Horse Racing Tips: Tuesday 3rd January 2017
14:00 Musselburgh – Stone Quercus @ 13/2
The 14:00 at Musselburgh could come across as quite a competitive 15-runner affair at first glance; however, there appears to be plenty in there that can be easily discounted. One who certainly can’t is Stone Quercus for Donald McCain. The four-year-old looks to have been dropped into a winnable contest and should go well.
Having readily beaten a couple of reasonable types over this trip at Perth back in September, the gelding has since thrown down a very respectable effort (finished a close-up 2nd) over C&D – an effort that, if repeated, would surely see him go close in this race.
In two races since his appearance around these parts, Stone Quercus has failed to hit the same level of form, although it’s fancied that the softer ground certainly had a hand in such performances. Considering the ground wasn’t in his favour, he actually didn’t perform too badly. Now back on good ground, a much better showing is expected.
For an in-form yard, one who does well at this track, Stone Quercus is expected to pick up where he left off when running here in November last year. At odds of 13/2, the four-year-old is well worth supporting.
16:40 Newcastle – Fingals Cave @ 12/1 (each-way)
Iain Jardine’s Fingals Cave didn’t deliver much over C&D last time out, but it’s fancied that he’s a good deal better than that performance and it would be no surprise if he was seen to better effect this time around.
The five-year-old was twice a Class 4 winner for his old stable and, in four runs for Jardine, has shown a glimmer of promise.
Having dropped back into Class 4 company after a couple of modest efforts at the level above, Fingals Cave never really figured last time out. He was slowly away and, despite travelling well, a serious challenge never looked likely under his 7lb claiming apprentice. However, under the stewardship of the far more experienced P J McDonald, a much better performance is on the cards.
This race doesn’t look the deepest in terms of quality, there are horses at either end of the weights who, for one reason or another, can be dismissed, while there are also a number who probably don’t relish the 7f trip.
This gelding has done most of his best work over 7f and, on his day, has proved himself to be be more than capable of getting the job done at this level. His win on good to soft at Epsom in the summer looks strong form, while his 3rd of 15 at Kempton for this yard back in October is another standout run. If such form could be matched in this race then he’d have to go close, no doubt about it.
In a race that isn’t the best, for a jockey and trainer who’re no strangers to success at this venue, Fingals Cave is definitely an each-way horse to be on.
17:10 Newcastle – Gentlemen @ 5/1
The last at Newcastle is apparently all about one horse, or at least that’s what the early market tells us, but it’s hard to see why. Poyle Vinnie is the early market leader and, although he’s by no means a poor horse, his credentials don’t look anywhere near strong enough to warrant such a short price.
The one to oppose with is Phil McEntee’s Gentlemen. The six-year-old is easily the most prolific winner in this field and has recently run some respectable races at a better level.
Having finished inside the top-three on all three starts this season, there really is plenty to like about this one. He ran a very good race at Class 2 level when reappearing at Kempton in November, before twice performing well at Wolverhampton in December. Considering those races came at a higher level, against better opposition, it’s hard to see why Gentlemen wouldn’t go well.
Trainer and jockey have struck up a solid partnership in recent times and it would appear that they’re in with a big shout of more success here.
In a race that isn’t quite as hot as those previously contested this season, Gentlemen is just too hard to ignore, especially at the prices.
See all of Tuesday’s tips here.
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