On the eve of Betfair Chase day, it's Ascot that will take the full focus of punters, and on hand to guide you into the weekend is Daryl Carter.
"There will be a column tomorrow for Betfair Chase day! The column will be fully focussed on the Betfair sponsored meeting at Haydock, and in the race of the day, we will take a closer look at the feature race, the Betfair Chase."
Today, Ascot and Chepstow are two excellent cards to earn that beer money for the weekend, while Catterick supports the two main meetings with a seven-race card kicking off at 12:10. Dundalk is your port of call in Ireland.
There is plenty to get stuck into and lots of potential bets around on Friday, so let's get cracking with some stats and some angles into the day's racing!
Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop. This section highlights market moves between 1:00 am and 9:00 am.
The market says LAY!
Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?
13:10 Chepstow - Sarasota Star 5/2 OUT 11/4
Mark your card
The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!
Jockey Bryony Frost heads to Chepstow today for just the one ride on Offyoupop 5.59/2 for trainer Paul Nicholls in the 14:55 Angela Nettlefold Memorial Race Maiden Hurdle. She has nine wins from 55 rides here at Chepstow.
At Catterick, trainer Alan King sends one runner, Sonning 1.910/11, in the 12:45 Gaspara Asset Management Juvenile Hurdle. He has had three winners from five runners at this venue over hurdles for a whopping 60% strike rate.
Trainer Milton Harris also sends one runner to Catterick in Bari Breeze 6.05/1 at 12:10. He has only sent four runners to this venue and has scored with two!
Trainer John Quinn has just the one runner today. He sends Well Educated 4.57/2 to Catterick at 14:30, where he has a 22% strike rate.
Ascot kick off their two day meeting
Nicky Henderson is profitable to the tune of £10.57 with handicap debutants, and he also has a 28% strike rate over fences here at Ascot. Can Cascova 4.03/1 enhance that in the 12:55?
In the 15:15 Not Forgotten Handicap Chase at Ascot, owner and jockey David Maxwell has a 63% strike rate when riding Jatiluwih 8.07/1.
In the 15:50 Royal Ascot Racing Club Novices' Handicap Hurdle, Getalead 3.55/2 is turned out within two day's of his head bobbing win at Warwick as he goes in search of a hattrick of victories.
Horses for courses
This section highlights horses that have won twice or more at today's tracks and could be in with a chance today.
15:05 Catterick - Reve - Has won here twice (67%)
Reve is the only horse on today's British cards that has won more than twice at the venue he is racing at.
Weighted to go well
"Weighted to go well" highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.
There are no horses running ten pounds below their last winning handicap mark today.
This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.
Today's furthest traveller is trainer Tim Reed with his runner Leverock Lass, now 6.05/1 having opened up at 10.09/1, in the 12:00 at Chepstow. He has made the 310 mile journey for just the one runner on the card.
At Catterick, trainer Milton Harris makes the 261-mile journey from his base for his runner Bari Breeze 6.05/1 in the 12:10 and trainer Richard Bandey travels 250 miles for his runner Give Me A Moment 2.47/5 in the 13:20.
Race of the day
The 14:40 Garden For All Seasons Handicap Hurdle at Ascot looks a hot race to get stuck into today. A deep class 2 handicap for which Nicky Henderson has won three times in the last ten years.
Nicky Henderson is again represented by Captain Morgs, who drops back to two miles for the first time since last November.
He ran a cracker at Cheltenham to finish third on seasonal reappearance over 2m4f behind Gaurd Your Dreams in a race that knocked three seconds off of the course record.
He travelled like a well-handicapped horse before faulting fitness up the stiff Cheltenham hill, and with that race already seeing the fourth come out and win in good style, he has to have strong claims off the same handicap mark today.
On the balance of his form this mark of 125 looks well within reach, and although this is a step up in grade, the time figure of that race suggests he is more than capable of mixing it at this level.
The drop back in trip is a slight question mark, but there looks to be a good clip on here, and he could take some stopping.
Leoncavallo split two improving rivals over course and distance last time in what was a hot race for the grade. He has been nudged up one pound for that effort, but that shouldn't see him playing a hand in the finish here.
He is vulnerable to an improver, but he sets a pretty useful standard on the balance of his form.
There is little reason for him to improve, but he might not need to in order to lay claim to this race and is a fascinating contender.
Gary Clermont may need the ground on the softer side, but he is a rapidly improving six-year-old who was last seen winning in good style back in May to take his record to three for seven over hurdles.
He is not easy to pass over, for all he will probably improve for this first outing of the season and is certainly one to keep on side for next time.
A Weekend sports round-up from Betfair
A big weekend is in store with the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the return of the Premier League, international rugby and much more, so find out how to get the best tips from our experts...
Timeform offer up three of their best at Ascot
The Timeform team offer their NAP, NB and each way shout.
Well-handicapped Induno to make a winning return to action at Chepstow
David Pipe's Induno is set to return to action on the back of a 371-day break today in the 12:35 Fujitsu Handicap Hurdle and looks a very tasty proposition off of this handicap mark of 113.
The pipe yard has scored with a few recently off the back of absences and none more well-handicapped than Induno.
He was last seen finishing fourth on handicap debut at Cheltenham last November behind Castle Robin over 2m5f, for which the trip looked to stretch him slightly. The winner is now rated ten pounds higher, and the third is rated nine pounds higher, while the handicapper dropped the selection two pounds.
His Novice Hurdle and bumper form prior to that also reads well. He beat a now 136 rated horse at Ffos Las before going on to score on hurdle debut, taking the scalps of horses rated 120 and 129.
This race lacks strength in-depth, and with his trainer holding a 20% strike rate here, he must go close with this drop back in trip likely to suit.
There will be a column tomorrow for Betfair Chase day! The column will be fully focussed on the Betfair sponsored meeting at Haydock, and in the race of the day, we will take a closer look at the feature race, the Betfair Chase.
Also, this week's Cheltenham Festival Focus is out on Sunday, so be sure to keep an eye out for that as we look to add a third selection to our growing portfolio.
I am off to Ascot tomorrow for a few drinks with friends to let down what's left of my hair! If you're around, do say hello. It's always good to talk racing!
Until tomorrow, be lucky!
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