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Looking for non-Cheltenham betting tips? Get our best bets for Thursday's racing

Brian Healy 14 Mar 2019
All eyes are at Cheltenham for day three of the Festival, but there is racing elsewhere in the UK including at Hexham. (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets across Thursday's UK horse racing meetings, including day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

Thursday takes in a further four UK horse racing fixtures, and day three of the Cheltenham Festival features the Stayers’ Hurdle as the highlight of the afternoon. 

There is also jumps racing from Market Rasen and Hexham, while Southwell are racing on their all-weather surface with their first ever floodlit meeting.

Cheltenham (jumps) - 1.30 - 5.30pm (7 races)
Market Rasen (jumps) - 1.45 - 5.40pm (7 races)
Hexham (jumps) - 1.55 - 5.50pm (7 races)
Southwell (flat, aw) - 5.55 - 8.30pm (6 races)

THURSDAY 14 MARCH NAP SELECTION



CHELTENHAM


(2.10) Ian Williams’ FIRST ASSIGNMENT (11/1, Unibet) has some very good form to his name over timber, winning three times in all from eight starts with successes at Huntingdon last January, and then returning from almost eight months off the track to register further wins here which include in a Listed contest back in November where he ran out a nine lengths’ winner over Boyhood.

The Vinnie Roe gelding was quickly turned out just seven days later to contest the Grade Three Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock, where he eventually finished third having been run down late by Paisley Park and possibly just feeling that effort coming too soon.

That form has been significantly franked by the exploits of the winner who has won both the Long Walk Hurdle and the Cleeve Huhrdle since; as well as the runner-up who won the Rendlesham Hurdle next time out.

Williams’ charge produced another solid effort to finish third over a longer trip behind Keeper Hill at Warwick when last seen, giving the winner 8lbs; whilst the runner-up from that contest has won since to further boost his lines of form. 

As a result, he remains fairly treated off a mark of 142 coming into this contest, and he has been given a breather since his last outing so he could well have better to come. 

Trip and ground are no problem, although arguably his best form has come on a better surface; but he is 2-2 at Cheltenham and he can continue to give a good account of himself from this workable mark.

Monalee can win the Ryanair Chase for Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead.


(5.30) ITS ALL GUESSWORK (9/1, Coral) carries the same colours as last year’s runner-up Mall Dini, but Gordon Elliott’s charge could go one place better than that one, and the Mahler gelding ought to go close here.

A very useful hurdler, winning at Bellewstown and making the frame in starts at Galway and Kilbeggan as well as here behind Brillare Momento, the Mahler gelding has taken well to the larger obstacles and he has shown good form over fences where he has only once finished outside the frame. 

Third on his chase debut behind Minella Beau, he collected back-to-back silver medals at Kilbeggan and Listowel prior to winning at Navan in September where he ran out a six lengths’ victor over Rueben James; and he looked set to go close when falling at the last in the Munster National when still travelling well enough .

Given a break on the back of that mishap, he showed no ill effects to quickly bounce back with a good third over hurdles at Punchestown following four months off where he finished eight lengths’ third behind Cap York. 

He caught the eye with the way he travelled into the race, but late mistakes robbed him of valuable momentum and probably a winning chance, although he finished to good effect.

Returning back over fences here, he could build on that outing to go close under top amatuer Barry O’Neil.

1.30 - Lostintranslation
2.10 - First Assignment
2.50 - Monalee
3.30 - Black Op
4.10 - Azzerti
4.50 - Epatante
5.30 - It’s All Guesswork

MARKET RASEN


(2.25) MUSICAL SLAVE (3/1, William Hill) has shown up better than the bare form of her three starts over hurdles to date might suggest, and Philip Hobbs’ charge can get off the mark here.

The Getaway gelding showed softer conditions to be no issue when finishing sixth to the smart Getaway Trump at Exeter back in December, and he followed up with a good fifth to Colonel Custard at Ffos Las latest in January.

The could be better to come from him now he switches to the handicap ranks, and this opening rating doesn’t look unduly harsh on his runs to date; he can take another forward step and no surprise if he opens his account now.

(3.05) LORD GETAWAY (5/2, Paddy Power) was a winner between the flags, but his hurdles form left something to be desired and he largely struggled over timber aside from the odd decent finish.

However, the Getaway gelding took a big step forward when scoring on his chase debut at Huntingdon in December, and that confidence-restoring win saw him follow up readily back over the smaller obstacles at Uttoxeter later in the same month.

James Evans’ charge was set to go close at Carlisle latest when falling at the last, holding every chance when he departed; but with the potential to improve further over the larger obstacles he could still be ahead of his mark having been pushed up 2lbs in the weights, and he could quickly get back on track.

1.45 - Mega Yeats
2.25 - Musical Slave
3.05 - Lord Getaway
3.45 - Indian Reel
4.25 - Jurys Out
5.05 - Compadre
5.40 - O’Connell Street

Ruth Jefferson can saddle a winner on Thursday's card at Market Rasen.


HEXHAM


(2.35) MCGINTYS DREAM (9/4, William Hill) arrives here in search of a hat-trick of wins having won his last two starts here and at Ayr, and Nicky Alexander’s Flemensfirth gelding can land the three-timer.

The eight-year old has proven well-suited by a softer surface, finding only Inchcolm too strong by a neck at this venue in December prior to going one better from out of the weights back here eight days later.

He subsequently returned from a short break to see off So Satisfied at Ayr, jumping and travelling strongly and appearing to win with something in hand. He looks an improving sort, and while this is a considerably tougher ask from 13lbs higher in the weights he ought to remain competitive and can land his hat-trick of successes.

(4.35) PRINCESS MONONOKE (4/1, BetVictor) won three times over hurdles last term, scoring success at Sedgefield twice and Perth, all on testing ground; Donald McCain’s charge subsequently returned from seven months off to post a highly creditable third behind Hidden Dilemma at Carlisle back in December.

The Oscar mare has been absent again since, but she features here on a workable handicap mark and could still have better to come. 

Runner-up in this race twelve months ago, she won’t be fazed dropping back to this trip and a useful claimer takes 10lb off his back. He is proven in these conditions and he ought to go close if none the worse for his latest absence. 

1.55 - Lord Yeats
2.35 - McGintys Dream
3.15 - Broadway Belle
3.55 - Court Frontier
4.35 - Princess Mononoke
5.15 - Ringaringarosie
5.50 - Whispering Affair

SOUTHWELL


(6.30) FAIR ALIBI (7/4, Bet365) showed little in two starts on turf towards the end of 2018, but the Paco Boy gelding took a big step forward switched to this surface and dropped to five furlongs last month with a win over So Hi Speed.

Tom Tate’s charge had one length to spare, running on well to lead close home; switching now to a handicap he could feature on a potentially lenient mark on his debut in this sphere, an d he could have more to come. 

While this is a tougher ask, he looks sure to remain competitive off this opening rating and he can follow up.

Southwell are racing on their fibresand surface on Thursday evening.


(7.00) TATHMEEN (10/1, William Hill) has won two of his last three starts, and Anthony Brittain’s charge could add another success to his tally.

The Exceed and Excel gelding had a neck to spare over Archimedes at Newcastle back in January, after which he wasn’t beaten far back there the following month when going down by less than one length behind Jan Van Hoof.

The four-year old quickly resumed winning ways at Wolverhampton latest, beating Amazing Grazing by three-parts of a length, and if able to reproduce a similar effort on this surface then he could follow up from just 3lbs higher.

5.55 - Essential
6.30 - Fair Alibi
7.00 - Tathmeen
7.30 - Creek Island
8.00 - Galileo’s Spear
8.30 - Baron Run


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Looking for non-Cheltenham betting tips? Get our best bets for Thursday's racing

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets across Thursday's UK horse racing meetings, including day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

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