Horse Racing Tips

Horse Racing Tips: Rhys Williams' two point NAP is in the PTP bumper at Stratford

Our racing expert has four selections on Friday

"I think a test of speed on quick ground is what Mystic Man needs to show his best and he gets that this evening."

Rhys Williams has analysed Friday's racing and has four selections at Pontefract and Limerick before finishing with a two point NAP over at Stratford.

Got no run at York last time

Pontefract 18:30: Ramiro 0.5pt win 20/1

There is a chance that Ventura Rascal will make all on the rail on his first start after a wind op but I think the market hasn't missed the potential for that to happen after a couple of poor runs this season whereas I think the chance of one at a bigger price has been overlooked a little.

Ramiro only beat one home at York last time but he shaped much better than that suggests. After racing a little further back than midfield through the first half of the race, he was one of only a few not being pushed along three furlongs out. He was nudged along to try to take a gap with around two furlongs to go but could never get a clear run and was eased in the final furlong.

Betfair Pontefract.jpg

He looks quite a tricky ride and it may be that he needs softer ground over seven furlongs to show his true ability but given the way he travelled last time I think the market has underestimated his chance and any 16/1 or bigger appeals.

Return to quicker ground to suit

Limerick 18:40: Stormy Master 1pt win 18/1

Golden Ferret won with far more in hand than the margin suggests last time at Downpatrick but the market hasn't missed his chance in this weak handicap chase.

At a much bigger price, I think Stormy Master could run better than his price suggests. He's shown very little on his last three starts but they were all on soft or heavy ground and he wasn't ridden prominently, unlike when winning over C&D last year.

He won that day off a 4lb lower mark than he races off today and he responded well to the first time application of blinkers. He was travelling best of the leading pair approaching 2 out and soon went to the front before seeming to not do much on the run-in which allowed Capture The Drama to get within a length of him at the finish.

His jumping let him down next time at Wexford but he ran quite well again over a longer trip at this track off 92 when not quite seeing out the trip and cheekpieces were on that day rather than blinkers.

If they go back to riding Stormy Master handily, they might be able to make the running with him in a race where there isn't too much pace and the return to good ground will suit him too.

There is a concern over his jumping, particularly as he can go to his left, and it's worrying just how badly he ran when last seen but he's been given a break since then which suggests he may have had a problem and he could bounce back in a weak contest. Any 12/1 or bigger appeals.

Point form offers hope on handicap debut

Limerick 18:40: The Eye Of Tulla 0.5pt win 16/1

The other one who appeals in this race is The Eye Of Tulla who is making his handicap debut after never being competitive in all four starts under rules and failing to get any closer than 54 lengths behind the winner (when last of eight at Thurles).

On what he's shown under rules he has little chance but the ability he showed in points suggests that he could have more ability than his opening mark of 84. On debut at Fairyhouse, he ran well to finish third behind Great Ocean where he made ground to track the winner at 2 out but couldn't go with him on the run to the last and faded late on to finish third. The winner has since won over hurdles and is now rated 112 while Douglas Talking, who fell at the last when just behind The Eye Of Tulla, is now rated 120 over fences.

The Eye Of Tulla ran badly next time at Dromahane but it may have been that the ground was too soft for him that day and he bounced back on his third and final start in points at Ballingarry. He was in a leading line of three approaching 2 out but didn't have the pace to go with the winner on the long run to the last and faded late on to finish fifth. The winner and third are now rated 105 and 110 over hurdles respectively.

It is concerning that he has shown so little under rules and it may be that he will need headgear in the future to show his best but this is by far the easiest task he's had under rules so far and there's the potential for him to improve. Any 14/1 or bigger appeals.

Switch to a far more suitable test

Stratford 20:40: Mystic Man 2pt win w/o the favourite 2/1

Five line up in the point to point bumper that ends the card at Stratford and the market is rightfully headed by Patanita, who was an impressive winner on debut in a bumper at Maisemore.

Always travelling well, it looked a case of when rather than if he was going to pass the leader turning the final bend and he got upsides on the bridle before being nudged out in the last 50 yards to win by a couple of lengths. Rather than take him on, I think there's a more attractive option in the without the favourite market.

Presenting Miranda currently heads that market and she won a point bumper at Larkhill on debut. However, I'm not convinced the quality of that race was particularly high and although there were excuses for her next two starts, it was disappointing she couldn't beat a moderate mare last time.

Tufton Avenue is next in and he ran respectably in the PTP bumper at Aintree. He still looked a bit green and could build on that but I thought that was a below par renewal of that race so I'm happy to look elsewhere.

Churchman was well behind Good Boy on debut and although he was green, he looks to have plenty to find after the winner was well held at Aintree.

That leaves Mystic Man who I think could be ideally suited by this test. He started his career in Ireland with Denis Murphy and showed a good level of ability on debut when finishing behind Anyharminasking and Constitution Hill. He could never get near that pair but travelled strongly for a long way in chase of them before having little left in the home straight.

He shaped well again next time at Stradbally in a race that showed he wants a test of speed. He wasn't too well positioned in a steadily run race leaving the back straight and was tightened up on the bend but made smooth headway to nearly be upsides the leader at 2 out. He was still upsides at the last but had nothing left on the run-in and faded into fifth.

Bought privately after, he joined Phil Rowley and was disappointing on his first start for him at Charing where the ground may have been more testing than ideal.

He showed far more next time on quick ground at Barbury Castle when winning very easily. He was travelling strongly in behind Top Wood Bareliere at 3 out when that rival fell and left Mystic Man to come home clear without being asked.

He was pulled up last time but that was over three miles and he looked an obvious non stayer and didn't jump too well either so there were excuses for that.

I think a test of speed on quick ground is what Mystic Man needs to show his best and he gets that this evening. I think he's the biggest danger to Patanita and would have him favourite in this market so although he's shortened this morning, he still looks bigger than he should be to me. Any 7/4 or bigger appeals in the without the favourite market.

Recommended bets


Staked: 163.00pts

Returned: 255.85pts

P/L: +92.85pts


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