Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s 5 slick picks for Thursday’s action

Four tracks. Five tips. One Frank Hickey.

Frank Hickey Tips


*Odds quoted on the widget are correct at time of publishing but all prices are subject to change.

Thurles 12.15 – Chalky White

This is a beginners chase for horses that were rated no higher than 102 over hurdles and it might be worth having a small each-way bet on Chalky White for the shrewd James Dullea. Chalky White landed a little bit of a touch on his second start in handicaps over hurdles last season and while he didn’t show anything in his first two starts over fences, he did show up well last time at Tramore.

He just got done for a bit of speed on a sharp track on ground that might have been lively enough for him. His hurdles win was on testing ground and this will be the first time he gets soft ground over fences. He was as good as any of these over hurdles, so he might go well.

Newbury 14.00 – Gran Luna

This doesn’t look the strongest race and it represents an excellent opportunity for Gran Luna to remain unbeaten. Will Victory was 2-2 over hurdles in France but carries an 8lb penalty as a result on her first start for Charlie Mann, while Sei Bella also carries a penalty for her win at Exeter last time.

That may leave Saturn Silk as the biggest danger to Gran Luna but she has her limitations and Gran Luna created a nice impression when winning her bumper here last February. Even though she won, she did shape like she would improve significantly for the experience and it will be disappointing if she can’t take this before tackling better company.


Sedgefield 14.15 – Glorious Zoff

Glorious Zoff was useful at best on the Flat for Charlie Hills, but he got off the mark in fine style at the first time of asking over hurdles at Sligo and looks extremely likely to make it two from two over hurdles here. Gordon Elliott has an excellent bunch of juvenile hurdlers this season already and it is very difficult to see how Glorious Zoff gets beaten here if putting in a clear round.

Gold Desert and Genever Dragon both won on their hurdles debut also but you suspect that they probably didn’t achieve a huge amount in those wins and will need to improve here to trouble Glorious Zoff. Elliott has a 27 per cent strike rate with his runners at Sedgefield and can enhance that even more.

Thurles 14.22 – Dinard Rose

Noel Meade continues to be having a great time of things and perhaps Dinard Rose can add to Meade’s winners tally now stepping up in trip over hurdles. Dinard Rose did manage to win a maiden hurdle on her second start over flights but disappointed subsequently but she did shape much better last month when a never nearer third at Limerick over two miles.

She was a strong stayer on the flat, who relishes easy ground and her recent runs on the flat have been on decent ground, which wouldn’t have suited her. She was a wide margin winning of the Ulster Cesarewitch last season off a mark of 69 and if the return to easy ground revitalises her, there is every chance that she can defy a mark of 113 over hurdles.

We should get a decent price too.

Chelmsford 18.15 – Higher Kingdom

Higher Kingdom is the most unexposed member of this field and an opening handicap mark of 83 might underestimate him a little. He was very well backed prior to his debut at Kempton last year when easily accounting for the likes of Zambezi Magic (now rated 79) & HMS President (now rated 87) and wasn’t seen again until June this year.

Again he was an odds on shot to defy a penalty but failed with Haqeeqy (now rated 100) proving too strong for him and he weakened out of it late to finish fourth. A short break and a return to the all-weather did the trick when he did concede a penalty up in Newcastle and that form has been franked, with the third, Burrows Seeside, winning two handicaps since. Higher Kingdom runs off 83 and based on his two all-weather runs, he might well be capable of defying that mark.

*Odds quoted on the widget are correct at time of publishing but all prices are subject to change.

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