Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 6 selections across the tracks on Saturday

Frank has got you covered for Saturday's action

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

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Frank Hickey has named his best bets on both sides of the Irish Sea ahead of Saturday’s action.

Speaking on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Paddy Power’s expert trader has picked out six selections from cards at Bangor, the Curragh and Nottingham.

14.00, Curragh – Missing Matron

MISSING MATRON was only second-string or Jim Bolger at the Curragh for a 5f maiden and was really impressive when winning easily by 3½l. That was only hands and heels riding and maybe she won due to handling the heavy ground better than the rest, but it was difficult not to be impressed. The second, It’ll Do My Day, won his next start at Cork while the fourth was Silver Surfer who was beaten 10½l, and on his next start Silver Surfer was beaten 3½l by Cadamosto (who reposes here). The market is likely to favour an Aidan O’Brien first time out winner in Cadamosto but I think Bolger’s Filly might be useful.

14.25, Bangor – Autumn Equinox

Mel Rowely had a well-backed bumper winner at Cheltenham on Thursday, The Player Queen, who was about 12/1 overnight but backed into 11/2 and won nicely. The yard don’t have many bumper runners – I think that was only their fifth in the last five years – and AUTUMN EQUINOX has a similar profile, winning a point on his only start. He is a half brother to Kangaroo Court, who was a useful hurdler and chaser for Emma Lavelle, so might be worth a small each-way play if he is solid in the market.

14.35, Curragh – Fiscal Rules

FISCAL RULES only had one run as a juvenile when beaten a head by Wichita. It was significant that they pitched him straight into the 2000 Guineas on just his second start and he wasn’t disgraced, only beaten by 4l in fifth. He was fifth in the Irish Derby and his reappearance run in Cork was massively eye-catching when he travelled really well, although it wasn’t a strongly-run race down at 6f. The fact that he was running in 1½m races last year and could travel like that in a 6f race… he was obviously done for speed by Laugh A Minute but coming up in trip by a furlong on a stiffer track will suit him. He’s got a decent each-way chance.

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15.10, Curragh – Broome

This is a good race, but BROOME is very difficult to take on here despite the short price. He was obviously a top-class three-year-old, was only beaten by a ½l in the derby and has only run three times since. He ran in two Group 1’s but didn’t stay 2m in the Group 2 Long Distance Cup. He made his reappearance in a 10f listed race at Naas last month and he looked more like the horse he was as a three-year-old, winning very easily. He is up in grade here but is at least 4lbs clear on ratings and I’m not sure quickening conditions play to the strengths of many of his opponents here. He is a short price but he should take plenty of beating.

16.50, Curragh – Valhalla’s Dream

VALHALLA’S DREAM will hopefully be at a bit of a price here. He was nibbled at big prices on debut at the Curragh over 7f on testing ground last month and he knew his job – he broke well and led easily, only giving way inside the final furlong and finishing third. The drop in trip to 6f might well suit him and there is every chance he could get to the front handy enough here. He could be value against some nice types with fair form.

18.45, Nottingham – Coley’s Koko

Nigel Tinkler wouldn’t be noted for having debutant juvenile winners but he had a useful bunch of juveniles last season, namely Ubettabelieveit (who won the Group 2 Flying Childers and was third in the juvenile turf sprint at the Breeder’s Cup) and Acklam Express (who won at listed level last season and has been placed in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint this season).

Admittedly, the yard have made a slow start to the season but they did have a winner at Newcastle on Thursday evening and I think it is significant that COLEY’S KOKO was only 8/1 on debut at Thirsk last July. That turned out to be a strong maiden with winner Umm Kulthum winning at Group 2 level before getting narrowly beaten in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. The second Digital is rated 81, the third Blind Beggar is rated 84, the fourth Ballintoy Harbour won her next two and is looking at getting a mark in the low 80’s while the sixth Bedford Flyer is rated 90.

Coley’s Koko was disappointing on her second start at Beverely but there was some promise when fourth at Musselburgh beaten 4l, with the three in front of her all rated in the high 70’s or low 80’s now. She then had a run in a handicap at Bath in September but you can put a line through that run as she took a bad step a couple of furlongs in and was lucky not to come down. She has actually been dropped 2lbs to a mark of 60 and I’ll be shocked if she can’t win at least one handicap this season.

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

Frank Hickey’s bet summary – Saturday, April 17

14.00, Curragh – Missing Matron
14.25, Bangor – Autumn Equinox
14.35, Curragh – Fiscal Rules
15.10, Curragh – Broome
16.50, Curragh – Valhalla’s Dream
18.45, Nottingham – Coley’s Koko

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