Today's Racing News: Defi the best bet on Saturday but Friday focus is at Huntingdon

Huntingdon hosts our feature race of the day.

It's Friday, and punters will see plenty of action from Huntingdon, Sedgefield, Dundalk, Lingfield and Wolverhampton. Here to offer up all the days betting info is of course, Daryl Carter.

"When glancing at the Saturday cards, did I think that Defi Du Seuil would be one of my best bets? Certainly not. However, he looks to have excellent claims at Kempton in the 14:05 Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase when delving deeper into the race."

Someone has finally switched on the light to give us a busy day of racing action up and down the country. Today's feature race comes from Huntingdon in a small but competitive field, and I offer up my Saturday best!

Money Talk

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.

14:50 Sedgefield - Grey Atlantic Way 12/1 into 9/1
16:00 Huntingdon - Odins Quest 6/1 into 4/1
19:30 Wolverhampton - Tinkerstar 17/2 into 5/1

The morning market drifters !

Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?

19:30 Wolverhampton - Coolmeen Vega 7/2 OUT 9/4

Mark your card

The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!

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In Sedgefield's opening 12:20, Maiden Hurdle, Mahler Mission 2.111/10, represents John McConnel, who has just his second ever runner at this venue. His runner brings some solid Irish form into the race, which relates to some high 120 rated and low 130 rated horses in Ireland and today is in much calmer waters.

An interesting each-way alternative would be Northern Falcon 21.020/1, who Henry Brooke rides, and he has a 33% strike rate when riding for Pauline Robson. Robson also has had three winners from eight runners over hurdles at Sedgefield.

In the 12:50 at Sedgefield, Coopers Cross 3.55/2 takes his first steps into open handicap company and is the sole course winner in the field.

At Huntingdon, jockey Gavin Sheehan rides for Alan King onboard Peace River 13.012/1 in the 13:30 Novice Hurdle, and he boasts a 30% strike rate for the trainer.

Trainer Dr Richard Newland has had ten winners from 32 runners at Huntingdon, and he saddles Rewired 3.7511/4 in the 14:30 Juvenile Hurdle.

In the 13:10 Handicap at Lingfield today, jockey Rhys Clutterbuck will look to enhance his 35% strike rate for trainer Pat Phelan on Reeceltic 4.03/1 - they have a 100% record here at Lingfield.

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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.

13:10 Lingfield - Cafe Sydney - Has won here three times (60%)
13:20 Sedgefield - Cailin Dearg - Has won here twice (50%)
14:20 Sedgefield - Road Warrior - Has won here three times (38%)

Weighted to go well

"Weighted to go well" highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.

12:40 Lingfield - Bungledupinblue - Has won off 62 runs off 50
14:20 Sedgefield - Dr Sanderson - Has won off 132 runs off 122
14:50 Sedgefield - Zolfo - Has won off 126 runs off 108
16:30 Wolverhampton - Koeman - Has won off 95 runs off 78

Form Watch

This section highlights a trainer, owner or jockey who is in excellent current form and their runners or rides for the day.

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Jockey Alan Doyle has ridden three winners from his last seven rides and today heads to Sedgefield for three rides. He jumps onboard today's furthest traveller, The Deise Man 17.016/1, in the 12:20, Joie De Vivre 21.020/1 in the 13:20 and Ballintogher Boy 23.022/1 in the 14:50.

Furthest traveller

Today's furthest traveller is trainer Sean Thomas Doyle, who made the 302-mile journey from his base to Sedgefield. He saddles The Diese Man 17.016/1 in the 12:20, and this is just his fifth runner in the last five seasons in Britain.

Race of the day

We head to Huntingdon for their 14:00 Novices'Limited Handicap Chase in which a small but select field of four head to post. It's no surprise that another Nicky Henderson horse heads the market, especially at this venue with a 41% strike rate over fences, but his mare now goes up against the boys.

On her second start over fences at Warwick, Barbados Blue ran with credit behind The Glancing Queen but ultimately was no match for that horse. She could have more to offer here, but it's hard to suggest that she is ahead of the handicapper, and this race looks like her most challenging assignment yet.

She's short enough sub 2/1 and is best watched.

Our Power needs to bounce back from a first flight fall at Doncaster just three days ago, and this quick turnaround after that heavy departure is concerning. However, he determinedly out-battled a subsequent winner at Wincanton before that to match his career-best effort over hurdles, and he remains feasibly treated off a handicap mark of 134.

Today's cheek-pieces have been a recent addition, and there's a good chance that he has more to offer in this headgear and should be fighting out this finish.

Mahler's Promise has been an excellent runner-up in two contests at Sandown this season in two starts, and his jumping has improved with each of his runs over fences. The saddle slipped on return so that effort behind a subsequent winner can be upgraded.

His latest run saw him hit the front too soon. He was pegged back on the run for home, but it was another rock-solid performance, and there is a case to be made that the stiff Sandown finish has now found him out twice and a switch to this flatter track today could see him to best effect.

He has likeable claims.

Big race verdict

This is likely to be fought out between MAHLER'S PROMISE and Our Power with little to separate the two. The three-day turnaround for Our Power is a concern, given he was a little sticky at the opening few fences at Wincanton, and if that fall has knocked his confidence, he could be immediately put on the back foot. Mahler's Promise, in turn, is pretty solid, and with improvement still to come, he gets the vote.

Timeform looking to get a tune out of melody at Dundalk

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Timeform's Tony McFadden highlights a NAP, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Dundalk on Friday.

Read Timeform tips here.

Defi can bounce back and claim Conti test at Kempton

When glancing at the Saturday cards, did I think that Defi Du Seuil would be one of my best bets? Certainly not. However, he looks to have excellent claims at Kempton in the 14:05 Coral Silviniaco Conti Chase when delving deeper into the race.

Defi Du Seuil caught the eye on reappearance at Ascot with the way he travelled through the contest and looked as though the old spark was there for much of the race only to tire at the second last flight.

That was his first run for 301 days and his first over a trip of 2m5f. In fact, it was his first run over further than 2m since his 2019 JLT win at the Cheltenham Festival, so it's no surprise he finished tired.

He should come on for that, as he did in 2018 when going through a similar spell in the doldrums, scoring at Exeter on his second outing.

He is in receipt of weight from two of his three rivals, including Eldorado Allen, whose best efforts have come on big galloping tracks, and given he was out-paced at Huntingdon last time, this sharper test is unlikely to suit.

Mister Fisher is much respected, but his performance in the King George was abysmal. Although he has a good record second time out, it's interesting that Nico de Boinville is here at Kempton but elects not to ride.

That leaves Rouge Vif for Paul Nicholls, who has won this race for the last two years, but he is surely not good enough to be winning this contest on the evidence of his last five runs.

This Kempton track should suit the nippy Defi Du Seuil, and he is clear on ratings, even with the generous drop of 10lbs in two runs by the handicapper. Now is the time to catch Defi, who is the most decorated horse in the field and drops into calmer waters at the right time.

Calvin out for the big cash on Saturday


We have some competitive handicaps to look forward to on ITV Racing on Saturday and Tony Calvin has four double-figure tips for you to consider on the afternoon...

Read Tony's column here.

Final Word

Saturday's racing looks good for this time of year, and a few things are worth noting. Paul Nicholl's usually gives his horses a flu jab at this time of year (as well as other yards) so perhaps tread carefully there.

Lots of runners in handicaps will have future races on their minds, so take "poor" performances with a pinch of salt - I hope that's the case with Ch'tibello, who is firmly on my radar for Cheltenham (despite his age).

And last but not least, Defi wins on Saturday!

Until Monday, be lucky.

Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7

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