Horse Racing tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s best bets for ITV Racing on Friday

Mick's given us five to keep the dream alive on day one of the Winter Festival.

Mick Fitzgerald Punchestown action

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13:15 Newbury – Charlie’s Glance (each-way)

We kick off with a real mix of races on Friday with a maiden hurdle. The big talking horse is Nicky Henderson’s Jonbon who will be an odds-on favourite on price tag (£540,000) and reputation only. The form of his bumper win last season has not worked out at all, but he is highly thought of and a lot more settled this year. Hopefully, he is growing up.

Good Risk at All was much the best of these in bumpers, but he jumped poorly on his debut over obstacles at Chepstow. Granted, that was a very slowly run race that didn’t suit him, but his jumping was moderate at best. If he jumps better on Friday, he is definitely a player.

At the likely prohibitive odds though, I’d sooner back either CHARLIE’S GLANCE or Boombawn to be placed than the first two in the market. Boombawn was not knocked around in a smart race at the track three weeks ago so could run well, while Charlie’s Glance won his bumper convincingly last season before finishing ninth to Knappers Hill in a Grade 2 bumper at Aintree. Obviously highly thought of by connections, he might just be a bit of value here for the places.

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13:50 Newbury – Boothill

We have a Novice handicap chase next, where a few make their debuts over the larger obstacles. BOOTHILL ran a really nice race at Ascot last behind previous Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory.

That was a very good run considering his inexperience as it is hard to win a competitive handicap at that track with only one novice hurdle run under your belt. He jumped super and looks a natural chaser in the making. His two second-placed finishes in point-to-points should stand to him well now over fences.

Mister Coffey is an interesting runner if they go fast enough for him and he relaxes. He could enjoy chasing, but is a handful to ride. Solo might be better on a right-handed track. Fifty Ball could be the danger to the selection though, after a nice run over fences at Sandown when third to Minella Trump last time and that was despite a few ‘novicey’ jumps on the way round. He will win a nice prize this season and it could be this if Boothill disappoints.

14:25 Newbury – Fanion D’estruval

Venetia Williams’ charge FANION DESTRUVAL finished like a train last time in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree to nab fourth in a race that has worked out really well. The third, Midnight Shadow, won the Paddy Power Gold Cup earlier this month. Meanwhile, the runner-up Itchy Feet chased home Bravemansgame at Haydock last weekend.

Phoenix Way is the danger as he has had a wind operation, which could make a huge difference. He bolted up in a handicap hurdle at Huntingdon off a mark of 133 over 3m 1f last season and any rain will help his cause. Umbrigado is a course winner of a 2m 4f Chase, but top-weight Fanion D’Estruval ticks all the boxes for me.

Newbury-Racecourse-Champ-(R)-wins-2019

15:00 Newbury – Paisley Park

I was so disappointed with his run at Wetherby, but a lot of these are much of a muchness and I hope the cheekpieces will work the trick on PAISLEY PARK. Newbury is a much stiffer track too, so that can bring his undoubted stamina into play and that, combined with the headgear, will hopefully do the job for the former Stayers’ Hurdle champ.

Irish raider Mrs Milner is held by On The Blind Side on their November Meeting running at Cheltenham last season – where he beat her a neck, conceding 15lbs in a 3m handicap hurdle year. He only has to concede 7lbs to her here in this Grade 2 contest and could be a sneaky player as he has a good record when fresh.

15:35 Newbury – One for You

A 3m handicap hurdle closes the card, where Philip Hobbs’ One for You ran very well at the track recently when third to Stoney Mountain and has to be respected with that run under his belt. He’s closely matched with Fergal O’Brien’s Polish – finished sixth – on that running and can confirm the form again.

Mick Fitzgerald tips summary: 

13:15 Newbury – Charlie’s Glance (each-way)
13:50 Newbury – Boothill
14:25 Newbury – Fanion D’estruval
15:00 Newbury – Paisley Park
15:35 Newbury – One for You

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