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Friday's Fancies - Free Racing Tips

Barry Hill gives us an insight into a few of his tips for this Friday.

Friday's Fancies - Racing Tips
Friday's Fancies - Racing Tips

3:35 Catterick - Sam's Choice

You could say we're in the quiet bit before things get wild, with British racing taking it easy this Friday. But that's just the warm-up for the big races happening over the weekend at Leopardstown, Sandown, and Musselburgh. Still, there are races to be won today, and Catterick's got some decent action going on.

The main event at Catterick is a long 3m1½f handicap hurdle kicking off at 3.35, and it looks like Sam’s Choice is the horse to watch, especially with William Maggs riding. Maggs is getting a lot of attention for being able to shave 7lbs off the weight, which is pretty sweet.

Rebecca Menzies, the trainer, has seen some solid results from Maggs, with a couple of wins and some near misses from just a few rides. That makes it pretty interesting that he's been picked to ride Sam’s Choice.

Sam’s Choice used to race in Ireland, picking up a couple of wins with Gordon Elliott. He showed promise in his first UK race for Menzies, coming in fourth but clearly needing a longer distance. The shorter race didn’t really show what he's capable of, and even when they lengthened the race next time, he didn’t quite hit the mark with blinkers on.

But here's the kicker: Sam's Choice has dropped in the rankings, which actually puts him in a great spot for today's race, a bit easier than his last couple. Plus, they're trying out cheekpieces this time, which could make all the difference.

If Sam’s Choice is going to win one for Menzies, today's the day it looks like it could happen.

2.47 Lingfield - Khamsin

Khamsin seems like the smart choice in the 10-furlong handicap for three-year-olds at Lingfield. After a promising fourth-place finish over a mile in his first handicap race at Southwell last month, it looks like there's plenty of room for him to get even better, especially with the stamina that runs in his family. A slow pace might not be the best situation, but Hayley Turner could switch things up and keep him closer to the action this time. With what he's shown, Khamsin appears more than capable of handling the extra weight against his competitors.

5.15 Newcastle - Mamaalouka

Mamaalouka's dive into the handicap scene started off on the low end, but she's quickly making strides, especially after stretching her legs on longer trips and taking to the all-weather tracks this winter. She stepped up her game from her handicap debut at Chelmsford, nabbing a close win at Kempton about a month back. The handicappers have only nudged her up by 2lbs, which seems pretty fair considering one of the horses that finished behind her has gone on to win since. It's hard to believe we've seen all that this Mehmas filly has to offer just yet. Plus, having Clifford Lee in the saddle is a huge plus, given his knack for winning on this track.

Friday's Fancies

3:35 Catterick - Sam's Choice - 5/1

2.47 Lingfield - Khamsin - 4/1

5.15 Newcastle - Mamaalouka - 2/1

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