There are four jump meetings across the UK and Ireland on Thursday as the Flat season draws closer.
The action begins at Chepstow (1.25-5.25pm) and continues at Sedgefield (1.40-5.10), Cork (2.05-5.30) and Ludlow (2.25-5.50).
Thursday’s nap is making excellent strides since going chasing for Oliver Greenall and a hat-trick of wins beckons for him at Ludlow.
Horse racing predictions today – Ludlow, Chepstow and Sedgefield
Enda McElhinney’s picks for Thursday are below. Scroll down to read the expert analysis behind them.
Odds correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
Horse racing predictions: Ludlow 4.10
The feature race on the card is just shy of three miles and improving chaser CONCETTO looks the one to beat for trainer Oliver Greenall and rider Charlie Todd.
Having shaped well in two point-to-points, the six-year-old didn’t show a lot in three hurdles runs after joining this trainer, but is already proving a different proposition over the larger obstacles.
In February he was a front-running winner at Huntingdon (2m 4f, good) and he repeated the feat this month at Musselburgh (3m, good to soft), where he again made the running and, despite a mistake at the fourth last, powered clear to win by more than seven lengths.
He was carrying 12st 2lb against inferior opponents that day but could well be up to the challenge in this stronger grade. He will feel let loose with just 11st on his back now and is progressing quickly, so a mark of 116 shouldn’t prove his ceiling.
Selection: Concetto @ SP with Paddy Power
Horse racing predictions: Chepstow 2.35
Plenty have chances in this 2m 7½f novice handicap hurdle, with The Imposter, Leading Swoop and Stellar Stream all in good form, but OUR BILL’S AUNT could be the one to snare the prize
The Alex Hales-trained mare won a 2m 3½f hurdle here in November and ran well on her most recent outing at the start of this month at Doncaster (3m ½f, good).
That was her first crack at this sort of trip and in a four-runner field she managed to clash with two well-handicapped rivals and a handicap debutant from the Alan King yard showing improved form.
Having cut out plenty of the running, she had no answer to the winner but battled on gamely with the runner-up in the scrap for minor money. On that evidence, a mark of 107 is within her scope and she has Harriet Tucker on board now claiming 7lb, while she also has form on a testing surface.
Selection: Our Bill’s Aunt @ SP with Paddy Power
Horse racing predictions: Sedgefield 4.35
Micky Hammond’s TRAC won over 2m 5f at this venue four weeks ago and in doing so made it three wins and a second in his previous four starts as he continues to improve over fences.
Though he mostly controlled matters in front last time, he was put under some pressure by eventual third Coolmoyne as they headed for the home bend. Conor O’Farrell’s mount increased the tempo on the long run between the final two fences and, despite a mistake at the last, landed running and won the race well by five lengths with market leader Quiet Flow up for second late on.
Trac is rated 7lb higher now but this slight drop in trip to 2m 3½f should suit him and he can apply plenty pressure to his rivals in the second half of the contest to take them out of their comfort zones.
Selection: Trac @ SP with Paddy Power
Looking for more horse racing picks for today’s action?
Win a £100 Amazon voucher by casting your vote for the 2023 UK Bookmaker Awards. It takes less than 60 seconds and is completely free! Vote here