A busy Friday of racing action across Britain and Ireland encompasses no fewer than seven meetings and 51 races.
Flat racing comes from Bath, Goodwood and Haydock in the afternoon, before the Curragh and Pontefract take over later, with jumps meetings at Limerick and Worcester completing the line-up.
Our Friday fancies include triple course and distance winner Gustavus Weston bidding to take advantage of a reduced mark at the Curragh.
- Curragh 8.00 – Gustavus Weston @ 11/1
- Worcester 8.40 – Royal Max @ 10/3
- Goodwood 4.10 – Gregory @ 5/6
Some tough handicaps at the Curragh, where they get set for Irish Guineas Weekend with a Friday evening starter, and in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund ‘Habitat’ Handicap over six-furlongs it could pay to have GUSTAVUS WESTON (11/1) on side.
He is a three-time C&D winner and while those wins all came on more testing ground, he’s effective on the forecast faster surface too.
All of those Curragh successes came in group-race company but he generally struggled in the higher echelons last term.
His handicap mark has dipped now as a result and a valuable handicap could be within his reach. In this Betfred Extra Place Race (four places) he looks capable of a big showing in the hands of Gary Carroll.
Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville are noted this evening as they combine with a single runner on the card at Worcester.
ROYAL MAX (10/3) showed a modicum of promise in maiden hurdles at Ludlow and Wincanton in the spring, before a wide margin defeat at Kempton earlier this month in novice company.
That race has quickly worked out well and on the strength of it, he moves into handicaps off a lowly mark of 97 which he may well have the ability to exploit in what looks a weak closer at Worcester this evening.
John & Thady Gosden will saddle one-race winner GREGORY (5/6) in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood this afternoon and he looks capable of taking this quick rise in class in his stride.
Despite a slow start on debut at Haydock, he readily went by previous winners If Not Now and Knockbrex to make a winning start to his career last month. The third home won decisively next time in a Sandown handicap, while the runner-up ran well in a good contest at York’s Dante Meeting.
He’s got lots of potential and may provide the Gosden family with a sixth winner in this Goodwood contest.
Last-time-out winners Tempered Soul for George Boughey and once-raced Galileo colt Klondike for William Haggas are respected amongst the opposition, but Gregory can take out this Goodwood feature.
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