The first day of Sandown’s Tingle Creek Festival takes centre stage on Friday, supported by just two of the four other scheduled meetings, Exeter and Sedgefield having fallen victim to the weather.
Sandown (12.40-3.35pm) is now first up, with a double-bill of all weather Flat racing at Newcastle (3.10-6.45) and Dundalk (5.00-8.30) taking us through the late afternoon and early evening.
There are two Grade 2 races at Sandown, the Winter Novices’ Hurdle (1.50) and the Esher Novices’ Chase (2.25), with Lucinda Russell’s Giovinco our nap in the latter contest.
Horse racing tips today – Sandown and Newcastle
Adrian Mills’ picks for Friday are below. Scroll down to read the expert analysis behind them.
Odds are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
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Horse racing tips: Sandown, 2.25
Last season’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle winner Stay Away Fay got off the mark on his debut over fences last time out at Exeter (3m, good to soft). He is highly respected and that form has since been boosted, but there wasn’t much between him and The Changing Man who now receives 3lb.
Lucinda Russell’s GIOVINCO, a most impressive winner of a Listed race at Perth (3m, good to soft) to wrap up his novice campaign over hurdles last season, is our selection over the same trip.
He recorded a first win over fences when giving away lumps of weight to race-fit rivals last month at Aintree (3m 1f, soft), quickly making amends for unseating his rider on his seasonal reappearance at Carlisle. He was still going well at the time and that is his only defeat under Rules in five starts.
This former point-to-pointer was always likely to improve over fences and won’t mind which way the ground goes having proven himself in a variety of conditions. He can bag his first graded win before moving on to bigger targets.
Selection: Giovinco @ SP with Paddy Power
Horse racing tips: Newcastle, 6.45
THE CALTONIAN returns from a six-week break and is our selection in this competitive 5f handicap.
He improved in the autumn after being fitted with blinkers, comfortably winning 7f handicaps at Newcastle and Wolverhampton and only narrowly failing to defy a 10lb penalty on his third start in nine days over the same trip back at the latter venue.
That was a solid effort and the form has some substance with the fourth-placed horse winning both subsequent starts. He does drop to the minimum trip here, however he should be well suited to this set-up given his strong travelling style along with Newcastle’s stiff finish.
Trainer Linda Perratt has a 38 per cent strike rate on the all-weather this year (14 winners from 37 runners) and The Caltonian can enhance her excellent record. He is up in class but receives weight from the field and has the potential to attain a higher rating yet.
Selection: The Caltonian @ SP with Paddy Power
Horse racing tips: Newcastle, 3.45
OPEN CHOICE has clearly had his issues since making his debut in January, having been restricted to three starts since.
He certainly showed promise in his first two starts, both of which came on the all-weather here in maiden and novice company. Those races – over 1m and 1m 2f – have thrown up a few subsequent winners, suggesting today’s mark is within reach.
He can be forgiven a very poor run on his handicap debut at Ascot (1m 4f, good to soft). That was in July and he has been freshened up since, while his pedigree suggests this drop in trip to a mile and return to an artificial surface will suit.
First-time blinkers may also sharpen him up and he is worth taking a chance on as by far the least exposed runner in a field of known quantities.
Selection: Open Choice @ SP with Paddy Power
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