After all the drama and excitement of the Grand National at Aintree, where One For Arthur became just the second Scottish winner in history, this week’s action is slightly more lowkey, with meetings at Bath, Chelmsford and Newcastle gaining the majority of the attention among both bookmakers and punters. There are a whole host of high quality races to look forward to, with the Betway Handicap, Bathwick Tyres Handicap & Dribuild Handicap all among the Class 2 races making up an action-packed Friday.
Betway Handicap – Newcastle – 15:25
With over £50,000 in prize money available to the winner of Friday’s feature race at Newcastle, many of the 26 runners will be confident of challenging for the spoils. David O’Meara’s Tawdeea is among the favourites having won the Bet365 Old Newton Cup at Haydock last year, with jockey Danny Tudhope once again hoping the duo can come out on top. Poet’s Corner and To Be Wild are also among the frontrunners at this stage, for Sir Michael Stoute and Hugo Palmer respectively. However, it is Linguistic who heads the betting with the majority of the bookmakers, with the five-year-old having won the £1.3 million Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket last year, handing trainer John Godsen a £200,000 winning prize fund. The athletic horse had previously achieved some respectable second place finishes at both Newmarket and Chester, before claiming the biggest win of his career to date in April 2016. Elsewhere at Newcastle, Galapiat and Fabricate are among the outsiders to keep an eye on, with little separating the rest of the field.
Bathwick Tyres Handicap – Bath – 15:30
Trainers Mark Johnston and Richard Hannon dominated the original entries for this handicap race, holding no fewer than eight of the fifteen runners between them. Four-year-old Permian has three wins to his name already, with the promising youngster having also finished third in a quality field at Newmarket last year, behind only Coronet and Cunco. Elsewhere, Poetic Force could challenge the favourites for trainer Tony Carroll, with the four-year-old Irish horse having won three of his last four starts.
Dribuild Handicap Chase – Bath – 16:30
13 runners make up the showcase race at Bath on Friday. Boomshackerlacker is set to challenge for trainer George Baker, with the eight-year-old having won over a similar distance at Newbury last summer, one of his five career wins. Elsewhere, famous Italian trainer Luca Cumani will be hopeful of another strong performance from El Vip, with the promising youngster having won two from his last four starts, most recently overcoming God Willing to win at Leicester. The likes of Bold Prediction and The Warrior could also go close at Bath, with this race proving difficult to call given the quality of the field.