Friday All-Weather Feast & a 17/1 Treble

Horses coming out of the mist in the last race at Newcastle, 18/10/19

We’re treated to some of the best days of the National Hunt season this weekend. The Dublin Racing Festival from Leopardstown features eight Grade Ones, there’s top level racing from Sandown with the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase and Musselburgh and Wetherby compliment the action on ITV.

We haven’t neglected the All-Weather though. There’s three meetings this Friday on the sand from Dundalk, Lingfield and Newcastle. Here’s a 17/1 treble of eye-catching runners. Be sure to check out our tips and analysis over the weekend, as well as our Free Bets.

Course Specialist

EL GHAZWANI has won four of his sixteen career starts. Those successes have all come at Lingfield from just five starts at the track. He defied a mark of 77 on his handicap debut in 2018 before two wins in the spring of 2019. An impressive winner on his return in March, he beat the re-opposing Mythical Madness by a neck from a mark of 90 the next month.

Raced six times elsewhere subsequently, he was sent off the short price favourite over course and distance at Lingfield in November. He could only finish sixth there, but he was struck into by another rival.

Hugo Palmers’s charge made amends three weeks later when defying top weight in cosy fashion. Despite being nudged up four pounds for that success, he remains a pound lower than when scoring here in April. Still well treated and absolutely prolific at this venue, he makes plenty of appeal.

Top Jockey

No rider has started the year in better form than Ben Curtis, who’s already ridden thirty three winners. The All-Weather has been kind to him in January, including Newcastle where he’s partnered six horses to victory from just twenty-seven mounts. He rode the most winners there in 2019 with twenty-three, and looks likely to achieve the same feat this season.

He heads up north for five mounts on Friday, with the most likely winner of those looking to be MATEWAN. Trained by Ian Williams, the gelding has finished second in four All-Weather starts this winter, beaten a nose and a neck in both previous runs on Tapeta.

The five-year-old pulled clear with a very well treated rival at Wolverhampton last time under Curtis, headed in the dying stages. That represented a clear career best effort, but the handicapper has only nudged him up a pound. He stands a great chance of going one better.

Top Trainer

Whether it’s on the turf, the All-Weather or over obstacles, Joseph O’Brien is never far away from the winners’ enclosure. He’s achieved plenty in his short training career, including having the most winners at Dundalk in 2019 with twenty-four. It’s been a productive start to the season, with four of his nineteen runners landing the odds at the track.

His MR MOOJ ran a hugely eye-catching race on debut over the course and distance three weeks ago. Sent off 16/1, he made late headway to eventually finish fifth despite meeting trouble at a crucial moment. The son of Camelot showed plenty of inexperience there, so it’s an effort that’s worth upgrading.

With that run under his belt, he looks sure to post an improved showing. This is a very weak mile contest, with the gelding having the second highest RPR of any of the fourteen runners. With that rival having to prove his fitness today, the youngster could enhance his yard’s already impressive record at the track.

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