Friday's Fancies - Barry Hill

Barry Hill its back again today after a not so impressive return from holidays yesterday. Time to get back to the winners!

2:42 Newbury 

Dreweatts Maiden Fillies' Stakes


The Gosden stable has historically used this race as a stepping stone to greater achievements, and Beeley could follow suit after a very close second at Nottingham against a more experienced opponent. She is entered in the Oaks, similar to LASTING LOVE, who caught the attention of many when finishing third over 7 furlongs on her debut at Doncaster. Both fillies are likely to appreciate the longer distance and the conditions of today's race. However, the nod goes to LASTING LOVE, trained by Andrew Balding and sired by Lope De Vega. Also of note is Magic Dream, a Shamardal half-sister to Platinum Jubilee winner Naval Crown, and the 320,000gns newcomer Bittalemon, a Dubawi filly, both of whom merit attention.


2:20 Ayr 

Get Home Safe With Thistle Cabs Handicap Hurdle


Whistle Stop Tour returned to form with a win over a slightly longer 2 miles and 4 furlongs here last time and might benefit from today's increased distance, making him a contender. However, my pick is CATCH HIM DERRY, who narrowly missed victory by less than two lengths to his stablemate Gwennie May Boy, who has won twice since that race in Bangor this past February. The six-year-old is racing with just a 5lb increase in weight and should be a strong competitor. Castle Rushen and Mt Fugi Park are also worth considering.


4:30 Ayr 

GS Group "Hands & Heels" Handicap Hurdle


DON'T TELL SU has proven to be a challenging follow but finally delivered on his promise with a win at Wincanton, and a starting handicap mark of 117 seems quite manageable. Billytherealbigred has dramatically improved since entering handicaps, but now faces the challenge of being 18lbs heavier than when he secured his third consecutive victory at Market Rasen. Plaisir Des Flos, currently on a winning streak, has been raised 10lbs after a victory at Wincanton. Front View also comes into contention, and despite Voix Du Reve’s lackluster form when winning this event last year, his recent modest performances might not fully reflect his potential for a repeat.


5:30 Exeter 

Bell Inn Bovey Tracey Novices' Handicap Hurdle


PADDY IN THE CADDY found success when introduced to handicaps for the first time at Huntingdon, and with only a slight 4lb increase in weight, it seems likely he'll secure more victories before the handicapper fully catches up. Soir De Gala appears as the primary challenger, coming off a convincing win over an extended 2 miles at Taunton last week, although a 7lb penalty might complicate his efforts. Also noteworthy is Hillsin, who remains relatively untested and is making just his second appearance for his current stable, and his first since a breathing operation.


7:30 Exeter 

Heart Of Oak Pinhoe Exeter Open National Hunt Flat Race


After defeating a horse that went on to win a Listed race in an Irish point-to-point, KINGSTON PRIDE was purchased for 200,000 euros but finished second as the favorite in a bumper at Lingfield’s Winter Million event. His performance looks even stronger considering the winner nearly won a Grade 2 race at Aintree last weekend. A race like today’s should be well within his capabilities, especially under the guidance of Nicky Henderson. Wicked Thoughts, coming off a win at Musselburgh, must carry an extra 7lb against him, making Kap Ouest a potentially more significant challenge after finishing third at Chepstow in October.


7:15 Bath 

Dragon Symbol Standing At Whitsbury Manor Handicap


JOHNJAY, although absent for 309 days, won over this course and distance on his return last year and, as a lightly-raced four-year-old, could potentially replicate that success. Three Yorkshiremen is effectively 2lbs advantageous despite a 5lb penalty from his recent victory at Chelmsford just six days ago, and he looks poised for another strong performance. Also worth considering are My Ambition and Raqraaq, with the latter returning to the fray on a competitive mark.