Horse Racing Tips: Matt Chapman’s top picks for Friday’s ITV racing

It's a fun Friday on the tellybox and Matt fancies Third Time Lucki (15:35) in the day's feature race at Exeter.

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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.

13:30: Down Royal – Saylavee

ITV Racing Friday gets under way here with a Grade 3 Lady Mares Novice Hurdle over 2m1f. Lots of improving horses on show. I really liked the look of SAYLAVEE last time and will stick with her. One of the Willie Mullins raiders ridden by Danny Mullins, Saylavee travelled like a machine for that maiden win at Gowran Park and hopefully she has more to offer.

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13:50: Exeter – Martha Brae (each-way)

ITV are also at Exeter Friday for this mares’ handicap hurdle over an extended 2m5f. A very tough race to call. MARTHA BRAE is a stronger stayer than most of these and is interesting each-way from Dan and Harry Skelton. Once rated 127, the mare is down to 111 now and must surely find a level soon. She’s not done much for her new connections since moving from Warren Greatrex, but this is a chance.

14:05: Down Royal – Fil Dor

This is a Grade 2 hurdle over 2m1f. I have always felt FIL DOR is a more talented horse than Pied Piper and will stick with him even though the latter will have a fitness edge after the success at Cheltenham the other day. Fil Dor is a strong stayer for Gordon Elliott and has the benefit of Davy Russell. His second to Vauban in the Triumph at Cheltenham was a great run and Pied Piper was back in third that day.

Down Royal

14:25: Exeter – Thyme Hill

Here’s a novice chase over 3m. Not much to say here although not really a bet as quite simply THYME HILL will win provided he can jump and there’s not much point on betting him at short odds with that doubt and unknown. The top class staying hurdler has reportedly schooled well – even though connections once said he would not go chasing – and should win for the excellent Tom O’Brien and master trainer Philip Hobbs – barring accidents!

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14:40: Down Royal – Gladiatorial (each-way)

Now a handicap chase over an extended 2m. A wide open heat. GLADIATORIAL is not always the best jumper for trainer Noel Kelly but there is no doubt he’s well handicapped off 116. My selection has a good second in a hurdle at Cartmell off 123 and a fair runner-up spot at Kelso last time when on 120. If his jumping holds up an each-way chance.

15:00: Exeter – Sizable Sam (each-way)

A handicap chase over 3m. I’m going to chance SIZABLE SAM here for Jeremy Scott and Lorcan Williams. I’ve always loved this big boy but it’s fair to say he’s not quite come up to scratch over hurdles. He might just come into his own over fences, however, and a mark of 124 is very fair. He should stay this trip and while it’s speculative I’ll back him each-way.

15:35: Exeter – Third Time Lucki

This is the feature Grade 2 Haldon Gold Cup over an extended 2m1f. THIRD TIME LUCKI might be a horse best fresh and while I’m not sure if he will go from the front he must have a great chance here for the Dan and Harry Skelton team. The Maghull third looked so good at Cheltenham in October 2021 and if he can get back to that level will be hard to stop getting over a stone in weight from Greaneteen.

Matt Chapman’s Friday tips: 

13:30: Down Royal – Saylavee
13:50: Exeter – Martha Brae (each-way)
14:05: Down Royal – Fil Dor
14:25: Exeter – Thyme Hill
14:40: Down Royal – Gladiatorial (each-way)
15:00: Exeter – Sizable Sam (each-way)
15:35: Exeter – Third Time Lucky

*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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