Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s Thursday 5 to thrive on across the tracks

Frank's studied the form so you don't have to.

Frank Hickey


Clonmel 13.00 – Golden Jewel

Golden Jewel is far too well treated over fences to ignore, running off a mark of 111, while his hurdles mark is 130. His only handicap start over fences was over a trip of two miles six furlongs which would have stretched his stamina, but he wasn’t disgraced when third but that was two years ago.

In the interim, he has run some crackers in top class handicap hurdles, namely when second in the Tara Handicap Hurdle at Navan off a mark of 120, a second in the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown off 122 and only in October he was second in a valuable handicap hurdle at Down Royal off a mark of 127.

If he runs to anywhere near that level, he should prove difficult to beat.

Wincanton 13.15 – Starvoski

Starovski cost £35,000 after winning her point by 10 lengths at Dungarvan and the second has been second in two maiden hurdles in the UK since. The third that day finished third in a Punchestown bumper that also to give the form some substance.

Starovski now starts off with Kim Bailey who continues to fire in the winners and those with experience don’t set an insurmountable standard. She is also related to winners and it wouldn’t surprise if she was capable of making a winning debut under rules.

Market Rasen 13.22 – Reverend Jacobs

Reverend Jacobs is likely to be a big price after being beaten 24 lengths on his reappearance at Warwick when a 50/1 shot. I don’t think that does him justice. He went out in front and was still there until about the third-last hurdle and just weakened from there, as if the run was badly needed.

He has been dropped 5lbs for that effort and now runs off 101. Only last December he was third in a stronger handicap hurdle at Doncaster off a mark of 111. When trained by William Haggas on the Flat, Reverend Jacobs was a winner at Newmarket in August 2018 off a mark of 86, which shows what he is capable of.

His front-running style is very much suited to Market Rasen and his trainer Nick Kent had Mick Maestro improve from his seasonal reappearance to win at Doncaster last week.

Reverend Jacobs might be worth taking a chance on.

Clonmel 13.30 – Stand Off

This isn’t the strongest maiden hurdle ever run and it might be worth siding with Stand Off who should improve plenty for his reappearance run at Clonmel last month.

He had finished fourth in both his bumpers, first at the 2019 Punchestown Festival in a race that was won by the very useful Front View and the likes of Alfa Mix and Cedarwood Road were behind. On his  second bumper start at Clonmel he was behind the likes of Captain Kangaroo, Kilcruit and Western Run.

Western Run is now rated 132 over hurdles, so that was a very useful bumper for the track. Stand Off was very strong in the market for his hurdles debut and while he could only finish fifth he did shape like he would improve for the run and this looks a far weaker race.

Centurion Steel looks the main danger.

Clonmel 15.30 – Kilcruit

Kilcruit is third reserve and may not get a run. However, he is an intriguing contender on his first start for Willie Mullins if he gets a run.

Trained initially by Tony Mullins, he was well touted by him at a Cheltenham preview night prior to his bumper debut and wasn’t disgraced when finishing second to the useful Captain Kangaroo. The third Wester Run is now rated 132 over hurdles. Willie also runs Capodanno on his first start from France, while Getaway Pat, Eilise’s a Lady and Dreamingandhoping all have shown ability to date.

None are as interesting as Kilcruit and he will be a danger – if he gets a run.

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