly opening mark of 77.
Cameron Iles was on board in that Conditional Jockeys’ contest and has been retained for the wins at Newcastle (2m1f, good) and Wincanton (1m7f, good) since.
She cleared away from the field on the bridle last time at Gosforth Park and it looks unlikely her latest 7lb rise (now rated 101) will prove enough to thwart the four-timer.
She continues to be aided by her riders’ 10lb claim and is fancied to justify her spot on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder for Friday’s racing action.
It’s been a good month or so for trainer Kerry Lee, despite failing to get a runner to the Cheltenham Festival. She’s enjoyed three winners from her last six starters this calendar month, while dating back to early February, it’s an impressive 6-15 strike-rate for the yard.
Amongst those winners was KESTREL VALLEY (6/4), the mare having made a successful stable bow at Ludlow (3m, good) in early March, scoring decisively after the market spoke strongly in her favour.
She is worse off on these terms with runner-up Born At Midnight but, up to a mark of 87, this mare can have strong hopes of going in again give she was a hurdles winner off 98 at her best when trained by Stan Sheppard.
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