Where to Watch Racing this Week

October 23, 2017

- Grant Whittington

With Champions Day at Ascot having now passed, you could be forgiven for thinking that this weeks’ racing would come as something of an anti-climax.

This is an unfair and untrue observation, however, as this week will see a fascinating combination of flat and jump racing at numerous locations up and down the country. From the 188Bet at sunny Exeter to the Racing UK Handicap Chase in Carlisle, there is something to wow horse racing enthusiasts from all over the country.

In this article, we will look at the stand-out races from this weeks’ calendar, while appraising the potential winners and losers in each:

Windsor on Monday, October 23rd

We start with an eight-race afternoon meeting at Windsor, which should provide the perfect start to the week and help to banish any lingering Monday blues.

The stand-out race at this meeting is the 14:10 Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Handicap, which will traverse the one mile course and gift the winner a cheque of £4,690.

The 16-strong field is looking particularly competitive, with representation for stellar flat-trainers like Richard Hannon and Richard Fahey. Oliver Greenhall’s Omotesando (5/1) is among the early favourites, with the 7-year old gelding having placed in the top three in each of his last four outings. Hey also won impressively over a similar distance at Haydock in August, as he beat a field of nine to claim the top prize.

Omotesando will face significant competition from the John Mackie-trained Lunar Jet, however, with the three-year old arriving at Windsor in exceptional form. He romped to success in a field of nine at Goodwood last time out, for example, while he also placed second at Newmarket in August in similar conditions.

Be sure to look out for Bazooka too, who can be backed at a price of 15/2 and won over a similar distance at Ffos Las last month.

Exeter on Tuesday, October 24th

We turn our attention to Exeter the following day, which will host seven jump races and two highly-anticipated class three meeting.

The first of these is the Download The App At 188Bet Handicap Chase, which boasts a large field of 28 and a first prize of £8,862.

While the odds remain changeable, one of the obvious favourites is Gingili. This seven year-old gelding is trained by Johnny Farrelly, and enjoyed a run of five consecutive top two finishes (including three wins) between last October and August. He was particularly impressive in beating a field of 15 at Worcester in June, and while he pulled up at Newton Abbot last month he is fit to start here.

The second class three race is the 188Bet Best Mate Beginners’ Chase, which will take place a little later in the day at 16:50. Although there are only 15 runners here, there is a total prize fund of more than £11,000 and a potential winners’ cheque of £7,473.

It is hard to look past the Alan King-trained gelding Yanworth here, with this seven-year old gelding having won an impressive four of his last five outings. These include hurdle triumphs at Ascot, Kempton, Wincanton and Aintree during the last year, although the horse did only manage to place seventh in a field of 11 over a similar distance at Cheltenham in March.

Yanworth will be pushed all the way by Paul Nicholls’ gelding Copain De Classe, who has considerable pedigree over the hurdles. Although he has not raced since March, his last outing saw him win from a field of eight at Wincanton.

Newmarket on Wednesday, October 25th

On Wednesday we head to the iconic Newmarket, which will host a total of seven flat races throughout the afternoon.

The stand-out race here is the intriguingly named AR Legal Fillies’ Handicap, which is a class two meeting with a first prize of £12,938. There is also a field of 16 runners to choose from, with high-quality trainers like John Gosden and Richard Fahey well represented.

In fact, Fahey’s Aimez La Vie may well prove to one of the early front-runners, with the filly having achieved two impressive wins in her last three outings. She also won last time out on the turf, beating a field of 11 to triumph at Musselburgh from a starting price of 9/1.

Charlie Appleby’s filly Song Maker is also set to compete hard for the top prize, having showcased impressive and consistent form during the last year. In fact, she has not placed outside of the top three in any of her four races in 2017, while she also won at Chester last month over a similar distance.

If you are looking for an outside bet, you could do far worse than Hidden Steps. Trained by Andrew Balding, this three-year old filly has struggled for the majority of 2017 but suddenly romped into form with a superb (and not to mention unexpected) win at Windsor last time out. This was from a starting price of 16/1, and the bookies are likely to price her a little lower time around.

Carlisle on Thursday, 26th October

We finish with Carlisle on Thursday, where six jump races are scheduled to take place on relatively soft ground.

There are three class three races headlining here, including the Racing UK Handicap Chase. This race will feature 19 runners and take place over three challenging miles, while the winning trainer can bank a healthy £8,122.

The field here is certainly competitive, with the aforementioned Gingili expected to feature heavily among the initial front-runners. Most of this gelding’s recent triumphs have come on good or good to firm ground, however, so it is unclear how he will fare in different conditions.

A more reasonable bet may be Lucy Wadham’s Shanroe Santos, despite the fact that this eight-year old gelding has struggled in his last two outings. In fact, he won consecutive races on soft and good to soft ground in February and March, over similar distances at Warwick and Sandown respectively.  He could therefore be well-placed to challenge here, while he may also have the type of slightly longer odds that punters love!

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