Today's Racing News: We have lift off at Chepstow!

Chepstow's open meeting kicks off the National Hunt season today from 13:00.

It's Friday, the official start of the National Hunt Jumps season at Chepstow and stacks of top-class flat action from Newmarket and York and returning from his break to give you the latest info is Daryl Carter...

"That gives a good indication of what he thinks of Mahrajaan, who, despite finding everything going wrong for him, won in the style of a pattern performer in waiting at Hamilton on handicap debut off 85."

Wow, what a belting day in-store of racing action across both codes on Friday.

It's the official start of the National Hunt season at Chepstow, where all eyes will be on Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls, who will look to continue his outstanding record at the open meeting.

Elsewhere, Newmarket saddles up for the first of their two-day meeting, seeing nine group races, including two groups ones.

York will kick off their two-day meeting in which some top-class handicaps can be found. Dundalk, Newcastle, and Downpatrick round off Friday, where there is something for every punter.

Lets get stuck in!

Money Talk

Money Talk continues to highlight the Betfair Sportsbook big-money moves to keep you in the loop.

13:50 Newmarket - Twilight Jet 15/4 into 11/4
14:40 York - Glory Hallelujah 9/1 into 9/2
14:45 Chepstow - Up For Parol 8/1 into 11/2
17:55 Newcastle - Bronze River 10/1 into 5/1

The market says LAY!

Which horse is the Betfair Sportsbook market suggesting to Lay?

20:00 Newcastle - Ginato 7/4 OUT 3/1

Plenty of market moves against the overnight favourite Ginato who continues to drift and is today's market LAY.

Mark your card

The Betfair Sportsbook is paying extra places today!

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Chepstow's opening 13:00 contest is run in honour of the late Andy Stewart, who sadly passed away in recent weeks. A great friend to racing and Paul Nicholls and the trainer will be hoping to land the contest with standout candidate Knappers Hill 1.21/5.

For all of Paul Nicholls' dominance at this Chepstow open meeting in recent years, he has only won the 13:35 Tom Malone Bloodstock Novices' Chase on one occasion, and only one favourite has obliged in the last ten years.

In his Betfair interview with Kevin Blake on today's favourite Threeunderthrufive 2.56/4, he was recently quoted suggesting that he "needs to learn how to bend his back and jump". Perhaps a rare favourite of the trainers to take on?

Ten-year-olds have a fantastic record in Veteran Handicaps, and that age group has won five of the last six renewals of the 14:10 professor Caroline Tisdall Supports Heroic Jumpers Veterans' Handicap Chase.

There are four today. Some Chaos 7.06/1, Geordie Des Champs 6.05/1, Vivas 10.09/1 and Soupy Soups 17.016/1.

It's all-out war in the Persian!

Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls will go head to head on the seasons opening day in the feature race at 14:45. However, both saddle four-year-olds who are just one for 12 in the last ten years.

Henderson has scored with eight of his 36 runners at this venue (22%) in the last five seasons and saddles First Street 5.59/2.

Nicholls' exciting Paso Doble 4.03/1 will look for his trainer's fourth win in the race.

Camprond 7.513/2 is perhaps one to avoid - he has traded lower than 2.01/1 seven times and only scored twice when doing so.

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Read Paul Nichols' thoughts on his runners at Chepstow here.

Inspiral out to bolster classic claims

John and Thady Gosden will be hoping that favourite Inspiral 2.47/5 can keep her unbeaten record intact and take her tally to four from four in the Newmarket feature 15:35 bet365 Fillies' Mile.

Gosden will be looking for his first win in the race since 2018.

At York in the 16:20 Copper Knight Handicap, Muscika 11.010/1 will look for back to back wins in the race after shaping like a return to form was imminent last time here at York.

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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.

14:10 Chepstow - Potters Corner - Has won here twice (100%)
15:15 York - Challet - Has won here twice (100%)
15:15 York - La Trinidad - Has won here twice (22%)
16:20 York - Muscika - Has won here twice (17%)
16:20 York - Duke Of Firenze - Has won here twice (22%)
16:40 Newmarket - Freyja - Has won here twice (67%)
16:50 Newcastle - Peerless Percy - Has won here twice (50%)
17:55 Newcastle - Rocket Dancer - Has won here twice (67%)
20:30 Newcastle - Another Angel - Has won here seven times (24%)

Weighted to go well

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

16:20 York - Teruntum Star - Has won off 90 runs off 76
17:55 Newcastle - Boy In The Bar - Has won off 82 runs off 59
19:30 Newcastle - Zamjar - Has won off 77 runs off 61
19:30 Newcastle - Paddy Power - Has won off 77 runs off 56
20:30 Newcastle - Canford Bay - Has won off 79 runs off 69

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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Trainer Jamie Osbourne has hit a rich vein of form, scoring with four of his last 16 runners and is operating at a 25% strike rate over the previous 14 days. Today he saddles one runner with Raising Sand 15.014/1 15:15 at York.

Furthest traveller

Trainer Keith Dalgliesh makes the 384-mile journey from his base to Newmarket today with Misty Ayr 26.025/1 in the 14:25 Godolphin Lifetime Care Oh So Sharp Stakes. He has only had one winner from 17 runners at the course.

Race of the day

Absolutely stacks to choose from today for the feature race, but it's Chepstow that steals the spotlight today and the 14:45 Persian War Novices' Hurdle.

This is a below-par renewal, but the race regardless is always informative for the season, so it shouldn't be scoffed at.

Paso Doble was visually very impressive at Kempton, and it's clear that trainer Paul Nicholls thinks a bit of the youngster, given the way he lit up when talking to Kevin Blake about his chances for the season.

You could easily argue that he had a soft time of things when scoring at Kempton when his main market rivals were dropped out the back of the field and given a hell of a lot to do. He dictated from the outset, but he could do no more than win in the manner that he did, and it's a performance to view positively.

He is probably best judged when third in the Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle on debut behind Tritonic. He was no match for the winner, but it was an eye-catching performance after a couple of errors at his hurdles only to finish off the race strongly.

The step-up in trip looks a good source of improvement, and it remains to be seen what he is capable of just yet, so he remains one to be extremely positive about.

First Street scored impressively in a minor event at Warwick last time and recorded a good time figure when sprinting away from his field. He is another that is firmly on the upgrade and is now two for two over hurdles since stepping up from two miles.

This stamina-sapping track should suit him well. It would be folly to take his opening handicap mark of 134 literally at this time of the year, given the rivals he has beaten, but he represents powerful connections, and it's hard to envisage him not fighting out the finish.

Outside of the two four-year-olds above, Up For Parol looks to have been underestimated by the market on the evidence of his Wetherby and Ffos Las victory, the latter recording an excellent figure for the grade.

His experience will hold him in good stead in this field today, and it was hard not to be impressed by the way he quickened from the back of the last right to the line on his latest outing.

This step-up in trip is sure to suit on the evidence of his emphatic point to point victory, and he holds few negatives, if any, for a race of this nature and offers a good bit of value at the prices should he be ready to roll first time up.

Timeform backing Chindit to gain a deserved victory at Newmarket

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Timeform offer up three of their best bets on the card at Newmarket.

Read Timeform tips here.

Back Mahrajaan to relish the step up in trip for Haggas

Mahrajaan should have no trouble defying this ten pounds higher handicap mark on the evidence of his dominance at Hamilton last time, and he can land the 15:50 Casumo Dare To Be Different Handicap to record a second win for his trainer who tends to chose wisely when running horses in this race.

The Grand Visir, Favourite Moon, and 2019 winner Hamish have been the trainers three entries for this contest, and all went off favourite.

That gives a good indication of what he thinks of Mahrajaan, who, despite finding everything going wrong for him, won in the style of a pattern performer in waiting at Hamilton on handicap debut off 85.

That race is yet to produce any winners, but the form is reliable, and he was under no more than a hand and heels ride.

He looks one to keep on side for the near future, and the step up in trip is a sure-fire source of improvement.

"I'm sure he is a Grade 1 winner waiting to happen."

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It's not too late to check out Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholl's thoughts on the upcoming season.

Read about Paul Nicholls' Chasers here.

Read about Paul Nicholls' Hurdlers here.

Read about Paul Nicholls' dark horses here.

Final Word

If you never got the chance to watch The Fall on Sky Sports last night, please do go back on demand if you can to watch.

It was easily one of the most powerful films I have ever seen, and it really puts into perspective what some of the jockeys have to go through in terms of online abuse.

It's never right to abuse anyone on social media, but there are some out there that are willing to go to any lengths to drag people down.

Always keep positive, let no one take away your spark, and always be kind to each and every person you meet.

Unitl Monday, be lucky.

Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7

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