Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 5 to fly at Warwick on Saturday

Frank has got you covered for today's action

Frank Hickey


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Frank Hickey has revealed his best bets ahead of a packed day of racing at Warwick.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, out expert tipster has named five picks to hopefully make punters happy this weekend.

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1.15pm – Sky Pirate

I was finally right about SKY PIRATE on about the 57th time. He was unbelievably impressive on his first start at 2m the last day at Cheltenham off a mark of 134 – he didn’t even come off the bridle when winning. The second, Ibleo, was just under four lengths back that day and was 10 lengths clear of the third. Ibleo has come out and won a nice handicap at Sandown off a 3lb-higher mark, so that form is really solid.

Sky Pirate has gone up 11lbs, but this doesn’t look the strongest race and I think he will take a bit of beating. The only worry I will have is that if he wins this and goes up another 5lbs he’ll be on a high enough mark come the Grand Annual in March. I did it was intriguing that he is entered in the Betfair Hurdle off a mark of 140 and Jonjo O’Neill seemed to say that he would go from Warwick to that Newbury race. I think he’ll win at Warwick and keep an eye on whether they confirm he’s going for the Betfair Hurdle. He wouldn’t be the normal profile of winner of the race, but he’s not a normal horse either. He’s 20/1 for the Betfair Hurdle.

1.50pm – Next Destination

This race has a bit of a disappointing turnout with just the three runners, but at the same time it’s not too bad. Golan Fortune was not disgraced when fourth, beaten by eight lengths, in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Christmas. You can describe FiddlerontheRoof’s season as ‘underwhelming’, having been second on numerous occasions behind the likes of Allart, If The Cap Fits and Caribean Boy. The form of the Tizzard yard would be a big concern for me, as they are still not right. A lot of horse have been disappointing for them.

NEXT DESTINATION just seems to be the one that will be tough to beat. He was a top class novice hurdler for Willie Mullins and was third in the Ballymore behind Samcro and Black Op then won the 3m Grade 1 at the Punchestown Festival when he beat Delta Work. He’s got really strong form, but the issue is he was off for two-and-a-half years before switching to Paul Nicholls. He had a lovely reappearance run in the West Yorkshire Hurdle when second to Roksana and he was reasonably impressive on his chase debut in a Grade 2 at Newbury when he beat One For The Team. That race can be a good guide to the future, with the likes of Santini, Thistlecrack and Native River having also won it.

Just from a pure ability perspective, Next Destination is the best of these. It’s a disappointing field and I would be disappointed if he got beaten here with the Tizzard yard so out of form.


Next Destination Harry Cobden Newbury November 28, 2020



2.25pm – Jay Bee Why

The ground is currently soft and heavy in places, and with rain overnight it’s very likely to be heavy ground and properly testing, That will suite Adrimel, who is a point-to-point winner and four from five under rules. His only defeat was the Champion Bumper.

This race will be a decent pointer for Cheltenham. In 2017, Willoughby Court won this and then won the Ballymore. In 2014, Deputy Dan won this and was second on the Albert Bartlett. The New One won this and the Ballymore while Court Motion won in 2011 and was third behind Bob’s Worth in the Albert Bartlett. It’s definitely a race to keep an eye on with Cheltenham in mind.

JAY BEE WHY won his point, beating Lifetime Ambition by three lengths. That horse has come second to Fighter Allen and Clondaw Secret before he was fourth behind Stattler at Leopardstown last time. I think it would be fair to say that if you were handicapping you would have him at a mark of 130 and Jay Bee Why beat him relatively easily. He disappointed in his bumper at Newbury but you couldn’t be anything but impressed with the way he won his hurdles debut here at Warwick on soft ground the last day. He absolutely cruised through the race with his jockey still holding onto him as he turned in, and as soon as he asked him to quicken he’s just gone. I think he’s got plenty of ability and at 15/2 it’s hard to get away from him. I think he’s got a right chance.

The horse he beat was making his rules debut for Nicky Henderson and was well-backed into 4/5 so they obviously thought a bit of him, but he’s absolutely brushed him aside as if he was standing still.

Make Me A Believer brings Cheltenham form here, having won the last day beating Any News, and Oscar Elite is one to keep an eye on. He may be a little bit of a dark horse for the Albert Bartlett, as he is two for two over hurdles for Colin Tizzard.

3.00pm – Le Breuil

This is a race I’ve always liked, and we’re paying four places here as well which will help with the each-way betting. I’m going to go for LE BREUIL, who won the National Hunt Chase in 2019. Obviously he’s got the stamina for a test like this and was fifth in this last year, beaten 27 lengths off a mark of 148, but I will say that last year everything was geared towards the Grand National and peaking on that day. He had a rating high enough to get into the Grand National, and I don’t think he was at any stage peaked for this race.

This year he has run okay up at Kelso and was then third in the Becher Handicap Chase the last day off a mark of 141. The problem now is that, although I think the Grand National is the aim again, he needs to win to be guaranteed a run. His current mark isn’t high enough and he will probably need to get to at least 145 to be sure. He’s had a wind op since that run in the Becher Chase and the Ben Pauling yard are in quite decent form with four winners from 16 runners in the last two weeks. At 11/2, I would be disappointed if Le Breuil wasn’t at least in the frame and I think they’re trying to get a win into him before the weights are released for the national to guarantee him a run.


Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey and Paddy Power’s weekend NAPs

3.35pm – Come On Teddy

Potters Corner is intriguing, rated 150 over fences but coming back to hurdling off a mark of 132. This could just be a prep for the Cheltenham Cross Country and then on to the Grand National, but he did win his prep over hurdles for the Welsh National. He won off a mark of 129 that day and that form isn’t too bad at all. Remastered and Supreme Escape came out and won subsequently to give that a bit of substance. He’s only 3lbs higher here, and I would love to know if they’re thinking of running him in the Pertemps Final itself rather than the Cross Country.

But I’ve just found it difficult to get away from COME ON TEDDY. I’m not surprised he’s favourite, but I am surprised he’s as big as 9/2. I thought he would be a good bit shorter because he was very well backed and was a very impressive winner at Cheltenham the last day, beating On The Blind Side by five-and-a-half lengths. He only got 7lbs for that, which I thought was actually quite lenient – they could have given him 10lbs or 11lbs easily. But On The Blind Side hasn’t let the form down at all, as he ran an absolute cracker in the rescheduled Relkeel Hurdle last week and was second to McFabulous.

I don’t think 134 will get Come On Teddy into the Pertemps Final come March, so he will be out to go close. He’s probably too big at 9/2, even though he is favourite.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change

Frank Hickey’s Warwick bet summary – Saturday, January 16

1.15pm – Sky Pirate
1.50pm – Next Destination
2.25pm – Jay Bee Why
3.00pm – Le Breuil
3.35pm – Come On Teddy

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