Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 5 to keep the dream alive on Thursday

Four tracks. Five tips. One Frank Hickey. What's not to like?

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Pontefract 13.15 – Sir Maxi

Sir Maxi showed promise on debut at Windsor when a well beaten second in what didn’t look the strongest maiden, but this doesn’t look any stronger. He was a 155,000 guineas breeze up purchase and is related to winners and I would expect him to improve plenty for that debut run.

Ralph Beckett is 7-20 with his juveniles at Pontefract for a loss of -3.03 to a £1 level stake, which to me would suggest he places his horses well to find relatively weak races for his two-year-olds to win.

Yarmouth 15.10 – Bodyline

Bodyline was one I really fancied on his last start in the Melrose handicap at York’s Ebor meeting, but he ran a very disappointing race despite being really strong in the market. Perhaps the run was needed after a mid-season break after a gelding operation, but he makes plenty of appeal down in grade now.

He was second at this track over 10 furlongs on his first start off the season off a mark of 82 and then  ran a cracker in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot when not getting the best of runs to finish a never nearer sixth, but beaten less than four lengths.

That form is red hot with subsequent Group winners like Hukum and Subjectivist ahead of him that day. A four-runner tactical affair didn’t suit him at Newmarket and if he can come back to the level of form he displayed at Ascot, he really should be going close. Hopefully the addition of cheek-pieces will be the making of him.

Tramore 15.35 – The Echo Boy

This beginners chase is for horses that have never won over hurdles and The Echo Boy probably sets the standard on hurdles form and was a point-to-point winner in 2018. He showed some ability when following City Island home in a novice hurdle at Naas, but hasn’t really hit those heights since.

He did run really well at Kilbeggan last time on just his second start over fences, only beaten a half length by Jack Hackett and that horse was not beaten far in second in a handicap off a mark of 118 at Sligo earlier this week.

A repeat of that form and running to a rating of about 115, should be good enough to get the job done.

Pontefract

Pontefract 16.20 – Ulshaw Bridge

Ulshaw Bridge looks too well handicapped to ignore here and makes each-way appeal with Paddy paying 4 places.

He hasn’t won since 2018, when he won at Doncaster off a mark of 87 and he was placed in strong handicaps at Ascot off 89 & 90. Last year was a bit of a struggle for him but he did hit the places at Newcastle, Redcar and Newmarket off marks of 88 & 89. He has struggled since but did run well at York off a mark of 80 and ran really well at Ayr last time off a mark of 78.

The fourth from that Ayr race has won since and hopefully Ulshaw Bridge gets a decent pace to aim at in a race where Paddy is paying the first 4 home.

Ayr 17.00 – Mid Winster

Mid Winster showed plenty of her first start for Paul Midgely last week in Doncaster, when only beaten three quarters of a length in fourth off a mark of 77. She was a wide-margin winner last season for Andrew Slattery off a mark of 82 and she is definitely on a mark she can win from. She is due to go up 1lb for that run and she finds herself 5lb better off with Sounds Of Iona, who was the winner at Doncaster.

If Mid Winster builds on that first start of a new yard, she would look to have strong claims.

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