Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s fantastic 5 to thrive in the UK and Ireland on Friday

Super Frank Hickey's back with five selections from both sides of the Irish Sea on Friday.



Newmarket 13:50: Bounce The Blues

This is a field high on quantity but perhaps not overly high on quality and I think it is worth siding with Bounce The Blues on the back of a very encouraging first start for Andrew Balding at Group 3 level last time.

This is a drop in grade for her but she shaped well last time when running on nicely for 3rd and she had the re-opposing Cloak Of Spirits behind. She only made her debut in July for John Feane and beat So Wonderful in a maiden on her third start and won a Listed race at Naas on her 4th start.

Both those wins were over seven furlongs, as was her run last time at Doncaster, so she needs to prove that a mile suits her but she wasn’t stopping last time and her pedigree suggests there should be no issue with the trip.

Considering she only made her debut a little around 11 weeks ago, she is open to plenty of improvement and is already the 2nd highest rated in the field on 101, with only Cloak Of Spirits (who she finished ahead of at Doncaster) rated 105.

Listowel 15:15: Nibblers Charm (5 places)

A cracking handicap hurdle where Wonder Laish and Getaway Gorgeous are likely to make the market but Nibblers Charm looks worth taking them on with.

A bumper winner here two years ago on his second ever start, he took his time to get the hang of the jumping game but a wide margin win of an ordinary novice hurdle at Downpatrick last September suggested that bumper win was no fluke

His form since the resumption of racing has been really solid, running well in four starts on the flat, finishing 4th behind Felix Desjy at Navan, 2nd at Killarney to Chosen Mate and 4th at Gowran.

In between, he absolutely bolted up in a Galway handicap by twelve lengths at Galway in a race that has worked out.

The 2nd, Poseidon, won twice since, the 3rd Fan De Blues was touched off in a novice chase, the 4th Décor Irlandais won next time at Killarney, the 5th Goodbye Someday won his next two starts and even the 8th Ardamir has won since.

Nibblers Charm went up 12lbs for that win but that may well be lenient considering how well the race has worked out and he might be a little value to turn over the more prestigious rivals, with Paddy paying 5 places for those who want to play each way.

Haydock 16:00: Riffaa Wonder

There was strong word for Riffaa Wonder prior to his debut at Goodwood back in July but he shaped like the run was needed a little and that the six furlongs just stretched him when he finished 5th behind subsequent Mill Reef Stakes winner Alkumait.

Dropped to five furlongs for his second start at Thirsk, he duly made no mistake winning nicely by over two lengths and that form has taken a few boosts since. The 2nd won next time out, the 4th was just touched off at Redcar this week and the 5th won next time out.

Riffaa Wonder then went to Chester for his nursery debut off a mark of 78 again over five furlongs and won very easily, beating three subsequent winners.

He has been raised 9lbs to a mark of 87 but I think that he can prove better than that mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up in something like the Cornwallis Stakes next month.

Listowel 16:25: Ballyegan Hero

Ballyegan Hero makes a bit of each way appeal here on the back of three promising efforts since the resumption of racing.

He was 2nd over hurdles at Limerick off a mark of 113 and followed that up with a second in Tramore over fences and a 2nd in Killarney last time in a handicap chase off a mark of 116.

He gets to run off the same mark here but the step up in trip is definitely in his favour. He has run at Listowel twice previously, finishing 3rd over three miles over hurdles in 2017 and finishing 2nd last year over two miles over fences.

He is on the same mark as last year’s 2nd over fences here and I think there is every reason to believe that the step up in trip will help him, as his peak effort was a win at Galway over three miles over hurdles off a mark of 122.

Haydock 17:05: Nakeeta

Nakeeta is only a shadow of his previous self, when he was winning the Ebor and was 5th in a Melbourne Cup, but he won his first race since the Ebor when winning at Ayr last weekend off a mark of 67.

He carries a 4lb penalty for that win but the form looks solid for the grade, as the second Cormier was really well backed and had won by 11 lengths on his previous start and they were well clear of the third.

Nakeeta has won twice from three visits to Haydock and the 4lb penalty actually leaves him 3lb well in here. There are a couple of unexposed last time out winners in against Nakeeta and we might get a fair price as a result.

Frank Hickey’s tips for Friday’s UK and Irish racing

Newmarket 13:50: Bounce The Blues
Listowel 15:15: Nibblers Charm (5 places)
Haydock 16:00: Riffaa Wonder
Listowel 16:25: Ballyegan Hero
Haydock 17:05: Nakeeta

More Essential Reading For Friday’s Racing


All the latest Racing odds are just a click away on

What do you think?