Horse Racing Tips: Frank Hickey’s top picks for Friday’s ITV Racing

Its been a while but Frank the Tank is back with his best bets for Friday's TV action.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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13:30 Haydock – Kuwait City (each-way)

A 5f nursery opens the TV action at the Lancashire track where the going is currently good, but significant rain is forecast. Kuwait City won his novice at Yarmouth before finishing 10th of 24 at Royal Ascot in the Windsor Castle Stakes and then having his stretched stretched over 6f at York.

He didn’t get the best of runs last time when checked at Windsor and could be a bit of each-way value in easy  ground with a first-time tongue tie on.

13:50 Newmarket – Crystal Caprice

Crystal Caprice started her career behind Whitebeam in a Newbury maiden in June, but then easily shed her maiden tag at Yarmouth, before winning both her handicap starts at Goodwood and Ascot a little easier than the winning margins suggest.

She’s now got a mark of 98 so has a little to find with Zanbaq at the ratings but is progressive and bred to be a graded performer, as she’s a Frankel filly out of the 104-rated mare Crystal Zvezda.

Win £/€100,000 with Paddy’s Pick 5 this Saturday!

14:05 Haydock – Yaaser (each-way)

A great season so far winning four times and shooting from a mark of 52 to 81 in the process. Yaaser was third to Raising Sands last week when he a little too far back in a steadily run race at Newcastle.

Hopefully he should handle the likely softer conditions, being by Lope De Vega.

With Paddy paying an extra place on this race, he looks a fair each-way price.

14:25 Newmarket – Royal Scandal

Royal Scandal steps into Group 3 company after an easy all-weather handicap win off a mark of 89 last time at Kempton. She could be a bit of value against the higher-rated Eternal Pearl (109) who won at this level in France last time and Ribblesdale Stakes runner-up Sea Silk Road, who wears a first-time tongue tie.

Royal Scandal’s dam won the Group 1 Fillies and Mares race on Champions Day at Ascot and she holds an entry for it too. She could surprise at a price.

14:40 Haydock – Double Cherry

Any rain that falls will be a big positive for Double Cherry who won a Goodwood handicap on soft ground in June and was sixth when the favourite in a good handicap here two runs ago off a mark of 87.

He was given a couple of months off after that run and finished a never-nearer fourth to La Yakel, Chairman and First Ruler at Ascot on his reappearance. Looks worth another go at this 1m 6f trip and the softer the ground, the better his chance.

15:00 Newmarket – Olivia Maralda

The Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over 7f can go to Irish raider Olivia Maralda. She took until her fourth  start to win, but even the form of her two earlier defeats is rock solid. She finished a neck second on debut at the Curragh to Zarinsk who won a listed race at Leopardstown on Champions Day while the third that day was Never Ending Story. Her next run saw her finish second to Statuette at Navan, who went on to win a Grade 2 contest.

Olivia Maralda was caught out by a bad draw and the 5f trip in the Queen Mary, but made no mistake when bolting up at Newbury over today’s 7f trip. Another narrow defeat in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh behind Meditate gives Michael O’Callaghan’s runner an outstanding chance now.

Lord Du Mesnil Paul O'Brien Haydock February 20, 2021

15:35 Newmarket – Pogo

The ITV coverage at HQ ends with the Jim Joel Stakes over a mile and it may pay to take a chance on the veteran in the field, Pogo. Most of his wins have been over 7f, but he was second in this contest last year to Benbatl, beaten less than a length, when trying to make all the running.

That looks a stronger renewal than this year’s race and if he can shake off the attentions of Oscula up front, he might be very hard to peg back.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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